Continued Service Agreements
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.
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.
Federal Government Tools and Resources
For your reference, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has also developed a Fact Sheet on Continuing Service Agreements. In addition, many agencies have created and implemented their own CSA policies: