The 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.
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Contracting Officer's Representative (FAC-COR)
The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) issued this memorandum on September 6, 2011. This memorandum revises and replaces OFPP’s Federal Acquisition Certification for Contracting Officer Technical Representatives (PDF 643KB) (FAC-COTR), originally issued in November 2007, 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 will be effective January 1, 2012, and agencies should begin developing guidance to ensure their CORs are appropriately certified.
The FAC-COR is only one component of strengthening the COR function. Equally important is selecting the right individual to be a COR, ensuring that the COR understands the importance of his/her role, providing the individual adequate time and resources to perform the COR function, and building a culture of effective collaboration and communication between the Contracting Officer and the COR.
The term “COTR” is being 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 ”)
Initial training for new CORs must include, at a minimum, a course covering COR roles and responsibilities as well as fundamental contract rules and regulations. In addition, it is strongly recommended that this 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 Management (ACM) is acceptable. Individual CORs should consult with their supervisor and the Contracting Officer to determine their specific training needs.
Other COR Frequently Asked Questions can be found in a separate document on this page
Where the previous FAC-COTR had just one level of certification for all CORs, the new FAC-COR has three levels of certification with varying requirements for training, experience, and continuous learning, depending on the types of contracts being managed. Generally, and in accordance with agency guidance, CORs should be developed and assigned as follows:
1. Level I – 8 hours of training and no experience required. This level of COR is generally appropriate for low-risk contract vehicles, such as supply contracts and orders.
2. Level II – 40 hours of training and one (1) year of previous COR experience required. These CORs may be called upon to perform general project management activities and should be trained accordingly. This level of COR is generally appropriate for contract vehicles of moderate to high complexity, including both supply and service contracts.
3. Level III – 60 hours of training and two (2) years of previous COR experience required on contracts of moderate to high complexity that require significant acquisition investment. 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. At a minimum, those CORs for major investments, as defined by OMB Circular A-11, shall generally be designated as Level III CORs. Training or continuous learning from one level may be applied to training requirements for the next level.
FAI, the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), private vendors, and other government agencies offer a variety of online and classroom courses to satisfy the new training requirements. Sample curricula recommendations can be found at this link. (COR Training Opportunities)
To enroll in COR training, please login to FAITAS and select "Continuous Learning Modules" on the left side of the screen.
Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) Competencies: The essential competencies required for Contracting Officer's Representatives (CORs) or equivalent positions form the foundation for the knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively perform as a COR. The FAC-COR Competencies and Performance Outcomes have been updated by the COR Functional Advisory Board, as of December 2012.
Continuous Learning Opportunities: Individuals certified with FAC-COR must accumulate the number of CLPs reflective of their level of certification, every two years to maintain their certification to act as a COR.