I am occasionally asked about Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification requirements and approvals of certification requests.
I generally respond to such queries by politely advising folks that DAU’s mission is to “provide a global learning environment to develop qualified acquisition, requirements and contingency professionals who deliver and sustain effective and affordable warfighting capabilities.” Or put another way, as our website explains: the “Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is the primary training organization for the Defense Acquisition Workforce. We are committed to providing the training—both formal and informal— to improve the professionalism of the acquisition workforce by engaging our students both in the classroom and on the job. Through DAU (workforce members) can gain fundamental acquisition knowledge and skills, find acquisition resources to help you on the job, and receive assistance tailored to (their) organization’s specific needs.”
Now as to the specific question about DAWIA certification requirements and approvals, there are few things I recommend keeping in mind:
First off, regardless of functional community, DAWIA certification is a triad comprised of training, experience, and education requirements. That said, not every acquisition career field (including Life Cycle Logistics) has a specified educational requirement.
Moreover, while DAU hosts information on the most current acquisition certification requirements in our iCatalog and delivers functional certification (as well as non-certification) training, we do not establish career field competency requirements or certification standards/requirements. That responsibility belongs to a designated Functional Leader for each Defense Acquisition Workforce functional community. For our community, the Acting Life Cycle Logistics Functional Leader is Mr. Terence Emmert, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel Readiness.
Additionally, DAU does not approve workforce members' DAWIA certification applications. That responsibility belongs to the Component or 4th Estate Directors of Acquisition Career Management (DACM). Paraphrasing from the Army DACM’s website, ‘…DACM’s are responsible for ensuring acquisition career development, talent management initiatives, and Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification (training, education and experience) of the component acquisition workforce. They work directly with the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Acquisition), the Undersecretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) (USD AT&L), and the USD AT&L Human Capital Initiatives (HCI) Office to enable acquisition workforce initiatives and to serve as advocates for component acquisition workforce.’ More information on each of the four respective DoD DACMs is available at:
In addition, for Life Cycle Logistics career field in particular, our DAWIA certification requirements are outlined in the DAU iCatalog. We also provide a hyperlinked graphical illustration on our Logistics Community of Practice (LOG CoP) Professional Development site entitled “LOG Certification Requirements.”
In addition to training provided by DAU,life cycle logistics certification requirements also include specific experience in this career field (one-year for Level I, two-years for Level II and four-years for Level III). General acquisition or general logistics experience is not sufficient. The experience requirement is very specific, stating “…life cycle logistics experience in an acquisition and/or sustainment organization." The operative words are "life cycle logistics experience".
Several good references that illustrate what this looks like are the life cycle logistics Position Category Description (PCD), as well as the career field description on page 94 in the PDF version of the DAU Catalog. Additionally, the DoD Logistics Human Capital Strategy provides an excellent graphic depiction of the differences between the four logistics workforce categories (life cycle logistics is just one of the four). Although it does not carry the authoritative weight of statute, DoD policy or even DoD guidance, might also suggest taking a look at our ACQuipedia article entitled Life Cycle Logistics Career Field for a top-level overview and additional insights into our functional community.