Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Training FAQs

Certification Training Requirements

Continuous Learning

Online Training

Course IDs

General Policies

Certification FAQs

Federal Acquisition Certification - Contracting (FAC-C)

FAC-P/PM Certification

FAI.gov FAQs

Technical Issues

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Training

CERTIFICATION TRAINING REQUIREMENTS

What are the training requirements for FAC-C, FAC-COR, and FAC-PPM?

For any certification training requirements, consult your agency’s Acquisition Career Manager (ACM). Some agencies have training requirements that are beyond these basic levels, and your ACM will be able to explain them.

The basic FAC-C training requirements are found in the OFPP Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C), dated May 7, 2015. A summary of the training requirements is found on the FAC-C Page.

The FAC-COR training requirements are found in the OFPP Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification for Contracting Officer's Representatives (FAC-COR), dated September 6, 2011. An explanation of training requirements is found on the FAC-COR page.

The FAC-PPM training requirements are found in the OFPP Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification in Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM), dated December 16, 2013.  An explanation of the training requirements is found on the FAC-P/PM page.

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CONTINUOUS LEARNING

How many Continuous Learning Points (CLPs) do I need?

To maintain your FAC-C or FAC-PPM, you must earn eighty (80) CLPs every two years. To maintain your FAC-COR, you must earn forty (40) CLPs every two years. This is outlined in the Federal Acquisition Certification guidance for each specialty.

What are examples of acceptable training and activities that would allow me to earn continuous learning points? How much credit can I receive for the different types of training and activities?

Continuous learning opportunities should be used to obtain training in core competencies, maintain critical acquisition skills and obtain agency specific training. Review the general guidance on continuous learning. If you have a specific question about a course or activity, please see your agency ACM.

What will happen if I don't meet the required number of training hours every two years?

Contracting Officers (COs) may have their warrants suspended or revoked until the CLP requirement is met. CORs may have their appointment suspended or rescinded until their CLP requirement is met. 

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ONLINE TRAINING

When looking for online training, I find terms like distance learning courses, continuous learning modules, and virtual instructor-led training. What’s the difference and why should I care?

These names and phrases are for different flavors of online training. It’s important to familiarize yourself with them so you can better understand how to find and register for the training you seek.

Virtual Instructor-Led Training (vILT) – vILT classes are synchronous. This means there are times when the instructor and students meet at the same time in structured online classes. These are not “on demand” classes. They are generally for training leading to certification (i.e., FAC-C, FAC-COR, FAC-PPM).

Continuous Learning Modules – continuous learning modules (CLMs) are self-paced online training assets available “on demand” 24/7. Most take 1-2 hours to complete, but a few can take up to 9 hours. Students are given an unlimited number of chances to get a 100% on the final test.

Distance Learning Courses – distance learning (DL) courses are structured much the same way as CLMs. They are self-paced, online training assets but longer - 10 to 40 hours - and more rigorous. Students are given only three chances to pass the final test or the entire course must be retaken. Students are allowed to confer with an instructor about the course content prior to their third attempt on the test.

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COURSE IDS

FCN, FCR, FPM, FAC, etc. What do all of these letters mean? 

These are course identification prefixes that federal civilian agencies have agreed to use in FAITAS to make finding the type of training they offer and students seek consistent and easier. Review the table below to get a better understanding of the prefixes used by federal civilian agencies. The Defense Acquisition University uses a slightly different set of IDs for their training courses and continuous learning modules.

Prefix Subject
FAC FAI Continuous Learning Modules
FQN Acquisition Management
FAU Auditing
FCE Cost Estimating
FCM Contract Management
FCN Contracting
FCR Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR)
FEN Engineering
FEV Earned Value Management
FFE Facilities Engineering
FFM Business, and Financial Management
FGR Grants
FIN Industrial/Contract Property Management
FIR Information Resource Management
FLD Leadership and Development
FLG Logistics
FMS Facility Management Services
FPM Program Management
FPQ Production, Quality, and Management
FRQ Requirements Management
FSA Software Acquisition Management
FSE Systems Planning, Research, Development, and Engineering
FST Science and Technology Management
FTE Test & Evaluation

Why do some course IDs have the suffix (FED)?

The (FED) suffix is used to identify training hosted by a federal agency that has been deemed equivalent to training from the Defense Acquisition University. Some of the courses this applies to are CON 170, CON 270, CON 280, CON 290, CON 360, CON 243, and CON 244. When a federal civilian agency offers DAU-equivalent courses, IDs will have the (FED) suffix.

If CON 121, CON 124, CON 127, CON 200, and CON 216 are online training, why do I see some with the (FED) suffix?

