FA Training Options

Site: WSFR Training Portal
Course: WSFR Training Portal
Book: FA Training Options
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Date: Sunday, October 24, 2021, 6:04 AM

Overview

Welcome to WSFR Financial Assistance Training!

Welcome to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) - Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program, Division of Financial Assistance Support and Oversight, Systems & Training Branch, financial assistance training program.  The purpose of the WSFR financial assistance training program is to provide national training to both Service-staff and recipients in order to develop basic and specialized financial assistance management knowledge and skills, as well as promote consistent and sensible application of regulations, rules, policies, and procedures throughout the WSFR-administered programs.  Our courses aim to inform and educate state and federal grant management staff members to deal effectively with grant management processes and issues.

The Service's mission statement is: Working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.  "The accomplishment of the Service mission is dependent upon the effectiveness of its financial assistance (i.e., grants and cooperative agreements) function." (Service Acquisition and Financial Assistance Management Review, 2010).

The Training Branch offers a suite of financial assistance training options including live, in-person, classroom instruction, online courses, and virtual learning series videos.  Please review the options we offer.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the WSFR Training Program Coordinator Ryan Oster (ryan_oster@fws.gov or 304-596-3641).

Live Instructor-Led Courses (click on a course to register) 
Course CatalogDuration
 Basic Grants Management (BGM)                                                                32 hours                                            
 Advanced Grants Management (AGM)                                                       32 hours
 Lands Grants Management Course 24 hours
 Project Leaders Course (PLC) 16 hours

Schedule of Upcoming Live, Instructor-Led Courses

 

Online Courses
Course Catalog Duration
 Introduction to Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration temporarily unavailable   Estimated 30-45 minutes 
 Introduction to WSFR Grant Management Process temporarily unavailable  Estimated 20-30 minutes
 WSFR Online Project Leaders Course (PLC)  Estimated 6-8 hours
 Fundamentals of Real Property Technical Appraisal Reviews                     Estimated 3 hours
 WSFR Administrative Review of Real Property Appraisals  Estimated 1.5 hours


Online Virtual Learning Videos
Course CatalogDuration
 WSFR Safety Margins Course Estimated 35 minutes
 Completing the Budget for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424A)             Estimated 35 minutes   
 Completing the Federal Financial Report (SF-425) Estimated 30 minutes



Basic Grants Management (BGM)

Course Type: Instructor-led classroom training 

Course Duration: 32 hours (4 days, in-person)

Course Contact: Ryan Oster (ryan_oster@fws.gov or 304-596-3641)

Course Description: This course provides a basic overview of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program and the financial assistance grant programs that WSFR administers.  The course focuses on a basic understanding of the laws, regulations, and policies/procedures under WSFR-administered financial assistance grant programs, with a strong emphasis on the Wildlife Restoration and Sport Fish Restoration programs.  Emphasis is placed on understanding the grants management lifecycle including pre-award, award, post-award, closeout, and post-closeout.  Topics will focus on writing approvable project statements, environmental / historic compliance, submitting complete application packages, reviewing Notice of Awards, allowable costs, reporting requirements, and closing out completed grant awards.  

Participants will listen to lecture and then work individually and in small groups to answer questions/exercises aimed at highlighting specific learning points.  

Who should take this course: This course is targeted towards applicant/recipient staff who are new to their positions (less than 12 months experience) responsible for the coordination and/or financial administration of WSFR awards.  This typically includes program coordinators, fiscal staff, and other recipient staff who manage budgets associated with WSFR awards.  

This course is also beneficial for new WSFR staff who review, approve, manage and monitor, and close out WSFR awards.  Service policy 232 FW 1 requires all WSFR personnel who work with WSFR-administered grant programs to complete the Basic Grants Management Class or the Basic Financial Assistance course.

Attendance and completion of the Basic Grants Management or the Basic Financial Assistance course is a pre-requisite for participants to enroll in the Advanced Grants Management.  

