An Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) is a management tool used to propose a configuration change to a Configuration Item (CI) and its government-baselined performance requirements and configuration documentation during an acquisition program. 
Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) Initiation
The initiation of an ECP begins at the government’s request unless it’s an unsolicited ECP from a contractor. Since most ECPs occur in a sole-source environment, the initiation of an ECP should be a well-planned and coordinated effort between the government and the contractor. A clear mutual understanding of the ECP objective, technical scope, and the Government’s performance, cost, and schedule constraints shortens the lead-time for ECP preparation. It also results in a complete and comprehensive proposal to facilitate timely and effective implementation.
Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) Classifications
There are two (2) types of ECP’s classifications:
- Class 1 Criteria: An ECP proposing a change to approved configuration documentation for which the government is the Configuration Documentation Configuration Authority (CDCA) or that has been included in the contractor statement of work by the tasking activity and:
- Affects any physical or functional requirement in the approved functional or allocated configuration documentation
- Affects any approved functional, allocated or product configuration documentation, and cost, warranties or contract milestones
- Affects any approved product configuration documentation
- Class 2 Criteria: An ECP proposing a change to approved configuration documentation for which the government is the CDCA or that has been included in the contractor statement of work by the tasking activity and which is not a Class 1
Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) Preparation and Submittal
Formal and preliminary ECPs are prepared and submitted to the Government in accordance with the configuration management requirements of the applicable contract Statement of Work (SOW) and associated Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL), DD Form 1423 citing the latest approved Data Item Description (DID) for submittal of ECP data. The contract CDRL should provide information on the submittal and distribution of ECPs for Government review and processing.
Review and Disposition of Engineering Change Proposal (ECP)
In order to facilitate dispositioning ECPs affecting documents for which the Government is CDCA, contracts should identify the government representative(s) responsible for dispositioning both Class I and Class II ECPs.
(approved or disapproved) for implementation by a properly constituted Government Configuration Control Board (CCB). After the CCB direction is issued, it is important to proceed expeditiously with the “definitization” process (obtaining a pricing proposal, auditing, fact-finding, and negotiating the final price) for this change and issuing a supplemental agreement. Until the contract modification is received and bi-laterally agreed to by the Government and the contractor, the contractor is not authorized to proceed with the implementation of the proposed change.
Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) Approval vs. Acceptance
The contractual approval or disapproval of an ECP should not be confused with the acceptance and approval of the ECP as a data deliverable.
- Approval of the ECP data delivery required by CDRL/DD Form 1423 signifies only that the ECP satisfies the requirements of the ECP DID and is considered acceptable for government processing.
- Acceptance of the data deliverable does not signify “technical approval” of the change proposed by the ECP and should not be interpreted as authorizing the performing activity(s) to proceed with the work proposed by the ECP. Unless otherwise specified by contract), the government administrative contracting officer or plant representative serves as the dispositioning authority for Class II ECPs
The incorporation of approved changes should be planned so that optimum acquisition, production, tests, evaluation, and operational advantages can be derived from the modified configuration. The change is effectively coordinated to ensure that the earliest possible availability and support of the CI is provided with minimum disruptive effect on planned operating cycles.
Changes shall be incorporated only after the Contract modification/Program Contracting Officer (PCO) letter or implementing directive/order is published and logistic support is available unless safety or critical mission requirements dictate otherwise. Unofficial or preliminary technical documents shall not be used as authority to incorporate changes.
– See Configuration Management
AcqLinks and References:
-  MIL-HDBK-61A: “Configuration Management Guidance” – 30 Sept 1997
- DD Form 1423 “Contract Data Requirments List (CDRL)”
- Website: MIL-HDBK-61A: Configuration Control
- Website: DFARS 252.243 – 7000 Engineering Change Proposals