Grants Training Courses
Thank you for your interest in fundamental fiscal requirements of U.S. Department of Education grants programs. If you have recently received a grant award, or you manage the implementation of grants in your agency, congratulations! You have been entrusted with the oversight of public funds and we hope to help you safeguard those funds in the best ways possible. As grant recipients, administrators, sub-recipients, or persons involved in grants-related activities and responsibilities, these courses are designed to provide you with general background information on grant fiscal management topics. While the topics focus primarily on fiscal issues, there are important concepts included in the trainings that are applicable to anyone involved in grants activities, either programmatic or fiscal. The training is also presented at a level at which both novice and more experienced grants staff will benefit from completing the courses, either by acquiring new information, or reinforcing key concepts.
This series of grant fiscal management training courses is intended to align with and complement the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as well as associated regulatory, administrative, and reporting requirements of State educational agencies (SEAs) and their local educational agencies (LEAs). This training will provide a framework for continued consideration of fiscal requirements not included within the ESSA, but key to the effective management and oversight of federal funds. Information on the ESSA may be found at http://www.ed.gov/ESSA.
These courses, where appropriate, have been updated to reflect the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance for Federal award programs, OMB Uniform Guidance: Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards ( Guidance). The Guidance supersedes and streamlines requirements from OMB Circulars A-21, A-87, A-110, A-122, A-89, A-102 and A-133 and the guidance in Circular A-50 on Single Audit Act follow-up. It is a key component of a larger Federal effort to focus Federal grant resources more effectively on improving performance and outcomes, while ensuring the financial integrity of taxpayer dollars. The full text of the OMB Uniform Guidance can be viewed at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_docs. Additional resources pertaining to the uniform guidance may be found at https://cfo.gov/cofar/.
While these courses include references to the Guidance, Department staff is undertaking a comprehensive review of all policies, procedures, non-regulatory guidance and the relevant sections of the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) to determine areas where conforming changes need to be made. Once identified, the courses will be updated as necessary to incorporate any EDGAR changes.
The Department strives to provide the best possible resources and information to assist grantees in fulfilling their responsibilities as good stewards of federal grant funds. One approach to ensure this is to solicit feedback from grantees regarding the effectiveness, impact, and quality of available offerings such as these trainings. In order to help improve these courses, a voluntary survey is available at https://survey.max.gov/index.php/888341/lang-en. After completion of a course, please feel free to offer any comments or suggestions you may have on the course, whether you feel it was helpful to you, and any suggestions you may have to improve the course content or presentation.
The purpose of the Cash Management course is to provide an overview of cash management guidelines, regulations and requirements concerning grant draw-downs and accrued interest, as well as the consequences for non-compliance. This 45-minute course will employ an interactive multimedia exercise to engage the learner in the decisions required of a grant recipient as they relate to cash management procedures. At the end of this course, learners will be able to explain:
- the purpose of cash management requirements
- the impact of non-compliance with cash management on the recipient and the U.S. Treasury
- approaches for avoiding cash management issues
The purpose of the Indirect Costs course is to provide an overview of the concepts of indirect costs. The course is divided into three main topics, in addition to a course introduction and summary. This one-hour course provides an overview of key topics and concepts of indirect costs and includes an interactive knowledge check to actively engage the learner in the application of the course contents. At the end of this course, learners will be able to:
- Define indirect costs and contrast with direct costs
- Identify the different types of costs that comprise indirect costs
- Define indirect cost rate and explain its role in the budgeting process
- Describe the process for a grantee to obtain an indirect cost rate
The purpose of the Internal Controls course is to provide an understanding of the concept of internal controls required for grants administration. Learners will also understand grantees' responsibilities for implementation and maintenance of internal controls in their grant management activities. This one-hour course provides an overview of internal control objectives, the statutory and regulatory underpinning, and the three types of internal controls as well as the five internal control standards. At the end of this course, learners will be able to:
- Explain the purpose of internal controls
- Organize internal controls into three main types
- Apply the five standards of internal controls to your organization