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Contracting Officer's Representative (COR)

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This SOP has internal roles only.

Standard Operating Procedure Table of Contents


To serve as an NIAID staff member designated and authorized in writing by the contracting officer to perform specific technical or administrative functions.


CORs have a broad range of roles from developing concepts for solicitations through providing technical oversight of contracts. They cannot change any terms or conditions of contracts.

CORs work in NIAID’s program divisions, not the Office of Acquisitions.

To help ensure that CORs perform their jobs within legal limits, each COR will receive and sign a Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) Appointment Letter from the contracting officer. The template details the COR’s duties from the FAC-COR Handbook.

All CORs are required to get FAC-COR certification. Learn more about COR Training and Certification.

There are three levels of COR:

  • Level I: Entry-Level/Apprentice.
    • Appropriate for individuals serving on technical evaluation panels or supporting low risk contract vehicles such as firm fixed price and services/supply contracts and orders that do not exceed $150,000.
  • Level II: Mid-level/Journeyman.
    • Appropriate for individuals supporting contract vehicles of moderate to high complexity with threshold values ranging from $150,000 to $25,000,000.
    • 40 CLPs are required every 2 years to maintain certification.
  • Level III: Senior/Expert.
    • Appropriate for highly complex and mission critical contract vehicles requiring significant acquisition investment for contracts exceeding $25,000,000.
    • 80 CLPs are required every 2 years to maintain certification.

The FAC-COR Handbook, Appendix C, provides Optional Classroom Training Providers.

Find the full training requirements at COR Re-Certification.


Contracting Officer

  • Determine that the COR is qualified to act as the COR for the contract in question.
  • Prepare and issue the Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) Appointment Letter. This needs to be signed by the contracting officer (CO), COR, and COR’s supervisor.
  • Ensure compliance with the terms of the contract.

Contracting Officer's Representative (COR)

  • Provide programmatic input into the development of the solicitation, negotiations, and resulting contract.
  • Serve as the technical liaison between the contractor and CO.
  • Ensure satisfactory performance and timely delivery of deliverables as set forth in the contract. This includes deliverable inspection and invoice review.
  • Maintain certification by meeting all training requirements detailed in the COR Re-Certification guidelines.
  • Provide evidence of recertification every two years to the CO.

The FAC-COR Handbook provides a more detailed description of the COR’s duties.


See the Office of Acquisitions staff listing for the appropriate contract specialist.

Staff should check the class schedules on the HHS University Web site. Enroll through NIH's APO Coordinator.

If you have knowledge to share or want more information on this topic, email with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.


NIH Manual Chapter 6015-2, Past Performance Information

NIH Manual Chapter 6315-1, Review and Evaluation of R&D Contract Proposals

NIH Manual Chapter 6332-9, Receipt, Processing, and Payment of Invoice and Contract Financing Requests for Research Contracts

Project Concept for Contracts SOP

Contract Funding and End-of-Year Timelines and Processes SOP

Contracting Officer SOP

Independent Government Cost Estimate SOP

Peer Review of R&D Contract Technical Proposals SOP

Project Officer's Technical Questionnaire

Request for Proposals SOP

COR Re-Certification Requirements

FAC-COR Handbook

COR Training and Certification

Last Updated September 05, 2012

Last Reviewed May 24, 2012