Contracting (FAC-C)

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The Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) Program is for contracting professionals in the Federal Government performing contracting and procurement activities and functions. The purpose of this program is to establish general education, training, and experience requirements for those contracting professionals. The FAC-C applies to all executive agencies, except the Department of Defense (DoD).

Additional information on the FAC-C may be found by using the navigation links below.

Certification Requirements

Training Requirements

Course Prerequisites

Retired Courses

Reciprocity With Other Certifications

DAU Equivalency/FAI Verification

Fulfillment

Continuous Learning

Core-Plus Specializations

Frequently Asked Questions

FAC-C Competencies

Guidance on the 24 Hours of Business Requirement

Links to Contracting Related Documents and Sites

Other Information

Certification Requirements

The FAC-C contains three levels of certification that allows for appropriate education, training and experience for contracting professionals managing a range of contract vehicles, from low-risk contracts (such as supplies) to high-risk, complex acquisitions (such as Information technology (IT) systems). Each level has specific education, training, and experience requirements. The FAC-C shall be recognized by all federal civilian agencies as evidence that an employee meets core requirements to perform contracting functions.

Agencies covered by the FAC-C program may require additional training and experience beyond the basic FAC-C requirements. Additional training is training in support of the agency’s mission or the requirements of a contracting officer’s specific position. Agencies with DoD-funded requirements may require additional training and experience in accordance with DoD policy for their Contracting Officers who are appointed to support those DoD requirements. 

While training requirements for the FAC-C are closely aligned with the DAWIA training requirements, they are not identical. Per the May 7, 2014 Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) from OFPP, changes to the FAC-C training requirements will be maintained on the FAI website under the FAC-C Certification area.

Below are the education, experience and training requirements for each FAC-C level.  This table is also available as a downloadable pdf file.

FAC-C Requirements

Requirements for:

Level I

Level II

Level III

Experience*

1 year of contract work experience based on the Contract Specialist (GS-1102) Qualification Standard
2 years of contract work experience based on the Contract Specialist (GS-1102) Qualification Standard 4 years of contract work experience based on the Contract Specialist (GS-1102) Qualification Standard

Education**

Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or 24 semester hours of business-related college courses
Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or 24 semester hours of business-related college courses
Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and 24 semester hours of business-related college courses

Training

10 Core Courses:
  • Choose 1 of the following:
    • CON 100 Shaping Smart Business Arrangements
    • FCN 101 Contracting Basics
  • CON 121 Contract Planning
  • CON 124 Contract Execution
  • CON 127 Contract Management
  • FAC 023 Basic Contracting for GSA Schedules
  • FAC 031 Small Business Programs
  • CLC 057 Performance-Based Payment & Value of Cash Flow
  • CLC 058 Introduction to Contract Pricing
  • CON  170 Fundamentals of Cost and Price Analysis
  • Choose 1 of the following:
    • CON 090 FAR Fundamentals
    • FCN 190 FAR Fundamentals
8 Core Courses:
  • CON 200 Business Decisions for Contracting
  • CON 216 Legal Considerations in Contracting
  • CLC 056 Analyzing Contract Costs
  • CON 270 Intermediate Cost and Price Analysis
  • CLC 051 Managing Government Property in the Possession of Contractors
  • HBS 428 Negotiating
  • CON 280 Source Selection and Administration of Service Contracts
  • CON 290 Contract Administration & Negotiation Techniques in a Supply Environment
Plus all required Level 1 training
2 Core Courses Plus 1 Elective:
  • CON 360 Contracting for Decisions Makers
  • Select an HBS module other than HBS 428
  • Choose 1 of the following:
    • 32 hours of electives***
    • ACQ 265 Mission-Focused Services Acquisition
    • ACQ 315 Understanding Industry
    • ACQ 370 Acquisition Law
    • CON 244 Construction Contracting 
    • CON 252 Fundamentals of Cost Accounting Standards
    • CON 370 Advanced Contract Pricing
Plus all required Level I and Level II training

Experience. The requirements for experience are generally based upon the Contract Specialist (GS-1102) Qualifications Standard. Experience may be time spent on the job in a contracting-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.

** Education. While a Senior Procurement Executive (SPE) of a civilian agency may waive the education and training requirements for an applicant for a GS-13 position and above, this waiver is not transferable to another agency and does not apply toward the requirements for the FAC-C.

*** 32 Hours of Electives. The 32 hours of electives may be one course or a series of courses. Each course should be at least eight hours in length and can be classroom, online, or a combination of the two. Topics must be related to acquisition and may include general business courses such as statistics or budgeting. Topics of subject areas may also be in a technical area related to the individual’s specific work, such as IT. Agencies have the option of specifying the courses their workforce members must take to meet the 32 hours of electives.

