The Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Official (MCPPO) program is a comprehensive educational program for public employees, public officials and individuals in the private sector who conduct business with public entities.
- This page, About the MCPPO Education and Training Program, is offered by
- Office of the Inspector General
About the MCPPO Education and Training Program
Our mission is to promote excellence in public procurement, sound governance principles and the protection of public assets and resources. Our classes are open to anyone interested in learning about the Commonwealth’s public procurement laws and procurement best practices and related topics. The MCPPO Program is offered through the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
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MCPPO Program classes and trainings benefit a wide range of individuals and organizations, including:
- Procurement officials and staff
- Superintendents, school business officials and staff
- Public works directors and staff
- Housing authority officials and staff
- Architects and engineers performing public projects
- Auditors and compliance staff
- Department heads, contracting officers and staff
- Not-for-profit employees
- Vendors doing business with the Commonwealth and local government
- Members of the public
The MCPPO Program maintains a broad curriculum that includes both general and specialized classes and trainings for public and private employees. The MCPPO classes and trainings range from beginner-level classes about public procurement to topics including cybersecurity, design and construction planning, diversity and inclusion in procurement, responsibilities of public governing boards, effective leadership and more.
In addition to classes, the program offers qualified candidates an opportunity to obtain an MCPPO Designation. Recently we updated the MCPPO Designation requirements and the application and renewal processes to make them more relevant and inclusive. Recipients of an MCPPO Designation successfully complete required courses, pass examinations and meet experience requirements. Local jurisdictions widely recognize this designation in Massachusetts as indicating that you are familiar with basic Massachusetts public procurement practices. Municipal job postings often require an MCPPO Designation.
A Brief History of the MCPPO Program
In 1996 former Inspector General Robert A. Cerasoli received legislative authorization to create a public purchasing official certification program. As a result, the OIG created the MCPPO Program. IG Cerasoli recognized the growing complexity involved with public procurement and contracting. He also understood the importance of ongoing education about Chapter 30B, also known as the Uniform Procurement Act, and other related laws to the prevention of fraud, waste, and abuse.
IG Cerasoli believed that the Commonwealth would expend far fewer resources on preventing fraud, waste and abuse by using educational programs teaching about compliance with and best practices in public procurement and contracting than on investigating and prosecuting criminal cases involving the misuse of public money. IG Cerasoli also realized the importance of creating a program that awarded a credential to public purchasing officials as a sign of their training and professionalism.
25 Years of the MCPPO Program
In 2022, the MCPPO celebrates 25 years since the founding of the program. The MCPPO Program continues to help participants maintain public procurement integrity, build open lines of communication and cooperation between municipalities, public employees and those doing business with the Commonwealth and to provide resources for conducting effective public procurement.
The program relies on the feedback of program participants to improve its classes and trainings and grow its educational offerings. In 1997, the program offered 13 classes. Today the program offers over 90.
The MCPPO Program prioritizes offering classes that include timely and relevant topics. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the program transitioned all classes and trainings to an online format within a matter of weeks. In addition, the program developed a series of 60- to 90-minute webinars on topics, including emergency procurement, pandemic-related federal funding, and ethics. In 2022, the program will continue online classes while also offering some in-person instruction.
The MCPPO Program exists to support and enhance the OIG's mission to prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse of public funds and property. As the program continues to grow in new and creative ways, MCPPO students will continue to learn about statutory compliance and best practices in public procurement, contracting, governance and more.