On March 23rd, The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech conducted a comprehensive workshop on the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) for 150 counselors from procurement technical assistance centers (PTACs) from across the country.
The workshop was conducted in San Francisco in conjunction with the spring training conference of the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC).
APTAC selected The Academy to create an educational workshop entitled “The Complete FAR Guide for PTAC Counselors.” The workshop provided a focused and comprehensive review of those portions of the FAR that are most pertinent to the work PTAC counselors do to assist their clients.
The workshop instruction was complemented by an 202-page manual produced by The Academy exclusively for APTAC members as well as a special web page where FAR resources are available for download.
The FAR is the federal rule book governing all acquisitions made by the government. Contracting officers from virtually every federal agency follow the FAR each time they purchase any product or service, ranging from office supplies to major military systems. Understanding these rules is essential not only for those who issue contracts but also for those who are awarded government contracts.
In designing the workshop and the printed Guide, the Academy’s curriculum development team analyzed the 2,000-page FAR and selected those portions most critical to the success of businesses engaging, or hoping to engage, in government contract work. The Academy’s team then developed training modules and materials designed to assist PTAC counselors in their work with those businesses. “The workshop held in San Francisco was an outgrowth of one conducted by the Academy in Atlanta in April of last year,” the Academy’s program manager Donna Bertrand pointed out. “We were very proud to be invited back.”
PTACs are funded, in part, by the Defense Logistics Agency to provide counseling and assistance to businesses seeking to compete successfully in federal, state and local government contracting. More than 95 PTACs — with 300 local offices — form a nationwide network of procurement counselors who provide businesses advice about the government marketplace. More details on PTACs can be found at: http://www.aptac-us.org.
“This workshop conveys not only technical knowledge but also insights into the government’s acquisition process,” commented instructor Kevin Grimes. “Attendees come away with a complete set of tools they need to help their clients compete for and win contracts.”
Reaction to the March 23rd training session was unanimously positive. “The post-workshop evaluations reflect that 100% of the participants feel the workshop met or exceeded their expectations,” said Chuck Schadl, who oversees the Contracting Education Academy as well as Georgia Tech’s PTAC. “In fact, 75% of the participants said that the workshop exceeded their expectations.”
Here is a sampling of what attendees had to say:
- “I got tons of really great info to immediately use in helping my clients.”
- “What I got was beyond my expectation — I’m so glad for this opportunity!”
- “I expected a tedious analysis and explanation of various FAR clauses. Instead, this was a very engaging and informative presentation with lots of information useful to counseling clients.”
- “I valued the approach to learning a somewhat difficult topic, and all the solid reference points.”
- “This was a fun, informative and relevant workshop. I value the instructor’s knowledge, sense of humor, great presentation style, and Georgia Tech’s amazing resources.”
- “This was a good and quick presentation on a huge topic. Very good speaker who kept it moving. A wonderful reference guide.”
- “This course needs to be presented every year because the FAR is something that must be repeated multiple times.”
- ” A lot of good information and resources!”
- “A fantastic presentation on the FAR, loaded with great information. Georgia Tech programs are always good.”
- “This presentation was presented in a way that was easy to follow.”
- “I need more training like this.”
- “Awesome seminar and resources!”
- “I need this refresher once a year — also need this class for my clients.”
- “I like that the presentation was tailored to help us counsel our clients.”
- “I need more classes by Georgia Tech!”
- “This was an outstanding session. I got an excellent hard copy resource book plus access to exclusive links and websites.”
- “The workbook is a great value.”
- “Excellent training on the FAR.”
- “I received a dynamic and engaging review of the FAR that gave me a ton of tools to take back and better assist my clients.”
- “It was a pleasure to sit in this class.”
- “This training exceeded my expectations. I really like the way it was laid out. The booklet will be a great tool which I will use a lot.”
- “The resources provided will be invaluable to me.”
- “I value the professionalism and clarity of the instructor and the course materials.”
At the conclusion of the workshop, each attendee was presented with a certificate of completion and was awarded 0.3 CEUs from Georgia Tech.
Feel free to contact The Academy for help with your next educational workshop. Call 404-894-6109 or email: info@ContractingAcademy.gatech.edu.