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FAC-COR Certification Requirements

The Federal Acquisition Certification for Contracting Officer’s Representatives (FAC-COR) program is for acquisition professionals in the Federal Government performing contract management activities and functions. Contracting Officer’s Representatives (CORs) play a critical role in ensuring that contractors meet the commitment of their contracts. They facilitate proper development of requirements and assist Contracting Officers in developing and managing their contracts. The purpose of this program is to establish training and experience requirements for those acquisition professionals. The FAC-COR applies to all executive agencies, except the Department of Defense (DoD).

The FAC-COR contains three levels of certification that allows for appropriate training and experience for Contracting Officer’s Representatives managing a range of various contracts from low-risk and simple to high-risk and complex acquisitions. The FAC-COR shall be recognized by all federal civilian agencies as evidence that an employee meets core requirements to perform Contracting Officer’s Representative functions.

FAC-COR certification is managed and awarded at the agency level. Each agency has a designated Acquisition Career Manager (ACM) responsible for managing the certification requirements of the acquisition workforce members in each agency. Agencies covered by the FAC-COR program may require additional training and experience beyond the basic FAC-COR requirements. Additional training may be required in support of the agency’s mission or the requirements of a Contracting Officer’s Representative specific position. Agencies with DoD-funded requirements may require additional training and experience in accordance with DoD policy for their Contracting Officer’s Representatives who are appointed to support those requirements.

The FAC-COR Program requirements are governed by the September 6, 2011 Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification for Contracting Officer's Representatives (FAC-COR). This memorandum revises and replaces the November 26, 2007 Memo on The Federal Acquisition Certification for Contracting Officer Technical Representatives (FAC-COTR), revising the competency requirements for CORs, and to establish a risk-based, three-tiered certification program for civilian agencies that better reflects the important role of the COR. The new FAC-COR requirements became effective as of January 1, 2012.

Reciprocity with Other Certifications - Department of Defense (DoD): For Contracting Officer’s Representative professionals coming from DoD with a valid, current COR certification under DoDI 5000.72, an equivalent FAC-COR certification may be granted at the same certification level, provided the FAC-COR experience and continuous learning requirements have been met and the agency ACM approves the certification. When applying for a FAC-COR, the individual is responsible for providing their agency ACM with the documentation supporting their DoD COR certification, experience, and continuous learning history.

Agency Unique Certification Requirements: Federal agencies may have unique certification requirements in addition to the Federal Acquisition Certification (FAC) requirements. Members of the civilian acquisition workforce are encouraged to consult their agency acquisition workforce policies, internal agency websites, and/or their Acquisition Career Manager for additional information.

Because the DoD COR certification program under DoDI 5000.72 has different training requirements, a valid, current FAC-COR does not necessarily meet all the requirements for the DoD certification for Contracting Officer’s Representatives. Civilian agency Contracting Officer’s Representatives seeking positions subject to DoD requirements must meet all agency specific training as required per each agency policy. Reciprocity will be determined by DoD on an individual basis by the specific DoD agency.

FAC-COR Requirements (Revised October 1, 2020)

Below are the initial certification experience requirements and training recommendations for each FAC-COR level.

Level I

Level II

Level III

Required Experience1

None

This level of COR is generally appropriate for simple, low-risk contract vehicles, such as supply contracts and orders.

1 year of previous COR experience required

This level of COR is generally appropriate for contract vehicles of moderate to high complexity and risk, including both supply and service contracts.

2 years of previous COR experience required

Level III CORs are the most experienced CORs within an agency and should be assigned to the most complex, critical risk, and mission critical contracts within the agency. These CORs are often called upon to perform significant program management activities and should be trained accordingly.

Recommended Training2

Note: ACMs/ agencies may identify "equivalent" and/or additional training to satisfy agency specific needs

8 hours of training
  • FCR 110 - Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) Level 1 (self-paced online)
40 hours of training
  • FCR 201 - Contracting Officer's Representative Level 2 (Instructor Led)
60 hours of training
  • FCR 400 - Advance Contracting Officer Representative Workshop (Instructor Led)
  • FPM 120A - Program Management Basics (self-paced online)

1Experience The requirements for experience are generally based upon the Contracting Officer’s Representatives Qualifications. Experience may be time spent on the job in a Contracting Officer’s Representative related job assignment, either in the private or public sector, which reflects the accumulation of knowledge, skills and abilities during years of progressively responsible work assignments.

There is no exception to the experience requirements and candidates must provide evidence of their experience to their certifying official. Satisfaction of experience requirements from one certification level may be applied to the satisfaction of experience requirements of a higher certification level.

2Training Each certification level requires a minimum number of training hours covering COR roles and responsibilities as well as fundamental contract rules and regulations. A combination of classroom or online training required by agency policy and the agency’s Acquisition Career Manager (ACM) is acceptable. Each Federal agency may have additional initial certification requirements or equivalent courses to the ones listed in the table above. If you have any questions about your agency's unique requirements, please contact your Acquisition Career Manager (ACM). Individual CORs should also consult with their supervisor and the Contracting Officer to determine any specific training needs.

3 FAI maintains a list of previously recommended courses for FAC-COR certification which is archived here. DAU, changed the CLP designations for many of the online courses referenced. The change in CLP’s impacted the viability of the recommended FAC-COR training for initial certification. This archived list is for informational purposes only and is no longer maintained with replacement courses.

Fulfillment may be used by Contracting Officer’s Representatives with significant experience and training as an alternative way to meet the standard training requirements for certification. Fulfillment should be used when appropriate and in compliance with agency policy. The fulfillment process is based on documentation that demonstrates how a workforce member met or accomplished each of the performance outcomes and learning objectives in a specific course. This may be based on contracting experience, alternative training, or another type of certification in the area of contracting and procurement by another organization or other developmental activities. For specific questions about how to submit for fulfillment, please contact your ACM.