SEWP Contract Guide

Free training – plus the continuing education credits offered – has made SEWP a hit at DOD and civilian agencies governmentwide.  Contact them at

Visit the SEWP program office just outside NASA’s Goddard Space Center and you’ll see a new expanded training facility housing the latest in web and video conferencing technology. It’s a center designed with one purpose in mind – train buyers and sellers to use SEWP.

“It just debuted in June,” explained SEWP PM Joanne Woytek. “We offer free training on the ins and outs of using the contract.”

While SEWP has always offered free training, the effort really took off when the DOD IG said that using SEWP IV is fine, but mandated that anyone in DOD wanting to use SEWP had to be trained.

To begin to meet this enormous training need, SEWP has produced a 15 minute housed on the SEWP website (now in bigger and better version 2) that goes through the contract including a snapshot of what Fair Opportunity is and how to fulfill its requirements.

Training Thrust
But web and video training are not the main thrust of the SEWP training effort; person-to-person, onsite training is.

“Our purpose is to do onsite training,” said Woytek. “It’s our preferred method where we can go back and forth instead of a lecture. We really want to have that with key customers.”

But with customers worldwide it’s impossible. “If you have a customer in Guam or Alaska, it’s hard justify the travel so we wanted to have a training facility where we can do good video conferencing and try to get as close as we can to the in person experience so we can get feedback.”

A Typical Session
The typical SEWP training session varies in time from 45 minutes to 2 hours if there is a lot of audience participation. “It goes over in detail how the contracts work and what we provide as a service to the customer,” said Woytek.

According to Woytek the shorter the training session, the less information is exchanged. “1.5 hours means the training has been great, with a lot of back and forth and a lot of interaction. Two hours is even better. We  update our systems continually based on the feedback from these training sessions.”

“We spend a lot of time on the tools and how to make proper use of them. Most importantly, we answer questions customers have because they always have questions that we won’t know about.”

Woytek explained that SEWP always tries to hold the training sessions at the customer’s site. “We want to be there with the people to best understand their needs. And get their questions. Without the training we would never have that direct interaction. So it works both ways. It’s good for them and we learn a lot too.”

“We spend a lot of time on the tools and how to make proper use of them. Most importantly, we answer questions customers have because they always have questions that we won’t know about.”
Joanne Woytek, SEWP Program Manager 

Training also targets the 2,000 companies who have products on contract as well.  “Training to manufacturers who have products on contract is just as important,” said Woytek. “With 2,000 companies through 38 primes, there are a lot of folks that need training.”

Calling All SEWP
“Every time we do training, there is a slide whose main emphasis is to call, call, call,” added deputy PM Pat Logan.

“If there’s anyone who is interested, may be interested, not know, or just curious, the easiest way to find out is to just pick up the phone and call and I guarantee someone will answer on the other end,” declared Logan.

“We are very approachable and we are willing to help you do anything. We really have a vision to do it. We are here to help and we are here to serve, that’s why we do it.”

Plus it’s free.

“People ask ‘how can you provide free training?’” said Woytek. “I am investing the money I get in fees to go out and train people.”

SEWP doesn’t charge agencies for training because they want agencies to use the contract properly and if they don’t, it only causes problems for the agency and SEWP.

“It eventually pays for itself. You end up getting a couple of big orders because people know what we provide them. So it’s free to the agency, but it’s really coming out of the fee and what we expect to get from it,” Woytek added.

“But as much as possible we are going to try to go out and visit the sites, especially the major ones to make sure that we are servicing them and answering their questions.”

“So call us, make use of us; don’t just sit there and say ‘should you bother with us,’ you really should,” urged Woytek. “We really mean it when we say we’ll go out and train your folks.”