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Fast Facts: Index of Laws, Regulations, and Other References Related to Training Administration

This index highlights the laws, regulations, and other references relating to Federal Training administration. The index is a valuable resource for researching major training policy subject-matter areas. Many of the cited documents are available on the Internet. You also may contact your agency's human resources office, library, legal office, or information technology office to obtain copies of the documents cited (e.g., laws, regulations, Executive orders, etc.). Since each agency is responsible for Federal training administration, it is imperative that you also consult your agency's internal policies and collective bargaining agreements, as applicable.

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Under section 1331 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107–296), codified in 5 U.S.C. 4107, agencies have the authority to select and assign employees to academic degree training and to pay or reimburse all or part of the costs of academic degree training from appropriated or other available funds (if such training:

(1) contributes significantly to—

(A) meeting an identified agency training need;

(B) resolving an identified agency staffing problem; or

(C) accomplishing goals in the strategic plan of the agency;

(2) is part of a planned, systemic, and coordinated agency employee development program linked to accomplishing the strategic goals of the agency; and

(3) is accredited and is provided by a college or university that is accredited by a nationally recognized body (5 U.S.C. 4107 (a)).

In exercising this authority, agencies shall:

(1) consistent with the merit system principles set forth in paragraphs (2) and (7) of section 2301 (b), take into consideration the need to—

(A) maintain a balanced workforce in which women, members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and persons with disabilities are appropriately represented in Government service; and

(B) provide employees effective education and training to improve organizational and individual performance;

(2) assure that the training is not for the sole purpose of providing an employee an opportunity to obtain an academic degree or qualify for appointment to a particular position for which the academic degree is a basic requirement;

(3) assure that no authority under this subsection is exercised on behalf of any employee occupying or seeking to qualify for—

(A) a noncareer appointment in the senior Executive Service; or

(B) appointment to any position that is excepted from the competitive service because of its confidential policy-determining, policy-making or policy-advocating character (5 U.S.C. 4107(b)).

OPM recommends agencies identify mission-critical occupation and competency needs before determining the programs the agency will support in its academic degree training program.

OPM also recommends that agencies establish written policies regarding academic degree training programs. These policies could include the following:

  • Eligibility
  • Selection and assignment procedures
  • Expenses covered
  • Adjustment of work schedules
  • Continued service agreement (CSA) obligation
  • Probation and termination
  • Record-keeping and reporting

Eligibility to Participate in Academic Degree Training

Any employee as defined in 5 U.S.C. 4101(2) is eligible to participate. Employees ineligible to participate are those who occupy or seek to qualify for an appointment to any position that is excepted from the competitive service because of its confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating nature (i.e., Schedule C appointments—political appointees), or a noncareer appointment in the Senior Executive Service (5 U.S.C. 4107(b)(3)).

Selection and assignment to academic degree training must follow merit promotion requirements (5 CFR 335.103(b)(3)) and competitive procedures (5 CFR 335.103(c)(1)(iii) and 5 CFR part 300 subpart A). The selection and assignment must be accomplished to meet one or more of the criteria identified in 5 U.S.C. 4107(a). Therefore, an agency may competitively select and assign an employee to an academic degree training program that qualifies the employee for promotion to a higher graded position or to a position that requires an academic degree (5 CFR 410.308(c)).

Academic Degree Expenses

Agencies may pay or reimburse all or part of the expenses of an employee’s academic degree training (5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(2)). These expenses include course tuition, books, materials, lab fees, and other fees associated with the program. 5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(2) does not require agencies to pay for an entire academic degree program. For example, agencies can decide to pay for the college courses specific to an employee’s major but not pay for general requirement courses (e.g., courses required to graduate, but not specific to the major).

All training, including academic degree training courses, must be reported under 5 CFR 410.601, and OPM recommends the use of an SF-182 for the approval and reporting of training. To learn more about the SF-182, please refer to the SF-182 section in this Index and the Guide for Collection and Management of Training Information.

Probation and Termination

OPM recommends agencies establish policies for probation and termination from academic degree programs. Here is one example of a probation and termination policy:

Agency X requires all employees participating in the academic degree program to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better. If an employee does not maintain a 3.0 GPA for two continuous semesters, Agency X puts the employee on probation for one semester. The employee must recover to at least a 3.0 GPA at the end of the semester. If the employee does not receive at least a 3.0 GPA, the employee will be terminated from the agency academic degree program.

OPM advises agencies to also establish policies granting a temporary leave of absence from academic degree programs to employees who are unable to participate in the program due to extenuating circumstances. For example, if the employee suffers from a recent death in the family and cannot take or complete the courses for that semester, the agency may grant a temporary leave of absence from the program for that semester.

