When am I required to consult the A
ce office and what is the reg requiring it?
I am starting this answer with an excerpt from the AFFARS, MP5315.3, Chapter 6 which documents the Mandatory Phase I and Phase II Source Selection training for acquisitions over $50M.
Mandatory Air Force Source Selection Training
This Chapter establishes the mandatory Air Force source selection training process for acquisition/source selection team members conducting applicable competitive acquisitions and standardizes the approach in which these individuals receive the aforementioned training. The goal is to ensure that acquisition/source selection teams benefit from a learning environment that equips them with a sound foundation for the application of acquisition/source selection principles.
6.2 Responsibilities of Senior Contracting Officials (SCO)/Senior Center Contracting Officials (SCCO) SCOs/SCCOs shall ensure that a source selection training program is in place for all applicable acquisitions as required in paragraph 1.3 of the DoD Source Selection Procedures and shall ensure that a training manager/Point of Contact (POC) is designated. The SCO or SCCO shall ensure that individual(s) are designated to be trainer(s) and may include individuals assigned to the local Acquisition Center of Excellence (ACE) or from within an acquisition organization.
Trainers should have prior source selection experience, but as a minimum, designated trainers shall be working in an acquisition position. The SCO or SCCO shall ensure that the designated trainers have the requisite experience and capability to successfully conduct source selection training. It is highly desirable that institution of a rotational plan be considered for trainers to facilitate sharing of recent source selection experience.
Provide the name(s) of the training manager/POC and trainer(s), to the SAF/AQC Field Support Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) immediately upon designating the training manager/POC or trainer(s) or when removing/replacing a previously designated training manager/POC or trainer.
6.3 Required Training for Designated Trainers
All designated trainers are required to receive “train-the-trainer” training sponsored by SAF/AQC prior to conducting any training in accordance with this procedure. SAF/AQC may conduct “train-the-trainer” training en masse or on an as needed basis. Requests for “train-the-trainer” training shall be submitted through the Source Selection Training Request Tool as discussed in paragraph 6.5. It is highly recommended that the training manager/POC also receive the “train the- trainer” training upon assumption of their duties.
6.4 Acquisition/Source Selection Team Training
6.4.1 Conducting Training Sessions
Training sessions shall be conducted with acquisition/source selection team members during the course of an applicable acquisition. Two training sessions have been identified to assist the acquisition/source selection teams; these two sessions are referred to hereafter as Phase I and Phase II training. Acquisition/source selection team members requiring Phase I and Phase II training include all team members, functional team leads and the SSEB Chair. Specialized training sessions have also been identified to assist price/cost analysts, the SSA, the SSAC Chair, and SSAC members. The training is most effective when conducted on a just-in-time (JIT) basis corresponding to the applicable phase of the acquisition the acquisition/source selection team is working on.
Consequently, and at a minimum, the Phase I training session shall occur during the acquisition planning phase, and is most effective prior to establishment of evaluation criteria. The Phase II
11 training session shall be accomplished prior to evaluation of proposals. It is highly recommended that the Phase II training session occur during the time between formal solicitation issuance and receipt of proposals. The length of training varies according to the complexity of each acquisition and experience of the acquisition/source selection team. Although the SAF/AQC established modules are based on spending an average of one day covering Phase I training material and two days on Phase II training material; the actual time spent discussing the material in the training session will depend on the acquisition size and complexity and the team’s experience (i.e., for simple/low dollar acquisitions the training may not take as long as for a complex acquisition).
Ideally, the training will be presented in a manner which facilitates open discussions and sharing of ideas, with lessons-learned and best practices interspersed throughout to enhance learning objectives, as opposed to being presented as a briefing. The reference to “training” encompasses not only a workshop or practical/hands-on learning environment but may include on-the-job meetings or discussions where tenets of this training process are discussed for specific acquisitions or source selections. Further, there may be instances where the content of this training occurs at various times during an acquisition but not less than the minimum occurrences or outside the windows discussed in the paragraph above. The trainer’s lesson plan, referenced in paragraph 6.4.2, discusses various opportunities in which to conduct Phase I or Phase II training. For those organizations with a few source selections a year and/or those who would like to enhance their training program, SAF/AQC Field Support Team will, upon request, assist with conducting training. Requests shall be submitted through the Source Selection Training Request Tool as discussed in paragraph 6.5.
