The NIGP, The Institute for Public Procurement, established the NIGP Accredited Cooperative program in 2015.
This first-of-its-kind accreditation for cooperative purchasing programs preserves the integrity of cooperative practice as a long-term, viable procurement option and identifies programs that demonstrate the highest standard of practice in the cooperative marketplace and In June 2017, the U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance became the first cooperative program to earn the NIGP Accredited Cooperative (NAC) accreditation, “recognizing U.S. Communities’ commitment to truly professional cooperative purchasing practices, further distinguishing itself as the leader in cooperative purchasing.”
Rick Grimm, NIGP CEO, applauded U.S. Communities for its “tremendous achievement that further distinguishes the program in the cooperative marketplace and reflects its commitment to supporting the values and principles of professional practice in public procurement.”
NAC accreditation is awarded for a three-year period and requires cooperative programs to undergo a rigorous assessment process conducted by the NIGP Consulting program. The assessment involves reviewing NAC standard’s 141 criteria over three domains of cooperative procurement practice: cooperative program management, contracting agency management and contracting processes. Every contract and contracting agency assessed must earn a minimum score of 90 percent to qualify for NAC accreditation, which proves to be difficult given the sheer volume of contracts independent agencies establish.
“U.S. Communities strives to be a leader in cooperative purchasing and provide value to the public agencies we serve. Being the first cooperative program to meet the rigorous process and requirements of the NAC accreditation further supports our efforts,” said Kevin Juhring, executive director of U.S. Communities. “We applaud NIGP for creating an accreditation program that sets a standard for excellence. The NAC will help the procurement profession benchmark and distinguish cooperative options through specific criteria and standard best practices.”
A comprehensive NIGP Accreditation Guide providing all accreditation requirements and NIGP Accredited Cooperative criteria are available for download at http://www.nigp.org/cooperativeaccreditation.