Firm News

Cherry Bekaert Achieves CMMC Third-Party Assessor and Registered Practitioner Organization Status

calendar iconJanuary 14, 2021

Cherry Bekaert (“the firm”) is pleased to announce the firm has become one of the first Certified Third-Party Assessment Organizations (C3PAO) accredited to perform certification assessments for the Department of Defense’s (“DoD”) new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (“CMMC”) program. In addition, Cherry Bekaert has achieved Registered Practitioner Organization (“RPO”) status in order to better help defense contractors prepare for upcoming certification assessments by way of completing readiness services.

“For more than 20 years, we have focused extensively on advising government contractors on compliance and regulatory matters that enhance and not disrupt their business. We have been at the forefront of helping companies with NIST 800-171 compliance and more recently CMMC readiness services, so we are pleased to provide the necessary third-party certification that will be required to compete for DoD contracts,” explained Susan Moser, the firm’s Government Contracting Industry leader.

“Being able to assist companies with CMMC readiness and certification services furthers a firm-wide mission to continue serving the Defense Industrial Base (“DIB”) with expertise pertinent to the industry” said Neal Beggan, Risk & Accounting Advisory Principal, who is also one of the first 100 Provisional Assessors trained and certified by the CMMC Accreditation Board to conduct the first C3PAO assessments during this provisional period.

Released in 2020, the CMMC framework was developed by the DoD to enforce protection of Federal Contract Information (“FCI”) and Controlled Unclassified Information (“CUI”) throughout its supply chain. There are five levels of certification that will be determined at the DoD contract level and must be met prior to award. Recent DFARS rule changes call for including CMMC requirements in certain new DoD contracts starting in early 2021 with a five-year roll-out, wherein all DoD contracts will be expected to include the certification requirement by 2026. It is estimated that this will impact over 300,000 DoD contractors currently serving the DIB and is expected to roll out beyond the defense contracting space to other industries as early as 2021

For more information about Cherry Bekaert’s CMMC services, please visit or email us at