CON 121, CON 124, CON 127, CON 200, and CON 216 are online and available to students 24/7; however, some federal agencies prefer that their employees take these classes in the classroom. Therefore, because these are DAU-equivalent courses, they are identified with the (FED) suffix.

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GENERAL POLICIES

What are FAI’s policies about their training, attendance policies, waitlists, no shows, etc.?

FAI’s Student Training Guidebook contains all of the policies for participating in FAI-provided training.

Can anyone register for training through FAI?

Only federal employees can register for training through FAI because FAI training is funded by the Acquisition Workforce Training Fund. Some training resources, like our Acquisition Seminars, Knowledge Nuggets, and Podcasts are available through our Media Library, but the bulk of our assets are only available to federal employees through FAITAS.

How much does training through FAI cost?

FAI training is free. There is no tuition costs to students or their agencies. FAI training is funded by the Acquisition Workforce Training Fund.

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Certification

FEDERAL ACQUISITION CERTIFICATION - CONTRACTING (FAC-C)

What do I need to do to become FAC-C certified?

FAC-C certification is based on meeting specific education, training, and experience requirements. These requirements can be found on the FAC-C (Refresh) Certification Requirements page.  Because FAC-C certifications are approved and processed by the Federal agency an individual works for at the time of application, the individual should contact their agency Acquisition Career Manager (ACM) for specific guidance.

I am not an 1102.  Can I pursue a certification in contracting?

Yes, the FAC-C program is not limited to the GS-1102 series. The decision whether to FAC-C certify non-1102’s is an individual agency decision.

How do I apply for the FAC-C?

Because applications for the FAC-C are approved and processed by the Federal agency an individual works for, you should contact your agency Acquisition Career Manager (ACM) for specific directions.

Why can’t I send my FAC-C application to FAI?

FAI does not approve or process FAC-C applications. FAI is responsible for implementing and disseminating the FAC-C policy established by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). The approval and processing of FAC-C applications is performed by the Federal agency an individual works for at the time of application for a FAC-C.

I have a lot of contracting experience. Can I apply for a FAC-C Level III without being Level I and II certified?

No. The education, training, and experience requirements found on the FAC-C page are cumulative. You must complete the requirements for each level before moving to the next level. You will need to complete FAC-C Level I before moving to FAC-C Level II. You will need to complete FAC-C Level II before moving to FAC-C Level III.  

I want to become certified but I took my classes in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Will I have to retake the training classes?

There is no crosswalk between the training classes in the new FAC-C (Refresh) and the FAC-C (Legacy) programs. The content in these classes is out of date and the performance objectives have changed. Depending on agency policy, you may be able to use the fulfillment process instead of retaking the training classes. If you use fulfillment, you will need to include in your fulfillment package proof that you have taken other classes, possibly for continuous learning that include current material and meets the performance outcomes of the new training classes.

I am an 1102 Contract Specialist. Do I have be FAC-C certified?

Yes. Per the May 7, 2014 Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) from OFPP, Contracting Officers, regardless of their series, and other contracting professionals in the 1102 job series must be certified at an appropriate level as of October 1, 2014, pursuant to agency policy. 

Should certification packages and waivers be sent to FAI?

Certification packages and waivers are approved and processed at the agency level. Acquisition Workforce members should always contact their agency’s Acquisition Career Manager (ACM) with questions concerning certification, waivers, continuous learning, and other questions. FAI does not process or approve certification packages, waivers, or continuous learning.

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FAC-C (REFRESH)

I already have a FAC-C, issued before the new FAC-C policy letter dated May 7, 2014. Will I have to retake all the training listed in the policy letter?

Current FAC-C holders certified under the previous FAC-C will be transitioned at their current level of certification, as long as their continuous learning requirements are met. Agencies covered by the FAC-C program may require additional training and experience. Contact you agency Acquisition Career Manager (ACM) for specific details.

I completed my FAC-C Level I before the new FAC-C policy letter was issued on May 7, 2014. Why do I have to take additional Level I training in order to register for Level II courses?

The Level I, II, and III courses used in the Refreshed FAC-C program have prerequisites. In order to meet the prerequisites for Level II, you must take additional Level I training.

I don’t have a FAC-C Level III certification. When/how do I transition from FAC-C (Legacy) to FAC-C (Refresh)? 

Transition strategies from FAC-C (Legacy) to FAC-C (Refresh) are agency specific. Please contact your agency Acquisition Career Manager (ACM).

Can I mix and match FAC-C (Legacy) and FAC-C (Refresh) coursers for certification?

