purchasing

Continuing Education

Statewide Procurement Division (SPD) offers a Professional Development Program specific to helping state of Texas Certified Purchasers and Contract Managers maintain their continuing education hours.

The SPD Professional Development Program offers training related to procurement and contract management.

Other Texas state agencies offer classes and programs that might qualify for CEH credit. Training must be related to procurement or contract management functions to qualify for credit.

Register Online for Upcoming Classes

Register online for the Brown Bags and other professional development classes.

Continuing Education Hours (CEH)

Government Codes 2155.078 and 2262.053 require certified purchasers and contract managers to complete continuing education hours to maintain certification. The Training and Certification Program requires 80 hours of continuing education hours (CEH) credits averaged over the five-year certification period to qualify for renewal of certification. No more than 24 hours may be counted during any one certification year period; excess credits may not be rolled over to another year. SPD encourages certified individuals to obtain 16 hours of continuing education hours per certification year.

Track your classes and CEH using the renewal spreadsheet.

Continuing education classes have limited seats and fill up quickly, so it is very important that registered participants attend. If you are not able to attend a class you have registered for, you must cancel your participation, substitute a class, or substitute a student through the same registration site you used to register. All cancellations or class substitutions must occur a minimum of five days prior to the scheduled start date of the class. A student substitution must occur prior to the 1st day of the class.

Professional Development Course Descriptions

Ethics in Contracting

The purpose of this workshop is to help those involved with the public purchasing process to understand the importance of ethical behavior in government contracting.

The workshop also includes discussion of procurement fraud and how to recognize fraud indicators. The workshop contains lecture and discussion; as well as small group exercises and case studies.

Learning Objectives:

  • Help procurement professionals recognize ethical dilemmas
  • Provide the tools necessary to make sound, ethical decisions

Specification Writing

The workshop provides the necessary tools for purchasing staff and end users to develop competitive specifications for the procurement of goods and services. Participants will learn about the important elements of specifications and practice drafting specifications during the class.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop a thorough understanding of the specification writing process
  • Technical writing tips
  • How to incorporate skills learned into future procurements

Purchasing 101 for Everyone

The workshop will explain and facilitate understanding of the public purchasing process. It focuses on small dollar (informal) purchase procedures, writing competitive specifications, using minority businesses and procurement card best practices. The workshop is designed for purchasers that make purchases under the competitive bid limit or through informal bids.

In addition, the workshop is beneficial for anyone in government (department managers, administrative staff, user departments, HUB coordinators and credit card users) who want a better understanding of the public procurement process.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn all aspect involved in procurement

Communications and Stakeholder Management in Projects and Contracts

Course Description: Managing project communications represents one of the most important duties and a key challenge of a project or contract manager. Project and contract managers must maintain continuous communications with project stakeholders relative to project current and expected status. Managing project stakeholders represents one of the most important duties and a key challenge of a project or contract manager. Project and contract managers must identify and then maintain effective communications with project stakeholders relative to project conduct. This course assists project and contract managers in assessing communication needs, meeting those needs, and disseminating related planning, execution and monitoring activities throughout the project and contract life-cycle. Participants will engage in practical and engaging exercises on the course content that will afford them opportunities to practice the tools and techniques learned.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify all project stakeholders
  • Conduct stakeholder analysis
  • Create stakeholder management strategies that maximize positive stakeholder output and minimize negative stakeholder input
  • Evaluate the basics of effective communication in the context of project management, both verbal and non-verbal
  • Plan for the communications requirements of a project, including the use of communications-related technologies, models and methodologies
  • Understand how and what information/data to distribute, via the various media available

Compressing the Project or Contract Schedule

Course Description: Students will learn the “best practices” methods for dealing with the often cited problem in project and contract management, the schedule. This course first reviews the popular ways of producing a schedule during planning for a project or contract (including the case where there is uncertainty), and then covers a methodology for assessing likelihood of success of the schedule. Techniques are then covered which address ways to compress the schedule realistically to both identify any additional resources and the timing of those needed resources. The course then shifts to execution and examines the common causes of schedule difficulties during that critical phase. Students then cover approaches for assessing alternatives when faced with a schedule slip. Techniques for compressing the schedule (making up time and shortening the duration) are covered in depth including fast tracking and resource optimization (crashing). Common causes of schedule difficulties and popular remedies are covered through a combination of lecture/discussion and in-class exercises.

