Certificate of Competency
A Certificate of Competency (COC) is the certificate issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA) stating the holder is responsible (with respect to all elements of responsibility, including but not limited to, capability, competency, capacity, credit, integrity, perseverance, tenacity, and limitations on subcontracting) for the purpose of receiving and performing a specific Government contract. The COC program empowers the SBA to certify to Government contracting officers as to all elements of responsibility of any small business concern to receive and perform a specific Government contract. The COC program does not extend to questions concerning regulatory requirements imposed and enforced by other Federal agencies.
The COC program allows a small business to appeal a contracting officer’s determination that it is unable to fulfill the requirements of a specific government contract on which it is the apparent low bidder. When the small business applies for a COC, SBA industrial and financial specialists conduct a detailed review of the business’s capabilities to perform the contract. If the business demonstrates the ability to perform, the SBA issues a COC to the contracting officer. If a COC is issued, the contracting officer is required to award that specific contract to the small business.