Construction Purchasing Certificate Program


From breaking ground to cutting the ribbon, the LBJ School’s certificate program in construction purchasing provides everything you need to know to effectively execute construction projects.

Buyers, contract administrators, project managers and executive directors are faced with a tough task when it comes to construction purchasing. From understanding and using new terms, remaining compliant with unfamiliar laws, developing control plans and schedules, and staying on budget – the process is daunting and the risks considerable. To successfully navigate and oversee this process requires training and real-world best practices.

Courses are taught by William “Bill” Agee, an expert in construction management, contract management and government audits.  To obtain a certificate, participants must complete four core curriculum sessions (CC1, CC2, CC3, and CC4) and one elective (CE1, CE2, CE3), over the span of two years. 

These programs will be offered virtually via Zoom.

Course Descriptions

CC1 - Basics of Construction Purchasing

Purchasing for construction projects involves overseeing complex, long-term endeavors with significant budgets and numerous specialized workers. This session equips professionals with the skills needed to navigate these challenges, preparing them to manage assets with lifespans of up to seventy years. Attendees will gain insights into construction trade terminology, team building, project and cost control, robotics, and advanced project management techniques. Additionally, the session covers various construction contract types, solicitation processes, and essential aspects such as bonds, insurance, and contractual clauses. This training is essential for various professionals managing agency contracts, including auditors, directors, facility managers, purchasing agents, contract managers, and inventory supervisors. 

CC2 – Developing a Construction Acquisitions Manual

***Formerly known as "Developing a Construction Purchasing Manual"***

This session emphasizes vital considerations for contractors to secure competitive tenders and establish a Best Practice Purchasing Manual recognized by national organizations. The manual can be created in three ways: a standalone unique document tailored for construction contractors, a hybrid approach blending new construction areas with traditional procurement methods, or an exceptional manual with unique sections attached to conventional guidelines. Developing such a manual requires minimal investment but ensures favorable and cost-effective construction project tenders, aligning with the agency’s best value acquisition goals. Attendees, including purchasers, managers, contract administrators, project managers, site supervisors, and auditors, will benefit from enhanced professionalism and streamlined procurement processes. Key takeaways include improved organization, standardized procedures, minimized risks, enhanced efficiency, and assurance of audibility, contributing to overall project success.

CC3 – Project and Construction Management

Understanding the close alignment between construction contract terms and project management schedules highlights the interconnectedness of purchasing, contract management, and project management. Purchasing ensures contractor proposals meet internal needs and budget constraints, while contract management ensures contract compliance and project managers oversee technical aspects on-site. This session introduces tools like Gantt Charts to aid both contract and project managers efficiently manage construction projects, highlighting their multifunctional utility. By aligning contractual requirements with actual work plans, Gantt Charts ensure compliance and mitigate risks of delays and cost overruns. They also validate contractor performance, manage budgets, and facilitate safety compliance and auditing, enabling proactive risk management and fostering productive construction progress meetings. 

CC4 – Construction Law and Contracting with CMAR Additions

***Formerly known as "Legal Aspects of Construction Contracts"***

Whether it involves remodeling or demolition, managing construction projects heavily relies on a contractual agreement between the agency and the selected contractor. While legal professionals draft these agreements, the responsibility of managing the project falls on individuals in purchasing, contract management, or project administration. This session emphasized the critical role of these professionals in ensuring compliance with budget, schedule, and technical requirements outlined in the contract. Attendees, including purchasing, contract management, project management personnel, executive directors, department managers, and board members, will gain insights into managing various construction projects and addressing legal aspects essential for protecting the agency’s interest. Key takeaways include understanding contract types, legal terms, and methods for mitigating risks associated with construction contracts, ultimately enhancing project management efficiency and protecting agency investments.

