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International Affairs Certification Program (IACP)

Program Details

All Air Force applicants must meet the mandatory standards of experience and training and desired standards of education outlined below for an IA certification level of Level I, II, or III.

Level I: Basic or Entry

Level II: Intermediate or Journeymen

Level III: Advanced or Senior

LEVEL I: BASIC OR ENTRY
Level I standards are designed to establish fundamental qualifications and expertise in the individual's IA career. Development at Level I provides a foundation for career progression and is designed to prepare qualified and motivated personnel for positions of increasing responsibility.

Level I individuals should be exposed to IA functions and the roles of its various specialized areas. In addition to participating in education and training courses, it is extremely beneficial for individuals to develop enhanced capabilities through structured on-the-job rotational assignments among a variety of functional offices.

Expected Grade: GS-05 through GS-11; O-1 through O-3; E-3 through E-5; or NSPS PB I 

Desired Education: Baccalaureate degree with a minimum of 24 undergraduate or 12 graduate semester hours in a relevant concentration area

Required Experience: Two years of International Affairs experience (as defined in paragraph 1.1 of the main document - *See Below)

Required Training: All courses must be a minimum of 3 resident days/24 total online hours to meet the requirement. Once a course is used to fulfill a training requirement, it cannot be used again to satisfy a requirement at a different certification level.
  • International Programs Security Requirement Course
  • Two introductory functional development courses offered by Air Force or Defense University (DU)
  • One introductory Security Cooperation course offered by DISAM and/or other relevant international affairs job related introductory course offerings within a federal agency
Core Competencies
  • Oral and Written Communication
  • Accountability
  • Customer Service
Experience Gained
  • Develops generalized knowledge of IA functions and disciplines
  • Gain knowledge of IA policy as it relates to one or more functional disciplines
  • Gain working knowledge/experience in a specific IA discipline (i.e.: Logistics, Acquisition, Training, Military Affairs, Weapons Systems, Disclosure & Technical Transfer)
  • Knowledge of activities within various DoD IA field activities
  • Basic knowledge of laws and regulations that affect IA such as FMS/SC case development, execution, and closure


LEVEL II: INTERMEDIATE OR JOURNEYMEN
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At Level II, specialization is initially emphasized. Development continues, including rotational assignments, but the responsibilities and lengths of time an individual spends in each position generally increase.

While specialization is emphasized at the beginning of this level, the individual should later begin to broaden his or her background toward a more general expertise in the overall process of IA management. Development normally involves establishing a good foundation of experience in the employee's primary specialty followed by multi-functional experience accomplished by lateral movement to a related IA specialty.

Expected Grade: GS-11 through GS-14; O-3 through O-5; E-5 through E-9; NSPS PB II and III

Desired Education:
  • Baccalaureate degree with a major or equivalent, or a combination of courses totaling at least 24 semester hours, in international law and international relations, political science, economics, history, sociology, geography, social or cultural anthropology, law, statistics, or in the humanities; or
  • 12 semester hours in one of the above disciplines and 12 semester hours in statistics/quantitative methods; or
  • Combination of education and experience--courses equivalent to a major, or a combination of related courses totaling at least 24 semester hours, as shown above plus appropriate experience or additional education
Required Experience: Four years work experience in IA assignment (as defined in paragraph 1.1 of the main document - *See Below)

Required Training: All courses must be a minimum of 3 resident days/24 total online hours to meet the requirement. Once a course is used to fulfill a training requirement, it cannot be used again to satisfy a requirement at a different certification level.

  • All courses required for Level I certification
  • One intermediate functional development course offered by Air Force or DU in primary area of expertise
  • One introductory functional development course offered by Air Force or DU in secondary area of expertise
  • One intermediate or refresher course in Security Cooperation offered by DISAM or other related international affairs job related courses offered by DAU or within other federal agencies (DISAM courses that would fulfill this are: SAM-CF, SAM-CM, SAM-CS, SAM-CR, SAM-AR, SAM-AT); and
  • At least one formal course in leadership or management that is 24 hours in duration
Core Competencies
All competencies specified in certification Level I and the following:
  • Technical Proficiency/Credibility
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Problem Solving
Experience Gained
  • Demonstrated performance in an IA project/program
  • In-depth experience in one or more of the following international disciplines: Logistics, Acquisition, Training, Military Affairs, Weapons Systems, Disclosure & Technical Transfer, Finance
  • At least an introductory level of experience in a second functional area of IA
  • Broad knowledge of the IA community and operations of other governmental agencies and functions
  • More in depth knowledge of laws and regulations that affect IA policy
  • Demonstrates knowledge of application of international programs policy and procedure to specific IA programs


LEVEL III: ADVANCED OR SENIOR
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At Level III, individuals should have completed all mandatory training and education requirements (or equivalents) of that level, and should have advanced through a career pattern that has given him or her depth of knowledge in one or more primary functional areas and a breadth of knowledge across the entire spectrum of International Affairs.

