Understanding and Preparing Statements of Work and Specifications


Participants learn a systematic approach to writing and reviewing environmental SOWs. Providing hands-on experience, this course includes case studies and examples that apply to actual environmental projects. Principles taught in this course apply to preparing SOWs for all types of environmental projects.


Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to do the following:

  • Recognize the regulatory and legal principles that govern Statements Of Work (SOWs)
  • Recognize and use appropriate SOW formats applicable to different types of contracts
  • Use a repeatable process for preparing SOWs for environmental projects
  • Prepare a SOW that is compliant, readily understood by contractor and agency alike, and that fully meets the needs of the government
  • Review a SOW professionally, politely, and constructively


We tailor each workshop to meet the needs of the participants. The basic format of the interactive workshop includes the following components:

  • Understanding the SOW
    Become familiar with how a SOW is different from a specification. Learn the role of a SOW in contracts.
  • Understanding the Contract, and Rules and Regulations
    Learn what a contract is and how they are interpreted. Learn about the various sources, rules, and regulations that govern the SOW and its writers, as well as what part of the FAR governs SOWs.
  • Planning the SOW
    Learn how to scope the project, what a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) or job analysis is, why you review and tailor references, and why and how to request data.
  • Organizing the SOW
    Learn about the standard and suggested format for environmental projects.
  • Writing the SOW
    Learn how to write the first draft of the SOW.
  • Revising the SOW
    Learn how to revise for consistency and compliance, how to avoid vague and ambiguous terms, and how to use straightforward language to impact the project.


Participants for this training generally include contract specialists; environmental engineers; engineering technicians; and quality assurance, legal, and contracting personnel.


Understanding and Preparing Statements of Work and Specifications is an interactive workshop designed to build practical skills. For optimal learning, class size is limited to between 15 and 25 participants.This 3- or 4-day workshop consists of a carefully designed combination of the following components:

  • 25% Lecture
  • 75% Discussion and exercises


Participants receive the following:

  • Comprehensive workshop manual
  • Workshop Resources workbook