Record Keeping and Reporting

Agencies must assess and maintain records on the effectiveness of academic degree training assignments (5 CFR 410.308 (d)). Agencies must also maintain and submit to OPM’s Governmentwide Electronic Data Collection System records of training plans, expenditures, and activities (5 CFR 410.601 (a). This includes all courses included in approved academic degree training programs. To learn more about collection and management of training data, click on the Guide for Collection and Management of Training Information.

Accredited Institutions

Colleges and universities participating in an academic degree training program must be accredited by a nationally recognized body (5 CFR 410.308(b)). The U.S. Department of Education maintains a database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs. To find out which institutions are accredited, click on To the greatest extent practicable, agencies should facilitate the use of online degree training (5 U.S.C. 4107(b)(4)).

Continued Service Agreements

Agencies may determine whether to require an employee assigned to academic degree training to sign a continued service agreement (CSA), and this must be specified in the agency’s academic degree policy (5 CFR 410.309(b); see also 5 U.S.C. 4108). Agencies may 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 (5 CFR 410.309(b)(2); see also 5 CFR 410.310). To learn more about CSAs, please see the CSA Fact Sheet.

5 U.S.C. 2301(b); 4101(2); 4107; 4108; 4109 5 CFR part 300, subpart A; 5 CFR 335.103; 410.308; 410.309; 410.310; 410.601; Fact Sheet on Continuing Service Agreements
See Training for Promotion
5 U.S.C. 4103 5 CFR 410.307(b); 5 CFR 300.603(b)(6)

In addition to training that is offered under 5 U.S.C. chapter 41 during an employee’s work hours, an agency may authorize a special tour of duty not less than 40 hours to permit an employee to take one or more courses in a college, university, or other educational institution when it is determined that:

  • The courses being taken are not training under 5 U.S.C. chapter 41;
  • The rearrangement of the employee’s tour of duty will not appreciably interfere with the accomplishment of the work required to be performed;
  • Additional costs for personal services will not be incurred; and
  • Completion of the courses will equip the employee for more effective work in the agency (5 CFR 610.122(a)).

The agency may not pay to the employee any premium pay solely because the special tour of duty authorized under this section causes the employee to work on a day, or at a time during the day, for which premium pay would otherwise be payable (5 CFR. 610.122(b)).

Agencies may allow employees to study for exams and complete course assignments or homework during the employees’ scheduled duty hours for agency- approved training. An agency head has general authority to schedule the work of his or her employees to accomplish the mission of the agency (5 CFR 610.121(b)(1)). In addition, agencies may pay all or part of the pay (except overtime, holiday, or night differential pay) of an employee of the agency selected and assigned for training under 5 U.S.C. 4109 for the period of training (5 U.S.C. 4109 (a)(1)).

5 U.S.C. 4109 (a)(1) 5 CFR 610.122; 610.121(b)(1)

Agencies must prescribe procedures for obtaining U.S. Department of State advice before assigning employees stationed within the continental limits of the United States to training outside of the continental U.S. provided by a foreign government or international organization, or an instrumentality of either (5 CFR 410.302(f)).

Executive Order 11348 section 402; 5 CFR 410.302(f)

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Agencies are required under 5 CFR 330.603 to establish career transition assistance plans (CTAP) (5 CFR 410.307 (c)(4)). These plans are to provide career transition services, including training and retraining to displaced and surplus employees.

Agencies may:

  • Train employees in the use of CTAP services;
  • Provide vocational and career assessment and counseling services;
  • Train employees in job search skills, techniques, and strategies; and
  • Pay for training-related expenses identified in 5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(2).

For more information on paying for training-related expenses, please refer to the Paying for Training section in this Index.

For more information on Career Transition Services, see OPM's website.

5 U.S.C. 4109 5 CFR 410.307(c)(4); 330.603
5 U.S.C. 5757 Fact Sheet on Certification and Certificate Programs
5 CFR 410.203
5 U.S.C. 4108 5 CFR 410.309; 410.310; Fact Sheet on Continuing Service Agreements

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Meetings and conferences provide opportunities to learn information relevant to improving the conduct and/or management of agency programs. Agencies may sponsor an employee’s attendance at a conference as a developmental assignment when:

  1. The purpose of the conference is educational or instructional;
  2. More than half of the time is scheduled for a planned, organized exchange of information between presenters and audience;
  3. The content of the conference is useful to improving individual and/or organizational performance; and
  4. The development benefits will be derived through the employee’s attendance.
5 CFR 410.404

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Employees who are veterans or dependents of active duty military personnel are eligible for educational benefits as a result of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (“Post-9/11 GI Bill,” Title V of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008, Pub. L. 110-252) (38 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.). The new law went into effect on August 1, 2009 and is the most comprehensive educational benefit package since the original GI Bill was signed into law in 1944.

