US Army Corps of Engineers
Institute for Water Resources

Inside CPCX


CPCX Training Program

The Goal of CPCX’s training program is to build the collaborative capacity of USACE staff and its partners to enable effective convening of, and participation in, collaborative processes. Training formats include short or multi-day courses, webinars, and coaching. Training courses can be customized to fit specific challenges a District may have, such as poor public involvement in a community; an upcoming, complex, stakeholder driven project; or a conflict with a stakeholder regarding project approval.

Public Involvement and Risk Communication Webinar Series

Contact Seth Cohen ( for the current schedule.


Courses are offered by request and, when noted, through USACE’s PROSPECT program. Divisions and Districts can host classes locally, which reduces travel expenses and overhead costs and provides the opportunity to train multiple staff members at one time. Please contact Stacy Langsdale ( or 703-428-7245) to request a local course offering or for current schedules.

Public Involvement and Team Building in Planning (PCC7 – PROSPECT Course #407)

Objectives: This course will concentrate on the methods, techniques, and skills which assist Corps planners and project managers with developing a high-functioning team and maintaining effective communication with sponsors, stakeholders and interested parties throughout the life of the study. Participants will learn ways to effectively consult with or include others in raising awareness of on-going studies and efforts, integrating stakeholder values and concerns into the formulation and evaluation of projects, managing conflicts and disputes, and developing strategies to align participation activities with the Corps 6 Step Planning Process.

Who Should Attend: Corps Planners

What You Will Learn: By the end of this course the student will be able to identify the characteristics of effective public involvement processes, design and facilitate a team or public meeting, identify behaviors that escalate conflict during a dispute with other agencies or the public and identify behaviors that halt this escalation, develop a public participation plan, and select appropriate techniques for a participatory process.

Length: 4.5 days (3-day option is available)

Risk Communication and Public Involvement (New PROSPECT course 104)

Objectives: Risk Communication requires both planning and communication skills to work with internal and external stakeholders on any issue that impacts an organization’s mission. This course provides hands-on skills training in how to conduct an open, two-way exchange of information and opinions about hazards and risks, which enables communities to better understand risks and consequently make better risk management decisions.

Who Should Attend: Those who communicate risk to external and lay audiences.

What You Will Learn: Participants will focus on the following areas: 1) Know you stakeholder; 2) Risk communication overview; 3) Responding to a challenge or threat; 4) General communication skills; 5) Non-verbal communication; 6) Message development; 7) Media communication; and 8) Planning and implementing risk communication.

Length: 3 or 4.5 days

Effective Communication for Regulatory Project Managers

Objectives: This course will cover (1) Basic communication skills (active listening, written and email correspondence, identifying varying communication styles); (2) Conflict management (causes of conflict, conflict management styles, resolution techniques), (3) Difficult Conversations (dealing with an angry public, delivering bad news, requesting information, and giving feedback); (4) Holding Effective Meetings (including virtual meetings); (4) Collaboration, negotiation, and facilitation skills); (5) Dealing with the media; (6) Team Building; (7) Presentation skills.  Self assessments available include: Myers Briggs Type Inventory  and/or Strength Deployment Inventory instruments.

Who Should Attend: Corps Regulatory Project Managers and staff

What You Will Learn: By the end of this course the student will be able to identify basic skills to improve communication between applicants, public and coworkers; identify varying conflict management styles, effectively diffuse an angry public and resolve conflict as it arises during permit application review; form effective working teams and partnerships; effectively plan and facilitate a public meeting; effectively deal with the media and present the regulatory program to varying groups to educate the public on the program.

Length: 2-3 days

Collaborative Leadership

Objectives: Collaborative leaders are needed more than ever to tackle today’s changing landscape of diminishing resources and increasing complexity. This course includes several thought exercises and skill building modules designed to 1) foster discussion amongst leaders on how to create a corporate culture that enables collaboration, and 2) equip current leaders with collaborative consciousness and skills.

