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    QUALIFIED PURCHASING AGENT (QPA) INFORMATION

    Continuing Education Requirements to Maintain QPA Certification

     

     
    Renewals Prior to July 1, 2016: 

    All those who currently hold a QPA certification, and those who obtain one in the future, regardless of how they qualified for the certification, are now subject to the following requirements to maintain their QPA certification: Completion of 20 contact hours (50 minutes is equivalent to one contact hour) of continuing education every three years, in the subject areas of procurement procedures, office administrative/general duties, ethics, and information technology. Of the 20 hours, applicants for renewal are to complete at least three (3) of the hours in the subject area of ethics. This equates to obtaining an average of just under seven (7) hours a year overall, and one (1) hour a year of ethics training, for each renewal cycle.

    The QPA Certification Renewal Application and Record of Continuing Education may be downloaded from the Division of Local Government’s Professional Certification Programs webpage http://nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/programs/certification.html or click on the following link: Qualified Purchasing Agent 

     Renewal of QPA certificates shall be subject to the following schedule: 

    1. Certificates issued prior to January 1, 2005, shall first expire and be due for renewal as of June 30, 2015, and every three years thereafter. 

    2. Certificates issued on or after January 1, 2005, but prior to January 1, 2010, shall first expire and be due for renewal as of January 1, 2016, and every three years thereafter. 

    3. Certificates issued between January 1, 2010, and April 11, 2012, shall first expire and be due for renewal as of June 30, 2016, and every three years thereafter. 

    4. Certificates issued after April 11, 2012, shall first expire and be due for renewal either on June 30 or December 31, whichever is sooner, at least three years from when they are first issued, except that no certificate issued after April 11, 2012, shall expire sooner than June 30, 2016. 

    The current regulations fee is $35 (effective October, 2014) 

    There is a six month grace period beyond an individual’s certification expiration date that is allowed, under which applicants will still be permitted to submit their renewal application.
     
     RENEWALS AFTER JUNE 30, 2016 - PLEASE REFER TO LFN 2014-17 Qualified Purchasing Agent Certification & Renewal Newly Adopted Rule Amendments (October 6, 2014) 
     
     
    Newly adopted rule amendments add the new subject area of green purchasing, and, of the 20 hours, have established minimum subject area hours as follows:
     
    •  Procurement Procedures      2 hours
    • Green Purchasing                  2 hours
    • Office adm./general duties    2 hours
    • Ethics                                    3 hours
    • Informational Technology    Optional

    The remaining required 11 contact hours may be obtained in any distribution of subject areas. 

    It is extremely important to note that those who allow their QPA certification to lapse by failing to renew, will be required to take the exam in order to obtain a new certificate.  Refer to  Local Finance Notice 2012-9 April 23, 2012 QPA Certificate. This will apply to all those who hold a QPA certificate, regardless of how it was originally obtained. There are no exceptions to this provision. 

    Renewal of certificates shall be requested on the renewal form available under the Professional Certification section on the Division website, http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/ or an approved copy thereof. Those who currently hold a QPA certificate may proceed to take approved continuing education courses, and should keep on file proofs of completion of such courses.

     

    APPLYING FOR A QPA CERTIFICATE 

    The statute provides that those applicants who possess a School Business Administrator (SBA) certificate issued by the Department of Education, and who have performed duties relative to public procurement for at least three years, and obtain 2 credits in Green Purchasing (effective October, 2014) may apply for a QPA certification, and are exempt from having to meet the exam requirements to obtain the certification. Click on the link above for the New QPA Application. 
     

    Vacancy in Office of the Purchasing Agent

    Pursuant to statute, as previously noted in Local Finance Notices 2011-15, and 2011-16, if the office of the purchasing agent (who holds a QPA certification) becomes vacant, a local contracting unit may appoint a person who does not hold a QPA certification as Temporary Purchasing Agent for one year from the date of the vacancy, and, with permission of the Director, for a second one year appointment. During the term of the appointment of a Temporary Purchasing Agent, a contracting unit’s bid threshold may remain at the maximum amount allowed, provided that the governing body has passed a resolution authorizing such amount. 

    Any questions in regard to the information contained herein should be directed to the Division’s Certification Unit at drichardson@dca.nj.gov  or by telephone at (609) 292-4656. 

    For more information refer to LFN 2012-9, 2012-17, and 2014-17

    http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/resources/local_fin_notices.html