Acquisition Intern Program (AIP) Program Overview - Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)
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Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)

 

Acquisition Intern Program (AIP) Program Overview

Explore new opportunities with the Acquisition Internship School Bridge Program

On this page:
About the Program  |  Prerequisites  |  Application Process and Documentation  |  Program Application Timelines  |  Program Application Package

About the Program

The 2-year Acquisition Intern Program (AIP) may experience participant attrition and have seats become available after a cohort has begun.  AIS seeks to fill these open seats in an effort to enhance professional development opportunities for federal employees.  This initiative is known as the AIS Bridge Program, and is designed for federal contract specialists who have already completed their FAC-C Level I training requirements and have not initiated any FAC-C Level II training requirements.  Selected candidates join an existing AIP cohort as it completes the training that fulfills the requirements for FAC-C Level II certification.  Potential participants are expected to commit to completing the entire Bridge Program.

Prerequisites

Candidates must have already successfully completed all FAC-C Level I training requirements.  If a candidate holds a legacy FAC-C Level I certification (granted prior to October 1, 2014), they will be required to complete the following courses, as they are prerequisites for courses in the AIS Bridge Program (these can be taken online or in person as noted):

  • CLC 057, Performance-Based Payments and Value of Cash Flow (online)
  • CLC 058, Introduction to Contract Pricing (online)
  • FAC 023, Basic Contracting for GSA Schedules (online)
  • FAC 031, Small Business Programs (online)
  • CON 170, Fundamentals of Cost and Price Analysis (online)

All selected Bridge Program participants are required to complete the following courses prior to starting the Bridge Program (these courses are available online):

  • CLC 051, Managing Government Property in the Possession of Contractors
  • CLC 056, Analyzing Contract Costs
  • HBS 428, Negotiating

Further, candidates shall NOT have completed any FAC-C Level II training requirements.  Currently these include:

  • CON 200, Business Decisions for Contracting
  • CON 216, Legal Considerations in Contracting
  • CON 280, Source Selection and Administration of Service Contracts
  • CON 290, Contract Administration and Negotiation Techniques in a Supply Environment

Application Process and Documentation

In order for a contract specialist to be nominated for the Bridge Program, he/she must meet the following criteria:

  • Are a full-time employee and billeted in an 1102 position;
  • Latest annual performance rating of “Fully Successful” or better; and
  • Completed all prerequisite courses.

Supervisors must agree to support the candidate participation by agreeing to:

  • Complete the Nomination/Approval Memorandum. If application for the AIS Bridge Program is beingmade in order to retain a highly performing employee, this should be clearly stated in the memorandum;
  • Allow the participant to attend ALL blocks of training at the VA Acquisition Academy;
  • Support the participant during periods of On-the-Job Training (OJT) by mentoring the candidate and reinforcing the training via work assignments in accordance with the AIP Playbook.

When recommending an individual for acceptance in the program, the Director of Contracting (or equivalent) in the candidate’s organization must certify that:

  • The candidate is an employee of the organization and occupies an 1102 position;
  • The candidate is recommended for FAC-C Level II training;
  • The candidate is a high performing individual2; and
  • The candidate has no adverse performance or conduct actions pending.

Candidates are responsible for providing the AIS Bridge Program Participation Nomination/Approval Memorandum and all supporting documents therein.  The candidate must sign and agree to an 18 month Continued Service Agreement (CSA), and reimburse the VA if any conditions of the service agreement are not met.

To be considered for the program, a supervisor must complete and submit a Nomination/Approval Memorandum and supporting documentation for the AIS Bridge Program through their supervisor to the organization’s Director of Contracting or equivalent.  The package should include:

  1. A completed and signed Participation Memorandum;
  2. A completed and signed Veterans Affairs Acquisition Intern Continuing Service Agreement(CSA);
  3. A copy of each of the Certificate of Completion for each of the FAC-C Level I courses and all required prerequisite courses;
  4. A copy of the most recent annual appraisal; and
  5. A Nomination/Approval Memorandum with appropriate names filled in.

The candidate’s supervisory team will review the request, and if approved, complete the AIS Bridge Program Participation Nomination/Approval Memorandum and submit the package to the AIS Program Manager via encrypted e-mail.

A panel consisting of AIS Vice Chancellor, AIS Program Managers, and AIS Director of Operations will review all applications.  The review process has three steps:

  1. The AIS Program Manager Panel will verify that each package received before the deadline has all required documents and approvals, and will rank candidates based on package content and supervisor justification.  The panel will then make recommendations for acceptance into the program.
  2. AIS will be responsible for all funding cost associated with travel and training.
  3. The AIS Vice Chancellor will review the requests and recommendations and will make the final selection determination.

A determination letter will be emailed to the candidate and the candidate’s supervisor.  If the candidate is selected for the program, the Continuing Service Agreement (CSA) will be provided back to the candidate’s organization for HR filing, tracking and enforcement.

Program Application Timelines

Given the nature of our cohort model, the start date of the program is inflexible; therefore, the following timeline must be strictly adhered to:

  1. 60 days prior to the start of the AIS Bridge program:  The VAAA AIS will send candidate recruitment solicitation to VA stakeholders.
  2. 45 days prior to the start of the AIS Bridge Program:  All candidates completed program application packages must be received by the AIS Program Managervia encrypted e-mail.
  3. 35 days prior to the start of the AIS Bridge Program:  A panel consisting of AIS Vice Chancellor, AIS Program Managers, and AIS Director of Operations will process the applications.
  4. 25 days prior to the start of the AIS Bridge Program:  A determination letter will be emailed to the candidate and the candidate’s supervisory team.
  5. 15 days prior to the start of the AIS Bridge Program:  Selected candidates shall make all of the necessary travel arrangements to attend the program kick-off.
  6. 7 days prior to the start of the AIS Bridge Program:  Continuing Service Agreement (CSA) will be provided back to the organization for HR filing, tracking and enforcement.

Program Application Package

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