Digital IT Acquisition Professional Training (DITAP)
Traditional federal government training and procurement practices often inhibit agencies ability to effectively acquire and implement modern IT/Digital Services, because they lag behind the rapidly changing technology and markets. Timely, relevant, and continuous training for acquisition professionals is the key to keeping pace.
Accordingly, the United States Digital Service (USDS) and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) collaborated to develop the Digital IT Acquisition Professional (DITAP) training program.
What is DITAP?
This training and certification program teaches federal government acquisition professionals to design innovative and flexible procurements for IT/Digital Services, and how to become change ambassadors. The program is managed by the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI), and once completed, students earn 60 to 80 Continuous Learning Points (CLP’s), and a FAI FAC-C Core Plus Specialization in Digital Services (FAC-C-DS) certificate.
- Each DITAP class is called a cohort
- Each cohort has a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 30 students
- Each cohort runs for approximately 6-months
Due to COVID-19, there are no travel requirements, and all cohorts are being held remotely. Future cohorts may include travelling to Washington, D.C. for the classroom sessions
Authorized vendors have met all the required criteria, demonstrated the ability to build and run their own DITAP program, and have actually run cohorts.
The following vendors are Authorized Vendors:
- ICF - https://www.icf.com/work/digital/ditap - Approved May 18, 2018
- CivicActions - https://civicactions.com/ditap - Approved July 22, 2020
The vendors create and schedule cohorts based on the interest they receive. If more interest is received, they can open more cohorts to meet agencies training needs. There is no financial assistance for this training, and it is up to each agency to negotiate with vendors.
To find more detailed information about cost, schedule, or basic details about DITAP, visit the vendor’s website and fill out their ‘Contact Us’ form. Please be aware–the vendor links may not work on all federal government computers, so you may have to cut and paste into your browser.
Contingent vendors are vendors who have shown interest in becoming an Authorized Vendor, and have built their own DITAP program, but have not actually run a cohort. Agencies can negotiate with these vendors, and can send students to open enrollment cohorts offered by these vendors. Students that graduate from a program with contingent approval WILL receive the FAC-C-DS certification.
The following vendors are Contingent Vendors:
- Skylight Digital - https://skylight.digital/services/ditap
- EAGLES, LLC - https://www.execacq.com/ditap
- Management Concepts - https://www.managementconcepts.com/Training/Training-Topics/Acquisition-Contracting/Digital-IT-Acquisition-Professional-DITAP-Program
USDS works closely with these vendors to ensure they meet specific criteria and demonstrate they have a full understanding of what is required to run the DITAP program before being placed in contingent status. USDS attends and closely monitors the first cohort a contingent vendor runs, and provides feedback. Once they complete their first cohort, they are moved to authorized or given feedback about any necessary changes before they can be moved to an authorized vendor.
There are a number of ways students and agencies can enroll:
For large contracting shops with the need to train at least 25 students, agencies can contact the vendors directly and negotiate a contract for training.
For smaller contracting shops with the need to send one or a few students, agencies can have their students apply directly with the vendors to attend a scheduled open-enrollment cohort advertised on the vendors’ websites, or, agencies can complete the ‘Contact Us’ form on the vendors’ websites in the event that no open cohorts dates are advertised. Vendors may open a cohort based on interest they receive, or vendors may proactively advertise an open enrollment cohort.
Periodically, the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) may open and sponsor a blended cohort open to all agencies.
- This option is best for agencies with limited training budgets or agencies that only need to send one student
- FAI posts this information on FAI.gov, and in the FAI newsletter Acquisition Today. You can sign up to receive the newsletter via email by visiting the FAI site
- FAI does not cover any travel costs
DITAP Learning Objectives, Competencies and Performance Outcomes
After completing the program, participants will be able to:
- Execute digital service procurements and act as qualified business advisors
- Work directly within an agency digital services team or acquisition innovation lab to serve as a business advisor to the team, its customers, and its stakeholders
- Lead agency training workshops and consult on ways to expand digital service procurement expertise throughout the federal government
|Digital Services in the 21st Century Government||Describe digital services in the 21st century, including what they are, who provides them, how they are delivered, and why they are important|
|Digital Service Market Intel & Stakeholder Analysis||Determine the problem to be solved while effectively supporting and communicating with the customer and industry|
|How do you buy||Effectively use techniques for acquiring digital service solutions in your solicitation or acquisition strategy|
|Awarding & Administering Digital Service Contracts||Conduct and award digital service contracts, using and applying metrics and incentives appropriately, and applying proper course correction when necessary|
|Leading Change as a Digital IT Acquisition Professional||Apply techniques to create a culture of innovation within your sphere that enables you and others to effectively lead and influence customers to the best solutions|
|Application of Skills||Apply techniques learned in the course through various activities; including shadowing a real world digital service expert or development team of the participants choice|
FAQ’s for Graduates of DITAP
- Once you have successfully completed the course, you will receive a certificate from the vendor.
- It is the graduates responsibility to upload the certificate to FAI Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD). Students should follow guidance on the FAI website.
- Once the certificate is uploaded, graduates need to work with their supervisor/acquisition career manager to get everything approved.
- Your email will be added to the DITAP Alumni LISTSERV which is used to communicate with all alumni.
- You will receive an email once your name has been added.
- If you do not want to be part of the LISTSERV, you can unsubscribe yourself
- To unsubscribe from the DITAP list, create a new email message, addressed to DITAPemail@example.com.
- The message content does not matter and the sender’s email address will be removed from the list.
- To join again, any current or former DITAP student with a .gov or .mil email address can join the list by creating a new email message addressed to DITAPfirstname.lastname@example.org (Subject and Message Body are ignored and the sender’s email address will be added to the list.)
Maintaining a FAC-C-DS
After completing DITAP it is important for graduates to keep their skills fresh, keep up with new technologies, methods, and companies that are introduced to the ecosystem.
To maintain certification, 20 of the required 80 FAC-C CLP’s should be earned by participating in additional IT/Digital Service training/activities. Acquisition professionals should coordinate with their acquisition career manager and/or supervisor to confirm the CLP’s are approved for each activity. Once the CLP’s are achieved, a document listing all the activities should be uploaded into CSOD. Do not forget to include any preparation work in the CLP count, as shown in the example below.
|Activity||Time Spent Developing Content for Presentation||Total Earned CLP’s|
|1-Hour Conference Presenter||4 hours||5 hours|
Per the FAI Guidance on Meeting the Requirement for Continuous Learning Points, there are many activities available to earn CLP’s.
|Sample Activity||Digital Service Example|
|On-Line Training||GovLoop Academy, AGL Academy, DigitalGov University, EdX Agile Training|
|Formal Training||ACT-IAC Academy, Procurement Innovative Lab (PIL) Primer|
|Conference, training, or seminar presentation||ACT-IAC Upcoming Events, Scrum.org Events, DigitalGov Events; or check the websites of the vendors who deliver the DITAP Program.|
|Publications (Case studies, blogs, training material)||TechFARHub Case Studies, DHS Procurement Innovation Lab Resources Library|
|On-the-job Experiential Learning||Work on, award, or administer a digital service acquisition, Conduct a brown bag training on a digital service topic, Organize a workshop, Be part of a modernization task force|
|Mentoring||Become a DITAP mentor, Particpate in the DITAP shadowing assignment|
Interested in Becoming an Approved Vendor?
Review the information below to become an approved vendor to build and facilitate a version of the DITAP training program:
To access the content, facilitation resources, training guides, and all other course material access https://ditap.learning-transformation.com and register for a read only account to the information.