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MCPPO Designation

Designation requires successful completion of Public Contracting Overview, Supplies and Services Contracting and Design and Construction Contracting. Also, there are experience requirements.

Note: In 2021, the MCPPO designation requirements are being updated. Additional information will be provided soon.

As of March 1, 2021, if you meet certain requirements, you can apply for an MCPPO designation or Associate MCPPO designation. Local jurisdictions in Massachusetts widely recognize the MCPPO designation as an indication that you are familiar with Massachusetts procurement laws and practices. In fact, municipal job postings often require that the applicant have an MCPPO designation. To be eligible to apply for an MCPPO designation, public purchasing officials must complete certain classes, pass multiple choice tests and meet certain experience requirements. There is an application process and a fee.

As of July 1, 2021, the MCPPO program requires completion of three classes: Public Contracting Overview, Supplies and Services Contracting and Design and Construction Contracting to obtain an MCPPO or Associate MCPPO designation. Additional experience requirements are also required.

An MCPPO designation is valid for three years. MCPPO designees must maintain their knowledge and skills and document continuing professional education when they apply to renew their designation every three years.

For additional information on changes effective March 1, 2021, see: MCPPO Letter to Designees About Changes

See the OIG Bulletin, November 2020, Vol. 1, #4, article entitled "Changes to MCPPO Designations" for a preview of other upcoming changes.

    Designation Requirements 1999 - February 2021:

    Designation Requirements - 1999-2021: There are 6 MCPPO designations.

    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

    The MCPPO designation requires successful completion of the 3-day Public Contracting Overview class and either 1 or both of the other 3-day classes, Supplies and Services Contracting or Design and Construction Contracting. To be eligible for any designation, you must currently hold a public procurement position with a Massachusetts public entity. The designation level depends on your education and public procurement experience. The application for designation requires information about your current position, classes and trainings completed, relevant work history, education, and any criminal or civil violations.

    Depending on the responsibilities of your position, you should decide which designation is most relevant. Earning an MCPPO designation means that you have the experience and education necessary for the procurement of supplies and services, as well as design and construction services.  Earning an MCPPO for Supplies and Services Contracting means that you have the experience and education necessary for the procurement of supplies and services.  Earning an MCPPO for Design and Construction Contracting means that you have the experience and education requirements necessary for the procurement of design and construction services. Associate levels are available for all designations for people who are working towards the required the experience and education.

    Additional Resources for

    Massachusetts School Building Authority requirements for public officials

    The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) School Building Grant Program regulations require the MSBA to fairly consider all school building grant applications and to consistently apply the regulations to ensure both short-term and long-term financial viability. Part of the regulations require that a grant applicant who will be in charge of procurement for a project have the MCPPO for Design and Construction Contracting (963 C.M.R. 2.03(2)(o)). A person who has a valid designation as an MCPPO or MCPPO for Design and Construction Contracting is automatically qualified to perform under the MSBA regulations.

    Definitions applicable to all designations

    Procurement means buying, purchasing, leasing, or otherwise acquiring supplies, services, design services, or construction work. It includes 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.

    Public procurement experience means a job that requires a minimum of 75 hours of work per month and that involves public procurement.

    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 include:

    • decision-making authority with respect to procurement activities,
    • authority with respect to the procurement activities of public employees whose primary responsibility is procurement,
    • 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 designation are as follows:

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

    OR

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

    OR

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

    OR

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

    OR

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

    OR

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

    OR

    • Bachelor’s degree and qualifying graduate degree in a related field
    • Successful completion of the 2 designated classes
    • 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 classes
    • 1 year public procurement in MA
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