Senior Acquisition Leadership Training (SALT) - Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)
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Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)


Senior Acquisition Leadership Training (SALT)

Thank you for visiting our page! The FY21 SALT Program is temporarily on hold. All dates listed on this page are subject to change.


SALT ~SALT is a great program and I would recommend it to individuals who are looking to become leaders. -Dawneen Williams Class of 2019

On this page:
Timeline and Location  |  Eligibility Requirements  |  Process for Applying

Be a part of the Award-Winning SALT Program

SALT is the #1 ranked public sector recipient of the Learning100! Award by Elearning! Magazine. SALT is also a recipient of the LEAD2019 Award for leadership excellence.

SALT is open to both Supervisory Level III Contracting and Senior Level Program/Project Management Professionals!

This cohort-based development program for Supervisory 1102s and Program/Project Managers is designed to move the emphasis from technical to leadership competencies, creating leaders who are agile, understand themselves and others, think critically and strategically to get results, communicate effectively, and are able to manage and lead change. Possessing these skills will allow individuals to manage where they are now, while readying themselves for the future. The program provides a multimodal experience of instructor-led courses, social learning platforms, and interactive real-world application. The program culminates in team Capstone projects centered on applying program learnings to address identified acquisition leadership challenges. These projects will be sponsored by Senior Leaders. Throughout the SALT Program, there are numerous opportunities for cross-organizational information exchange, peer relationship building, direct engagement with Senior Leaders as teachers, and ongoing collaboration and innovation.

SALT is fully funded for all VA participants who satisfactorily complete the program and abide by the terms of the 12-week Continued Service Agreement (CSA). Training and travel expenses will be covered by the VAAA Contracting Professional School (CPS).

SALT ~I draw significant strength from the relationships forged in SALT. I will have those relationships forever. -Bill Nalls Class of 2018

Propel Your Career Forward: SALT Missions

  • Mission 1: Understanding Self and Others
    Evaluate the importance of building constructive and effective relationships with people at all functions and apply your understanding of self and others toward enhancing your leadership style and organizational reach. Examine your EQ360© assessment results with a certified EQ360© coach to recognize your strengths and development areas as it relates to relationships with others.
  • Mission 2: Thinking Strategically to Get Results
    Develop strategic thinking and problem-solving skills in acquisition situations to effectively manage, assess, and continuously improve performance. Apply creative techniques to expand solutions that promote one vision and mission, improve organizational learning among all stakeholders, and strengthen culture as a leader within your organization.
  • Mission 3: Words and Strategies in Action: Turning Challenges into Opportunities
    Employ learning agility, the systems thinking approach, and emotional awareness to develop and execute communication techniques to implement solutions and manage change, while transforming negative perceptions into positive outcomes. Enlist advocates to further cultivate opportunities and communicate across diverse stakeholders in a way that solicits buy-in and motivates others to deliver the desired change.
  • Mission 4: Your Leadership Legacy and Capstone
    Reflect upon the program period, equipped to confidently take steps forward with actionable short-term and long-term leadership development plans to succeed in your acquisition responsibilities. You will focus on honing your Capstone presentation and paper with your team, and then present your solutions to distinguished acquisition senior leaders and sponsors. The Mission will culminate in a graduation ceremony with both cohorts

Program Outcomes

  • An individualized EQ360© development assessment, coupled with expert coaching. The Emotional Quotient (EQ360©) component informs the individual of their ability to recognize and manage emotions when interacting with others, a critical skillset for procurement.
  • A connection with Senior Leaders as teachers to gain relevant leadership perspective from their real experiences.
  • A keen awareness of your leadership style and tips for working effectively with others across the organization to get results.
  • Through strategic thinking, gain deeper insights into organizational and business principles, systems, and strategies needed to drive results and create a positive culture within the acquisition profession and your organization specifically.
  • A more nuanced understanding of and targeted approach to stakeholder communications and change management, aligned with broader mission-oriented goals.
  • A strategic leadership perspective characterized by leadership and learning agility, enabling you to act quickly and effectively in new, challenging leadership environments. Know what to do…when you don’t know what to do!
Timeline and Location of Program

SALT 2017 class standing in front of a shuttle

Our plan offers two cohorts between October 2020 and June 2021. The first cohort will be composed of 1102 professionals. The second cohort will be offered to a hybrid audience, combining contracting and program/project management professionals to foster a better sense of awareness and a deeper understanding of what can sometimes seem like competing agendas. The make-up of the cohorts is subject to change based on the applications received.

Each cohort will be limited to no more than 24 participants. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive approximately 270 CLPs.

On-site sessions meet at the Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA), 7485 New Horizon Way, Frederick, MD 21703.

  • Cohort 1 Onsite Sessions (Intended for 1102s only)
    • Mission 1:  October 14-23, 2020
    • Mission 2:  January 11-15, 2021
    • Mission 3:  March 1-10, 2021
    • Mission 4 (Capstone Presentation and Graduation):  June 7-11, 2021
  • Cohort 2 Onsite Sessions (Intended for 1102s and P/PMs)
    • Mission 1:  December 2-11, 2020
    • Mission 2:  February 1-5, 2021
    • Mission 3:  April 5-14, 2021
    • Mission 4 (Capstone Presentation and Graduation):  June 7-11, 2021
  • Virtual Component
    • 50-70 hours of virtual learning are expected for the completion of independent assignments and Capstone project work outside of on-site training
Eligibility Requirements

SALT ~Listen and be willing to grow. Develop yourself, develop your team, and contribute to the mission. -Caroline Peabody Class of 2018

Enrollment in SALT is open to select, high-performing GS-1102s and P/PMs who meet the following qualifications:

  • Minimum 1102 or P/PM acquisition experience of April 2018 – April 2020 with your current agency (organization could change; a minimum of two consecutive years required)
  • FAC-C Level III or Senior Level FAC-P/PM
  • GS Levels 13 through 15
  • Currently in an official supervisory position or a team lead*

* In the event the applicant is not a supervisor but is a team lead and meets all other SALT eligibility requirements, he/she may still apply to the SALT Program provided an Endorsing Official, one level above the applicant’s supervisor, recommends the candidate for approval. If that Endorsing Official is the HCA (contracting) or SES (program management), he/she will be identified on the application and no additional signature/commentary is required as the HCA/SES will ultimately select the best-qualified SALT applicants based on evaluation criteria.

SALT is available to other government agencies that can provide five participants that meet the eligibility requirements and an agency sponsor to work on an agency-specific Capstone challenge. The discounted price for the six students is $66,600. For additional details or to speak to a SALT representative please submit your inquiry to

Process for Applying and Selection
  • Application Process
    • Complete and compile your application package (including application form, resume and resume cover page, electronic copy of FAC-C Level III or Senior Level FAC-P/PM Certificate, supervisor recommendation, student biography and photograph, and an endorsing official recommendation if applicable).
    • Submit the complete application package to the VAAA SALT Program Team via
  • Evaluation of VA Applicants: HCAs will make endorsement determinations for FAC-Cs and SES will make endorsement determinations for FAC-P/PMs. SALT applicants will be notified of their acceptance status no later than late-June 2020.

Application Deadline

Application packages must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. ET on Friday, May 8, 2020 via email (