Procurement Officer Certification Training

The ND Procurement Officer Certification Program was established by OMB in 2002 to provide employees responsible for purchasing with training related to the type of procurement they conduct. Contact the OMB State Procurement Office at infospo@nd.gov or 701.328.2740 if you have questions or would like to coordinate special training for your agency.  

The Procurement Officer Certification program consists of three levels. The certification levels match the competition threshold levels. Each level provides core training that is a building block for the next higher level.  Each level is a pre-requisite for the next level.

Agency heads may delegate purchase authority to employees based upon the procurement certification training completed.

Additional requirements apply to procurement officers for Major IT projects over $500,000.

  • Level 1 Certification is intended for state employees who make small purchases $2,500 and below. 
    • This online course overviews the state procurement program, ethics, small purchase procedures, state sources of supply, printing, and the State Purchasing Card Program. (1-1/2 hours) If you do not have access to ELM Training in PeopleSoft contact 701.328.2740.
  • Level 2 Certification is intended for employees who make purchases $2,500.01 to  $25,000.
    • This classroom course overviews informal competition procedures, environmentally preferable and biobased procurement, risk management, vendor registration, Alternate Procurement Requests, protests and appeals (7 hours).
  • Level 3 Certification is intended for employees who make purchases over $25,000.
    • This classroom course overviews Invitations for Bid, Request for Proposals, and Contract Administration (7 hours).

When is Certification Required?

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 be classified as a 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. Level 3 Certification is not required; however, delegated authority is tied to completion of required training. Agencies that do not have employees trained for the level of procurement must submit purchase requests to the State Procurement Office.
  • Makes small purchases
  • Purchase from state contracts
  • Solicits bids and proposals
  • Serves as the point of contact for questions related to a solicitation
  • Makes an award determination and issues a Notice of Intent to Award
  • Prepares Alternate Procurement Request forms
  • Makes approval decisions related to Alternate Procurements below $25,000
  • 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 Level 1 P-Card user may make payments greater than $2,500, provided the procurement was conducted by a procurement officer with the appropriate level of procurement training.

Certification Not Required

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 (e.g. 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.

Recertification

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.

January 2012 Recertification: All Level 1-2-3 Procurement Officers and all employees who were issued purchasing cards were required to complete the Online Level 1 Certification Course by June 30, 2012.

August 2007 Recertification: All state employees with Level 2 or 3 procurement certification were required to complete the 2007 Recertification Course or retake the Level 2 Course due to changes related to Risk Management. Employees who attended the Level 2 Course after April 2007 were not required to attend the recertification course.

Cost: Free

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