To learn more about the educational benefits from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, see Educational Benefits for Veterans and Dependents of Active Duty Military or visit the Department of Veterans Affairs Post-9/11 GI Bill website.

On August 16, 2017, the President signed the Forever GI Bill-Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act. The legislation contains 34 new provisions, which will enhance or expand educational benefits for Veterans, Service members, Families and Survivors. To learn more about the provisions, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Limits on Veterans Educational Assistance

In order to protect the public fiscally, certain types of veterans educational assistance may not be used to pay for training when the training has already been paid for by the employee’s agency under chapter 41 of title 5, U.S. Code (38 U.S.C. 3681(a)). This measure helps to ensure that multiple payments are not made for the same training activity.

For example, an employee may have one training course paid for under chapter 41 of title 5 and another course taken concurrently which is paid for under veterans’ educational assistance allowances. An employee could take a course in IT Security which is paid for under chapter 41 of title 5 during duty hours while receiving an allowance from the Department of Veterans Affairs for college instruction in business administration after hours during the same academic term. The IT Security course, however, cannot be a part of the same program of study for which the employee is receiving veterans’ educational assistance.

38 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.; 3681(a)

This section addresses the pay of an employee while attending agency-approved training. Time spent in training during regular working hours shall be considered hours of work (5 CFR 551.423(a)(1)). Agencies are reminded that, under 5 CFR 410.402(a), no funds appropriated or otherwise available to an agency may be used for the payment of premium pay to an employee engaged in training, with certain exceptions in 5 CFR 410.402(b). These exceptions for continuation of premium pay include:

  • Continuation of premium pay,
  • Training at night,
  • Cost savings,
  • Availability pay,
  • Standby and administratively uncontrollable duty,
  • Firefighter overtime pay,
  • An exemption granted to an agency under 5 CFR 410.402(b)(7), and
  • Border Patrol agent overtime supplement.

As a general rule, employees may not receive overtime, holiday, or night differential pay for time spent in training (5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(1)).

The prohibition on overtime pay is not applicable to training treated as hours of work under Office of Personnel Management regulations implementing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as amended. For employees covered by FLSA (i.e., FLSA non-exempt), time spent in training or preparing for training outside regular working hours is considered hours of work (See also 5 CFR 410.402(d), 5 CFR 551.423(a)(2) and 29 CFR 785.27 through 785.32.) if:

  1. The employee is directed to participate in the training by his or her employing agency; and (5 CFR 551.423(a)(2)(i))
  2. The purpose of the training is to improve the employee’s performance of the duties and responsibilities of his or her current position (5 CFR 551.423(a)(2)(ii)).

Entitlement to compensatory time off depends on entitlement to overtime pay. Sections of title 5 of the CFR prohibit overtime pay and compensatory time off for employees attending training, with a few exceptions (See 5 CFR 550.114, 5 CFR 551.423, Comptroller General Decision B-141321, and Comptroller General Decision B-249835).

Whether an employee is eligible for overtime pay for time spent in travel to and from training is determined by law and regulations concerning hours of work, and depends on whether an employee is covered by the FLSA. For employees not covered by the FLSA (i.e., FLSA exempt), the crediting of travel time as hours of work is governed by title 5 rules--in particular, 5 U.S.C. 5542(b)(2) and 5544(a)(3) and 5 CFR 550.112(g) and (j). Official travel away from an employee's official duty station is hours of work for training purposes if the travel is within the days and hours of the employee's regularly-scheduled administrative workweek, including regularly-scheduled overtime hours (See 5 CFR 550.112 (g) for more information). Official travel away from an employee's official duty station is also hours of work if the travel:

  • Involves the performance of work while traveling,
  • Is incident to travel that involves the performance of work while traveling,
  • Is carried out under arduous conditions, or
  • Results from an event which could not be scheduled or controlled administratively, including travel by an employee to such an event and the return of such employee from such event to the employee’s official duty station (5 U.S.C. 5542(b)(2)(B)(i-iv)).

For employees who are covered by FLSA (i.e., non-exempt), travel time is credited if it is qualifying hours of work under 5 CFR 551.401(h) and OPM's FLSA regulations (5 CFR 551.422).

For further information about overtime pay and travel, see also 29 CFR 785.33 through 785.41 and Comptroller General Decision B-165311.

