Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Contractor Assurance Home
Contractor Assurance



Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) is managed and operated by Fermi Research Alliance (FRA), LLC, under Contract DE-AC02-07CH11359 (the Prime Contract) with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Science (SC). The Prime Contract's Clause H.13, Contractor Assurance System, requires FRA to develop a Contractor Assurance System (CAS) that is executed by the contractor's Board of Directors. The CAS applies to all work activities and to all personnel performing work at Fermilab including subcontractors and guests.

By the Prime Contract, the CAS, at a minimum, must include the following key attributes:

  1. A comprehensive description of the assurance system with processes, key activities, and accountabilities clearly defined.
  2. A method for verifying/ensuring effective assurance system processes. Third party audits, peer reviews, independent assessments, and external certification ( VPP, ISO, etc.) may be used.
  3. Timely notification of the DOE-Fermi Site Office (FSO) Contracting Officer of significant assurance system changes prior to changes.
  4. Rigorous, risk-based, credible self-assessments, and feedback and improvement reviews to assess and improve Fermilab's work process and to carry out independent risk and vulnerability studies.
  5. Independent verification and correction of negative performance/compliance trends before they become significant issues.
  6. Integration of assurance system with other management systems including Integrated Safety Management (ISM).
  7. Metrics and targets to assess performance, including benchmarking of key functional areas with other DOE contractors, industry and research institutions. Assure development of metrics and targets that result in efficient and cost effective performance.
  8. Continuous feedback and performance improvement.
  9. An implementation plan (if needed) that considers and mitigates risks.
  10. Timely and appropriate communication to the FSO Contracting Officer, including electronic access, of assurance related information.

What does this mean at Fermilab?  The mission of the laboratory is to advance research and innovation in key areas of science and engineering (primarily related to particle physics and accelerators).  The sixteen, cross-cutting management systems under the CAS govern how Fermilab carries out that mission, not what it does. That is, CAS drives Fermilab toward efficiency and integrity, and the mission drives operational performance and impact.

The Fermilab Assurance Council (AC) is a key element of contractor assurance. The members of the AC are Management System owners and major process owners. The AC identifies and tracks issues that arise though an awareness of changes in the laboratory's operating environment, applicable laws and regulations, self-assessments, and the various review processes of the laboratory.