Each agency head determines the conditions for requiring employees to agree to continue in service after completing training. The law states that an agency can require an employee who participates in training to continue to work in the Federal Government for at least three times the length of the training period. The agency must develop its own policy for the use of the Continued Service Agreement (CSA). For those situations where an employee is required to sign a CSA, they must do so in writing before assignment to training. Title 5 USC §4108(a)(1). If the employee leaves the Government before the agreed-upon amount of service, the agency has the right to require repayment for the amount of time not served. Id. at (b) and (c).
The head of an agency may waive in whole or in part the agency's right of recovery if it is shown that the recovery would be against equity and good conscience or against the public interest. Id. at (c). For example, if an employee who is under a continued service agreement decides to voluntarily leave Federal service due to an impending reduction-in-force, the agency may determine that waiving its right to recovery would be in the public interest and release the employee from the agreement.
(How can I use a Continued Service Agreement in my agency?)
A continued service agreement (CSA) is an agreement an employee makes to continue to work for the Government for a pre-established length of time in exchange for Government sponsored training or education. The service obligation begins when the training is completed. If the employee voluntarily leaves Government service before completing the service obligation, he or she must repay the Government all or some of the costs of the training (excluding salary).
Agencies may require service agreements for training of long duration or of high cost. With this authority, agencies protect their investment and secure a period of service from an employee once the employee completes the training.
Many agencies have created and implemented their own policies around Continued Service Agreements. OPM has also developed a Fact Sheet on Continuing Service Agreements for your reference.
DC Department of Human Resources
The DC Dept of Human Resources has created the following Continuation in Service Agreement that can be used as a reference for other agencies looking to implement their own CSAs.
Department of the Army
The Dept of the Army has also developed a Continued Service Agreement
that agencies can use as a reference when creating their own CSAs.
Drug Enforcement Administration
The DEA has included policy and a CSA as part of the agency's Guidelines for Completing the SF-182
. See page 2 for information explicitly pertaining to Continued Service Agreements.
Center for Disease Control
Department of Energy
Department of Energy has included a chapter on CSAs in the agency's Federal Training Manual
. See Chapter 3 for information on Continued Service Obligations.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing has also incorporated information on CSAs in their Training Manual
. See page 13 for BEP's policy on Continuing Service Agreements. This policy also includes a guide for calculating the CSA requirements for external training.