Survey Manual

370.410.3 - Training Procedures

This chapter outlines the policy and procedures used to select employees for training, to select the training to be provided, and to evaluate the training.


OPR: Admin/Office of Personnel

1. Purpose. This chapter outlines the policy and procedures used to select employees for training, to select the training to be provided, and to evaluate the training.

2. Categories of Training. Training is classified and coded as shown in 370.410-H, Training Handbook.

3. Selection and Authorization of Employees for Training.

A. Selection for Training.

(1) Selection of employees for training programs will be made without discrimination for any reason such as race, religion, color, national origin, sex, politics, age, nondisqualifying physical or mental handicap, or other irrelevant factors. Factors such as the following should be considered in the selection of employees to be trained:

(a) The relative degree of the employees' need for training.

(b) The employees' relative potential for advancement.

(c) The extent to which the employees' knowledges, skills, attitudes, or performance are likely to be improved by training.

(d) The relative ability of employees to pass the training benefits on to others upon return to the job.

(e) The relative length of time and degree to which the organization expects to benefit from the employees' improved knowledges, skills, attitudes, and performance.

(f) Training opportunities previously afforded employees by the USGS.

(g) The employees' own interest in and efforts to improve their work.

(2) The USGS Merit Promotion Plan (see SM 370.335.3) must be followed when selecting a permanent employee for training which is:

(a) Part of an authorized training agreement.

(b) Part of a promotion program.

(c) Required before an employee may be considered for a promotion.

The above does not apply if the merit promotion procedures have already been applied (e.g., upward mobility) or if the training is associated with a promotion not covered by the merit promotion procedures. (See SM 370.410.4.3B.)

(3) The following provisions apply to employees who would otherwise be separated under conditions which would entitle them to severance pay or who have been downgraded and to which retained grade or pay provisions apply:

(a) Employees About to be Separated. The USGS may train an employee who is about to be separated for placement in another agency provided that USGS has ascertained from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that a reasonable expectation exists for placement in the field for which the training is intended. No special authority is required. The SF 182, Request, Authorization, Agreement and Certification of Training, should document the reason for training and that OPM has been contacted.

(b) Demoted Employees.

(i) The USGS may train a demoted employee who is receiving retained grade or pay benefits for internal or external placement.

(ii) In training for internal promotion, the prohibition of SM 370.410.3.3A(2) above and SM 370.410.4.3A does not apply to employees in grade retention status who receive training to return to their original grade level because a position change to return an employee to a level from which downgraded (not for cause) is not a promotion.

(iii) In providing academic training for internal and external placement, the prohibition of SM 370.410.4.3B is not applicable provided the demoted employee is placed in an occupation having no greater promotion potential than the employee's original occupation and the new position is at or below the employee's retained grade.

(4) Systematic Selection of Candidates for Long-Term Training. SM 370.410.8 provides the procedures used by the USGS to select candidates simultaneously and systematically for all long-term training programs (more than 120 training days or 960 hours). These procedures ensure that (1) all eligible employees who apply are considered, and (2) the best candidates are selected for the most appropriate training programs on a systematic basis. Through such orderly long-term training procedures, long-term training will be utilized in a manner which will support the management needs of the organization and the developmental needs of the individual to the maximum extent. Upon approval of long-term training by the Headquarters Personnel Office, a copy of the approved training request will be transmitted promptly to the Director of Personnel.

B. Approved Training.

(1) Requests for training are submitted on the 10-part version of the SF 182 as specified in 370.410-H, Training Handbook.

(2) Advance approval of all training must be obtained in writing on SF 182. The regulations make no provision for retroactive approval. (Delegations of authority to approve training are stated in Appendix A, SM 370.410.1.) Since the personnel offices have responsibility for the final substantive and regulatory review of the requested training, SF 182s should reach the appropriate personnel office sufficiently in advance of the proposed training for this review to be made. (For procedures when acceptance of contribution, award or payment is involved, see SM 370.410.6.)

C. Determining the Source of Training for Group Training. When group training sessions are being considered to meet a common employee training need, it is of the utmost importance that the divisions and the servicing personnel office ensure that proper procedures are followed and documented in identifying and selecting a training facility. DIVISIONS MUST NOT CONTACT TRAINING FACILITIES, except to acquire general information about a course, until after they have consulted and coordinated with the servicing personnel office. The evaluation and selection of a Government or non-Government source for group training will be a joint effort between the divisions and the servicing personnel office. When training needs can not be met or when training is not available through bureau, Department, or interagency training sources, consideration may be given to using non-Government sources. 370.410-H, Training Handbook, lists the steps to be followed in selecting a facility. A copy of the form for documenting selection of the training facility is also contained in the Handbook.

Federal Personnel Manual Chapter 410, Subchapter 5-4b, permits personnel offices to obtain a training course or program from a non-Government facility without the use of formal advertising procedures. The Headquarters Personnel Office has the authority to obtain all standard training up to $25,000 (field personnel offices up to $10,000) through a letter of agreement with the vendor. All nonstandard training (training specifically designed or developed for USGS) and all training of $25,000 or more must be referred to the appropriate procurement office. (Field offices may send requests for approval of standard training costing $10,000 to $24,999 to the Headquarters Personnel Office.) Divisions requesting the services of a non-Government training source must clearly document the conditions for the request (e.g., adequate training is not available within the Government to meet the agency's need; Government facilities would be more expensive; fully trained employees are not available to meet the division's need). (See SM 370.410.4 for provisions applying to all non-Government training.)

4. Evaluating Training. Training must be evaluated to determine whether the training course or programs are achieving the desired results in terms of efficiency and economy. At a minimum, evaluative methods should include a careful analysis of:

A. The extent to which specific training courses or programs produce desired changes in employee knowledge, skills, abilities, or performance.

B. The extent to which the training courses or programs that are provided cover the areas of greatest needs.

C. The need for modification in the coverage or conduct of these training courses or programs to meet changing bureau needs.

At a minimum to accomplish this analysis, the evaluation copy of the SF 182 will be completed by the employee and the supervisor. The personnel offices will evaluate the overall training process and the scope and adequacy of the total training program, utilizing input from employees and supervisors. Employee and supervisor evaluations will be submitted to the appropriate personnel office within 90 days after the completion of group training, training of SES members, Departmental Manager Development Program participants, SES Candidate Program participants, training conducted at OPM's Executive Seminar Centers and the Federal Executive Institute (FEI). For all other individual training, evaluations will be submitted to the Division Training Committee Representative in accordance with each division's policy.