6.4.2 Training Content
Trainers will use the SAF/AQC established training module topics. The trainer should draw upon his/her experiences in order to bring the material “closer to home” whenever possible, and make use of mock scenarios and practical exercises to illustrate points. Because of the importance of the subject matter, it is highly recommended that a legal subject matter expert lead the discussion on Ethics, Procurement Integrity, and Conflicts of Interest. When using guest trainers for a specific subject matter/topic, the guest trainer need not receive the “trainthe-trainer” training.
To acquaint trainers with the learning objectives and the philosophy of the training approach, each training module is equipped with a lesson plan. Each lesson plan contains instructions for the trainers, ideas to effectively train the team, and designated mandatory material that shall not be omitted from the training module. Further, trainer’s resource/reference material is provided.
The resource/reference material contains background information with appropriate regulatory references to assist the trainer in providing informed training. The lesson plans and resource/reference material shall not be disseminated to the trainees.
6.4.3 Advance Preparation
Effectiveness of the training experience is enhanced with increased acquisition/source selection team member knowledge. Accordingly, trainers should provide prospective acquisition/source selection teams with advance preparation instructions. For example, trainers may recommend that acquisition/source selection team members familiarize themselves with certain aspects of the source selection process prior to receiving the Phase I and Phase II training outlined in this procedure. Defense Acquisition University (DAU) offers continuous learning modules which are useful in this regard (http://icatalog.dau.mil/onlinecatalog/tabnavcl.aspx). Suggested DAU courses include CLC 004 (Market Research), CLC 007 (Source Selection), CLC 132 (Organizational Conflicts of Interest), and CLM 049 (Procurement Fraud Indicators), among others.
For Phase I training, it will be particularly useful to the acquisition/source selection team if they are able to incorporate learning points directly into their documents. For example, a valuable practical exercise may be for the team to use results of their specific risk assessment and market research to outline technical subfactors considered appropriate for inclusion in the solicitation. Recommend the team bring their working documents for discussion and editing during these training sessions.
For Phase II training and to have the most beneficial and effective learning experience, recommend the source selection team review the approved source selection plan and the solicitation prior to attending the training.
6.5 Training Material Repository
Access to the Source Selection Training Request Tool, Training Modules, Trainer’s Lesson Plans, and Resource/Reference Material is limited to the SCO/SCCO’s designated training manager/POC and trainers. SAF/AQC will provide the link and instructions for use of the training material repository to designated training managers/POCs.
6.6 Training Certificate, Survey and Continuous Learning (CL) Points
For acquisitions $10M and above, trainers shall provide the SAF/AQC Field Support Team (email@example.com) with the date(s) of the training and a list of attendees (trainee name, organization, email address, and telephone number) within 3 days of training completion. An electronic survey will be sent to Phase I and Phase II training attendees for the purpose of improving future training. Trainers will be provided survey feedback. SAF/AQC will provide training attendees a certificate of completion.
For acquisitions below $10M, it is recommended that trainers implement a survey process and furnish the Phase I or Phase II training attendees with a locally generated certificate of completion.
Attendees are eligible to receive 6 CL points for each full day of instruction, 3 CL points for any half day of instruction, and 1 CL point for any 2 hours or less of instruction. CL point eligibility and any limitations are determined by the SCO/SCCO designated training manager/POC.
In addition, I have included the policy letter (from prior to AFMC 5 Center
Construct reorganization) that required teams to come to the ACE for training at Hill AFB at https://acc.dau.mil/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=632926. New policy letters will be issued in the future.
As you can see from the Guidance Memorandum, it is recommended that Acquisition Teams working source selections under $50M contact the ACE for training. The amount and content of training can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the acquisition team.