FAC-C (Legacy) and FAC-C (Refresh) courses cannot be mixed at the same FAC-C certification level.

Can I start FAC-C (Legacy) Level certification after October 1, 2014?

In accordance with the May 7, 2014 Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) from OFPP, contracting professionals who have not yet started a FAC-C (Legacy) certification level by October 1, 2014, must obtain certification at that level under the FAC-C (Refresh) program.

Example 1. An individual new to the Federal contracting workforce did not take any of the required FAC-C (Legacy) Level I courses prior to October 1, 2014. Per the OMB memorandum, that individual must use the FAC-C (Refresh) certification program.

How does a contracting professional demonstrate that they have started a FAC-C (Legacy) certification level prior to October 1, 2014?

Contracting professionals must have successfully completed one of the required FAC-C (Legacy) courses in the level under which they are seeking certification, prior to October 1, 2014. Taking a course for elective purposes or a continuous learning module does not demonstrate a contracting professional has started working on FAC-C certification.

Example 1. A workforce member started working on their FAC-C (Legacy) Level II on August 19, 2014 by taking a course on incentive contracting. This course is not a required course for the FAC-C. The workforce member planned on using the course on incentive contracting as an elective for FAC-C (Legacy) Level II. They did not take any other courses between August 19, 2014 and October 1, 2014.

As of October 2, 2014, the workforce member has not demonstrated they have started the FAC-C (Legacy) Level II certification. They must follow the FAC-C (Refresh) Level II certification program.

If the workforce member had taken one of the required FAC-C (Legacy) Level II courses, such as CON 215, prior to October 1, 2014, they would have demonstrated that they had started FAC-C (Legacy) Level II and would be allowed to continue following the FAC-C (Legacy) Level II certification program.

Example 2. A workforce member started working on their FAC-C (Legacy) Level II on June 30, 2014 by taking CON 200, a required course for Level II under the Legacy program, and completed it on July 18, 2014. On October 1, 2014, they will be allowed to continue to follow FAC-C (Legacy) Level II certification program because they demonstrated that they started it before October 1, 2014.

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DAWIA CERTIFICATION

I have a DAWIA certification in contracting. How can I become FAC-C certified?

Contact you agency Acquisition Career Manager (ACM) for specific directions on applying for a FAC-C using your DAWIA certification. At a minimum when you apply for your FAC-C, you will need to provide a copy of your college transcripts and proof of your continuous learning points.

A DAWIA certification in contracting is equivalent to a FAC-C at the same certification level, provided the education and continuous learning criteria for FAC-C is met. The education requirements for FAC-C can be found on the FAC-C page. Requirements for continuous learning can be found on the FAC-C page under Continuous Learning.

I currently work for DoD. How can I obtain FAC-C certification?

FAC-C certification is limited to individuals who work for federal civilian agencies.

Can I use my DAWIA certification in contracting to become FAC-C certified or will I have to take all the courses over again?

A valid current DAWIA certification in contracting is equivalent to a FAC-C at the same certification level, provided the education and continuous learning criteria for FAC-C is met. Contact your agency Acquisition Career Manager (ACM) for specific directions. The education requirements for FAC-C can be found on the FAC-C page. Requirements for continuous learning can be found on the FAC-C page under Continuous Learning.

I have a FAC-C Level III. Can I apply for a job in DoD?

You can always apply for a job in DoD. Whether you are selected for an interview will be based on how well you meet the experience, education, and training requirements in the job announcement.

I am applying for a position in DoD. Will I have to retake my training in order to become DAWIA certified?

A valid, current FAC-C does not necessarily meet the requirements for the DAWIA certification. Determination of equivalency will be made by the DoD Agency on an individual basis. 

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CONTRACTOR CERTIFICATION

I currently work for a contractor. How can I obtain FAC-C certification?

FAC-C certification is limited to individuals who work for federal civilian agencies.

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WARRANTS

When a person transfers to a new agency, must their warrant be accepted also?

Contracting warrants, or Certificates of Appointment, are position specific. Warrants are granted to acquisition workforce members because of the position they hold at the time the warrant is granted. When a workforce member moves from position to position within an agency, the warrant does not necessarily move with them. The same is true when a workforce member moves from agency to agency. The warrant does not move with them.

I already hold a warrant. Do I need to become certified?

The FAC-C is mandatory for members of the workforce holding Contracting Officer (CO) warrants as of the effective date of the FAC-C (Refresh), regardless of GS series. Any contracting professional issued an unlimited warrant after October 1, 2014 must be Level III certified. Those COs not required to be certified under the previous policy shall be given a period of two years to complete their certification requirements.