CE1 - Construction and Contracts, Audits and Compliance

***Formerly known as "Fundamentals of Construction Auditing"***

This session emphasizes the underutilization of contact audits in purchasing and contracts management, despite their crucial role in ensuring project integrity and cost-effectiveness. Attendees will explore the significance of audits in uncovering project discrepancies, such as incomplete technical work and uncollected claims, and delve into the motivations behind contractor fraud. This session will cover over 70 audit types across 24 categories, including financial, project management, and safety audits, providing attendees with comprehensive knowledge to conduct audits for various acquisitions and projects. Targeted at agency auditors, directors, and procurement professionals, this session aims to instill confidence in audit procedures, optimize agency spending, and mitigate risks through proactive auditing practices, aligning with best practices recommended by the Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies (CAPS). 

CE2 – Construction Change Order Management

***Formerly known as "Construction Purchasing: Managing the Change Order Process"***

Change orders can be daunting for project owners or their representatives, signaling potential disruptions to project scope, budget, and timeline. This session delves into the intricacies of change management in various purchasing domains, particularly in construction projects, where change orders are commonplace. Attendees will gain insights into the change order process, including its impact on project dynamics, budget adjustments, and scheduling. With an average of 50 to 70 change orders per project, understanding the underlying causes and effective management strategies is crucial. Through discussions on change order documentation, risk assessment, contract clauses, and mitigation techniques, participants will learn how to navigate change order challenges effectively. Targeted at directors, facility managers, procurement professionals, and agency auditors, this session offers practical tools and strategies to streamline change order management and minimize project disruptions. 

CE3 – Construction Delays

Delays in construction projects pose significant risks to both project owners and contractors, especially amidst fierce competition and tight margins. Despite advancements in technology, delays in materials, labor, and approvals continue to plague construction teams, often leading to substantial cost implications. This session aims to equip participants with tools to identify, assess, and quantify construction delays, which is crucial for avoiding unwarranted liabilities and damages. Attendees will gain insights into various types of delays, their impacts on project schedules and budgets, and methods for assigning responsibility. Targeting all stakeholders involved in construction projects, from buyers and purchasing agents to senior managers and auditors, this session provides practical guidance on delay analysis techniques, schedule management, and risk mitigation strategies.  By understanding the complexities of delay assessment, participants can effectively navigate project challenges and safeguard their interests. 

Upcoming Courses in the Construction Purchasing Certificate Program

Construction and Contract, Audits and Compliance     Online     May 29, 2024 to May 30, 2024     Register >

Developing a Construction Acquisition Manual      Online     Jun 04, 2024 to Jun 05, 2024     Register >

Project and Construction Management     Online     Jul 10, 2024 to Jul 11, 2024     Register >

Construction Change Order Management     Online     Aug 01, 2024 to Aug 02, 2024     Register >

Developing a Construction Acquisition Manual      Online     Aug 07, 2024 to Aug 08, 2024     Register >

Construction Law and Contracting with CMAR Additions     Online     Aug 21, 2024 to Aug 22, 2024     Register >

Construction Delays     Online     Aug 28, 2024 to Aug 29, 2024     Register >

Basics of Construction Purchasing      Online     Sep 24, 2024 to Sep 25, 2024     Register >

Developing a Construction Acquisition Manual      Online     Oct 30, 2024 to Oct 31, 2024     Register >

Construction and Contract, Audits and Compliance     Online     Nov 13, 2024 to Nov 14, 2024     Register >

Project and Construction Management      Online     Jan 08, 2025 to Jan 09, 2025     Register >

Construction Law and Contracting with CMAR Additions     Online     Jan 15, 2025 to Jan 16, 2025     Register >

Basics of Construction Purchasing      Online     Feb 25, 2025 to Feb 26, 2025     Register >

Construction Change Order Management      Online     Mar 05, 2025 to Mar 06, 2025     Register >

Developing a Construction Acquisition Manual      Online     Mar 19, 2025 to Mar 20, 2025     Register >

Project and Construction Management      Online     Apr 02, 2025 to Apr 03, 2025     Register >

Construction Law and Contracting with CMAR Additions     Online     Apr 16, 2025 to Apr 17, 2025     Register >

Construction Delays     Online     May 13, 2025 to May 14, 2025     Register >