Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Robert D. Fass, PhD


In an attempt to improve certification training programs, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2020 mandated changes to certification requirements for all acquisition related career fields directing the implementation of certification programs based on nationally or internationally accredited third-party standards (NDAA, 2019). This research focused on DoD’s Defense Acquisition University’s (DAU) Business Cost Estimating (BUS-CE) Program’s compliance with the NDAA. The study has one major research question that focuses on determining how well aligned the Defense Acquisition University’s (DAU) BUS-CE certification program’s competency model is to its relevant third-party standard, the International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association's (ICEAA) Cost Estimating Body of Knowledge (CEBoK) competency model. A second review further addresses the research question by looking at the comprehensiveness of DAU’s BUSCE competency model when compared to CEBoK’s competency model. The research found that of the 223 learning objectives in the DAU BUS-CE competency model, 67% were aligned with ICEAA’s CEBoK competency model and of the 398 objectives in the ICEAA CEBoK competency model, 42% aligned with DAU’s competency model. The research identified significant knowledge areas lacking in the DAU BUS-CE competency model that were covered in the CEBoK competency model.

AFIT Designator



A 12-month embargo was observed.

Approved for public release: 88ABW-2023-0262