FAC-COR Certification

FAC-COR Certification

The Federal Acquisition Certification for Contracting Officer’s Representatives (FAC-COR) is the only certification HHS recognizes as meeting the eligibility standards to be appointed as a Contracting Officer Representative (COR) for all contracts in HHS and its Operating Divisions. NIH strictly follows HHS guidance and adheres to all policies and procedures set forth in the HHS Acquisition Workforce FAC-COR Handbook. A COR is authorized, in writing, by the Contracting Officer to perform specific technical and/or administrative functions.

The FAC-COR Program is divided into three tiers based on complexity and dollar thresholds of the total contract value. Each tier is independent of the others and does not require perquisite certifications to obtain a higher level. Please Note: The thresholds set forth below are NIH-specific as determined by the Head of the Contracting Activity.

All certifications must be applied for in the Federal Acquisition Institutes Cornerstone OnDemand (FAI CSOD) system. You must be registered in the FAI CSOD system in order to be eligible for any acquisition certifications at NIH.

NIH closely follows the HHS FAC-COR guidance found on the HHS Intranet

Initial FAC-COR Certification

Level I

Entry level/Apprentice (No Prior Experience Required)

Appropriate for supporting low risk contract vehicles such as firm fixed price and services/supply contracts and orders that do not exceed $250,000 (total contract value). All training requirements below must be completed within two years of application for a minimum of 24 total hours to be eligible for Level I. Complete the following steps in order to be approved.

Step 2

Complete the required training (in any order):

  1. 8+ hour Intro to COR training
  2. 16 hour HHS Appropriations Law training

Step 3

Complete HHS Application Form PDF and submit signed copy with all FAC-COR level I requirements to NIH ACP (ACP@od.nih.gov)

Level II

Mid-level/Journeyman (One Year of Experience Required)

Appropriate for individuals supporting contract vehicles of moderate to high complexity with threshold values ranging from $250,000 to $25,000,000 (total contract value). All training requirements below must be completed within two years of application for a minimum of 60 total hours to be eligible for Level II. Complete the following steps in order to be approved.

Step 3

FAC-COR level II Functional Transcript – This form is required by HHS to demonstrate the requisite one year of experience. Instructions and guidance on how to fill out the form are found on the form in the link.

Step 4

Complete HHS Application Form PDF and submit signed copy with all FAC-COR level II requirements to NIH ACP (ACP@od.nih.gov)

Level III

Senior/Expert (Two Years of Experience Required)

Appropriate for highly complex and mission critical contract vehicles requiring significant acquisition investment for contracts exceeding $25,000,000 (total contract value). All training requirements below must be completed within two years of application for a minimum of 80 total hours to be eligible for Level III. Complete the following steps in order to be approved.

Step 2

Complete the required training (in any order):

  1. 32 hour minimum Basic COR training
  2. 13 hours Acquisitions related electives
  3. 16 hour HHS Appropriations Law training    
  4. 16 hour Project/Program Management – Training Options
  5. 2 hour CPARS Overview training
  6. 1 hour FAC 089 Writing Quality Past Performance Evaluations

Step 3

FAC-COR level III Functional Transcript – This form is required by HHS to demonstrate the requisite two years of experience. Instructions and guidance on how to fill out the form are found on the form in the link.

Step 4

Complete HHS Application Form PDF and submit signed copy with all FAC-COR level III requirements to NIH ACP (ACP@od.nih.gov)

What Happens Next


Upon completion and submission of the application package, the NIH ACP office will review to ensure requirements are met. If the all requirements are met, the ACP office will sign and forward to HHS for final review. Once HHS reviews and approves the package, the HHS ACM will add your name to the certification of level requested in FAI CSOD. This will then allow apply completed trainings to the certification. All trainings completed through FAI CSOD (DAU or FAI) will automatically be applied. Any external training can be added during this process. Once the list of trainings are met in FAI CSOD, the system will automatically issue the certification.

Free Online Training Options

There are currently three free online vendors that provide numerous training options to complete the certification and re-certification requirements.

FAI

The Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) offers free online and classroom/virtual training offerings. These can be found and registered for through the FAI CSOD System.

DAU

The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) offers several online courses related to acquisition, management, budget, etc. These courses can be registered for through DAU at http://www.dau.edu

VAO

The Virtual Acquisition Office’s (VAO) Applied Learning Online (ALO) modules offer several courses related to acquisitions. The licenses for this vendor are paid for annually by HHS. They are reusable so HHS limits the enrollment time to 10 business days. Send enrollment requests to ACP@od.nih.gov

Instructions and Resources

FAI CSOD

The links below provides the FAI CSOD User Guides for both Employee and Supervisor actions in FAI CSOD. These are step-by-step instructions to all the actions employees or supervisors will do in the FAI CSOD System.

Director of OALM: Diane J. Frasier