Advanced Grants Management (AGM)

Course Type: Instructor-led classroom training 

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

Course Contact: Mike Sawyers (michael_sawyers@fws.gov or 571-289-5821) or Heidi Nelson (heidi_nelson@fws.gov or 503-412-8637)

Course Description: This course focuses on advances topics associated with the implementation and administration of Office of Conservation Investment (CI) 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 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 Office of Conservation Investment (CI) awards.  This typically includes program coordinators and accountants, as well as staff that oversee CI awards or manage budgets associated with CI awards.

This course is also beneficial for CI staff who review, approve, manage and monitor, and close out CI 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 Office of Conservation Investment 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 administered by the Office of Conservation Investment (CI).  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 CI-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 CI awards.

Course Availability / Enrollment: This course is taught twice a year.  The course is typically taught in June and rotates annually between the Office of Conservation Investment (CI) 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.  To register for a course, please click below on the link to the desired course.  

Registrants will be notified of their enrollment status approximately 9-11 weeks prior to each course start date. 

Enroll now iconAGM  hosted at the National Conservation Training Center (698 Conservation Way, Shepherdstown, WV.) - September 30 - October 3, 2024.  Registration for this class has closed as it is now full.

Please check back In Fall 2024 for Future AGM class offerings.

Tuition/Cost: Tuition is free (paid by CI). 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 here.  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 Mike Sawyers (michael_sawyers@fws.gov or 304-876-7956).

Financial Assistance Toolkit:  Persons attending the Advanced Grants Management course will learn to use a variety of resources, including the CI Financial Assistance Toolkit.  The CI Toolkit is an online collection of financial assistance laws, regulations, policies, and guidance related to the WSFR-administered financial assistance programs.  To access the Toolkit, please click here.