Managing by Network

Frequently Asked Questions


Managing by Network is an interactive course held from January to June. The Academy hosts its webinars in WebEx, supported by an external conference line.

Our teaching style encourages participants to take an active role in webinar discussions. Participants build skills and knowledge that can be applied immediately to their current partnership, permit and community collaboration responsibilities.

Is this course right for you?

  1. Do you spend at least 25% of your time working with partners, permittees, or stakeholders?
  2. Does your position description include partnerships and community collaboration responsibilities?
  3. Do you work with at least 5 formal or informal partnerships, or facilitate public meetings, advisory committees, or community collaboratives?
  4. Do you serve in a critical support role, such as G & A, public affairs, information collections, or law enforcement associated with partnerships and stakeholder engagement?
  5. Are you willing to dedicate at least 2 hours a week for six months to improving your practice?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, this training is a good fit for your professional development. Read more about the application process, course requirements, and logistics of this online course below.


  • Who should apply to Managing by Network?

    Managing by Network is designed for federal managers, specialists, coordinators and front-line supervisors with position responsibilities that include working with partners, permittees and community stakeholders. Participants also focus on natural, cultural, and recreational resource management.

    This interagency course relies on the diversity of its participants. 

    Those from the federal workforce represent the National/Washington Office; Multi-State Program Areas; State, Regional, or District Offices; and Site-Based or Field Offices. 

    Employees with critical support roles, such as grants and agreements, contracting, public affairs, information collections, and law enforcement are eligible to apply.

    Cohosting agencies include the BLM, NPS, USFS, USFWS, DOI, Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR), and USACE Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise (CPCX). 

    The Academy provides open seats in Managing by Network for individuals who have similar responsibilities and work with at least one cohost agency of the course. 

    Federal, state, regional authority, county, municipal, tribes, and nonprofit representatives who work with cohost agencies may apply. Contractors for these agencies are also eligible to apply.

    Managing by Network alumni include representatives from BLM, DOD, DON, EPA, NOAA, NPS, NRCS, USACE, USBR, USGS, USFS, USFWS, and employees of states, counties, and nonprofits. 

  • What is the application process for Managing by Network? Can I just register for this course?

    The Managing by Network course is limited to 125 seats. Selection is competitive.
    The application process allows the Academy to work with cohosting agencies to proportionally balance the class for interagency participation.
    To facilitate peer learning, this course relies on participants who have demonstrated interest and a compelling need for training in partnership and community collaboration. 
    The application process allows us to select participants who:
    • have demonstrated both an interest and a need in training;
    • represent a balance of agencies;
    • have applicable supervisory approval;
    • have confirmed funding, if applying for an open seat, with funding from the individual's agency work unit or organization, or the individual.
    After submitting a completed application, you will receive a notification of your selection status by mid-December 
    There are 3 rankings of applicants: Selected, Alternate, or Wait List
    Should a selected candidate withdraw their application prior to the start of the course, an alternate candidate will be contacted. 
    Alternate and Wait List applicants receive weighted preference on future applications.
  • When and where does this class meet?

    Course Format: 17 live webinars and 3 optional study halls. All coursework is completed online, no travel is required.

    On Wednesdays or Thursdays, during the course, participants attend a live, two-hour webinar. 

    Participants attend a 17 live webinars with three Study Hall weeks interspersed in the course schedule. A two-week Study Hall following the conclusion of the webinars allows participants time to complete self-study and the course evaluation. These Study Halls, will provide course participants the opportunity complete self-study of missed webinars and further explore the course instructional materials. Participation in Study Hall activities is optional.

    Each of the 17 sessions is offered as a live webinar, in seminar sized groups, at four different times. The Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta cohorts meet Wednesday or Thursday, 11 AM - 1 PM and 2 - 4 PM Eastern Time.

    While participants are assigned to a cohort day and time for class size and planning purposes, we expect schedule conflicts. Participants may attend any one of the four webinars in any given week, as best suits their schedule.

    See the 2020 schedule

  • How do I attend the webinars?

    Classes are held via WebEx and conference call line. WebEx can be used on a desktop or mobile device.

    Participants will receive a weekly email with WebEx links and conference call information.

    Each email announcement contains:

    • Managing by Network session agenda for that week
    • Pre-webinar assignments
    • Phone conference number
    • Links to WebEx for all four webinar cohorts (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta)
    • Links to course notebook, reminders, and resources
  • What is the required time commitment?