Course Objectives: The purpose of this course is to provide participants with a conceptual and working knowledge of the basic administrative and financial issues associated with applying for, receiving, managing, and closing out financial assistance awards under the WSFR program.  The goal is to empower participants to more effectively manage award funding, reduce audit findings, improve compliance with administrative and financial rule and regulations, and promote national consistency throughout the WSFR-administered programs.  The objectives of the course are to increase increase participant's knowledge, skills, and abilities related to:  

  • Describing the various financial assistance programs administered by WSFR.
  • Understanding of financial assistance laws, regulations (including 2 CFR 200 and 50 CFR 80), policies, and procedures.
  • Describing the roles and responsibilities of federal and state/grantee partners in managing WSFR awards.
  • Developing, submitting, and managing a WSFR award.
  • Using the WSFR Toolkit as a financial assistance resource.
  • Building a network of professional grant management contacts.

Course Availability / Enrollment: This course is taught twice a year.  The course is typically taught in May at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV.  Additionally, the course is also taught in September at the WSFR Regional Office in Lakewood, CO.  Due to impacts from COVID-19, the WSFR Training Branch will be offering additional in-person trainings for this course to address the current training demand.  To register for a course, please click below on the link to the desired course. 

BGM hosted at National Conservation Training Center (698 Conservation Way, Shepherdstown, WV.) - September 27-30, 2021. Course registration period has ended.

BGM hosted at Nevada Department of Wildlife HQ (6980 Sierra Center Parkway, Reno, NV. 89511) - November 15-18, 2021.  Course registration period has ended.

   BGM hosted at National Conservation Training Center (698 Conservation Way, Shepherdstown, WV.) - May 2-5, 2022.  Click here to register.

Tuition/Cost: Tuition is free (paid by WSFR Program). Students are responsible for lodging, per diem, and all travel costs. For classes held at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV, please refer to the NCTC campus/lodging rates for lodging costs (includes meals) and campus/shuttle for shuttle service cost/information. For classes held in other locations, students will be responsible for securing their own travel and lodging accommodations.

Accessibility: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to this course (event) for all participants. Please direct all requests for sign language interpreting services, close captioning, or other accommodation needs to Ryan Oster (ryan_oster@fws.gov or 304-596-3641)

Financial Assistance Toolkit:

Persons attending the Basic Grants Management course will be required, prior to the class, to download the current version of the Financial Assistance (FA) Training Toolkit onto either a work electronic device (tablet or laptop computer) or personal device and bring with them to the class.  We will use the Toolkit as a resource throughout the class to review statutes, regulations, policies, and guidance.  For directions on how to download the FA Training Toolkit, please click here: Financial Assistance Training Toolkit

Advanced Grants Management (AGM)

Course Type: Instructor-led classroom training 

Course Duration: 32 hours (4 days, in-person)

Course Contact: Ryan Oster (ryan_oster@fws.gov or 304-596-3641)

Course Description: This course focuses on advances topics associated with the implementation and administration of WSFR financial assistance (grants and cooperative agreements) awards.  Specifically this course focuses on current and past common audit findings identified in awards under the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration grant programs.  Emphasis is placed on compliance with administrative and cost-principles related to laws, Code of Federal Regulations, OMB Circulars, and WSFR-program policies/guidance.  Advanced topics include license certification, program funding requirements, safety margins, third-party in-kind match, personal property, managing and monitoring Federal awards, indirect costs, subrecipient vs contractor determination, allowable costs, and completing the SF-425 (Federal financial report).    

Participants will listen to lecture and then work individually and in small groups to answer questions/exercises aimed at highlighting specific learning points.

Who should take this course: This course is targeted towards recipient staff that are responsible for the coordination and/or financial administration of WSFR awards.  This typically includes program coordinators and accountants, as well as staff that oversee WSFR awards or manage budgets associated with WSFR awards.

This course is also beneficial for WSFR staff who review, approve, manage and monitor, and close out WSFR awards.  This includes both programmatic and fiscal staff. 

Attendance and completion of the Basic Grants Management (BGM) or Basic Financial Assistance (BFA) classes is a pre-requisite for participants to enroll in the AGM.  Staff may be approved to enroll directly in the AGM, without attending the BGM or BFA, on a case-by-case basis with the approval of the WSFR Training Branch.    

