What is the difference between a Provisional Assessor and a Certified Assessor?
The CMMC-AB’s long-term plan is to create a highly competitive environment where organizations independent from the CMMC-AB are responsible for creating training materials, reviewing the training materials, preparing examinations, conducting training, etc. This environment is the core to the process that the individuals who want to be Certified Professionals and Certified Assessors will go through to earn their formal certifications. The goal with this environment is to foster competition to help keep costs low, and for ensuring there is adequate supply of training, and ultimately assessing, capability to meet the demand created both by DoD and industry. The infrastructure needed to build out that environment, including the corresponding legal agreements, technological infrastructures, etc., all takes time to create. The current estimate is that individuals will not become Certified Assessors until Q4 of calendar year 2021.
In the meantime, the CMMC-AB recognized that there was a need for a core group of individuals who could begin performing assessments in support of DoD’s initial fifteen (15) pilot solicitations that contain CMMC requirements. The CMMC-AB therefore created an in-house training program to meet these goals. This training program was designed for highly qualified and experienced assessors, and walked them through the intricacies of the CMMC Model. Through its public/private working groups, the CMMC-AB created an examination that ensured these assessors were as informed about CMMC and the subtleties of CMMC assessments as possible given the dynamic nature of the topic.
Although the CMMC-AB has confidence in the training program it created, there was a strong desire to ensure that everyone, from the assessors themselves to DoD to the organizations seeking assessment, knew that these assessors went through a different program than those who will be trained via the formal certification process. Thus, the CMMC-AB chose to designate the assessors that were trained by the CMMC-AB itself as “Provisional Assessors,” and to reserve the moniker of “Certified Assessors” for those who go through the formal training programs.
The Provisional Assessors’ designations expire six (6) months after the formal training programs are launched. After that time, the Provisional Assessors must sit through the Certified Assessor training and become Certified Assessors if they wish to continue to perform assessments.