Who Should Attend: Leaders and members of teams interesting in improving their organization’s collaborative environment and personal collaboration skills. This course is specifically designed for those who seek to solve a particular problem that requires multiple parties to engage in identifying and implementing a solution.

What You Will Learn: Participants will think through the components of collaborative leadership, including institutional enablers to collaborative working environments and characteristics of collaborative leaders. Participants will then focus on one component of collaborative leadership, skills of the collaborative leader. Skill modules focus on problem solving, communicating, leading and effectively working in teams, convening, and facilitating. A final exercise allows participants to apply their learning to overcome real-world hurdles to collaboration in their organization.

Length: 1 day


Objectives: This course trains participants on meeting facilitation. It is customizable from a basic introduction to facilitation to a multi-day hands-on training where participants learn and practice facilitating various types of meetings.

Who Should Attend: Those interested in acquiring the skills necessary to facilitate both internal and multi-party meetings, especially Public Affairs officers and Project Managers.

What You Will Learn: Participants will learn a variety of facilitation techniques and have multiple chances to practice. Specific topics covered include the role of the facilitator; agenda building; logistics and ground rules; and group process, consensus-building, and conflict management techniques.

Length: Half day - 2 days


Objectives: “Partnering” lays the foundation for better working relations by defining common goals, improving communication and fostering a problem solving attitude among the parties involved in the execution on the project. This results in more effective project execution and improvements in quality, schedule, and cost. At the end of the course participants will be able to establish productive relationships with partners and contractors during the life of project execution by making customers and partners an integral part of the team.

Who Should Attend: Those (Civil or Military) who work closely with external parties to execute projects; those whose projects are suffering due to poor partner relationships.

What You Will Learn: Students will learn collaborative processes that can be used during different phases of Civil Works or Military Programs projects to involve potential partners in the development, implementation and operation of the projects. These processes range from informal meetings with a sponsor to establishing a formal Partner relationship. Topics covered include introducing the Partnering concept to bidders, conducting a Partnering workshop, preparing an Issue Resolution ladder, developing the Partnering Charter, and planning for Partnering implementation.

Length: Half-day

Shared Vision Planning

Objectives: Shared Vision Planning (SVP) is a water resources planning process centered on developing a collaboratively built decision support model with a diverse array of stakeholders. At the end of the training, participants will be able to determine if SVP is an appropriate tool for their situation, and what a SVP process entails. Graduates of the full-length course will be ready to work with others to lead a SVP process.

Who Should Attend: Those who are interested in learning the fundamental principles of Shared Vision Planning, either as someone who may convene a collaborative decision-making process, or as a conflict management/mediation practitioner who would like to incorporate modeling as a problem-solving tool, or a modeler who would like to apply their skills in the decision-making setting.

What You Will Learn: Fundamental principles of planning, participation, and modeling as the three elements of SVP; the decision making process and how a collaborative model can support this process; modeling tools that support SVP; and an example of how to construct a model.

Length: Varies by request - self-paced; 1-1/2 hour interactive presentation; or 4-day session

Participation, Consensus Building and Conflict Management

Objectives: By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the characteristics of effective participatory, consensus building, and conflict management processes.
  • Design and facilitate multidisciplinary teams (as needed in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)), a variety of interactive workshops, and large and small meetings.
  • Identify behaviors that escalate conflict during a dispute with other agencies, stakeholders, or the public – and identify behaviors that halt this escalation.
  • Select appropriate techniques for a participatory process.
  • Design basin-wide organizations and frameworks for action.

Who Should Attend: Water resource managers focusing on complex transboundary water resources, whether those boundaries are geographic or cultural.

What You Will Learn: Participants will focus on the following areas: 1) Why process tools are relevant for water managers; 2) Alternative Dispute Resolution; 3) Negotiation; 4) Facilitation; 5) Building River Basin Organizations and Frameworks for Action processes; (6) Engaging the public effectively

Length: 3 days