There are currently six (6) MCPPO designations.  The designations are widely recognized by local jurisdictions in Massachusetts as indication that you are familiar with Massachusetts procurement practices.  Municipal job postings will often require MCPPO designation.   To become eligible to apply for various MCPPO designations, public purchasing officials must complete requisite seminars, successfully complete multiple choice examinations and meet certain educational and experience requirements.  There is an application process and a fee requirement.

MCPPOs must maintain their knowledge and skills and document continuing professional education to achieve recertification every three years.

The six MCPPO designations are:

  • MCPPO
  • Associate MCPPO
  • MCPPO for Supplies and Services Contracting
  • Associate MCPPO for Supplies and Services Contracting
  • MCPPO for Design and Construction Contracting
  • Associate MCPPO for Design and Construction Contracting

In general, the MCPPO designation requires successful completion of the prerequisite 3-day Public Contracting Overview seminar and either one or both of the other 3-day seminars, Supplies and Services Contracting and/or Design and Construction Contracting.   To be eligible for any designation, the applicant must currently hold a public procurement position with a Massachusetts public entity.  The designation level depends on education and public procurement experience.  The application for designation requires information about the applicant’s current position, seminars and trainings completed, relevant work history, education, and any criminal or civil violations. 

Depending on the responsibilities of your position, an individual should decide which designation is most relevant.  Earning an MCPPO, MCPPO for Supplies and Services, or MCPPO for Design and Construction designation means that an individual has achieved the experience and education requirements necessary for the procurement of both supplies and services and design and construction services or supplies and services and design and construction respectively. Associate levels are available for all designations for those that are working towards the required the experience and education requirements.

Massachusetts School Building Authority Requirements for Public Officials

The MSBA regulations entitled "School Building Grant Program," create the framework to assure that school building grants will be equitable for all districts and will be consistently applied to ensure both short-term and long-term financial viability.  As part of the regulations, the MSBA requires that the eligible applicant who will be in charge of procurement for a project be designated as an MCPPO for Design and Construction Contracting (963 C.M.R. 2.03(2)(o)).  An individual who has a valid designation as an MCPPO or MCPPO for Design and Construction Contracting is automatically qualified to perform under the MSBA regulations.  A designation is valid for three years.  If a designation is no longer valid, MCPPO recertification will be necessary.  

Definitions Applicable to All Designations

Procurement means buying, purchasing, leasing, or otherwise acquiring supplies, services, design services, or construction work, and all of the functions that pertain to such acquisition, including description of requirements, selection of sources, solicitation and evaluation of offers, contract preparation and award, and all phases of contract administration, performed by an individual employed by a public entity. To qualify as public procurement experience, a position must entail a minimum of 75 hours per month.

Management means managing or administering a procurement activity, but does not include principally clerical or data entry functions. To be considered a public procurement management position, a position must entail:

  • decision-making authority with respect to procurement activities, or
  • authority with respect to the procurement activities of public employees whose primary responsibility is procurement, or
  • substantial responsibility for providing legal advice on procurement matters to public employees whose primary responsibility is procurement, or
  • substantial responsibility for conducting performance reviews or audits of public procurement activities.

Supervisory means supervising (with authority to hire and fire) public employees whose primary responsibility is procurement.

Designation Requirements

MCPPO
The requirements for an MCPPO are as follows:  

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Successful completion of the Public Contracting Overview, Supplies and Services Contracting, and Design and Construction Contracting seminars; and
  • 5 years public procurement, including 2 years management or supervisory experience in MA. 

OR

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Successful completion of the 3 designated seminars; and
  • 4 years public procurement, including 2 years management or supervisory experience in MA.

OR

  • Bachelor’s degree or qualifying graduate degree in a related field;
  • Successful completion of the 3 designated seminars; and
  • 3 years public procurement, including 2 years management or supervisory experience in MA.

Associate MCPPO
The requirements for an Associate MCPPO are as follows:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Successful completion of the Public Contracting Overview, Supplies and Services Contracting, and Design and Construction Contracting seminars; and
  • 1 year public procurement in MA. 

MCPPO for Supplies and Services Contracting
The requirements for an MCPPO for Supplies and Services Contracting are as follows:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Successful completion of the Public Contracting Overview and Supplies and Services Contracting; and
  • 5 years public procurement, including 2 years management or supervisory experience in MA. 

OR

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Successful completion of the 2 designated seminars; and
  • 4 years public procurement, including 2 years management or supervisory experience in MA.

OR

  • Bachelor’s degree or qualifying graduate degree in a related field;
  • Successful completion of the 2 designated seminars; and
  • 3 years public procurement, including 2 years management or supervisory experience in MA.

Associate MCPPO for Supplies and Services Contracting
The requirements are an Associate MCPPO for Supplies and Services Contracting are as follows:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Successful completion of the Public Contracting Overview and Supplies and Services Contracting; and
  • 1 year public procurement in MA. 

MCPPO for Design and Construction Contracting
The requirements for an MCPPO for Design and Construction Contracting are as follows:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Successful completion of the Public Contracting Overview and Design and Construction Contracting seminars; and
  • 5 years public procurement, including 2 years management or supervisory experience in MA. 

OR

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Successful completion of the 2 designated seminars; and
  • 4 years public procurement, including 2 years management or supervisory experience in MA.

OR

  • Bachelor’s degree or qualifying graduate degree in a related field;
  • Successful completion of the 2 designated seminars; and
  • 3 years public procurement, including 2 years management or supervisory experience in MA.

Associate MCPPO for Design and Construction Contracting
The requirements for an Associate MCPPO for Design and Construction Contracting are as follows:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Successful completion of the Public Contracting Overview and Design and Construction Contracting; and
  • 1 year public procurement in MA.