Secure Your Success: The Power of CMMC POAM Compliance for Defense Contractors

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DoD Security Compliance, CUI, , POAMS

CMMC POAM Compliance

Defense contractors must adhere to strict compliance standards when working with the US government. Two essential compliance requirements for contractors is the CMMC and POAM. In this article, we will discuss everything defense contractors need to know about POAMs and CMMC, including the definition of POAMs, their importance, and their relationship with CMMC.

POAM Definition

What is a POAM? 

POAM is an acronym for “Plan of Action with Milestones.” It is a document that lists all of the tasks that must be done in a system. The document also provides the necessary resources, milestones, and completion dates for each task. The main purpose is to document any weaknesses found in the system that must be remediated in order to comply with compliance controls such as those found in NIST SP 800-171 and to document the intended plan for resolving those temporary deficiencies to bring the system and organizational practices into full compliance without deficiencies. It is a very important part of doing business with the US government for defense contra

Difference Between CMMC and CMMI

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Importance of a POAM for Defense Contractors

POAMs are very important for defense contractors because they help them find and fix system weaknesses. The ability to clearly articulate security deficiencies is the first step in demonstrating an ability to understand where you may not be compliant or secure and define exactly how and when you will resolve those issues. The POAM also demonstrates a contractor's commitment to complying with the government's standards and requirements. With a POAM document, contractors can show that they take DoD information security requirements seriously, which can help them win government contracts.

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Understanding CMMC

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, is a framework designed by the United States Department of Defense to ensure that all companies that work with the government have adequate cybersecurity measures in place to protect sensitive information such as CUI, or Controlled Unclassified Information (non-public defense-related information).

Common Questions on POAMs and CMMC

Do I need to have both a POAM CMMC?

Yes, if you are a defense contractor working with the US government, you must comply with both the requirement to have a POAM created, which comes from the DFARS regulations, and the requirement for defense contractors to utilize the security standards in NIST SP 800-171 to secure their information and be prepared to certify at the required level of CMMC Certification, which is Level 2 for defense contractors. The requirement for 3rd party assessment of CMMC implementation is an individual contract requirement and could be a part of any defense contract or added to existing defense contracts once the final CMMC regulation is codified into law, which is anticipated to be mid-2023.

What is the relationship between POAMs and CMMC?

POAMs are an essential component of compliance with the CMMC. A POAMs document points out weaknesses in the system and how they will be fixed. For CMMC compliance, it is important to make a plan to fix these weaknesses.

How do I become compliant with POAMs and CMMC?

To meet the requirements of POAMs and CMMC, defense contractors must understand what each one needs and put in place the processes and controls they need. Contractors must also undergo an assessment to verify compliance if one is required by a third party in a contract or self-assess and certify that they are meeting these requirements.


As a defense contractor, it's important to have a POAM and be ready for CMMC Certification if you perform defense work and want to keep your business safe from cyber attacks. Understanding what a POAM is, its importance, and the relationship with CMMC are essential for meeting the necessary compliance standards. Defense contractors can make sure they are following both the POAM requirement and CMMC by putting in place the required processes and controls and going through an assessment. This will help them stay ahead of the curve in program management and cybersecurity and meet their legal requirements.

Schedule a consultation today and take the first step towards CMMC compliance.

At On Call Compliance Solutions, we want to help defense contractors meet CMMC requirements and grow their businesses.

Backed by an award-winning cyber security and IT management team, On Call Compliance Solutions is the #1 source for CMMC, NIST SP 800-171 Compliance, DFARS and ITAR consulting. Give us a call now to schedule a free phone call with one of our compliance experts to see how we can help.

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