USDA Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting Mentoring Opportunities
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USDA Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting Mentoring Opportunities. August 2008 Attachments. According to the FAC-C guidance dated 1/20/06, mentoring is one of the many ways to accumulate continuous learning points (CLPs).

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USDA Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting Mentoring Opportunities

August 2008

Attachments


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According to the FAC-C guidance dated 1/20/06, mentoring is one of the many ways to accumulate continuous learning points (CLPs).

USDA is strengthening the acquisition workforce by encouraging the use of mentoring .

FAC-C Training


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Mentoring Defined one of the many ways to accumulate continuous learning points (CLPs).

Mentoring is when a role model, supervisor, or colleague serves as a counselor or teacher to another in order to relay knowledge and experience in a particular area of expertise.

Mentor

A person who shares contracting experience, knowledge, and wisdom with a protégé

Provides guidance, recommendations and coaching through the mentoring process

Protégé

A person who receives support, advice and knowledge from an experienced Contracting Specialist to improve his/her acquisition competencies


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Mentors Should Have… one of the many ways to accumulate continuous learning points (CLPs).

Confidence

A minimum of 1-2 hours to devote to a mentoring session

Patience

A positive, professional attitude

Good communication skills

Experience in Government contracting

A sincere interest in another’s growth


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Protégés Should Have… one of the many ways to accumulate continuous learning points (CLPs).

A minimum of 1-2 hours to devote to a mentoring session

A sincere interest in acquiring and expanding his/her knowledge in Government contracting

A positive, professional attitude

Good listening skills

An open mind


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Why Choose Mentoring? one of the many ways to accumulate continuous learning points (CLPs).

Contributes directly to the success and improvement of the USDA Acquisition Workforce

Equates to one Continuous Learning Point (CLP) for every hour of participation up to 20 CLPs per year for both mentors and protégés

Promotes career development within USDA

Enhances participants’ resumes

Provides a truly rewarding experience for both parties

Promotes professional growth through feedback


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Suggested Mentoring Process one of the many ways to accumulate continuous learning points (CLPs).

  • Obtain approval from your supervisor or training manager.

  • Agree on the terms with your mentor or protégé

    • Decide on the number of hours for each mentoring session (e.g., single incident, daily, weekly, monthly)

    • Identify the skills to build or improve during the sessions

    • Determine the objectives of each session

    • Identify what you would like to gain from the experience

  • Focus on in-person mentoring opportunities, but long-distance is acceptable (e.g., teleconference, video conference)

  • Maintain a log of mentoring activities to include:

    • Dates and number of hours spent for each mentoring activity

    • A brief description of the activity

    • The names of the mentor and protégé involved with each activity

    • Upon successful completion of your activity, document training in ACMIS


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Mentoring to Improve Acquisition Competencies one of the many ways to accumulate continuous learning points (CLPs).

  • Consider mentoring opportunities with other Contracting Specialists to improve your acquisition competencies focusing on:

    • Effective Negotiation- See Exhibit 1 for a description of suggested mentoring activities

    • Effective Performance Management and the Use of Performance Metrics – See Exhibit 2 for a description of suggested mentoring activities

  • Mid to senior-level specialists should seek opportunities to practice negotiating and administering high-dollar value or high-profile contracts

  • Seek opportunities either within or outside your agency

  • Focus on certain acquisition competencies by:

    • Demonstrating certain skills to your protégé or,

    • Observing those skills being performed by your mentor


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Effective Negotiation Skills one of the many ways to accumulate continuous learning points (CLPs).

  • Demonstrate or observe these skills during the mentoring sessions:

    • Coaching the Government team to obtain best value

    • Controlling a meeting to resolve complex issues

    • Applying negotiation tactics

    • Making sound business decisions

    • Handling difficult people

    • Negotiating tradeoffs for both the vendor and Government

    • Maintaining a positive outlook and displaying a professional image

    • Calmly and effectively dealing with high stress situations

    • Being open to new information during the negotiation

    • Thinking outside the box

    • Maintaining honesty and integrity of the acquisition process


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Effective Performance Management Skills one of the many ways to accumulate continuous learning points (CLPs).

  • Demonstrate or observe these skills during the mentoring sessions

    • Obtaining feedback from the COR/COTR on contractor performance or deliverables

    • Verifying and documenting evidence of performance problems

    • Evaluating the legal considerations of a performance problem

    • Determining potential impacts of any problems on cost, schedule, and other requirements

    • Resolving problems informally and formally depending on your assessment of the situation

    • Assessing the reasons and benefits of invoking formal contract remedies like Stop Work Orders

    • Investigating potential or actual delays

    • Thoroughly documenting the contract file with monitoring activities, evidence of problems, and actions taken to resolve problems


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Choose Mentoring one of the many ways to accumulate continuous learning points (CLPs).

“ Iwould suggest finding any way possible to watch, learn, and be involved; make the effort to develop mentoring relationships whenever possible.”

Randy West

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”

John C. Crosby


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