The new FAC-C policy, the FAC-C (Refresh), does not apply to non-1102s whose warrants ate either generally used to procure emergency goods and services or whose warrants are so limited as to be outside the scope of this program, as determined by the agency Chief Acquisition Officer (CAO) or his or her designee.

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FAC-P/PM CERTIFICATION

How do I know if I’m subject to the new Federal Acquisition Certification in Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM)? 

Check with your Acquisition Career Manager (ACM).

How do I find my ACM? 

Go to the contact your ACM page on this website.

To whom does the FAC-P/PM Certification apply? 

The FAC-P/PM applies to all Federal employees of executive branch agencies EXCEPT those covered under 10 USC, such as the Department of Defense. Private industry or contractors are not eligible for FAC-PPM certification.

What is required for FAC-P/PM Certification? 

You can satisfy the competency requirements through successful completion of certification training, completion of comparable education or certification programs, or demonstration of or evidence provided of the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.  Additional guidance can be found on this website under the Certification tab, or through your agency Acquisition Career Manager.

Where do I find courses to begin the certification process?

Private vendors, the Defense Acquisition University, FAI and other government agencies offer a variety of online and classroom courses that address many of these competencies. Workforce members should register through FAITAS, available on this website as a link.

Can we use bureau/agency developed courses in lieu of vendor courses or do they need to be approved by FAI first?

Yes, if your agency ACM has determined a course meets training requirements, it can be used to satisfy that coursework area. 

Is FAC-P/PM certification sufficient for a project manager in Information Technology (IT)?

The revised FAC-PPM certification policy provides for a new core-plus specialty certification for those PPMs involved in managing IT projects and programs.  There are not ascending levels of certification for this specialty certification, however, to receive the FAC-PPM/IT specialty certification, the workforce member must first be certified at FAC-PPM mid-level, have at least two years experience managing IT projects, and meet the performance outcomes in the IT PM competency model.

I have considerable experience in project management. Must I start the certification process at the Entry level? 

Achieving each certification level in progression from entry- through senior-level is not required; however, P/PMs may only be certified at a certain level after they achieve all competencies for that certification level. In addition, lower level competencies needed to perform at the level being certified must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the certifying agency.

I am being considered for assignment to a “major acquisition/investment.” Must I have my P/PM certification to be given this assignment?

The policy that established FAC-P/PM states that project and program managers must be senior-level certified for such assignments. However, this certification must be attained within one year of such an assignment – not before you are initially assigned.

What happens if I am not able to attain senior-level certification within a year of such an assignment?

The agency’s CAO, or his/her designee, may extend in writing, on a case-by-case basis, the date upon which a P/PM must be certified by an additional 12 months, if it is in the best interest of the agency. Written justification shall be provided that includes the reason for and conditions of the extension, and the agency’s Acquisition Career Manager (ACM) or designee shall maintain all supporting documentation.

I’ve been tasked as a new Program Manager and am not certified.  Now what?

Agencies assign personnel to be program and/or project managers and determine the appropriate level of certification they should hold.  This is a decision involving the level of risk, complexity, cost and impact of the program to the agency mission. Unless an extension is granted, new program/project managers who are not certified have twelve months from the date of assignment to the project/program to achieve certification.

Should certification packages be sent to FAI?

Certification packages are approved at the agency level. Acquisition Workforce members should always contact their agency’s acquisition career manager (ACM) with questions concerning certification, continuous learning, and other questions. FAI does not process or approve certification packages or continuous learning.

When applicants submit a certification or fulfillment package is there a required form that must be completed? 

The agency provides the application process and template. 

Why must I meet the FAC-P/PM continuous learning requirements?

FAC-P/PM describes core, minimum competencies that are considered essential for successful program and project management. If you are required by your CAO to attain P/PM certification you must not only acquire these competencies and have a certain number of years of experience associated with each of three levels, you must also earn 80 continuous learning points (CLPs) every two years to maintain the currency of your certification. Contact you agency ACM for more information.

What are examples of acceptable skills currency training and continuous learning points?

See the guidelines for continuous learning. These guidelines reflect best-in-practice recommendations for continuous learning. Agencies retain flexibility and supervisors remain responsible for working with program and project managers to identify those activities and opportunities of greatest benefit to the professional development of an individual. The training, professional activities, education and experience that are used to meet the CLP requirements must be job related. 

Who keeps track of my Continuous Learning Points? 

Individuals are responsible for maintaining continuous learning records, and agency ACMs, or their designees, will monitor the continuous learning requirements to ensure certifications remain active. 

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Technical Issues

If I am having a technical issue with the FAI.gov website, who can I contact?

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