News | July 25, 2022

History of the Defense Contract Audit Institute - Part 3

By DCAA Staff Writer

DCAI’s Atlanta state of the art facility opened in July 2015 in an office complex in the suburb of Sandy Springs. Atlanta was chosen as the new location because it is a major airline hub with ample public transportation and the area surrounding the Institute has the necessary amenities to support the students.

Once in the new facility, DCAI was restructured into a leadership and an audit academy under a Chief Learning Officer, who has an extensive background in education. Instructional design specialists along with instructors specializing in leadership skills also joined the staff.

The new facility allowed for improvements to the onboarding program, which was revised to be a welcoming introduction to the Agency. New hires begin at DCAI with personnel requirements and equipment issue. They then begin formal training lasting 18 months with a mix of classroom, on the job training, and job performance. The end result of this onboarding is an auditor with the skills and confidence to perform audits as an individual or member of a team.  

In 2015, the Directors Fellowship Program in Management was replaced by the Director's Development Program in Leadership (DDPL).  DDPL is an 18-month competency-based executive-level leadership development cohort program designed to develop senior-level careerists with the leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities for effective managerial and executive-level performance. The inaugural session of DDPL began in December, 2017 with participants from DCAA and two other agencies. Two students in the first cohort are now Senior Executive Service level leaders in DCAA.

The Leadership Academy has grown steadily since its founding in 2015. It offers leadership courses for all DCAA employees. Learning about oneself, improving soft skills and learning leadership techniques enhances the skills of our supervisors and leads to a more productive and satisfied workforce.

DCAI has continued to change with the needs of the DCAA workforce and its staff now conducts over 400 courses per year with just under 30 full time teachers and an additional group of part time adjunct professors. Change is constant and the professionals at DCAI keep up with changes in the financial and accounting community, design courses to educate our workforce, and ensure our workforce full prepared to protect the taxpayer while supporting the warfighter.