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Training Requirements

The FAC-C has specific training requirements for each level. For certification purposes, each required certification course taken from a training provider must have been granted either DAU Equivalency or FAI Verification for that course. A list of the DAU Equivalent training providers and courses can be found in the DAU iCatalog. Online and classroom courses taken from DAU meet the requirement for DAU Equivalency. When electives are taken for certification purposes, those courses do not have to be either DAU Equivalent or FAI Verified.

Below is a list of the training requirements for FAC-C certification. This table is also available as a downloadable PDF file.

FAC-C Training Requirements

Level I

Level II

Level III

10 Core Courses:
  • Choose 1 of the following:
    • CON 100 Shaping Smart Business Arrangements
    • FCN 101 Contracting Basics
  • CON 121 Contract Planning
  • CON 124 Contract Execution
  • CON 127 Contract Management
  • FAC 023 Basic Contracting for GSA Schedules
  • FAC 031 Small Business Programs
  • CLC 057 Performance-Based Payment & Value of Cash Flow
  • CLC 058 Introduction to Contract Pricing
  • CON  170 Fundamentals of Cost and Price Analysis
  • Choose 1 of the following:
    • CON 090 FAR Fundamentals
    • FCN 190 FAR Fundamentals
8 Core Courses:
  • CON 200 Business Decisions for Contracting
  • CON 216 Legal Considerations in Contracting
  • CLC 056 Analyzing Contract Costs
  • CON 270 Intermediate Cost and Price Analysis
  • CLC 051 Managing Government Property in the Possession of Contractors
  • HBS 428 Negotiating
  • CON 280 Source Selection and Administration of Service Contracts
  • CON 290 Contract Administration & Negotiation Techniques in a Supply Environment
Plus all required Level 1 training
2 Core Courses Plus 1 Elective:
  • CON 360 Contracting for Decisions Makers
  • Select an HBS module other than HBS 428
  • Choose 1 of the following:
    • 32 hours of electives*
    • ACQ 265 Mission-Focused Services Acquisition
    • ACQ 315 Understanding Industry
    • ACQ 370 Acquisition Law
    • CON 244 Construction Contracting 
    • CON 252 Fundamentals of Cost Accounting Standards
    • CON 370 Advanced Contract Pricing
Plus all required Level I and Level II training

32 Hours of Electives. The 32 hours of electives may be one course or a series of courses. Each course should be at least eight hours in length and can be classroom, online, or a combination of the two. Topics must be related to acquisition and may include general business courses such as statistics or budgeting. Topics of subject areas may also be in a technical area related to the individual’s specific work, such as IT. Agencies have the option of specifying the courses their workforce members must take to meet the 32 hours of electives.

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Course Prerequisites

Some courses have one or more prerequisites that must be taken prior to registering for the course. The prerequisites may be different if the course is being taken for continuous learning rather than certification.

Workforce members taking a classroom-based CON course directly from DAU must meet all DAU prerequisites. DAU prerequisites can be found in the online DAU iCatalog under CON Training Courses: http://icatalog.dau.mil/onlinecatalog/tabnav.aspx?tab=CON.

Below is a list of the FAI course prerequisites for both certification and continuous learning purposes. This list is also available as a downloadable PDF file.

Course Prerequisites

Course ID

Course Title

For FAC-C Certification

For Continuous Learning

Comments

Level I

CON 100

Shaping Smart Business Arrangements

None

None

 

FCN 101

Contract Basics

None

None

 

CON 121

Contract Planning

FCN 101 or CON 100

See note in the Comments box on the right when registering for this course.

See note in the Comments box on the right when registering for this course.

Workforce members are highly encouraged to take CON 121, CON 124, and CON 127 in order.

When registering for this course, civilian agency workforce members should enter the following in the General Remark box: “CON 090 has been waived for FAC-C”, and then continue with the registration process.

(see Note 1 below)

CON 124

Contract Execution

None

 

None

Workforce members are highly encouraged to take CON 121, CON 124, and CON 127 in order.

CON 127

Contract Management

None

 

None

Workforce members are highly encouraged to take CON 121, CON 124, and CON 127 in order.

FAC 023

Basic Contracting for GSA Schedules

None

None

 

FAC 031

Small Business Programs

None

None

 

CLC 057

Performance Based Payments and Value of Cash Flow

None

None

 

CLC 058

Introduction to Contract Pricing

None

None

 

CON 170 (FED)

Fundamentals of Cost and Price Analysis

None

FAC-C Level I Certified or higher

Recommended: Basic math refresher

(see Note 1 below)

Workforce members are highly encouraged to take CLC 057 (Performance-Based Payments) and CLC 058 (Introduction to Contract Pricing) before taking CON 170.

