Contract Management Standard™

The Contract Management Standard™ is approved by ANSI, an internationally recognized third party entity.

The CMS™ is an ANSI-Approved Standard that describes contract management in terms of the processes created through the integration and interaction of job tasks and skills and the purposes they serve. The common and repeated application of this standard will improve productivity, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. The CMS™ is the foundation of the Contract Management Body of Knowledge®, Sixth Edition.

Download CMS™ Third Edition*

The CMS™ is a free download available to NCMA members and nonmembers alike. We encourage you to share it with other contract management professionals who will find it useful. Watch this short video to get a brief understanding of NCMA's CMS™.  See how the CMS™ aligns with the FAR in this matrixAdditionally, review the crosswalk document that explains how the Third Edition differs from the Second Edition.

*For NCMA certification exam purposes, please reference CMS™ Second Edition found on the CPCM™ & CCMA webpages.


What's the Purpose of the Contract Management Standard™?

The CMS™ has five purposes:

  1. To define and standardize the term “contract management.”
  2. To present and define the processes involved in all phases of the contract lifecycle (pre-award, award, and post-award).
  3. To develop and perfect contract management practices, policies, and processes.
  4. To inspire critical thinking and learning to bring efficiency to the contract management profession.
  5. To be a constantly-evolving document with a formal change process.


The CMS™ was established as the result of a job task analysis survey of contract managers and working groups comprised of materially affected and interested parties. This process included a survey of contract managers, expert drafting, peer review, and a formal public comment validation.

On April 22, 2019, the Board of Standards Review of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved NCMA’s Contract Management Standard™ publication as an American National Standard (ANS). As the sponsor of ANSI/NCMA ASD 1-2019, NCMA continues to fulfill its vision to, “lead in defining the standards and the body of knowledge for the contract management profession.” Learn how this impacts NCMA.

Ongoing Maintenance

We strive to continually improve our products and services to advance the contract management profession. We seek your opinion on strengths, shortcomings, and suggestions for improvements. Please share your feedback for review by the appropriate body or contact [email protected] with general questions and to inquiry about NCMA standards activities.

Policies and Procedures

Our standards activities are guided by the NCMA Standards Development Program Policies and Procedures Manual.