The ABCs of RPOs

With all of this talk we’re hearing online and among our peers about the infamous CMMC, there sometimes is a pesky acronym which comes up – RPO. What is this all about? How is it important to your organization’s upcoming assessment?

An RPO from the CMMC?

Exactly!! An RPO is a Registered Provider Organization. Within the CMMC ecosystem, a RPO is authorized to assist Department of Defense (DoD) contractors with their prospective assessments. Per the Accreditation Body’s website, RPOs are the “implementers and consultants, but do not conduct Certified CMMC Assessments.”  https://www.CMMCAB.org/rpo/  An RPO assists with the heavy lifting in getting contractors prepared for the rigors of CMMC certification.

Companies who wish to engage the consulting services of a RPO can have confidence as to a certain number of things. First, RPO’s are listed on the CMMC-AB marketplace and this standing indicates that they are bound by the body’s Code of Professional Conduct. All RPOs take this code seriously. In essence, they are authorized to offer consulting services and are trained in accordance with the CMMC standard. These companies undergo quite an intensive process in attaining this standard. It can be reasonably presumed that, following a thorough consultation, a Federal contractor would be properly prepared for CMMC certification.

For clarity, RPOs are not authorized to conduct assessments. This responsibility falls within the purview of C3PAOs. (CMMC 3rd Party Assessor Organization) However, if a company needs professional guidance and direction, RPOs can help you get ready for your assessment. Be advised that by 2026, all contractors submitting bids on DoD business must have CMMC certification of the appropriate level.

AG Grace, Inc. is a Registered Provider Organization which has an experienced assessment team qualified to help contractors navigate what can be a convoluted and complex process. We would be more than pleased to discuss your specific needs with you and help you determine an effective course of action. Our RPs are experienced in various cybersecurity domains and are trained to utilize basic CMMC methodology. Give us a call or contact us on our website at https://www.aggrace.com/cmmc-readiness

We’re here to serve your needs.

You may be asking, “How long would this process take?” That’s a great question! The short answer is “it depends.” Some factors to consider would be the scope of what will be assessed, the level of certification that you’re looking to achieve and the resources which your organization can commit. It is quite an undertaking and given the dynamics of today’s business environment, many companies have no choice but to secure external assistance.

In summary – for most Federal contractors who will require CMMC certification, a reputable RPO will be invaluable in implementing and maintaining cybersecurity health. Ultimately, if your company doesn’t have the personnel and technical resources to accomplish this undertaking, you would really be advised to start giving this some serious thought.

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