Learning objectives: Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the main reasons why project schedule slip occurs
  • Review scheduling techniques uses in planning (including situations with uncertainty in estimating)
  • Examine popular ways of assessing the viability of a planned schedule
  • Understand the typical reasons why schedule slip occurs during project execution
  • Examine ways of assessing alternatives associated with effectively compressing the schedule

Agile Project Management

Course Description: This course provides an introduction to the newest approach to project management which is becoming very popular for information technology (IT) and other developments. Previously used development methodologies used versions of traditional project management (sometimes called waterfall) which required definition of the scope before cost and schedule could be determined. This approach was not usually receptive to changes once work commenced. Agile methodologies do not force complete scope definition before work starts and hence one main reason for their popularity. This course covers the basics of agile including the agile mindset and principles, value-driven delivery, stakeholder engagement, self-empowered teams, adaptive planning problem detection and resolution, and continuous improvement. Exercises associated with innovative games and estimating techniques demonstrate principles with class participation.

Learning objectives: Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Comprehend the difference between traditional project management and agile project management
  • Describe the main reasons why agile is becoming so popular
  • Understand the basic principles of agile
  • Recognize the ramifications for an organization when they commit to using an Agile approach
  • Understand the flow and significance of the steps in a scrum “sprint”
  • Examine various techniques for estimating the amount of work and then tracking progress for an iteration

Fundamentals of a Six Sigma Quality/Quality Improvement System

Course Description: This course provides an overview of a Six Sigma based quality/quality improvement system by presenting the components this very popular approach to providing a quality by the organization. The course goes from the beginning of determining organizational goals in the defining phase to gathering, describing, summarizing, and analyzing data in the measurement phase (to set the baseline for the organization) to designing the improve and control measures, to finally implementing and validating the solution/modification measures.

Various class exercises provide participants an opportunity to explore the concepts covered in the class.

Learning objectives: Topics covered include the following:

  • Clearly identify the problem statement through customer analysis
  • Define the objective of the Six Sigma project
  • Plan the project in terms of time, budget and resource requirements
  • Define team structure for the project and establish roles and responsibilities
  • Gather information on the current process (creating a detailed process map, gathering baseline data and summarizing and analyzing the data)
  • Consider the various probability distributions useful in statistical analysis
  • Perform measurement system analysis
  • Calculate, analyze, and interpret measurement system capability using repeatability and reproducibility, and perform measurement correlation, bias, linearity, percent agreement, and precision/tolerance
  • Explore design of experiments (DOE) and statistical process control (SPC)
  • Understand the steps of implement and validate the solution, and produce a control plan to document and hold the gains, and assist in implementing controls and monitoring systems

Contracting in an Agile Project Environment

Course Description: Many agencies are being challenged with procurement activities as more and more work has an information technology (IT) component. One reason is that many agencies prefer their vendors to use the newer agile methodology for contracted work. The challenge is manifest in that there is a mismatch between standard contracting practices and the agile methodology. Previously used development methodologies used versions of traditional project management (sometimes called waterfall) which aligned with contracting practices (e.g., for a RFP, the buyers defined the work to be done and resulting deliverables in the SOW, and the potential vendors responded with their proposals of how they would do the work and how much to bid for this effort). Agile methodologies do not allow the definition of the deliverables prior to contract award and the work starting, which significantly challenges and complicates contracting activities. This course looks at contracting approaches that agencies can use which synchronize with the newer agile approach and allow them to function successfully in this environment.

Learning Objectives:

  • Comprehend the perceived weaknesses of the traditional project management approach to accomplish development work, and hence the popularity of the newer agile approach
  • Understand the agile approach to project work
  • Recognize the difficulty of using standard procurement/contracting approaches to projects using agile techniques
  • Consider hybrid approaches to accomplishing procurement/contracting for agile efforts

Risk Management in Projects and Contracts

Project Management professionals and their organizations are realizing the value of anticipating the unexpected in activities and projects that is addressing risk. But they are often unsure of how to accomplish this. In this course, student will not only receive a thorough presentation of project and contract risk, but they will learn how to analyze, plan for, and deal with risk in a practical and manageable way throughout the project and contract lifecycle. Risk management from various dimensions including defining and identifying risk; methodologies for evaluating the chance, impact, and mitigation strategies of risks; contingency planning and techniques for establishing and maintaining a risk management plan for the project or contract. Students will reinforce techniques presented in-class practice exercises.

Questions or Comments
For questions or comments, please contact Training and Certification Program at 512-463-5355.