Courses in contract administration may be taken at all levels of education, from a certificate to a master's degree program with a concentration in acquisitions. For the most part, however, contract administration courses are taken as part of a certificate program in contract management, construction contract administration or labor relations. Certificate programs include core content and may take about 1 year to complete. Below are some common concepts you can expect to study in contract administration classes:
- Financial auditing
- The National Labor Relations Act
- Supply and demand
- Third party arbitration
- Operation cost estimates
- Legal rights of employees
- Government and private sector contracts
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- Actuarial Sciences
- Business and Commerce, General
- Business Statistics
- Customer Service Management
- Logistics, Distribution, and Materials Management
- Management Science
- Office Management
- Operations Management
- Public and Nonprofit Organizational Management
- Purchases, Acquisitions, and Contracts Management
- Transportation Management
List of Courses
Introduction to Contract Administration
Contract administration covers a multitude of industries, which is why this course is typically taken first to provide students with a broad background in the contract and procurement process. Topics pertaining to government and private sector contracts will be covered. Students will learn basic processes in setting up contract terms, how to account for change orders (or cost overruns), contract disputes and financial audits.
Contract Law and Labor Relations
This course covers key topics related to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Everything from union contracts, a company's legal rights and labor laws may be covered; specifics will depend on a student's specialty or program. For instance, in the construction industry, more time may be spent on what obligatory items to include in construction labor contracts. In the human resources industry, on the other hand, more time may be spent on fair labor practices, merger or acquisition implications and an employee's legal rights.
Pricing and Budgets
Contract administration includes preparing pricing structures and budgets for contracted projects. This course will teach concepts in cost-price analysis and show students how to develop budget or cost structures for different industries and projects. Specific topics of study may include the life cycle of cost elements, supply and demand, economic cost factors and operations cost estimates.
Bargaining and Negotiations
A contract administrator may need to deal with client negotiations or bargains. This course will demonstrate tried contract negotiating techniques. The contract life cycle will be explored, from preparing negotiations and modifying contracts to securing contracts and implementation. Some contract administration programs may offer mock negotiations, so that students can learn from real-world, case study experiences.
Disputes and Arbitration
Contract administration includes the procurement of labor contracts, as well as disputes or discrepancies that may come along with those contract procurements. In this course, students learn how to deal with unhappy customers, contracts that did not meet expectations or failure to make contract payments. Students learn techniques for dealing with each of the aforementioned situations and how to determine if the situations should be handled in arbitration with the help of a third party. In the case of arbitration, this course will also provide information on how to choose arbitrators, how to prepare for arbitration and tools to use for tracking or collecting evidence in an arbitrated case.