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Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)


Senior Acquisition Leadership Training (SALT)

Apply Today for the FY25 SALT Program:
A Blend of In-Person and Virtual Leadership Training

Step up as leaders in the acquisition workforce

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

Application packages must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. ET on Monday, July 15, 2024, to

Join 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 LEAD Award for leadership excellence.

SALT is open to Supervisory Level III Contracting, Senior Level Program/Project Management Professionals, and FAC-COR III Professionals!

This cohort-based development program for Supervisory 1102s, Program/Project Managers and Contracting Officer's Representatives (CORs) 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.

Erika Cannaday, SALT GraduateThe SALT Program challenges both emerging and experienced leaders to mindfully develop as leaders through training, coaching, and collaboration. By pairing this intensive learning with a final Capstone Project, participants are offered the opportunity to showcase their enhanced skills, demonstrating their ability to apply high level, theoretical learning to actual VA scenarios. It is some of the best training I have participated in in my professional career. ~Erika Cannaday SALT Graduate

Propel Your Career Forward

SALT Program/Project Management Perspectives

The SALT Program will cover key leadership topics and agility factors. Key leadership topics include:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Your Leadership Legacy and Capstone—Reflect upon the program period and how you can use agility factors learned in SALT to leave a leadership legacy for others. You will be equipped to confidently take steps forward with actionable short-term and long-term leadership development plans to succeed in your acquisition responsibilities.
  • Capstone Project—Work with a team of your peers and a sponsor to address a “real world” acquisition challenge. Your team will work together to research, design, and develop various capstone deliverables throughout the program. The program will culminate when your team presents your recommendations in the form of a white paper and a presentation to distinguished acquisition Senior Leaders and sponsors.

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

The SALT Program will be held in person and virtually between October 2024 and May 2025. One cohort will be offered to a blended audience, combining contracting and program/project management, and COR professionals to foster a better sense of awareness and a deeper understanding of what can sometimes seem like competing agendas.

The cohort will be limited to no more than 30 participants. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive approximately 200 CLPs.

SALT Program Organization

The SALT Program will consist of 12 days of in-person training and regularly scheduled virtual classes and engagement sessions. In-person sessions at VAAA in Frederick, MD will be held October 21-24, 2024, March 3-6, 2025, and May 19-22, 2025, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET daily. Virtual sessions will be held twice-monthly on Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET, starting November 12, 2024 – May 13, 2025. There will also be approximately 50 hours of individual course work/Capstone deliverable work to complete outside of class time. For full details, view the SALT schedule below. Please note that times and dates listed may be subject to change.

Refer to the FAQ for more information.

FY25 SALT Schedule

One Cohort with In-Person and Virtual Learning

  • October 2024—In-person learning at the Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy: October 21, 22, 23, 24.
  • November 2024—Two virtual learning sessions: November 12 and 26, six hours each.
  • December 2024—One virtual learning session: December 10, six hours.
  • January 2025—Two virtual learning sessions: January 7 and 21, six hours each.
  • February 2025—Two virtual learning sessions: February 4 and 18, six hours each.
  • March 2025—In-person learning at the Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy: March 3, 4, 5, 6.
  • April 2025—Three virtual learning sessions: April 1, 15, 29.
  • May 2025
    • One virtual learning session: May 13.
    • In-person learning at the Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy: May 19, 20, 21, 22.
    • Graduation Ceremony May 22.

There will also be up to 50 hours of individual course work and Capstone deliverable work to complete outside of class time. Please note that times and dates listed may be subject to change.

Eligibility Requirements
Belinda Collingbourne, SALT GraduateThe SALT Program was an unexpected journey into myself and what I bring to the leadership experience. It was an opportunity to learn new skills and practice them as I engaged with new people in teams to address real world challenges proposed by Senior Leadership. ~Belinda Collingbourne SALT Graduate

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

  • Minimum 1102, P/PM, or COR acquisition experience of June 2022 - June 2024 with your current agency (organization could change; a minimum of two consecutive years required)
  • FAC-C (Professional)
    • GS Levels 13 through 15
    • Currently in an official supervisory position
  • Senior Level FAC-P/PM, or FAC-COR III - GS Levels 14 or 15
Process for Applying and Selection
  • Application Process
    • Download the SALT Application and instructions.
    • Complete and compile your application package (including application form, resume and resume cover page, electronic copy of FAC-C (Professional), Senior Level FAC-P/PM Certificate or FAC-COR III 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 and FAC-CORs. SALT applicants will be notified of their acceptance status no later than late-August 2024.

Application Deadline

Application packages must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. ET on Monday, July 15, 2024 to

Download the SALT Application.

Refer to the FAQ for more information.