Defense acquisition changes quickly. The speed of technology and Warfighter requirements are apt to change what an acquisition professional needs to know overnight. To ensure the Defense Acquisition Workforce can best support the Warfighter, they need immediate access to training that ensures they have the skills to take the lessons from the classroom into the job.
DAU credentials are key to providing this training and reshaping talent development. This evolutionary program provides access to responsive and timely knowledge in a format that encourages lifelong learning beyond the DoD’s three-level certification framework and empowers workforce members to self-select the training they need to immediately succeed on the job. These credentials are curated paths of training that comprise small blocks of instruction backed by a hands-on capstone that demonstrates the mastery of a subject. Some of these can be done in as little as two courses, which can help new and transitioning workforce better prepare for their unique roles.
“The primary reason why DAU is utilizing credentials is to capture ‘just in time learning’,” DAU Associate Director of Policy Leslie Deneault said. “A practical application of learning so that when the workforce is ready to perform a new job or a new role in their job, the DAU can provide them training at the point of need.”
Rather than front-loading generalized training, credentials are highly focused on specific topics. These desired learning assets are earned at any time of a workforce member's career to stay abreast of new trends and technologies, meet continuous learning requirements, supplement certification requirements, gain specific skills to enhance work performance and even as preparation for a promotion.
“We are trying to develop training so that it helps people actually do their job,” DeNeault said. “These credentials target learning at a high-performance level and have been specially curated to complement a professional career as needed.”
Bound to the objective of perpetuating professional growth and depth of skill, DAU released three new job-specific credentials: CACQ 004 Introduction to Risk, Issue and Opportunity Management; CACQ 008 Foundational Intellectual Property (IP); and CENG 002 Data Analytics for DoD Acquisition Managers.
The Foundational Intellectual Property (IP) credential is a cross-functional, general purpose credential providing the DoD acquisition workforce with the knowledge of basic IP and data rights concepts and skills. This foundational knowledge is necessary to effectively acquire, license and manage IP into acquisition strategies and product support strategies to protect core DoD interests over the entire life cycle, as prescribed in the core principles described in DoD Instruction 5010.44, IP Acquisition and Licensing.
“Intellectual property and data rights are very high profile topics that have gotten attention from Congress in regards to legislation,” DAU Director of Learning (Intellectual Property) Vicki Allums, Esq., said. “IP is a critical part of the acquisition process … from the inception of the need, if the SME doesn’t have the sufficient rights to use the technology they acquire, then that impacts mission due to cost and availability.”
DAU Professor of Engineering Mike Caram, developer of the Introduction to Risk, Issue and Opportunity Management credential, said the credential was developed as a response to interviews with students and customers who wanted a framework for "taking intelligent risks."
“The Introduction to Risk, Issue, and Opportunity (RIO) Management Credential was developed from this evaluation and is based on the current Department of Defense RIO Management Guide for Defense Acquisition Programs,” Caram said. “The credential sets a RIO foundation for workforce members to build on throughout their careers.”
The format for CACQ 004 includes a video by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John E. Hyten, a case exercise and an application-level exercise that demonstrates both knowledge of RIO management and the ability to apply the tenets of course on the job. Carem noted that relevant content such as this creates a learning environment that students find engaging.
The Data Analytics for DoD Acquisition Managers is the third newest installation in the credential catalog. This credential, curated by DAU Engineering and Technology Center Director Dave Pearson, trains acquisition professionals to manage data analytics projects through a pathway that combines courses available on Coursera from Johns Hopkins University and IBM, and a few additional DAU-developed courses that focus on DoD-specific information. This robust compilation of courses teaches students the fundamentals of data science and its methodologies and the techniques used to build a data analytics team and manage a data analytics project.
The release of these credentials will also be featured on Credential Engine, a private, non-profit organization that houses a thorough catalog of up-to-date, comparable credential information allowing human resources personnel and workforce members to compare credentials between universities and organizations. Denault noted that this inclusion offers "DAU students, supervisors, hiring officials, military personnel and other professional’s detailed access to a centralized credential registry," thereby empowering them to make informed decisions about the value of credentials.
To learn more about credential offerings and to register, please visit our credential homepage.
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