Contracting (FAC-C)

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.

FAC-C Certification Requirements

FAC-C-Digital Services - Digital IT Acquisition Program (DITAP)

Continuous Learning Requirements

Contracting Competencies

FAC-C Policy Documents

Agency Unique FAC-C Requirements

Contracting Functional Advisory Board (CON FAB)

Certification FAQs

FAC-C Certification Requirements

The FAC-C contains three (3) levels of certification that provides the required education, training and experience for contracting professionals. The FAC-C shall be recognized by all federal civilian agencies as evidence that an employee meets core requirements to perform contracting functions.

While training requirements for the FAC-C are closely aligned with the DAWIA training requirements, they are not identical. A current and valid Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification is considered to be equivalent to a FAC-C at the same certification level, however a FAC-C does not necessarily meet the requirements for DAWIA. Reciprocity will be determined by DoD on an individual basis.

Below are the full education, experience and training requirements for each FAC-C level as of October 1, 2019. Per the May 7, 2014 OFPP Memo, changes to the FAC-C training requirements will be maintained in the table below (PDF Version).

FAC-C Requirements (Effective 10/1/2019)
 

Level I

Level II

Level III

Experience*

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

It is strongly recommended that courses be taken in the order presented.

Instructor-led courses beginning with the prefix CON must be taken from a DAU equivalent vendor.

The identifier “(FED)” following a course code denotes a course that is specifically for the non-DoD contracting workforce

  • CON 091 (FED) Contract Fundamentals**** (instructor-led)
  • Choose 1 of the following:
    • CON 100 Shaping Smart Business Arrangements (self-paced online)
    • FCN 101 Contracting Basics (self-paced online)
  • CON 121 Contract Planning (instructor-led or self-paced online)
  • CON 124 Contract Execution (instructor-led or self-paced online)
  • CON 127 Contract Management (instructor-led or self-paced online)
  • FAC 023 Basic Contracting for GSA Schedules (self-paced online)
  • FAC 031 Small Business Programs (self-paced online)
  • CLC 056 Analyzing Contract Costs (self-paced online)
  • CLC 057 Performance-Based Payment & Value of Cash Flow (self-paced online)
  • CLC 058 Introduction to Contract Pricing (self-paced online)
  • CON 170 (FED) Fundamentals of Cost and Price Analysis (instructor-led)
    Alternative Course IDs: CON 170 – 64 (FED) or CON 170 – 80 (FED)
     
  • FCL-CM-2500 Category Management 101 (instructor-led webinar)

Before beginning Level II training, all Level I training must be completed

  • CON 200 Business Decisions for Contracting (instructor-led or self-paced online)
  • CON 216 Legal Considerations in Contracting (instructor-led or self-paced online)
  • CLC 051 Managing Government Property in the Possession of Contractors (self-paced online)
  • HBS 428 Negotiating (self-paced online)
  • CON 280 (FED) Source Selection and Administration of Service Contracts (instructor-led) Prerequisites CLC 051; HBS 428; CON 200; CON 216; CON 170 (FED); CLC 056
  • CON 290 (FED) Contract Administration and Negotiation Techniques in a Supply Environment (instructor-led) Prerequisites: CLC 051; HBS 428; CON 200; CON 216; CON 170 (FED), CLC 056

Before beginning Level III training, all Level I and II training must be completed

  • CON 360 (FED) Contracting for Decision Makers (instructor-led)
    Alternative Course IDs: CON 360 – 64 (FED) or CON 360 – 80 (FED)
  • Select an HBS module other than HBS 428
  • Choose 1 of the following:
    • 32 hours of electives*****
    • ACQ 265 (FED) Mission-Focused Services Acquisition
      Prerequisite: CLC 013
    • ACQ 315 Understanding Industry (only available through DAU and not offered through outside vendors) Prerequisites: CLM 005 & HBS 428
    • ACQ 370 (FED) Acquisition Law
    • CON 244 (FED) Construction Contracting Prerequisites: CLC 056, CON 127 & CON 216
    • CON 252 Fundamentals of Cost Accounting Standards
    • CON 370 Advanced Contract Pricing (only available through DAU and not offered through outside vendors)
      Prerequisite: CON 270

* 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 requirement and candidates must provide evidence of their experience to their certifying official. Experience can be tracked using the 1102 Experience Development Tool. Satisfaction of experience requirements from one certification level may be applied to the satisfaction of experience requirements of a higher certification level.

** Education. While the 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. For more information on the education requirement, visit OPM’s Classification and Qualification page.

***Training. 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 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.

****CON 090 & FCN 190 are being phased out by courseware vendors during the period 10/1/2019 through 6/30/2020. Certificates from either course will be acceptable for FAC-C Level I until 9/30/2021.

***** 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.

FAC-C-Digital Services - Digital IT Acquisition Program (DITAP)

FAC-C DIGITAL SERVICES (FAC-C DS) - The FAC-C Digital Services specialization was launched on May 15, 2018. Information on this specialization can be found at the following links:

  • OFPP Memorandum: Establishment of Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting Core-Plus Specialization in Digital Services (FAC-C-DS), dated 5/18/18
  • TechFAR Hub Digital IT Acquisition Professional Training Program Info The TechFAR Hub includes all the information on the DITAP program, including the competencies and performance outcomes, the validated vendors who are authorized to teach the DITAP program; vendors who have open seating in the DITAP program, information for training institutions interested in offering the DITAP program, and contact information for the U.S. Digital Services representatives who are overseeing the DITAP program.

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Continuous Learning Requirements

To maintain a FAC-C, contracting professionals are required to earn 80 continuous learning points (CLPs) every two years (see FAC-C-DS for information on specific CLP requirements), beginning with the date of their certification. Acquisition Career Managers (ACMs) monitor the CLP requirements for individuals holding FAC-Cs to ensure they meet these requirements. It is the contracting professional’s responsibility to ensure that CLP 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 acquisition-related,and 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 (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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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.  

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FAC-C Policy Documents

Below are links to 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, REVISED December 2008

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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Agency Unique FAC-C Requirement

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-C requirements. If you have any questions about your agency's unique requirements, please contact your Acquisition Career Manager (ACM ). The agency unique FAC-C requirements are also available as a downloadable PDF file.

Agency*

FAC Level

Experience

Training

Continuous Learning

DHS

Level I, II, III

 

FAC 043

FAC 043

DOJ

Level I, II, III

 

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

 

NASA

Level I

2 months of experience between Level I courses

CON 100 and CON 090

 

Level II

3 years of cumulative experience

ACQ 101

 

Level III

7 years of cumulative experience

ACQ 202 and NASA ACP

 

SSA

Level II

3 years of cumulative experience

 

 

Level III

7 years of cumulative experience

 

 

HHS

Level I, II, III

 

16 Hours of Appropriations Law training; Contact OAWSI@hhs.gov for any additional agency requirements

 

DOI

Level I, II, III

 

Complete one hour of ethics training within the past 12 months of FAC-C
application and include the ethics certification in the FAITAS application.

 

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Contracting Functional Advisory Board (CON FAB)

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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