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State Purchasing

Requirements for Purchasing Personnel

Pursuant to Gov't Code §2155.078, the Texas Procurement and Support Services (TPASS) administers a system of training, continuing education and certification for state agency purchasing personnel.

Each state agency shall ensure that the agency’s purchasing personnel complete the training and certification developed under this section. It is not the intent of this definition to include (1) an executive level manager authorized to bind the governmental entity or (2) an attorney performing traditional legal functions – such as legal review of a contract.

In addition to state agencies, political subdivisions and/or CO-OP’s participating in TPASS’s cooperative purchasing program of all offered TPASS contracts are especially encouraged to attend. Examples of CO-OP entities include school districts, police, fire departments, community colleges and some city and county governments. Visit website for full list of State of Texas CO-OP list: http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/coop/coopmemb/

Employees of institution of higher education to which Section 51.9335, Education Code, applies or to an institution to which Section 73.115, Education Code, applies are encouraged to attend.

Who Should Complete the Training?

Visit website http://www.hr.sao.state.tx.us/Compensation/JobDescriptions.aspx for SAO classifications as a reference to help identify individuals who are required to receive TPASS's purchaser training. Use Procurement in the "Filter Descriptions" box then click the "Filter" button.

In addition, the following tasks may help identify individuals who are required to take TPASS's purchaser training.

  • Develops and/or interprets rules, policies, or procedures regarding public purchasing.
  • Advises agency representatives on proper interpretation and application of purchasing policies and regulations.
  • Reviews and/or oversees the review of requisitions for completeness and compliance with applicable requirements prior to processing solicitation documents.
  • Prepares or assists with the preparation of specifications.
  • Determines the appropriate procurement method.
  • Prepares and advertises solicitation documents.
  • Distributes bid invitations to vendors, notifies vendors of procurement outcome (award, rejection, denied etc.)
  • Identifies and/or selects potential vendors.
  • Assists with reviewing tabulations and analyzing bids to determine the lowest and best responses, codes bids, and prepares or oversees the preparation of purchase orders.
  • Coordinates and schedules solicitation evaluation with team members.
  • Evaluates offers and/or proposals submitted by vendors in response to solicitation documents.
  • Purchases or oversees the purchasing of commodities, services, and/or equipment.
  • Issues purchase orders to awarded vendors.
  • Rejects items that do not meet specifications.
  • Monitors legal and regulatory requirements pertaining to purchasing.
  • Acts as a single point of contact for most purchases.
  • Initiates and approves local and emergency purchases.
  • May maintain or oversee a perpetual inventory control on warehouse items through the use of stock cards or a computer system.
  • Establishes quotas, needs, and issuing schedules on commonly used items.
  • Distributes solicitation addendums and updates as needed.
  • Seeks ways to streamline purchasing and increase efficiencies.

Training and Certification Requirements and Purchasing Authority

The program contains three (3) levels of training and two (2) levels of formal certification.

  1. Purchases ranging from $0 - $25,000: no certification is required.
    1. Complete the CPA required course within their first six-months of employment with an agency.
  2. Competitive Purchases ranging from $25,000.01 to $100,000: Certified Texas Purchaser's (CTP) certification.
    1. Complete the CPA required courses (or have the current equivalent certification from a national purchasing association).
    2. Apply to test for CTP exam; 70+ grade required.
    3. Apply for certification; must have at least one year of purchasing experience.
  3. Competitive Purchases over $100,000: Certified Texas Procurement Manager's (CTPM) certification.
    1. Complete the CPA required courses (or have the current equivalent certification from a national purchasing association.)
    2. Apply to test for CTPM exam; 70+ grade required.
    3. Apply for certification; must have at least three years of purchasing experience.

   Visit website for current course titles and descriptions:
   http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/training-cert/purchtrn_cert/training/classdescriptions/

PURCHASING AUTHORITY COURSE TITLES EXPERIENCE CERTIFICATION
Zero to $25,000 BPP None Required None Required
$25,000.01 to $100,000 BPP & APP One Year CTP
Over $100,000
BPP, APP, & CNC Three Years CTPM

A state agency employee who is required to receive the training may not participate in purchases by the employing agency unless the employee has received the required training from TPASS, or has a current National certification. Please see http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/training-cert/purchtrn_cert/training/trn-equ/ for those entities recognized by TPASS as National Organizations.

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