    Managing by Network includes 17 webinar sessions, scheduled from January to June. Each session includes:

    • 2 hours of instruction, case study presentations, interactive exercises, break-out groups, and facilitated discussion;
    • Pre-webinar assignments that will take less than an hour to complete. Not every session includes a pre-webinar assignment.

    Participants are required to attend 10 live webinars to receive a certificate and credit for the course. 

    We do not record Managing by Network webinars in order to allow participants to speak freely in the webinar. 

    Self-Study materials are provided to support learning and development and allow participants to catch up on missed sessions.

    Participants are required to complete an individual Training Needs Self-Assessment and the course Evaluation; each survey takes about 30-45 minutes. Self-Assessment results serve as a benchmark for course participants and enable us to tailor the course to better meet the training needs of the incoming class.

  • What if I have a schedule conflict or miss a class?

    Webinars are not recorded to ensure that constructive and frank dialogue among participants and instructors is not taken out of context.

    While participants are assigned to a group day and time for class size and planning purposes, we expect schedule conflicts.

    You may attend any one of the four webinars in any given week, as best suits your schedule.

    If you know you will miss a session, please email us.

    Here are some ways you can catch up:

    • Review session materials posted on the Course Notebook; you can receive credit for Self-Study work.
    • Invite a colleague to sit in for you and debrief later; and
    • Follow up with a peer in the class or with the instructors if you have questions or would like to discuss what we covered in class.

    Participants who complete Self-Study may receive additional credit towards an honors certificate, after the requirement of attending 10 live webinars is met. 

  • What is Study Hall?

    Study hall work is optional and is designed to help apply the materials learned in class to work responsibilities. 

    Activities include:

    • Office Hours: chat with an instructor and classmates, 2-3 pm ET Thursdays
    • Self Study: catch up or dive deeper on instructional materials for additional credit
    • Homework: use self-assessments and workbook exercises to apply practices and lessons learned from the course
    • Network: reach out to classmates and instructors

    Self Study, Homework, and Networking activities may be completed and reported for credit at any time during the course.


  • Is there homework? Do I need to prepare before class?

    Your homework is to apply what you’ve learned at the earliest opportunity.

    Pre-webinar assignments offered throughout the course include watching or listening to instructional videos and podcasts ranging from 5 to 30 minutes and reading blog posts. These videos, podcasts and blogs provide a context for webinar discussion. 

    Completing these assignments will enrich facilitated discussions and peer-learning.

    Study hall weeks include homework that is optional. This includes self-assessments and workbook exercises designed to hone your skills.

  • Will I receive a certificate for this training?

    Participants who attend 10 or more live Managing by Network webinars are awarded a certificate as an official record of 36 hours of training in 22 partnership and community collaboration competencies defined by OPM.

    Participants who present a Case Study are awarded a certificate with honors.

    Participants who complete 15 or more webinars, a minimum of 10 live plus self-study, are awarded a certificate with honors.

    Participants will not receive a certificate by completing self-study in place of attending 10 live webinars.

    Note that agencies may have their own policies and procedures regarding attendance. Please review your attendance obligations with your training coordinator.

    The acceptance of a scholarship obligates the course participant to fulfill the course requirements, on behalf of their work unit. In the event that a course participant needs to withdraw from the course, prior to completing certificate requirements, work unit reimbursement of the scholarship may apply.

  • Is supervisor approval required?

    Yes, as applicable. 

    If you are required to seek supervisory approval for training, then we need your supervisor's recommendation to complete your application package. 

    Please forward the link to the Academy's Supervisor Approval Form to your supervisor as part of the application process. 

    Supervisors are requested to complete the form and approve or decline an applicant's participation.

    Applications are considered incomplete without supervisor approval when required; this will affect your eligibility for the course. 

    The Supervisor Approval Form provides us with:

    1. Written confirmation of approval from your Supervisor. 
    2. Supervisor input on your training needs. Their responses, in addition to your own, inform our selection process and decisions on curriculum content for the year.
    3. Contact information for course follow up. 
    4. Assurance that your supervisor is aware of your time commitment throughout this 6-month course.
  • What is the Case Study Program?

    The Case Study Program gives participants the opportunity to speak to a success, failure, challenge, opportunity, work-in-progress or vision relative to their work. 

    It is voluntary and not required for course completion.

    These presentations promote peer-learning and networking, and are posted to the Academy's case study catalog.


MBN Overview

MBN Overview

MBN Course Schedule

MBN Course Schedule

MBN Tuition

MBN Tuition

MBN for Supervisors

MBN for Supervisors


MBN Instructors



The 22 Competencies


Academy Classroom


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