Client: Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI)
Area of Focus: Human Resource Management
Contract Vehicle: OPM TMA


The Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) facilitates career development and strategic human capital management across the professional federal acquisition workforce. Through online training, classroom training, and partnerships with accredited institutions, FAI enables acquisition professionals to obtain the skills necessary to further their professional careers.

FAI engaged Carney in November of 2008 to provide instructional and management expertise to help the organization meet identified training and performance improvement needs.


The Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) provides resources and training for acquisition professionals across the federal government. Its core responsibilities include setting metrics to assess agencies’ acquisition workforce development programs; helping agencies identify and develop core acquisition workforce competencies; establishing career development programs; administering federal acquisition certification programs; and managing the Acquisition Workforce Training Fund (AWTF).

FAI wanted assistance with a variety of learning-related services, including the identification and specification of specific projects, representation of FAI in various forums, and management of Instructional Systems Design (ISD) and development effort for projects approved by FAI. In November 2008, FAI engaged Carney to help meet these training and performance improvement needs.


As part of its start-up effort, Carney conducted multiple extended discussions with FAI personnel and identified a number of significant challenges including the need to:

  • Review current course materials against the contracting competencies and clearly map these competencies to current training – Carney discovered a lack of a clear association between required competencies and current training materials making it difficult to assess the extent to which current instruction was or was not meeting the professional development needs of the target population.
  • Review branding and Section 508 verification for the Federal Acquisition Certification continuous learning modules (FAC-CLMs) – FAI wanted to identify opportunities for branding enhancements and ensure that all courses had acceptable Section 508 solutions.
  • Quickly develop an online multi-media course on interagency acquisitions – FAI needed to make this information available to acquisition professionals as soon as possible.

Carney Solution

Based on an extended analysis, Carney developed a plan to provide support in four broad program areas:

  • Overall Program and Project Management and Support
  • Learning and Performance Evaluation, Analysis, and Recommendations
  • Course Development and Maintenance for Certification and Continuous Learning
  • Just-in-Time Solutions for the Acquisition Workforce


Taking a broad look at the entire certification and continuous learning curriculums enabled Carney to effectively meet a wide array of FAI challenges including:

  • Providing contracting curriculum competency mapping – Carney reviewed the contracting curriculum course materials against the contracting competencies and aligned skills for contracting personnel, mapped the competencies to current course offerings, and identified competency gaps. This enabled FAI to more accurately gauge the effectiveness of their certification process and see where training materials needed to be updated or supplemented.
  • Identifying solutions to fill gaps – Carney developed recommendations for solutions to fill the competency gaps identified during the review. Carney applied its award-winning instructional design expertise to provide recommendations for the development of new or revised training materials using the most contemporary instructional technologies and methods.
  • Evaluating the Continuous Learning Curriculum – Carney also analyzed the continuous learning training options currently provided for acquisition personnel. Carney provided FAI with suggestions for enhancing branding elements, for meeting Section 508 compliance, and for streamlining courses to provide more effective training while requiring less seat-time.
  • Quickly developing a course on interagency acquisitions – In less than one month, Carney developed an online multi-media course to meet this training need.

Delivering Remarkable Client Experience

Though Carney’s instructional systems design expertise was indispensable in creating this multi-faceted solution for FAI, it was Carney’s commitment to outcomes—rather than methods—that provided the greatest overall benefit for FAI. As a result of its thorough analyses, instructional and human resource management expertise, and close collaboration with FAI, Carney was able to provide support that enabled FAI to standardize and improve course materials across the certification and continuous learning curriculums and to more effectively meet both training and human capital needs.

Carney – A trusted partner

Carney, founded in 1994, provides government and military clients with innovative knowledge management solutions that accelerate workforce performance. Carney’s products and services help agencies accomplish mission-critical objectives and improve readiness.

Through best practices and a thorough examination of the challenges facing military and government leaders, Team Carney identifies new ways to capture, control, and transform knowledge through competency analyses, knowledge transfer strategies, and assessment evaluations.

Carney strives to provide remarkable client experiences by delivering quality performance solutions at the speed of need.