Data Management Plan Self-Attestation Questionnaire (DMP SAQ)

Purpose of this document

The Data Management Plan Self-Attestation Questionnaire (DMP SAQ) documents security and privacy controls implemented by the research organization to protect the requested Research Identifiable Files (RIF) in the environment in which the data will be stored.

The DMP SAQ replaces the former Data Management Plan (DMP) requirement for CMS RIF requests. Unlike the DMP, which was specific to a single study, the DMP SAQ is an organizational-level plan and all studies using the approved computing environment can be covered by a single DMP SAQ.

The DMP SAQ is based on the CMS Acceptable Risk Safeguards (ARS) security and privacy controls. Research organizations attest that the organization complies with CMS ARS security and privacy controls addressed by the questionnaire. Some questions also require additional explanation and evidence.

The DMP SAQ recognizes information systems may vary between organizations and allows flexibility through compensating controls or alternative implementations. The important takeaway when implementing the controls is that the intent of the security and privacy control is met. For any control that cannot be met, organizations must provide justification for not being able to implement the control.

Approved DMP SAQs are valid for one year, after which organizations will need to recertify and update the DMP SAQ to capture any changes to their environments. Any changes to the organization’s environment prior to the recertification date require notification within 15 days of the change.

Who uses this document

All organizations requesting CMS RIF must have an approved DMP SAQ for the environment in which they intend to store the CMS data.

CMS’ Data Privacy Safeguard Program (DPSP) is responsible for reviewing and approving the completed DMP SAQ. More information on the DPSP can be found at and the DPSP team can be contacted at

How to get started

Below you will find the DMP SAQ form and supporting documents. For information on how to get started with the DMP SAQ, see the following documents:


All DMP SAQ instructions documents:

Download How to Establish a DMP SAQ
Download How to Prepare for a DMP SAQ
Download The DMP SAQ Process - Start to Finish
Download How to Renew a DMP SAQ
Download Crosswalking the DMP to the DMP SAQ
Download How to Update the DMP SAQ
Download How to Identify the Data Custodian for the DMP SAQ
Download DMP SAQ Frequently Asked Questions

Document Version:
Microsoft Word