A Functional Configuration Audit (FCA) examines the functional characteristics of the configured product. It verifies that the product has met the requirements specified in its Functional Baseline documentation approved at the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and Critical Design Review (CDR). It has to do more with systems engineering and program management than official auditing. The FCA reviews the configuration item’s test and analysis data to validate that the intended function meets the system performance specification.
Definition: The Functional Configuration Audit is used to verify that the actual performance of the Configuration Item (CI) meets the requirements stated in its performance specification and to certify that the CI has met those requirements. (MIL-HDBK-61A)
Purpose of the Functional Configuration Audit (FCA)
The FCA aims to examine the configured product’s functional characteristics and verify that the product has met, via test results, the requirements specified in its functional baseline documentation approved at the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and Critical Design Review (CDR).
Key FCA References
When is a Functional Configuration Audit (FCA) conducted
The FCA is normally performed prior to Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) and prior to or in conjunction with a Physical Configuration Audit (PCA). A successful FCA typically demonstrates that Engineering and Manufacturing Development product is sufficiently mature for entrance into LRIP. A FCA may also be conducted concurrently with the System Verification Review (SVR).
Functional Configuration Audit (FCA) Topics
The issues that are addressed during an FCA 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.
Functional Configuration Audit (FCA) Increments
In large systems with complex Configuration Items (CI), the FCAs may be accomplished in increments. Each increment may address a specific functional area of the system and will document any discrepancies that are found in the performance capabilities of that increment. After all of the increments have been completed, a final (summary) FCA may be held to address the status of all of the action items that have been identified by the incremental meetings and to document the status of the FCA for the system or CI in the minutes and certifications. In this way, the audit is effectively accomplished with a minimum of complications. 
Who conducts the Functional Configuration Audit (FCA)
The Program Management Office (PMO) 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.
Types of Configuration Audits
Two primary configuration audits take place on a program. These are the Functional Configuration Audit and Physical Configuration Audit (PCA).
- The FCA is interested in the ability of the developed design to meet the specified performance requirements.
- The PCA is interested in the accuracy of the documentation reflecting the production design.
Software Functional Configuration Audit
Software Functional Configuration Audit (FCA) should be conducted for each Computer Software Configuration Item (CSCI) in the system. Software audits may be conducted on a single CSCI or a group of CSCIs. This audit is intended to confirm the CSCI is verified/tested relative to the allocated requirements and relevant higher-level specifications. Software FCAs also verify tested CSCIs were designed, coded, and tested following defined processes identified to be applied on the program in the Integrated Master Plan (IMP) and supporting plans, including the software development plan, the Configuration Management Plan, and the test plans.
- The accuracy of the documentation reflecting the production design is addressed by the Physical Configuration Audit (PCA).
- A Functional Configuration Audit may also be conducted concurrently with the System Verification Review (SVR).
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