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Physical Configuration Audit (PCA)

AETM 024


Physical examination of the actual configuration of the item being produced. It verifies that the related design documentation matches the item as specified in the contract. The system product baseline if finalized and validated at the PCA.

Alternate Definition

An audit formally examines the as-builtconfiguration of each configuration item is consistent with its item detailspecification and technical data package (TDP) of the final product baseline.

General Information

In performance based acquisition environment, the PCA addresses the accuracy of the documentation reflecting the production design. It is also used to validate many of the supporting processes that the contractor uses in the production of the configuration item (CI). The PCA is also used to verify that any elements of the CI that were redesigned after the completion of the FCA also meet the requirements of the CI's performance specification. In cases where the Government does not plan to control the detail design, it is still essential that the contractor conduct an internal PCA to define the starting point for controlling the production designand to establish a product baseline. Additional PCAs may be accomplished later during CI production if circumstances such as the following apply:

  • The original production line is "shut down" for several years and then production is restarted
  • The production contract for manufacture of a CI with a fairly complex, or difficult-to-manufacture, design is awarded to a new contractor or vendor.

This re-auditing in these circumstances is advisable regardless of whether the contractor or the government controls the detail production design.

Configuration audits in the performance-based acquisition environment address two major concerns:

  • The ability of the developed design to meet the specified performance requirements. The FCA addresses this concern.
  • The accuracy of the documentation reflecting the production design. This concern is addressed by the PCA.

For the system, a PCA also examines the process for manufacturing each configuration item and that the deficiencies discovered during testing (DT&E and IOT&E) have been resolved and changes approved, and that all approved changes have been implemented, verified, validated and documented.