Cathy W. Spencer
Naval Acquisition Career Center
Naval Acquisition Career Center
The Naval Acquisition Career Center is located within the Naval Support Activity Complex, Mechanicsburg. NACC executes the centralized acquisition workforce programs for the Navy’s director, Acquisition Career Management as part of the assistant secretary of the Navy (research, development and acquisition).
MISSION: Provide the DON acquisition enterprise with the workforce development tools and programs that enable delivery of the products and services required by the warfighter.
VISION: An effective, innovative and empowered team leading the acquisition enterprise in the development of a diverse, world-class workforce.
NACC’S GUIDING PRINCIPLES ARE:
• Focus on the customer.
• Foster a culture of excellence.
• Encourage innovation.
• Promote respect and integrity.
From a strategic standpoint, NACC is aligned in accordance with DOD and Department of the Navy strategies for acquisition workforce, human capital strategy and human capital initiatives. The program directly supports the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act of 1990 (USC 10, Chapter 87) and as such is designed to improve professionalism and enhance business and technical skills in the acquisition workforce.
Strategic goals include facilitating acquisition workforce availability for required training, education and professional certifications and providing high-quality Naval Acquisition Development Program graduates to refresh and grow the DON acquisition workforce, in addition to leveraging an effective, innovative and empowered NACC team to meet the needs of the acquisition workforce enterprise. These goals are built on the foundation of two key NACC functions: the Naval Acquisition Development Program and acquisition workforce programs.
NADP Recruitment and Career Management
The NADP focuses intently on training and development and has a goal of developing Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act-certified, journeyman-level acquisition workforce members with the objective of providing for the sustainment of the acquisition workforce. This ensures that warfighter sustainment can be accomplished via this group of highly qualified and talented individuals whom support the mission of the DOD.
Working in concert with 13 Navy and Marine Corps systems commands and major organizations, NACC is responsible for the centralized recruiting and hiring of the NADP candidate, leveraging the tools provided in USAJOBS to advertise positions. Recruitment and hiring is typically achieved by using hiring flexibilities such as Schedule A, veterans recruitment appointment, 30 percent disabled, expedited hiring authority, Pathways — recent graduates and delegated examining.
Within the NADP, two distinct programs exist: NADP-entry level and NADP-associates. The entry-level program targets recent college graduates while the associate program provides a hiring path for mid-career professionals, both of which are designed to maintain the human capital structure of the acquisition workforce. The development plan of the NADP hire is instrumental to the program’s success. Candidates typically spend two to three years within the program. During this period each participant is required to complete a detailed individual development plan, developed by career field subject matter experts, which features Defense Acquisition University training, development of specific career field competencies, rotational assignments and acquisition leadership training. During the time in the program, NACC staff executes all of the administrative functions associated with a government employee, allowing the host command to concentrate solely on employee development. On average, over a thousand participants are active in the NADP at any time. Since its inception in 1985, nearly 10,000 participants have successfully completed the program.
Acquisition Workforce Programs
For the total workforce, NACC is responsible for ensuring that acquisition workforce members receive the training and education needed for legislated acquisition career field certification, Acquisition Corps membership and continuous learning requirements. The Defense Acquisition University delivers courses through classroom offerings and distance learning (web-based) courses; NACC Defense Acquisition University registrars place students in these offerings based upon their priority, which is determined by their certification requirements established by Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act policy.
Navy acquisition workforce administration is managed in an electronic system, “eDACM,” which tracks individual acquisition workforce-related data and interfaces with other Navy and DOD systems. eDACM is composed of five separate support functions that drive Defense Acquisition University training, continuous learning, the Acquisition Workforce Tuition Assistance Program, career field certification and Defense Acquisition Corps membership.
eDACM acts as a portal for the DACM Management Information System, which provides leadership the capability to mine data and provide metrics that report on the health and current status of the DON’s acquisition workforce. Furthermore, NACC provides a key support function for eDACM, serving as the Navy help desk and customer interface for all 60,000 Navy acquisition workforce users as well as many customers outside of the acquisition arena.
Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act acquisition workforce members must uphold and enhance their professional certification through continuous learning. NACC administers and manages the program in eDACM that assists the workforce in managing their “points.” A Navy-specific hallmark of the continuous learning program, managed by NACC, was the establishment and continuation of acquisition initial and journeyman leadership development training. These two curriculums provide a leadership continuum allowing for personal development over time.
To further support the acquisition workforce, NACC administers the Acquisition Workforce Tuition Assistance Program that assists DON civilian acquisition workforce members in meeting mandatory and desired education standards for Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act certification for their designated career field. Furthermore, this is to meet statutory requirements for their position or educational requirements for Defense Acquisition Corps membership.
NACC provides a broad spectrum of support and unique approach to management of the current and future acquisition workforce, making it a premier organization for growth, development and sustainment of the Navy acquisition workforce.