Division of Purchases and Supply


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Virginia Contracting Associate Certification Program

Dates of Upcoming Classes: See the VIP Calendar

Applications Accepted Now: Expect 2-4 weeks to process new applications

See the links below for more information on the program and application/acceptance process. 


About the VCA Program

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The VCA certification program is the first tier of the Virginia Institute of Procurement Career path for public procurement professionals. 

This unique program starts with online course work, followed by a hands on two day classroom session. 

The VCA program offers a comprehensive purchasing course for individuals whose jobs consist of 10% or more of purchasing related activities. The program covers the full procurement cycle; ethics, resources, methods, evaluating, e-procurement, contract administration, compliance, surplus property, small purchasing card, as well as many other purchasing guidelines needed for purchasing up to $100,000. The certification exam is on the morning or afternoon of the 3rd day. 

  • This program is an opportunity to determine where you want to go in a procurement career path along with fellow professionals.
  • Multiple trainers from the DPS procurement staff will facilitate the training and share their expertise and experience to relate the content to on the job scenarios.
  • Quizzes, reviews, and homework will be given to support your goal of passing the exam.
  • The VCA exam is 80 multiple choice and true/false type questions. You must score 75% or higher to pass the test. Retake exams occur throughout the year.
  • Online coursework must be completed prior to receipt of your VCA Certificate. 
  • Attendance in the two day classroom is required to take the exam. If work, sickness or an emergency requires you to be absent for over two hours, you will be required to make up class time prior to taking the exam.
  • A VCA Application must be submitted for approval prior to registration.


VCA Criteria and Application Process

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VCA Criteria

Any state or local government employee may apply if they meet the following VCA criteria:

  1. Job consists of 10% or more of purchasing related activities and
  2. Perform one or more of the following job duties:
      • Initiate purchase orders using eVA
      • Purchase from state contracts, mandatory sources, or routine office supplies
      • Conduct procurement research (specifications, vendors, prices, usage reports) for buyers
      • Use eVA reporting tools
      • Process procurement expenditures
      • Maintain buyer contract files or assist with contract administration
      • Use Small Purchase Charge Card to execute purchases
      • Assist in evaluating supplier performance or provide purchasing customer service
      • Coordinate surplus property activities
      • Occupy a position requiring basic knowledge of procurement laws, guidelines, or eProcurement tools

Additional documentation to support your VCA Application may be required on a case by case basis.


Application Process

  1. All applications must be completed and submitted in the Virginia Institute of Procurement Learning Management System (LMS).
  2. Upon successfully creating an account in the LMS, enroll in the "Apply to the VCA Program" course, and follow the instructions.
  3. Approved applicants will receive an email with approval to schedule and pay for a class in the LMS. Class registration and payment as well as selection of a class session must be completed to ensure a class seat for a scheduled date.
  4. Approved applicants have one year from the date of the approval to schedule and take the VCA course and exam or they will need to repeat the VCA application process.


VCA Certification Exam

The certification exams reflect current procurement law and policies. If you choose not to take the exam immediately following the class in favor of a later date, you are responsible for learning any changes in procurement law and policies made between the date you took the class and the date you take the exam.

In the event that you fail the VCA certification exam, you have 24 months to retake your VCA exam from the date of the class. After 24 months, the program must be attended again to sit for the VCA exam. We must receive payment for the program to ensure your registration for a scheduled date.


Notice of cancellation/switch of dates/substitutions

Notice of Cancellation or desire to switch the class date:  You must notify us in writing at least 21 calendar days prior to the online materials release date for your registered class.  All approved substitutions must be submitted at least 21 calendar days prior to the online materials release date for your registered class. There is a $25 administration fee for substitutions. If a refund is requested and approved, it will be for the cost of the class less an administrative fee. 


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