Contract management and procurement professionals work in a variety of sectors, including government agencies, nonprofits and private companies. Training programs not only teach students and professionals the latest skills for managing the procurement cycle -- these programs also enhance their professional credentials. Students, procurement managers, project managers, engineers and quality assurance employees can obtain certification in procurement and contract management through universities and professional organizations around the U.S.
Contract management and procurement training teaches students up-to-date skills and information relevant to the contract management field. In addition to learning about the basic fundamentals of procurement and acquisition, trainees practice how to analyze risk, form contracts, build professional networks and navigate through federal government regulations. Obtaining formal training in contract management and procurement also helps students to conform to the professional standards and skill requirements set by the National Contract Management Association (see Resources).
Although the curriculum for contract management and procurement training varies from program to program, participants learn how to request supplier proposals; create a statement of work; review and analyze various contracts; assemble requests for proposals; and develop licensing agreements. Other topics covered in training programs include how to assess risk, handle disputes, protect proprietary information and implement best practices for working with partners, suppliers and customers.
Training courses vary depending on the format of the program and skill level of the students. Some procurement and contract management courses span from three to five days, depending on whether they involve in-classroom or online instruction. Other certificate programs — particularly those offered at universities and colleges — span a school semester.
Since training programs typically offer students certificates of completion rather than formal degrees, there are usually no formal requirements to enroll in a course. Besides course payment, some university programs require that students possess professional-level proficiency in English.
In addition to receiving a certificate demonstrating their core competencies in contract management and procurement, formal training provides students with a detailed overview on the commercial, government and international contracting process. Trainees learn about all aspects of contracts, including negotiation, financial analysis, subcontracting and execution. Some procurement and contract management training programs also provide continuing professional education (CPE) credit, job preparation and access to internship opportunities.