Expected Grade: GS-14 and above; O-4 through O-6; E-9 and above; NSPS PB II, III and SES

Desired Education
  • Baccalaureate degree with a major or equivalent, or a combination of courses totaling at least 24 semester hours, in international law and international relations, political science, economics, history, sociology, geography, social or cultural anthropology, law, statistics, or in the humanities; or
  • 12 semester hours in one of the above disciplines and 12 semester hours in statistics/quantitative methods; or
  • Master's degree with a relevant concentration for position held
  • Professional Military Education
  • Combination of education and experience--courses equivalent to a major, or a combination of related courses totaling at least 24 semester hours, as shown above plus appropriate experience or additional education
Required Experience:Six years work experience in an IA assignment (as defined in paragraph 1.1 of the main document - *See Below)

Required Training:All courses must be a minimum of 3 resident days/24 total online hours to meet the requirement. Once a course is used to fulfill a training requirement, it cannot be used again to satisfy a requirement at a different certification level.
  • All courses required for Level I and Level II certification
  • One advanced functional development courses offered by Air Force or DU in primary area of expertise
  • One intermediate functional development courses offered by Air Force or DU in secondary area of expertise
  • One advanced or executive course in Security Cooperation offered by DISAM or other related international affairs job related courses offered by DAU or within other federal agencies (DISAM courses that would fulfill this are: SAM-CF, SAM-CM, SAM-CS, SAM-CR, SAM-AR, SAM-AT), or other relevant IA job-related course
  • At least one formal course in leadership or management that is 40 hours in duration 
Core Competencies
All competencies specified in certification Level I and Level II and the following:
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Building Coalitions
  • External Awareness
Experience Gained
  • Expanded leadership skills with emphasis on strategic planning
  • Management skills with emphasis on team building, adjudicating program, and demonstrated cultural awareness
  • Ability to successfully coordinate and lead major, inter-departmental programs or activities through negotiation and partnerships
  • Understanding of an ever-changing IA strategy as it relates to the MILDEP and DoD, and National Security strategic plans
  • Broad understanding of fiduciary responsibility of IA appropriations
  • Expert perception of consequences of political intervention relating to international political and economic development
  • Effectively and professionally establishes and maintains liaison with counterparts at many levels within MILDEP and other agencies
* From the Main Requirements Document:
Paragraph 1.1 Description
This International Affairs Certification Program (IACP) is for personnel assigned International Affairs (IA) duties. Participation in this program is limited to civil service, military, and Foreign Service National (FSN) personnel regardless of the billet funding source. Titles 10 and 20 of the U.S. Code provide a statutory definition for IA functions. Successful program execution under title 10 or title 20 requires specific, cross-cutting, functional expertise. The major functional areas required to execute duties within the IA career field include but may not be limited to:
  • Security Assistance (SA)
  • Security Cooperation (SC)
  • International Cooperative Research, Development, or Acquisition
  • International Security, Foreign Disclosure, and Technology Transfer Control
  • International Financial Management
  • International Education Training
  • International Logistics
  • International Program Management
  • International Policy
  • International Information & Personnel Exchanges
The IA population is extremely broad and varied. Individuals shall be internal to the Department of Defense (DoD) workforce, full or part time, with a primary specialty within IA or with IA as adjunct to a primary functional area. It is because of the broad nature of the population, that the career programs/fields are administered by the Military Departments (MILDEPs) and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency - Defense Institute for Security Cooperation Studies (DSCA - DISCS) for non-MILDEP agencies.

Application Window

The application window is:
CLOSED
Next application submission:
1 February - 1 March

IACP Board Status

The current status of the IACP Board is:
REVIEWING APPLICATIONS