Federal Information Processing Standard 201 (FIPS 201) Evaluation Program

FIPS 201 Evaluation Program

The FICAM testing program tests and certifies services and commercial products used in credentialing systems, physical access control systems, and public key infrastructures. In standards and documents, this is sometimes also called the Federal Information Processing Standard 201 (FIPS 201) Evaluation Program.

View the latest program announcements.

Testing and Certification

We test and certify a variety of products and services such as:

  • Smartcards (secure elements) used in Personal Identity Verification (PIV) and Common Access Card (CAC) credentials;
  • Physical access control systems for buildings including readers and infrastructure;
  • Certificate validation products including online certificate status protocol (OCSP) and server-based certificate validation protocol (SCVP) clients/servers; and
  • Service providers who manage, install, or provide hosted solutions for issuance of Personal Identity Verification (PIV) and CAC credentials.

If you are looking for the testing procedures for products not listed above, review the announcements. Over the years, some product testing has been deprecated to eliminate redundancy or the product categories have become stable and represent general commercial use products.

Product Testing

Product testing is performed by either:

  • Third-party accredited testing labs; or
  • GSA-managed testing labs

All materials and testing results are reviewed by the Director of the Program. If the product passes testing and review, the vendor is granted a letter of certification, and the product is placed on the Approved Products List (APL). Information shared on the APL includes product information, version, date of certification and special considerations.

Visit the Sell page for more on testing and certification.

Testing Guidance and Documents

Functional requirements for the products are outlined in each test procedure. Review the testing agreements, the test procedure for your specific product, and submit the agreement and package to fips201ep@gsa.gov.

Testing Agreements

Review the testing agreements, and sign and submit the appropriate agreement with your testing package to fips201ep@gsa.gov.

Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Credentials

Derived PIV (D-PIV) Credentials

  • Annual Derived PIV Credential Issuer (DPCI) Testing Application Form (MS Word, September 2017) – If you are an agency or organization that currently issues D-PIV credentials and need to complete credential testing for your annual FPKI audit, submit this form to fips201ep@gsa.gov.
  • Agencies or organizations that wish to issue D-PIV credentials should follow these steps:
      1. Perform a NIST SP 800-79 assessment and receive an Authority To Operate (ATO).
      2. Work with your Shared Service Provider (SSP) to obtain D-PIV Object Identifiers (OIDs).
      3. Submit the Annual DPCI Testing Application Form (linked above) to fips201ep@gsa.gov.
      4. Submit sample D-PIV credentials for testing.
  • Upon successful completion of DPCI testing, the agency or organization will be granted approval to issue D-PIV credentials.

Badge Holders

Physical Access Control System (PACS)

GSA tests and validates the interoperability of PIV and CAC credentials with the software and hardware used to restrict physical access to government facilities. Review the test procedures, choose one of the application packages, and submit to fips201ep@gsa.gov.

PACS Application Package

  1. Review and complete the Product or Service Application Form and Guidance (MS Word, April 24, 2018)
  2. Execute the FIPS 201 Evaluation Program – Lab Services Agreement (PDF, February 2015)
  3. Include one of the following, signed by a C- or VP-level individual:
  4. Complete the Applicant Product Equipment List – v1.3.3 (MS Word, September 8, 2017)
  5. Choose from the following four topologies that best describes your solution and complete the Topology Mapping Workbook (all Topologies) – v1.3.3 (XLSM, April 24, 2018)for your topology:
  6. Submit all forms and equipment list to fips201ep@gsa.gov.

GSA can loan you test cards to help you pre-test your physical access control system products.

Server-Based Certificate Validation Protocol (SCVP)

GSA is currently developing new testing procedures for SCVP testing. The testing will focus on testing SCVP servers using a GSA SCVP client test harness.

1 The PACS FRTC PIN Usage Policy Addendum is provided to assist with resetting PIN retry counters and determining the number of remaining PIN retries during Discovery Object testing.

2 When submitting a product that uses an approved or provisionally approved topology, complete the Topology Mapping Workbook and submit it with your application rather than the PDF version.  This is new with FRTC 1.3.3 and should be easier to use.  Editing, macros and content must be enabled when opening this workbook in order for the form to work properly.

Page Reviewed/Updated: June 15, 2018