Course Objectives: The purpose of this course is to provide participants with a conceptual and working knowledge of advanced administrative and financial issues associated with applying for, receiving, managing, and closing out financial assistance awards through the WSFR program.  The goal is to empower participants to more effectively manage award funding, reduce audit findings, improve compliance with administrative and financial rules and regulations, and promote national consistency throughout the WSFR-administered programs.  The objectives of this course are to increase participant’s knowledge, skills, and abilities related to:

  • Understanding Congressional Acts, Code of Federal Regulations, Office of Management and Budget guidance, and Service policies and guidance.
  • Administrative compliance requirements, including subrecipient monitoring.
  • Issues arising from management and monitoring of Federal financial assistance awards, spending mandates, and the grants management process.
  • Audit findings that result from various aspects of noncompliance with statutes, regulations, and terms and conditions of Federal awards.
This course also seeks to encourage participants to build a network of professional contacts across State and regional boundaries to assist in solving administrative and financial issues under WSFR awards.

Course Availability / Enrollment: This course is taught twice a year.  The course is typically taught in June and rotates annually between the WSFR Regional Offices at either Sacramento, CA. and Portland, OR.  Additionally, the course is typically taught in October at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV.  Due to impacts from COVID-19, the WSFR Training Branch will be offering additional in-person trainings for this course to address the current training demand.  To register for a course, please click below on the link to the desired course. 

   AGM hosted at National Conservation Training Center (698 Conservation Way, Shepherdstown, WV.) - January 24-27, 2022.  Click here to register. 

   AGM hosted at WSFR Legacy Region 8 Headquarters (2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA.) - February 7-10, 2022.  Click here to register.

   AGM hosted at WSFR Legacy Region 1 Headquarters (911 NE 11th Ave., Portland, OR.) - June 2022.  Definitive dates will be decided by November 2021).  Click here to register.

Tuition/Cost: Tuition is free (paid by WSFR Program). Students are responsible for lodging, per diem, and all travel costs. For classes held at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV, please refer to the NCTC campus/lodging rates for lodging costs (includes meals) and campus/shuttle for shuttle service cost/information.  For classes held in other locations, students will be responsible for securing their own travel and lodging accommodations.

Accessibility: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to this course (event) for all participants. Please direct all requests for sign language interpreting services, close captioning, or other accommodation needs to Ryan Oster (ryan_oster@fws.gov or 304-596-3641).


Financial Assistance Toolkit: Persons attending the Advanced Grants Management course will be required, prior to the class, to download the current version of the Financial Assistance (FA) Training Toolkit onto either a work electronic device (tablet or laptop computer) or personal device and bring with them to the class.  We will use the Toolkit as a resource throughout the class to review statutes, regulations, policies, and guidance.  For directions on how to download the FA Training Toolkit, please click here: Financial Assistance Training Toolkit.


Lands Grants Management

Course Type: Instructor-led classroom training 

Course Duration: 24 hours (3 days, in-person)

Course Contact: Ryan Oster (ryan_oster@fws.gov or 304-596-3641)

Course Description: This course provides a basic knowledge of Federal requirements to submit, review, approve, manage/monitor, and closeout real property acquisition grants administered under the WSFR program. Topics include land valuation and appraisal standards, acquisition procedures, Uniform Act compliance, managing and monitoring real property assets, land as match, reporting, and disposal of real property.

Who should take this course: This course is targeted towards WSFR staff and applicants/recipients who apply for and manage real property awards under the WSFR-administered programs.  This may include State federal aid coordinators, fiscal staff, and real property specialists.

There is no prerequisite required to attend this course.  However, a basic understanding and knowledge of Federal financial assistance is generally required.

