Survey Manual

370.410.5 - Payment of Training Expenses

Federal regulations permit certain kinds of training expenses for which payment is authorized. This chapter outlines training expenses which are and are not permitted.


OPR: Admin/Office of Personnel

1. Purpose. Federal regulations permit certain kinds of training expenses for which payment is authorized. This chapter outlines training expenses which are and are not permitted.

2. Policy.

A. Paying Full Costs. It is USGS policy to pay training expenses for the following:

(1) Salary.

(2) Tuition.

(3) Books or materials.

(4) Travel.

(5) Per Diem.

(6) Other services or facilities directly related to the training, e.g., laboratory fees, library fees, interpreter fees. (See SM 370.410.5.7.)

If part-time employees request (not directed by the USGS) full-time training during duty hours but outside their basic work schedule, it is USGS policy that they be paid only for those hours within their basic work schedule. If intermittent employees request (not directed by the USGS) full-time training, it is USGS policy to pay only for the cost of the training. Part-time and intermittent employee's who are directed to take training during duty hours will be paid for those hours regardless of their schedules.

B. Sharing the Costs. Where nondirected training will personally benefit employee's to the degree that they should assume part of the training expenses, the supervisor determines what part of the total cost of training the USGS will pay after considering the following factors:

(1) The length of time away from duty (generally, the employee should be expected to assume a portion of the expenses for long periods of training).

(2) The additional costs related to transporting dependents and household goods of the employee.

(3) Incidental benefits to be derived by the employee (for example, where one result of the training will be an academic degree or advancement toward a degree).

(4) Availability of scholarships.

(5) The extent to which the employee chooses additional courses while engaged in Government-sponsored training.

(6) The additional expenses resulting from a location of training preferred by the employee.

Divisions should assure equitable treatment for all employees where a determination is made to pay less than the full cost of training.

C. Reimbursing the Employee for Training Costs. There may be instances of non-Government training where it is advisable for the USGS to pay for the training only after the course has been completed, making it necessary for the employee to pay for the training at the time of registration (e.g., correspondence courses; employee has previously failed to complete training; etc.). For reimbursement procedures, see 370.410-H, Training Handbook.

3. Premium Pay. Extra compensation for overtime, night, holiday, or Sunday work may not be paid employees in upward mobility training, apprenticeship or entry level training, internship programs or other career related work study training, training under the Veteran's Readjustment Act, or training under a Career Development Agreement provided no productive work is performed during these periods. Other employees may receive premium pay while assigned to training only under the following conditions:

A. The training is given during a period of duty for which the employees are already receiving premium pay. However, this exception does not apply to employees assigned to full-time training at an institution of higher learning.

B. The training is given at night because the situations which employees must learn to handle occur only at night.

C. The training is given on overtime, a holiday, or a Sunday because the costs of the training with premium pay included are less than the costs of the same training confined to regular work hours.

D. The employees are nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the training:

(1) Is held outside of regular working hours, and

(2) Is directed by the USGS for the purpose of:

(a) Bringing the employees' performance up to a fully satisfactory level in their current positions, as described in SM 370.430.3.4C; or

(b) Providing employees the knowledges or skills to perform new duties or responsibilities required in their current position.

When payment of overtime is permitted, compensatory time equal to the actual number of overtime hours worked may be granted in lieu of overtime if requested in writing by the employee.

4. Expenses Other Than Pay.

A. Travel General. (See SM 340.1 for authority for travel.)

B. Per Diem Where Lodging and Meals are Provided. The per diem rate established by FPMR 101-7 for all travel where lodging and meals are provided will be the rate authorized for USGS employees attending training at sites providing lodging and meals.

C. Travel Commuting Costs. The daily cost of commuting between the employee's home and a training facility which is located in the same commuting area is fully reimbursable without consideration of the daily commuting costs. Reimbursement may also be claimed for parking fees. Receipts or parking stubs should be furnished for other than metered parking. The parking fee will be allowed only to the extent that the fee plus mileage allowance does not exceed the estimated cost for use of a taxicab. In any case, the employee and supervisor must consider the availability of more economical public transportation in determining the most appropriate means of travel to the training site.

5. Dual Benefits. An employee may receive payment for training expenses from more than one Government source (e.g., the USGS and Veteran's Educational Assistance "G.I." Bill) only to the extent the payments do not exceed the total expenses for the training. It is intended that payment for training expenses will result in neither financial gain nor loss to the employee.

6. Recording Documents. The SF 182, Request, Authorization, Agreement and Certification of Training, is used as the division's approval to be billed and as the obligating document. This requires entry of the appropriate training order and account numbers. No purchase order or certification of receipt is required.

7. Other Training Expenses. Where training is approved in accordance with SM Chapter 370.410, it is the policy of the USGS to pay for the special assistance expenses for handicapped employees (e.g., interpreters for the deaf, readers for the blind). Handicapped employees may personally identify or select an assistant of their choice (as long as the hourly rates are competitive) or may ask the servicing personnel office for help in identifying an assistant. The current acceptable rate will be determined by the servicing personnel office. Special assistance expenses should be submitted for approval simultaneously with the request for training. Divisions which have employees needing assistance in identifying interpreters or readers should contact the servicing personnel office sufficiently in advance of the training to facilitate locating an interpreter or a reader.