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Preparation Guide Procurement Knowledge Exam - Level I

Information and Sample Test Questions


The Procurement Knowledge Exam - Level I is used to assess federal employees who are seeking to become Certified Federal Procurement Specialists (CFSP) under the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Professional Development and Certification Program. Candidates are eligible to take the exam once their application for certification has been approved, that is, once they have successfully completed both a Record of Learning and a Candidate Achievement Record. Information about the Professional Development and Certification Program and the certification process is available at:

The Procurement Knowledge Exam - Level I assesses the knowledge requirement of the "Functional Competency Cluster" of the Canadian General Standards Board CGSB-192.1-2005 standard, Competencies of the Federal Government Procurement, Materiel Management and Real Property Community.

The exam contains a total of 101 multiple-choice questions on the four phases of life cycle asset management:

  • Phase One: Assessment and Planning
  • Phase Two: Acquisition
  • Phase Three: Operations, Use and Maintenance
  • Phase Four: Disposal

The majority of the questions (80%) cover Phases 1 and 2 while the remaining questions (20%) cover Phases 3 and 4.

Examination questions were written and reviewed by your peers under the guidance of the Personnel Psychology Centre of the Public Service Commission. After an extensive pilot examination process was conducted across the country, the exam questions and format were reviewed and approved by the Continuous Learning Working Group and the Professional Development Advisory Committee.

For each question, you will select your answer from among five answer choices. You will indicate your choice by making a pencil mark that completely fills the circle corresponding to your choice in the answer sheet. You will darken ONLY ONE circle for each question. Any other way of answering will be scored as incorrect. If you wish to change an answer, you must erase your first mark completely and then record your new choice.

Your score will correspond to the total number of correct answers. You are advised to try to answer all of the questions, and not to spend too much time on a difficult question. You should guess when you are not sure of an answer, as no points are deducted for incorrect answers. To increase your chances of choosing the correct answer, eliminate the choices that you know are wrong before guessing.

You will have two hours and thirty minutes to complete the exam. Including administrative time, a test session will take approximately three hours.

Study Tips

  1. Review the knowledge requirements for all of the Level I materiel management competencies, listed in Appendix A of CGSB-192.1-2005, Competencies of the Federal Government Procurement, Materiel Management and Real Property Community
  2. Review the course training materials and desktop reference tools provided as part of your training. A comprehensive list of the training requirements is available at CGSB website under List of Courses and Equivalencies - Procurement - Level I
  3. Try the sample questions on page 3. Although these questions are not necessarily of the same difficulty as the questions in the actual exam, they should give you an idea of what to expect.

Strategies for Exam Success

  1. Maintain a positive attitude (confidence). The certification exam is a way to demonstrate your knowledge while obtaining professional recognition. You have met the eligibility requirements (i.e. education and experience), and now is the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge.
  2. Get a good night's sleep and eat a nourishing breakfast. (Your brain needs rest and nutrients to perform optimally.)
  3. Arrive early to become comfortable in the exam room.
  4. Immediately identify to the proctor any inappropriate conditions in the room.
  5. At the beginning of the session, quickly scan the exam.
  6. Compartmentalize the questions into manageable blocks of time.
  7. Read all the procedural directions and exam questions carefully.
  8. Answer the easier questions first.
  9. Do not spend too much time on a difficult question.
  10. Identify questions that you are unsure about and return to them later.
  11. Eliminate any incorrect answer choices that you know are wrong.

Additional Information

If you have a disability that could impede your test performance, be sure to notify the test administrators well in advance of being tested to ensure that you are provided the necessary accommodations.

Bring your photo ID card and your Personal Record Identifier (PRI).

Arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the exam. You will not be allowed into the room after the test has begun.

Budget your time. Be sure to pace yourself so that you can finish the exam. If you finish early, review your answers.

Pass the exam by correctly answering 75 out of 101 questions.

If you fail the exam, take the retest. If you do not pass the test, you will be able to try the exam again 2 once the required waiting period has elapsed. The letter advising you of your results will inform you of the conditions that apply. Detailed information about retesting can be found in the following:

Do not ask to see your examination paper. Examination papers will not be returned to candidates following marking, nor are they made available to candidates for review following the marking process. Examination papers will not be returned to candidates following marking, nor are they made available to candidates for review following the marking process.

Sample Test Questions

  1. Which of the following programs is considered a set aside?
    1. Federal Contractors Program for Employment Equity
    2. Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business
    3. Comprehensive Land Claims Agreement
    4. Canadian Content
    5. Green Procurement
  2. The Department of Public Works and Government Services is responsible for providing:
    1. Common services for the government in terms of the acquisition of goods, services and construction
    2. Common services in terms of the acquisition of goods, services and real property for diplomatic and consular missions abroad
    3. Legal services to the federal administration and for delivering legal services to departments and agencies
    4. Common services in the area of international telecommunications
    5. Management consulting and audit services that focus uniquely on meeting the needs of management and programs of the public service in Canada and abroad
  3. Which of the following is not a common service organization (CSO) for the purposes of the Common Service Organization Policy?
    1. Statistics Canada
    2. Department of Justice Canada
    3. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
    4. Department of Finance
    5. Canada School of Public Service
  4. Your client wishes to purchase a hundred personal computers and ten printers. Which of the following actions should you take first?
    1. Check telephone directories
    2. Check the available standing offers
    3. Do a request for quotation (RFQ)
    4. Send the client to an electronics store
    5. Tell the client to use his or her government credit card
  5. Under which of the following circumstances should you reject a proposal to terminate a contract by mutual consent?
    1. The client requested full or partial termination of the contract.
    2. The entrepreneur incurred few or no costs.
    3. The entrepreneur did not comply with the contract.
    4. The entrepreneur will not submit a requisition for settlement.
    5. The issue can be settled at no cost to the Crown.
  6. Which of the following is not an example of a written record of exercising contract authority?
    1. Call-Up Against a Standing Offer
    2. Acquisition Card Purchase Register
    3. Requisition for Goods and Services
    4. Supply Arrangement Contract
    5. Purchase Order
  7. A bid may be rejected under all of the following circumstances except cases where:
    1. The bidder, or any employee or subcontractor included as part of the bid, has been convicted under the fraud, bribery, fraudulent misrepresentation sections of the Criminal Code of Canada and has not been granted pardon.
    2. The bidder has performed poorly on other contracts and the department does not want to work with that bidder again.
    3. The bidder is subject to a Vendor Performance Corrective Measure on an unrelated contract.
    4. The bidder is bankrupt or where, for whatever reason, its activities are rendered inoperable for an extended period.
    5. Evidence, satisfactory to Canada, of failure to comply with any law protecting individuals against any manner of discrimination has been received with respect to the bidder.
  8. Which element does not have to be taken into consideration when determining whether or not to repair a capital asset?
    1. Life expectancy
    2. Replacement cost
    3. Need
    4. Repair cost
    5. They all should be taken into consideration.
  9. Which of the following information is not required for an inventory database?
    1. Price
    2. Acquisition date
    3. Colour
    4. Manufacturer's ID number
    5. Description
  10. Who is responsible for ensuring that workers obtain training on the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)?
    1. Environment Canada
    2. The Employer
    3. Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    4. Canada Public Service Agency
    5. Canada School of Public Service

Answer Key

Question Answer