CON 090 (FED)

FAR Fundamentals

None

FAC-C Level I Certified or higher

(see Note 1 below)

FCN 190

FAR Fundamentals

None

FAC-C Level I Certified or higher

 
Level II

CON 200

Business Decisions for Contracting

FAC-C Level I Certified

 

 

For members of the Contracting career field: FAC-C Level I Certified or higher

For all other career fields: None

 

CON 216

Legal Considerations in Contracting

FAC-C Level I Certified

For members of the Contracting career field: FAC-C Level I ertified or higher

For all other career fields: None

 

CLC 056

Analyzing Contract Costs

None

None

 

CON 270 (FED)

Intermediate Cost and Price Analysis

Required: FAC-C Level I Certified and CON 170 and CLC 056

Also Recommended: A college level course in statistics, and basic proficiency in Excel

FAC-C Level II Certified or higher

(see Notes 1 and 2 below)

CLC 051

Managing Government Property in the Possession of Contractors

None

None

 

HBS 428

Negotiating

None

None

 

CON 280 (FED)

Source Selection and Administration of Service Contracts

Required: CON 270 and CLC 051 and HBS 428

FAC-C Level II Certified or higher

(see Notes 1 and 2 below)

CON 290 (FED)

Negotiation and Administration of Supply Contracts

Required: CON 270 and CLC 051 and HBS 428

FAC-C Level II Certified or higher

(see Notes 1 and 2 below)

Level III

CON 360

Contracting for Decision Makers

Required:FAC-C Level I and II Certified

FAC-C Level III Certified

(see Note 1 below)

Notes:

  1. The FAC-C and DAWIA prerequisites for this course are different. The prerequisites on this chart are for course offerings that include “(FED)” to the left of the course identifier.
  2. Workforce members taking CON 170, CON 270, CON 280, CON 290, or CON 370 for continuous learning purposes are responsible for ensuring they (a) have reviewed the learning objectives for the course, and, (b) have the required knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform in the class.
  3. The identifier “(FED)” following a course code denotes a course that is specifically for the non-DOD contracting workforce.

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Retired Courses

Retired courses are courses that were previously used for certification. They have been retired because they are out of date or the certification program has changed. These courses are also referred to as Legacy Courses.

A retired course cannot be used for certification or fulfillment purposes unless there is a date in the right column in the chart below. After that date, the course cannot be accepted for certification purposes. This table is also available as a downloadable PDF file.

Retired Course ID

Accepted for Certification or Fulfillment Until

CON 110 and FCN 110

9/30/2015

CON 111 and FCN 111

9/30/2015

CON 112 and FCN 112

9/30/2015

CON 120

9/30/2015

CON 214

9/30/2015

CON 215

9/30/2015

CON 217

9/30/2015

CON 218

9/30/2015

CON 353

9/30/2015

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Reciprocity with Other Certifications

For contracting professionals coming from DOD, a valid, current Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification is equivalent to a FAC-C at the same certification level, provided the FAC-C education and continuous learning requirements have been met. When applying for a FAC-C, the individual is responsible for providing their agency acquisition career manager with the documentation supporting their DAWIA certification, education, and continuous learning history.

Because the contracting certification program in DAWIA has different education and training requirements, a valid, current FAC-C does not necessarily meet the requirements for the Contracting DAWIA certification. Civilian agency contracting professionals seeking positions subject to DAWIA must have both a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution AND 24 semester hours of business-related college courses at all levels. Reciprocity will be determined by DoD on an individual basis.

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DAU Equivalency/FAI Verification

Classes taken for FAC-C certification purposes starting with CON must be taken from a training provider (commercial vendor, college or university, or another organization) whose class has been determined by DAU to be DAU Equivalent. A class taken for FAC-C purposes starting with FCN must be taken from a training provider (commercial vendor, college or university, or another organization) whose class has been verified by FAI.

DAU Equivalent Providers. A list of DAU Equivalent vendors and classes can be found in DAU’s iCatalog under Equivalent Providers. Commercial vendors, colleges and universities, and other organizations can find more information about the DAU Equivalency Process in the DAU iCatalog under Equivalent Providers.

FAI Verified Providers. A list of FAI Verified vendors and classes can be found on the FAI Verified Contracting Classes page. The FAI Verification process is currently being updated.

Fulfillment

Fulfillment may be used by contracting professionals with significant experience as an alternative way to meet the training requirements for certification. Fulfillment should be used when appropriate and in compliance with agency policy. The fulfillment process is based on documentation provided by the workforce member that demonstrates how they met or accomplished each of the performance outcomes and learning objectives in a specific course. The accomplishment of the performance outcomes and learning objectives may be based on contracting experience, alternative training, or another type certification in the area of contracting and procurement by another organization or other developmental activities. 

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Continuous Learning

To maintain a FAC-C, contracting professionals are required to earn 80 continuous learning points (CLPs) every two years, beginning with the date of their certification. Acquisition career managers (ACMs) monitor the continuous learning requirements for individuals holding FAC-Cs to ensure they meet these requirements. It is the contracting professional’s responsibility to ensure that his/her continuous learning requirements are met.

