Systems Engineering

Physical Configuration Audit (PCA)

A Physical Configuration Audit (PCA) is a formal technical review that determines if the configuration of a system or item has met its documented requirements to establish a product baseline.

Checklist: Physical Configuration Audit Checklist – Sept 2017

Purpose of a Physical Configuration Audit (PCA)

The purpose of a PCA is to resolve any discrepancies between the production-representative item that has successfully passed Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) and the associated documentation currently under configuration control.

A successful PCA provides the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) with evidence that the product design is stable, the capability meets end-user needs, and production risks are acceptably low.

Physical Configuration Audit (PCA) Objective

The objective of the PCA is to establish the final product baseline. Any changes after that will have to go through formal configuration management and engineering change proposals.

When to Conduct a Physical Configuration Audit (PCA)

The PCA is conducted prior to the Full-Rate Production Decision Review (FRP DR) during the Production and Deployment (P&D) phase. Smaller elements within the design may have a PCA audit prior to the full system PCA.

Physical Configuration Audit (PCA) Results

The information that is gathered from a PCA helps in the Full-Rate Production Decision Review (FRP DR) to determine if the system should go into full production. The key information that the PCA provides is:

  • Verify all test deficiencies been resolved.
  • The product baseline is stable and all changes after the PCA have been approved and incorporated.
  • All production-related activities can produce an accurate design.
  • Software and hardware have an established product baseline
  • The manufacturing, quality, test & evaluation, training processes are in place.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/25/2021

Rank: G1

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