Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAI Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD) FAQs


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Certification Training Requirements

Continuous Learning

Online Training

Course IDs

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Certification FAQs

Federal Acquisition Certification - Contracting (FAC-C)

FAC-P/PM Certification



The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) hosts a large amount of online acquisition training available to all Federal employees through FAI CSOD.

To view a listing of current DAU online course offerings, please visit the DAU iCatalog.

Further help about DAU’s training services is available at


What are the training requirements for FAC-C, FAC-COR, and FAC-P/PM?

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, 2014. 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-P/PM 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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How many Continuous Learning Points (CLPs) do I need?

To maintain your FAC-C or FAC-P/PM, you must earn eighty (80) CLPs every two years. To maintain your FAC-COR, you must earn forty (40) CLPs every two years (with the exception of Level I CORs, who only require 8 CLPs every two years). This is outlined in the Federal Acquisition Certification guidance for each specialty. Be sure to check with your Agency for additional continuous learning requirements that may be needed.

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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What’s the difference between online training (OLT) and virtual instructor-led training (vILT) 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.

Online Training (OLT) – online training is made up of self-paced, online material (e.g., videos, documents, slides, etc.) available “on demand” 24/7. Students are given 3 chances to earn 80% or higher on the final test. If you fail, you will be automatically re-enrolled into the course for another opportunity to master the content.

Virtual Instructor-Led Training (vILT) – vILT classes are essentially classroom training delivered online. They are not “on demand” classes you complete at your pace. They are synchronous which means there are specific times when the instructor and students meet at the same time in structured online settings. They are generally for training leading to certification (i.e., FAC-C, FAC-COR, FAC-P/PM).

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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 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 the instructor-led versions of these courses. Therefore, because these are DAU-equivalent courses, they are identified with the (FED) suffix.

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What are FAI’s policies about their training, attendance policies, wait lists, 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 FAI CSOD.

How much does training through FAI cost?

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

Can the Acquisition Workforce Training Fund (AWTF) be used to pay for contractor training?

No. The AWTF’s statutory purpose is to support the federal acquisition workforce.

The federal acquisition workforce is defined in the implementing statute 41 U.S.C. § 1703. Section 1703(a) states “for purposes of this section , the acquisition workforce of an agency consists of all employees serving in acquisition positions…” The AWTF is authorized in 41 U.S.C. § 1703(i). Subsection (i)(1) states “the purposes of this subsection are to ensure that the Federal acquisition workforce…” This Subsection authorizing the AWTF specifically uses the term Federal acquisition workforce which, as earlier defined, are employees of an agency, not contractors. Therefore, the AWTF cannot be used to pay for training contractors.

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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 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 newer FAC-C training classes 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 meet the performance outcomes of the new training classes.

I am an 1102 Contract Specialist. Do I have to 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.

I am applying for FAC-C Level III certification. Can I retake a required FAC-C Level I or Level II course to fulfill the 32 hours of elective training?

No. The intent of the FAC-C Level III electives is to expand and build upon your extensive acquisition knowledge base. Retaking a previous course can be a great refresher, however, the training requirements for FAC-C are intended to build upon previously learned knowledge and skills.  

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

Contact your 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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Can federal contractor employees earn Federal Acquisition Certifications?

No. Federal Acquisition Certification (FAC) programs are only intended for federal government employees.

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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.

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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-P/PM 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 FAI CSOD.

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-P/PM certification policy provides for a new core-plus specialty certification for those P/PMs involved in managing IT projects and programs.  There are not ascending levels of certification for this specialty certification, however, to receive the FAC-P/PM/IT specialty certification, the workforce member must first be certified at FAC-P/PM 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 Chief Acquisition Officer (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 your 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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