UPCOMING CERTIFICATION: We will be releasing our association certification program soon. Browse back to get more details. Here's a quick glimpse of what it will be like in the near future.
1) CFCC: Certified Federal Contractor Company
2) CFCP: Certified Federal Contractor Professional
The need for Certification: There is a certification for almost everything. There is a certification to be an accountant, real estate agent, insurance agent, project manager, construction worker and etc. Why is there not a certification to be a contractor to the federal government, the largest buyer in the world?
Now, the wait is over! Government Contractors Association, Inc (GCA) is proud to introduce our very own federal contractor certification: Certified Federal Contractor™, or CFC™.
Why is there a need to get CFC™ trained and certified?
Reason #1 - Government contracting is hard: Imagine that you have just received your HUBzone Certification or 8a Certification. Yes, it took you 9 months to get it, but now that you have it, do you know how to do business with the government? Your HUBzone or 8a Certification is just a verification process indicating that you meet certain criteria to be part of the set-aside business development programs. It doesn't mean that you know how to do business with the government. The average company will take about 36 months to lay a good foundation in the public sector before they become proficient. Many companies do not have the resources or knowledge to go through a trial and error phase for this long. That's why in 2009, only 183,000 out of 31 million companies in the US won federal contracts.
Reason #2 - Government has a need for qualified contractors: Each contracting officer (or "KO") has a warrant that they must protect. Their warrant is their license to award contracts. They must protect their warrant or risk losing their license. The KO also understands that the government is risk adverse. One of the chief goals the government has is to minimize risk. The government does not want to award contracts to the "incompetent, unproductive, con-artists and fraudsters," as stated in a Senate hearing. As such, the KO will only award contracts to seasoned and qualified companies. That's why it's very hard for new companies to break into the government arena. KOs are prone to award contracts to the incumbent or only to those with strong past performance and relevant experience.
Reason #3 - Government speaks a foreign language: The public sector is very different from the private sector. As businesses transition into the government market, they realize that there are new rules, regulations, jargons, cultures and languages to learn. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is 1,933 pages long. Each agency has their own buying patterns and sub-cultures. The fiscal buying cycle is different. The procurement process can be long and tedious. It is as if a business owner wakes up one day and decides to go do business in mainland China. To be successful in China requires a whole new way of thinking and doing business, and so does the government market.
Reason #4 - Government does not have time to teach you: The last thing that a KO wants to do is waste time trying to teach a company how to do business with them. KOs are over worked and under staffed. Let's take a look at a typical day in the life of a KO. The KO walks into the office in the morning with 200 emails waiting to be opened from companies sending in their capability statements. They get 100 phone calls a day and 50 requests for an appointment. Do you think they have time to teach you how to do business with them? Do you think they have time to meet with every potential vendor? Do you think they have time to return your phone call or email? With the recent Stimulus Funds (or A.R.R.A), there is even more pressure for KOs to push out more contracts.
To be successful in the government market, companies must have formal training to equip themselves and to establish the best strategies. That is why GCA is putting together a Certified Federal Contractor™ or CFC™ certification program that will soon become the industry standard.