Course Objectives: The purpose of this course is to provide participants with a conceptual and working knowledge of real property and the administrative and programmatic requirements associated with Federal financial assistance awards.  The goal is to empower participants to more effectively manage real property award funds, reduce audit findings, improve compliance with administrative and financial rules and regulations, and promote national consistency throughout the WSFR-administered programs.  The objectives of this course are to increase participants knowledge, skills, and abilities related to:

  • Compliance requirements of NEPA, Section 7, SHPO, and the Uniform Act.
  • Writing acceptable project statements (narratives) for real property awards.
  • Understanding the various types of real property interests.
  • Identifying the appropriate valuation methods for determining reasonable cost for real property acquired with WSFR funds.
  • Writing/submitting performance reports for land awards.
  • Recognizing the recipient/subrecipient responsibilities for disposal of interests in real property acquired with WSFR funds or contributed as match for a WSFR award.
  • Understanding the recipient's responsibilities for managing, monitoring, and inventory control of real property and conservation easements.

Course Availability / Enrollment: To register for a course, please click below on the link next to the desired course.  Due to COVID-19, in-person training courses have been postponed due to social gathering and public health and safety concerns.  Please check back on a regular basis for future virtual and in-person training courses.

  • There currently no scheduled courses at this point in time.

Tuition/Cost: Tuition is free (paid by WSFR Program). Students are responsible for lodging, per diem, and all travel costs. For classes held at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV, please refer to the NCTC campus/lodging rates for lodging costs (includes meals) and campus/shuttle for shuttle service cost/information. For classes held in other locations, students will be responsible for securing their own travel and lodging accommodations.

Accessibility: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to this course (event) for all participants. Please direct all requests for sign language interpreting services, close captioning, or other accommodation needs to Ryan Oster (ryan_oster@fws.gov or 304-596-3641).

Financial Assistance Toolkit:

Persons attending the Lands Grants Management course will be required, prior to the class, to download the current version of the Financial Assistance (FA) Training Toolkit onto either a work electronic device (tablet or laptop computer) or personal device and bring with them to the class.  We will use the Toolkit as a resource throughout the class to review statutes, regulations, policies, and guidance.  For directions on how to download the FA Training Toolkit, please click here: Financial Assistance Training Toolkit.   



Project Leaders Course (PLC)

Type: Instructor-led classroom training

* If you would like to consider an online version of this course visit: Online Project Leaders Course

Duration: 16 hours

Description:
This course is an instructor led classroom training opportunity offered at the regional level for multiple states within each Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) region. The instructor led classroom course provides a basic overview of grant requirements and processes for WSFR grant project leaders (state agency staff) with emphasis on the knowledge and use of the Service guidance, regulations, rules and supplemental documents in writing grant proposals, project statements, and annual performance reports. The course also covers practical issues relating to budgeting, compliance issues, inventory control, outreach and interaction with state and federal grant managers. Course is conducted at locations selected by each WSFR regional office. 

Who should take this course:
Persons responsible for planning, implementing, reporting and/or overseeing agency projects/activities receiving WSFR Program's grant funding. 

Objectives:

  • Understand and apply general and specific grant program related guidance.
  • Describe the basic administrative and fiscal processes of WSFR Program's grants management.
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of the federal and state partners.
  • Identify state and federal compliance issues related to WSFR Program's grants.
  • Write project statements, grant narratives and reports.

Availability: 
Offered annually in most WSFR Regions. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to this course (event) for all participants. 

Tuition/Cost: 

Tuition is free (paid by WSFR Program). Students are responsible for lodging, per diem, and all travel costs. For classes held at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV, please refer to the NCTC campus/lodging rates for lodging costs (includes meals) and campus/shuttle for shuttle service cost/information. For classes held in other locations, students will be responsible for securing their own travel and lodging accommodations.

Accessibility: 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to this course (event) for all participants. Please direct all requests for sign language interpreting services, close captioning, or other accommodation needs to Phil King (phil_king@fws.gov or 304-963-0643) or Ryan Oster (ryan_oster@fws.gov or 304-596-3641), or TTY 800-877-8339.

Questions:

Contact Phil King (phil_king@fws.gov or 304-963-0643) or Ryan Oster (ryan_oster@fws.gov or 304-596-3641).