Marines, The Few, the Proud - link to the Official Marine Corps website.
Configuration Management Plan

Functional Configuration Audit (FCA)



FCA is the formal examination of the "as-tested" characteristics of a configuration item where the focus is on design and performance suitability.  FCA provides a systematic comparison of requirements with the results of tests, analyses, or inspections.  Normally, test/analysis data is collected from a prototype or pre-production article.  When a prototype of pre-production article is not produced, test/analysis data from the first article can be used.  The FCA demonstrates System Development and Demonstration is sufficiently mature for entrance into Low Rate Initial Production.

The objective is to verify that the configuration item has achieved the performance specified in its functional, or allocated, configuration identification documents, and that it's operational and support documents are complete and satisfactory.  An FCA is essentially a review of the configuration item's test/analysis data including software unit test results to validate the intended function or performance is met.

The Functional Configuration Audit is used to verify that the actual performance of a configuration item meets the requirements contained in its performance specification and to certify that the configuration item has met those requirements.

The FCA determines if the system produced (including production representative prototypes or LRIP units) is capable of meeting the technical performance requirements established in the specifications, test plans, etc.  Among the issues addressed are:

  • Readiness issues for continuing design, continuing verifications, production, training, deployment, operations, support, and disposal have been resolved.
  • Verification is comprehensive and complete
  • Configuration audits, including completion of all change actions, have been completed for all CIs
  • Risk management planning is/has been updated for production
  • Systems Engineering planning is updated for production
  • Critical achievements, success criteria and metrics have been established for production.



The FCA is normally performed prior to Low Rate Initial Production and prior to or in conjunction with a Physical Configuration Audit (PCA).  Although an FCA is only required once for each CI or system, a number of FCA-like activities may be accomplished at other times during the life cycle of the CI or system. 

The time frame for audits will vary depending on the particular program.  The configuration item's complexity may dictate an incremental audit approach throughout development until the completion of qualification testing. The FCA schedule should be delineated in the Configuration Management Plan but may be delineated in the system engineering management plan. The FCA should be executed after the functional baseline and allocated baseline have been established and submittal of the draft item detail specification (following Critical Design Review and/or Test Readiness Review) for the configuration item to be audited.

Software FCA should be performed prior to the hardware/software integration phase.

If performed incrementally throughout the system development, the process should end with completion of the design qualification test and review of configurations items discrepancies at the final system-level FCA.



The Program Management Office is ultimately responsible for the performance of audits.  The Program Manager (PM) has overall disposition authority on audit results and reports. The PM's designee, who may be the system engineer (SE) or Logistics Management Specialist (LMS), will ensure audits requirements are properly delineated in the contract and the FCA is properly executed. 

The FCA is conducted by Government and contractor personnel.  Government personnel include representatives of:

  • Program Office (i.e., project officer, contracting officer, etc.)
  • Systems engineering personnel (i.e., configuration management, quality, environmental safety and health, manufacturing, reliability, maintainability, etc.)
  • Configuration status accounting personnel (representing the Software Support Activity and/or Supply Chain Management Center)
  • Acquisition logistics personnel
  • Others, to include the User Community, as required.

The contractor participates in the FCA as provided in the contract.  The contractor is responsible for the participation of subcontractors, vendors, and suppliers as appropriate.



The FCA is normally conducted at the Contractor's facility because of the availability of technical information and equipment.



Terms and Definitions

General References

Specific References

The PM's designee will serve as FCA team chairman and perform the following:

  • Conduct pre-audit assessment.
  • Ensure necessary resources, documentation, and facilities are available for the audit.
  • Perform or delegate responsibility for conducting the audit.
  • Ensure access to contractor technical staff, for example, quality assurance specialist and project system engineer.
  • In the case of software, ensure access to the Software Development Library (SDL) such as source code and related documentation and the Software Development File (SDF).
  • Establish multidisciplinary technical team.
  • Provide audit results to the Program Manager for disposition.
  • In the case of software, ensure availability of personnel skilled in the particular language(s) being used as well as familiarity with the specifications and standards imposed by the contract.
  • In the case of hardware, ensure availability of personnel knowledgeable of testing techniques, equipment and familiar with the specifications and standards.

The audit team will perform the following functions:

  • Determine the configuration item to be audited.
  • Ensure Test Plans and Procedures documents have been reviewed and approved by the Government.
  • In the case of software, examine the Verification Requirements Traceability Matrix to ensure requirements in the System Specification, Computer Program Functional Specification (CPFS), Software Design Document (SDD), Software Design Product Package (SDPP), and Interface Design Product (IDD), as applicable, have been successfully tested and documented in the associated Test Plan, Procedures, and Descriptions.  {Was the software tested?  Do the test plans for the software cover all of the requirements in the software specification documents?  Did all the tests pass?
  • Ensure testing follows approved procedures.
  • Review approved changes to determine the extent to which the item varies from applicable specification and standards and to form a basis for satisfactory compliance with those specifications and standards.
  • Review and sample the drawings of parts to ensure the availability of essential manufacturing test data.
  • Ensure the validity of data, reports, and analyses for final configuration.
  • Ensure all documentation used by the team become part of the FCA minutes.
  • Certify satisfactory completion of the audit.


[1] Go to Defense Standardization Program Office, ASSIST Database for the most up-to-date and ONLY official version of MIL-HDBK-61A. (


(Last Updated December 08, 2011)    Web Publisher | Privacy Policy | USMC Home Page