Contracting Officer's Representative (FAC-COR)

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 ensure proper development of requirements and assist Contracting Officers in 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).

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

Certification Requirements

Training Requirements

Course Prerequisites

Reciprocity with Other Certifications

FAI Verification

Fulfillment

Continuous Learning

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAC-COR Competencies

Links to COR Related Documents and Sites

Agency Unique FAC-COR Requirements

Other Information

Certification Requirements

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 to high-risk and complex acquisitions (such as major acquisitions and Information Technology (IT) systems). 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 management 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 is training 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. Contact your ACM for more information.

The Federal Acquisition Certification-Contracting Officer's Representatives (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) from OFPP. This memorandum revises and replaces the November 26, 2007 Memo on The Federal Acquisition Certification for Contracting Officer Technical Representatives (FAC-COTR) from OFPP, revising the competency requirements for CORs 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.

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

FAC-COR Requirements

Requirements for:

Level I

Level II

Level III

Experience*

None
1 year of previous COR experience required 2 years of previous COR experience required

Training

8 hours of training
40 hours of training
60 hours of training

Appropriate for:

This level of COR is generally appropriate for low-risk contract vehicles, such as supply contracts and orders. 
This level of COR is generally appropriate for contract vehicles of moderate to high complexity, including both supply and service contracts.
Level III CORs are the most experienced CORs within an agency and should be assigned to the most complex and mission critical contracts within the agency. These CORs are often called upon to perform significant program management activities and should be trained accordingly.

* Experience. 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.

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Training Requirements

Per the September 6, 2011 Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification for Contracting Officer's Representatives (FAC-COR) from OFPP, each certification level requires a minimum number of training hours covering COR roles and responsibilities as well as fundamental contract rules and regulations. In addition, it is strongly recommended that initial training be provided in a classroom setting. For other CORs, any combination of classroom or online training required by agency policy and the agency’s Acquisition Career Manager (ACM) is acceptable. Individual CORs should consult with their supervisor and the Contracting Officer to determine their specific training needs. The COR competency model is also available as a downloadable PDF file.

Training is available from several sources, including industry training vendors, colleges and universities, and federal training institutions and academies.

The FAC-COR Verified Vendors page on FAI.gov lists several providers offering certification training that have been verified by FAI for alignment to the FAC-COR competency model.

Below is a list of recommended training tracks available to meet the requirements for FAC-COR certification. This information is also available as a downloadable PDF file

Recommended FAC-COR Training

Level I

Level II

Level III

Option 1:
  • FCR 103 - Classroom
Option 2: Choose one of the below;
  • FCR 100 - Online
  • Agency Directed Elective (1 hr)
Or
  • CLC 106 - Online
Option 1:
  • FCR 201 - Classroom
Option 2:
  • FCR 100
  • Agency Directed Elective (1 hr)
  • CLM 024 - Online
  • CLE 028 - Online
  • CLM 031 - Online
  • CLC 013 - Online
  • CLM 005 - Online
  • CLC 011 - Online
  • CLM 017 - Online
Option 3:
  • CLC 106 – Online
  • CLM 024 - Online
  • CLE 028 - Online
  • CLM 031 - Online
  • CLC 013 - Online
  • CLM 005 - Online
  • CLC 011 - Online
  • CLM 017 - Online
Option 4:
  • CLC 222 - Online
  • CLE 028 - Online
  • CLM 031 - Online
Option 1:
  • FCR 201 - Classroom
  • CLE 028 - Online
  • CLM 031 - Online
  • FAC 033 - Online
  • CLM 014 - Online
  • CLV 016 - Online
  • HBS 435 - Online
  • CLC 065 - Online
Option 2: 
  • CLC 222 - Online
  • CLE 028 - Online
  • CLM 031 - Online
  • CLM 017 - Online
  • FAC 033 - Online
  • CLM 014 - Online
  • CLV 016 - Online
  • CLC 013 - Online
Option 3: 
  • FCR 100
  • ACQ 101 - Online
  • ISA 101 - Online
Option 4: 
  • CLC 106 - Online
  • ACQ 101 - Online
  • ISA 101 - Online

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Course Prerequisites

ISA 101 and FPM 120B have prerequisites that must be taken prior to registering.  Prerequisites can be found in the online FAITAS or DAU Catalogs.

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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 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 acquisition career manager with the documentation supporting their DoD COR certification, experience, and continuous learning history.

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.

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FAI Verification

With the exception of FPM 121 and FCN 190, FAI's Verification Program is currently on hold for FAC-COR and FAC-P/PM reviews. For the FAC-COR and FAC-P/PM programs, FAI does NOT recommend restricting to verified vendors only. Instead, agencies shall include strong evaluation criteria in solicitations to determine which vendors are the most highly qualified to provide training that meets the FAC-COR and FAC-P/PM competencies. Please direct any questions to the Verification Program Manager, Teresa Reefe.

For lists of commercial vendors, colleges and universities, and other organizations that had their class FAI Verified prior to the FAI Verification Program being put on hold, visit the FAI Verification Program page.

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Fulfillment

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 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 Officer’s Representatives experience, alternative training, or another type certification in the area of Contracting Officer’s Representatives and other acquisition duties by another organization or other developmental activities. As each agency has different requirements, please contact your ACM or Training Officer for details on submitting a Fulfillment package.

