State Procurement Training and Certification Program (Februrary 2012)
The North Dakota Procurement Officer Certification Program was established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) State Procurement Office in 2002 to provide employees responsible for purchasing with training related to the type of procurement they conduct. The goal of this program is to increase the professionalism, skills, and accountability of individuals who purchase for the state. This training fosters ethical conduct, compliance with state purchasing laws and rules, and increased efficiency and effectiveness of the state procurement program. Contact the OMB State Procurement Office at 701-328-2740 for assistance.
North Dakota Procurement Officer Certification program consists of three levels of procurement complexity. Each level provides core training that is a building block for the next higher level.
Level 1 Certification Level 1 Certification is intended for state employees who make small purchases up to $2,500. Employees can achieve Level 1 Certification by completing:
Online Procurement Level 1 Course. This course provides an overview of the state procurement program, ethics, small purchase procedures, existing sources of supply, printing, and the State Purchasing Card Program. (1-1/2 hours)
Level 2 Certification Level 2 Certification is intended for employees who make purchases up to $25,000. Employees can achieve Level 2 certification by completing:
- Online Procurement Level 1 Course
- Procurement Level 2 Course. This classroom course provides an overview of informal competition procedures, environmentally preferable and biobased procurement, risk management, vendor registration, Alternate Procurement Requests for limited and noncompetitive procurements, protests and appeals (7 hours).
Level 3 Certification Level 3 certification is intended for employees who make purchases over $25,000. Employees can achieve Level 3 certification by completing:
- Online Procurement Level 1 Course
- Procurement Level 2 Course
- Procurement Level 3 Course. This classroom course provides an overview of Invitations for Bid, Request for Proposals and Contract Administration (7 hours).
Certification and Delegation After completing the appropriate training, employees must receive delegated purchase authority from their agency head or designee using the Delegation of Purchase Authority form, SFN 2566. Level 1, 2, or 3 Certification does not guarantee the agency head will grant an employee purchase authority for a specific dollar level.
Training and Certification
A procurement officer is the person responsible for the procurement and who is held accountable, although others may perform some of the actual work. This person may or may not bear the job classification of buyer, procurement officer, or purchasing agent.
An individual who performs the following procurement tasks must be certified:
- Designated as the agency’s lead procurement officer and Procurement Liaison
- Makes small purchases
- Purchase from state contracts
- Issues and amends informal or formal solicitations
- Serves as the point of contact to address procurement questions for a solicitation
- Makes an award determination and issues a Notice of Intent to Award
- Prepares Alternate Procurement Request forms for limited competitive and noncompetitive purchases
- Makes determinations as required by state procurement laws and rules
- Responds to protests
- Uses a state purchasing card, excluding state employees who use a purchasing card exclusively for travel expenses. Purchasing (P-Card) users need a minimum of Level 1 training. A P-Card user may make payments greater than $2,500. The employee with purchase authority is the procurement officer and must have the appropriate level of procurement training.
Certification Not Required
Not everyone in the procurement process needs to be certified. For example, individuals do not need certification to purchase from government entities, submit a purchase request, develop specifications, receive and open bids or proposals, or participate in an evaluation process. Individuals do not need to be certified to approve purchase orders or purchasing card purchases, receive commodities, or authorize payment. In addition, agency heads or their designees who sign contracts and Alternate Procurement forms are not required to be certified. A certified procurement officer needs to oversee this work and sign all appropriate documents and determinations.
Partial or Provisional Procurement Certification
Employees who have limited training or experience may be granted a partial or provisional procurement certification from the OMB State Procurement Office that will be valid for a limited period during which the employee must attend the required certification courses. Until the employee completes training, a certified procurement officer must oversee the employee’s work to ensure compliance with state procurement laws, rules, and OMB directives.
Substitution of Training
Individuals may substitute a professional purchasing/contracting certification (i.e. C.P.M., C.P.P.B. or C.C.P.O) or other formal procurement training for any or all of these courses. The OMB State Procurement Office will approve or disapprove substitute courses on a case-by-case basis. When requesting a substitution, include a description of the course content and completion certificate. The content of substitute courses must satisfy the intent and course objective of the corresponding state certification course. Agencies may also work with the OMB State Procurement Office to develop training specific to their agency.
Effective January 2012: All Level 1-2-3 Procurement Officers and all employees who have been issued purchasing cards must complete the Online Level 1 Certification Course by June 30, 2012.
The North Dakota Procurement Officer Certification Program may be periodically updated to reflect changes in statutes, rules, policies, and OMB directives. The OMB State Procurement Office will announce re-certification requirements as needed.
In August 2007, all state employees with Level 2 or 3 procurement certification were required to complete the 2007 Recertification Course or retake the Level 2 Course. Employees who attended the Level 2 Course after April 2007 were not required to attend the recertification course.
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