Leaders Building Leaders


The Department of Defense (DoD) is modernizing its implementation of the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) to a 21st Century talent management framework. The initiative significantly streamlines the certification construct and re-focuses training resources for the Defense Acquisition Workforce.


In September 2020, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment launched the "Back-to-Basics" initiative to bring the 1990 DAWIA into the 21st century. This DoD pivot refocused resources on the Defense Acquisition Workforce members who develop, acquire, and sustain operational capability.

The DoD’s response to DAWIA, a three-tiered certification program, proved to be a powerful tool in the overall professionalization of the workforce. For more than thirty years, training was a one-size-fits-all approach and delivered early in an individual’s career. Now, DoD is rethinking training to foster a culture of lifelong learning for current and future acquisition professionals.

Workforce members are empowered to choose assignment specific, job-relevant training through the Defense Acquisition Credential Program. Credentials increase flexibility to tailor training and develop skills in specialty areas to meet changing needs.