Hours in excess of the minimum requirements may not be carried forward for credit beyond the current period. In general, no single activity should be used to accumulate all CLPs required for maintenance of their certification. Contracting professionals should make an effort to participate in a variety of acquisition-related activities designed to give the member a well-rounded perspective of the acquisition function.

Contracting professionals are encouraged to take the classes recently added to the contracting certification program since obtaining their certification. Continuous learning can also be used to strengthen an individual’s skills and capabilities in the specialized areas in which they work. An example would be taking basic IT classes for those buying information technology. Taking courses outside the area of contracting such as project management helps broaden the contracting professional’s understanding of their customers.

Continuous learning is more than just taking classroom or online training. Points can be awarded for participation in professional organizations, publishing articles on contracting and procurement, speaking at events where the topic is contracting and procurement, rotational and developmental assignments.

When using these types of activities for CLP purposes, the contracting professional and their supervisor should pre-define the number of CLPs recommended for the activity.  Below are sample activities and the number of CLPs recommended for completing them. This is a sample list and is not intended to be all-inclusive. Agencies can establish different CLP values for the listed activities; therefore, contracting professionals should seek agency guidance and consider the advice of their ACM in the assignment of CLP values for activities listed and those being contemplated.

Recommended Continuous Learning Points (CLPs)

Sample Activity

CLPs

Formal and informal training (such as FAI and DAU classroom or online courses)

1 CLP per hour of instruction

Accredited higher education courses (from a college or university)

10 CLPs per semester or quarter hour (generally)

Continuing Education Unit (CEU)

10 CLPs per CEU

Equivalency Exam for a course, i.e. “testing out”

Same points as awarded for the course

A learning event such as a seminar, brown bag, or presentation

1 CLP per hour if attending the learning event

1 CLP per hour for preparation if leading the learning event.

A maximum of 20 CLPs per year for this type of activity
 

Attendance at professional association meetings

1 CLP per meeting hour with a maximum of 20 CLPs per year

Participation in intra- or interagency groups where the topic is some element of acquisition

1 CLP per meeting hour with a maximum of 20 CLPs per year

Association leadership role

1 CLP per meeting hour with a maximum of 20 CLPs per year

Professional license or certification

20 to 40 CLPs

Publication of an article or articles on an element of acquisition

1 CLP per preparation hour with a maximum of 20 CLPs per year

On-the-job experiential learning

1 CLP per hour of activity with a maximum of 20 CLPs per year

Mentoring

1 CLP per hour of activity with a maximum of 20 CLPs per year

Rotational or developmental assignments

 

12 month assignment or detail
9 months
6 months
3 months
2 months
1 month

Based on learning achieved and length of assignment or detail.

CLP Recommendation:

80 CLPs
64 CLPs
45 CLPs
35 CLPs
30 CLPs
20 CLPs

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Core-Plus Specialization

The purpose of the FAC-C Core-Plus specialization is to establish additional training, experience, and continuous learning requirements for contracting professionals who are FAC-C certified and manage specific investments requiring specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities. 

There currently are no FAC-C Core-Plus Specializations available. As FAC-C Core-Plus Specializations are developed, the workforce will be notified on FAI.gov and through FAITAS.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the FAC-C Frequently Asked Questions page to find answers to commonly asked questions regarding FAC-C.

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Contracting Competencies

The FAC-C Program is built on competencies that refer to the knowledge, skills, and abilities contracting professionals must have in order to perform their contracting duties. Because the changes to the FAC-C Program were made to better align it with the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) program, the contracting competencies that are the foundation of the FAC-C certification training are the ones developed by DoD. The DoD competencies are available as a downloadable PDF file.

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Guidance on the 24 Hours of Business Courses Requirement

OPM’s guidance on the 24 hours of business may be found on the Questions and Answers Concerning Revised 1102 Standard page. FAI’s guidance on the 24 Hours of Business is also available as a downloadable pdf file.

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Links to Contracting Related Documents and Sites

FAC-C Memos

Below are OMB and OFPP guidance on the FAC-C program.

May 7, 2014 Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) from OFPP

January 20, 2006 Memo on The Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting Program (FAC-C) from OMB

April 15, 2005 Policy Letter 05-01 on Developing and Managing the Acquisition Workforce from OFPP

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Other Information

The Federal Contracting Career Field has a Functional Advisory Board (FAB) as a collaborative, federal-wide working group charged with shaping the management policies and practices of the Federal Acquisition Certification program which is chartered by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. The Contracting FAB Charter establishes the Contracting FAB (CON FAB) to perform continuous review, evaluation, and update of the contracting career field within Federal civilian agencies.

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