Contract management is an important function in many business organizations. It is used to control the risks and costs associated with the procurement process. The National Contract Management Association (NCMA) offers certification as distinctions for contract management professionals.There are a number of continuing education programs in the market that prepare candidates to sit for one of the NCMA certification exams through in-depth study of procurement process best practice techniques, as well as providing substantive knowledge of contract, commercial and federal laws.
The NCMA offers three types of contract management certifications: certified federal contracts manager (CFCM); certified commercial contracts manager (CCCM); and certified professional contracts manager (CPCM). In addition to other requirements, eligibility to sit for any of the three certification exams require a bachelor's level degree from an educational institution accredited through either regional or Distance Education and Training Council. Degrees from non-U.S. institutions are evaluated by the NCMA on a case-by-case basis.
CFCM certification is available to professionals working in a federal contract management environment. Eligibility for federal certification requires the successful completion of the NCMA's Federal Knowledge module exam. To sit for this exam, a candidate must have 80 hours of continuing professional education and at least one year of work experience in the contract management field. A candidate can apply to take a special exam if he does not have the one year experience and the continuing education requirements. A professional's education, training and experience in the field of federal acquisition regulation is validated with CFCM certification.
Eligibility for certification in the commercial contracts management environment requires successful completion of the Commercial Knowledge module exam. Eighty hours of continuing professional education and at least one year work experience in the contract management field is required to sit for the exam. A candidate can apply to take a special exam if he does not have the one year experience and the continuing education requirements. A contract manager's professional knowledge of the Uniform Commercial Code, or UCC, is validated through CCCM certification. The UCC is a model code that addresses most aspects of commercial law. It has been enacted, in whole or in part, throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, with local variations.
A professional's education, training and experience of the highest levels of contract management skills and knowledge is validated through the CPCM. To earn CPCM certification, a professional must pass the Certified Professional Contracts Manager module exam. The professional eligibility certification requires the successful completion of the CPCM exam, 120 continuing professional education hours, and at least five years of work experience in the contract management field.