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Continuous Learning

To maintain a FAC-COR, Contracting Officer’s Representatives are required to earn 40 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-COR certification to ensure they meet these requirements. It is the Contracting Officer’s Representatives 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 Officer’s Representatives 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 functional areas.

Contracting Officer’s Representatives are encouraged to take the classes recently added to the Contracting Officer’s Representatives 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 overseeing information technology projects. Taking courses outside the area of Contracting Officer’s Representatives such as contracting, program management, engineering, logistics, test & evaluation, financial management, etc., helps broaden the Contracting Officer’s Representatives understanding of their customer requirements. 

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

When using these types of activities for CLP purposes, the Contracting Officer’s Representatives 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. The below list is a sample of activities that can be used for CLP credit and is not intended to be all-inclusive. Agencies can establish different CLP values for the listed activities; therefore, Contracting Officer’s Representatives should seek agency guidance and consider the advice of their ACM in the assignment of CLP values for each of the activities listed and those being contemplated. Further information may be found on Guidance on Meeting the Requirement for Continuous Learning Points.

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 meeting hour with a maximum of 20 CLPs per year
Mentoring 1 CLP per meeting hour with a maximum of 20 CLPs per year
Rotational or developmental assignments

Based on learning achieved and length of assignment or detail.

CLP Recommendation:

12 month assignment or detail - 80 CLPs

9 months - 64 CLPs

6 months - 45 CLPs

3 months - 35 CLPs

2 months - 30 CLPs

1 month - 20 CLPs

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

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FAC-COR Competencies

The FAC-COR Program is built on competencies that refer to the knowledge, skills, and abilities Contracting Officer’s Representatives must have in order to perform their Contracting Officer’s Representatives duties. Because the changes to the FAC-COR program were made to align the competencies with the September 6, 2011 Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification for Contracting Officer's Representatives (FAC-COR) from OFPP, the Contracting Officer’s Representatives competencies are the foundation of the FAC-COR certification training program.

The revised FAC-COR core competency model portrays the competency areas and further defines the areas in behavioral terms using performance outcome statements and learning objectives.

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Links to Contracting Officer’s Representatives Related Documents and Sites

FAC-COR Resources

Below are resources for the FAC-COR program:

September 6, 2011 Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification for Contracting Officer's Representatives (FAC-COR) from OFPP

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

Project Manager's Guidebook

Contracting Professionals Smart Guide

Guidance on Ethics and Procurement Integrity

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Agency Unique FAC-COR Requirements

In August 2016, FAI distributed a survey to identify the federal civilian agencies' unique certification requirements. The table below provides an overview of the agency unique FAC-C requirements. The requirements below are in addition to the government-wide FAC-COR requirements. If you have any questions about your agency's unique requirements, please contact your acquisition career manager (ACM). The agency unique FAC-COR requirements are also available as a downloadable PDF file.

Agency

FAC Level

Experience

Training

Continuous Learning

Other

DHS

Level II and III

 

FAC 043

FAC 043

 

DOC

Level I

 

In addition to the training required for FAC-COR Level I, 40 hours of training, including 12 hours in Acquisition and 12 hours in Project Management

40 CLPs

 

Level II

 

In addition to the training required for FAC-COR Level II, 24 hours of training

   

Level III

3 years of experience

In addition to the training required for FAC-COR Level III, 34 hours of training

   

DOJ

Level I, II, III

 

FAC 018, FAC 031, and FAC 043 (or proof of equivalent courses)

   

GSA

Level I, II, III

 

FAC 038 and one Ethics course (CLM 003 or FAC 043)

FAS CORs only: 18 hours of FAS-specific training

   

HUD

Level I

 

24 hours of HUD-specific training

24 CLPs

 

Level II

2 years of experience

40 hours HUD-specific training, CPARS: Overview, CPARS: Quality and Narrative Writing

 

Experience at Level I strongly recommended

Level III

4 years of experience

80 hours HUD-specific training, CPARS: Overview, CPARS: Quality and Narrative Writing

80 CLPs

Experience at Level II strongly recommended

NRC

Level II

 

 

 

Must first obtain Level I certification

SEC

Level I

 

3-hour SEC-specific COR workshop

CLC 106

 

Level II

 

41 hours of SEC-specific training (3-hour SEC-specific COR workshop, 3-day course, and 14 hours of online training)

   

SSA

Level I

 

40 hours of training

   

USAID

Level II

 

122 hours of training, including USAID COR and Assistance Officer Representative training and Agency specific Programming Foreign Assistance Training

   

VA

Level II and III

 

CPARS Overview and CPARS Guide Update

   

The following agencies reported that they do not have any agency-specific FAC-COR requirements in addition to the government-wide requirements: Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Education, Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Labor (DOL), Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation (DOT), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and Small Business Administration (SBA).

The following agencies did not respond to the survey: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Interior (DOI), and Department of State.

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Other Information

The term “COTR” has been changed to “COR” to align with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) which now incorporates a definition for “Contracting Officer’s Representative” and includes designation of a COR as part of a Contracting Officer’s responsibilities. (See FAR Parts 1.602-2, “Responsibilities” and 2.101, “Definitions”)

Each career area has a Functional Advisory Board 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 COR FAB Charter establishes the COR FAB to perform continuous review, evaluation, and update of the COR certification within Federal civilian agencies.

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