WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Air Force Materiel Command has developed the Logistics Professional Development Program for civilian and military employees working in a logistics career field, who are looking to formulate a career plan, determine job-related continuous learning objectives and enhance their professional credentials.
LPDP currently consists of three certification programs targeting specific workforce categories within logistics:
• Professional Maintenance Certification Program (PMxCP)
• Professional Deployment/Distribution and Transportation Certification Program (PDDTCP)
• Professional Supply Management Certification Program (PSMCP)
The Defense Department’s Logistics Human Capital Strategy established a vision for the logistics workforce to evolve into an “integrated, agile, and high-performing future workforce of multi-faceted, interchangeable logisticians that succeed in a joint operating environment.” In response, AFMC’s Logistics, Civil Engineering and Force Protection directorate led a development effort beginning with PMxCP in 2010 based on active input and participation from an integrated process team consisting of maintenance professionals from each of the command’s air logistics complexes, the Air Force Test Center, Air Force Personnel Center, and headquarters AFMC’s Depot Maintenance Workforce Development Branch.
Once PMxCP demonstrated results, the effort was expanded into the LPDP and now includes Deployment/Distribution and Transportation and Supply Management logistics workforce categories. More than 650 certifications have been awarded so far.
“Air Force senior leaders are charged with supporting and encouraging professional education and training for our logisticians and mentoring our people to ensure they are highly-qualified members of the Total Force team,” said Lisa Smith, AFMC Deputy Director of Logistics, Civil Engineering and Force Protection. “LPDP builds upon these deliberate efforts and takes it to the next level.”
Based on the original PMxCP framework, each certification program offers eligible applicants a common framework of functional training requirements, formal and developmental education, work and supervisory experience, and career broadening experience within other logistics disciplines.
There are five levels of certification, beginning with a basic entry level (Level 1), working through journeyman and advanced journeyman (Levels 2 and 3), and culminating in the development of enterprise logisticians (Levels 4 and 5). As part of the continuing effort to develop enterprise logisticians, LPDP ensures the three certification programs remain more than a set of static requirements by sustaining a common framework comprised of series-specific, workforce category and enterprise training, formal and developmental education, and years of experience.
Each certification program shares the same “enterprise” training requirements at each of the five levels. This is part of the deliberative effort to develop logisticians with an enterprise, “big-picture” perspective and to help reinforce other efforts within formal and developmental education and supervisory experience.
Each program augments this enterprise training with both workforce category training and series-specific training that is determined by the various IPTs. Workforce category training is specific training applicable to all personnel within maintenance, DDT, or supply and represents the required knowledge for anyone working within these specific workforce categories for specific levels of certification.
Series-specific training applies to personnel within any specific occupational series (maintenance, supply or DDT) generally considered eligible for a certification program and represents coursework those personnel should complete when working within a specific series and workforce category at specific levels of certification.
According to Sandra Wimberly, AFMC Workforce Development Chief, “LPDP provides a professional development framework with consistent expectations, increases the marketability of logistics professionals in a highly competitive environment, and enhances our focus on understanding where we all fit into the big picture.”
Brig. Gen. Gene Kirkland, AFMC Director of Logistics, Civil Engineering and Force Protection, agrees and is highly supportive of the program.
“The future logistics workforce will find itself evolving more rapidly to meet the challenges that will be posed to the warfighter. It’s crucial to have a trained and educated logistics workforce in place to succeed,” he said. “LPDP is a piece of the puzzle to assist in the development and growth of our vital logistics professionals.”
The next open application season for all three certification programs began on Oct. 19 and continues through Jan. 8. All applicants are encouraged to work on training and education requirements throughout the year and apply during the open seasons, which are offered biannually. Applicants are encouraged to contact their local point of contact early in the application process to ask any questions and submit their packages.
Currently, information about the PMxCP can be found in AFMCI 36-402, Professional Maintenance Certificate Program. A new instruction (AFMCI 36-202, Logistics Professional Development Program) that will provide information on all of AFMC’s logistics certification programs is in coordination and will be published when the review process is complete early in 2016. Information and application forms for each certification program, as well as a list of local POCs can be found at https://cs1.eis.af.mil/sites/afmc-lpdp/SitePages/Home.aspx.
Looking ahead, AFMC’s Logistics, Civil Engineering and Force Protection directorate is researching opportunities to link LPDP certifications to recognition by non-DoD professional organizations.