In Comptroller General Decision B-163654 (1971), the phrase "could not be scheduled or controlled administratively" was determined to refer to "the ability of an executive agency…to control the event that necessitates an employee’s travel. The control is assumed to be the agency’s when the agency has sole control, or the control is achieved through a group of agencies acting in concert such as:

  • A training program or conference sponsored by a group of Federal agencies, or
  • An event sponsored by one in the interest of all, or
  • Through several agencies participating in an activity of mutual concern (such as an agency hearing or on an aircraft accident).”

When an outside institution contracts with the Government to conduct a training course, the event is under the administrative control of the Government. In Comptroller General Decision B-190494, an employee was denied overtime pay for travel on Sunday to attend such a training event.

5 U.S.C. 4109; 5 U.S.C. 5542(b)(2) and 5544(a)(3) 5 CFR 410.402; 550.112; 550.114; 551.401; 551.422; 551.423; 29 CFR 785.27 through 785.41; Comptroller General Decisions B-141321; B-249835; B-165311; B-163654; B-190494

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112), codified in 29 U.S.C. 794(a), states, “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 705(20) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service.” In accordance with this law, agencies must ensure that employees with disabilities are not excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under trainings and/or training programs based solely on her or his disability.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, codified in 29 U.S.C. 794d, requires that, unless it would result in an undue burden for an agency, an agency must ensure that its electronic and information technology allows individuals with disabilities to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of information and data by individuals without disabilities.

As specified in 5 CFR 410.302(a)(1), agencies must ensure that the selection and assignment of employees to training is made without regard to disability. Agencies are also prohibited from using a training facility that discriminates in the admission or treatment of students (5 CFR 410.302(a)(3)). The head of each agency must develop procedures to ensure training facilities and curriculum are accessible to employees with disabilities (5 CFR 410.302(a)(2), Executive Order 13164 and EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation). To ensure that the training facilities and curriculum are accessible for employees with disabilities, agencies must provide reasonable accommodations, as appropriate unless doing so would constitute undue hardship (See EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation, Reasonable Accommodation Related to the Benefits and Privileges of Employment).

The law allows agencies to pay for individuals to accompany or aid employees with disabilities traveling on official Government business, including to and from workshops, training classes, and conferences (See 41 CFR 301.13.3(g)).

Agencies may be able to utilize some of the following programs when determining and providing for accommodations:

The Department of Defense’s Computer/Electronic Assistance Program (CAP):Following the National Defense Authorization Act of October 2000, Congress granted CAP the authority to provide assistive technology, devices and support services free of charge to Federal agencies that have a partnership agreement with CAP.

To learn more about CAP, go to

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN): JAN is one of several services provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). JAN provides free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. To learn more about JAN, visit

29 U.S.C. 794(a) and 794d 5 CFR 410.302; 41 CFR 301-13.3(g); Executive Order 13164; EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation, Reasonable Accommodation Related to the Benefits and Privileges of Employment

The Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-411) and 5 CFR 410.202 require agencies to evaluate their training programs on a regular basis and ensure alignment with strategic goals. Training evaluation is an objective summary of data gathered about the effectiveness of the training. The primary purpose of evaluation data is to inform decisions. Training evaluation data helps the organization determine whether the training is accomplishing its goals. They also help agencies decide how to adjust their training approaches for greater effectiveness.

For more information on evaluating agency training programs please consult OPM’s Training Evaluation Field Guide (2011) on OPM’s website and OPM’s Training and Development wiki.

5 U.S.C. 4103(c ) 5 CFR 410.202; 250.203

Agencies are required to establish a program or programs for the continuing development of their senior executives in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3396(a). These programs should start with a structured talent management and succession planning program, and should include 1) onboarding for new executives, 2) 360-degree assessments at least every three years, 3) a mechanism for executives to rotate to other executive assignments, and 4) at least one developmental activity for each executive, annually (Executive Order 13714, Strengthening the Senior Executive Service). Each SES member is required to prepare, implement, and regularly update an executive development plan (EDP) (5 CFR 412.401). OPM has developed a sample template.

5 U.S.C. 3396; 3133(d); 3373(a)(2); 3375; 4115 Executive Order 13714

Each SES member is required to prepare, implement, and regularly update an executive development plan (EDP) (5 CFR 412.401). OPM has developed a sample template.

EDPs must be reviewed and revised appropriately by the agency’s ERB or similar body designated by the agency to oversee executive development, using input from the SES’s performance evaluation. EDPs will:

  • Function as a detailed guide of developmental experiences, including short and longer-term experiences to help senior executives meet organizational needs for leadership, managerial improvement, and organizational results;
  • Address enhancement of existing executive competencies and other competencies to strengthen the senior executive’s performance; and
  • Outline developmental opportunities and assignments to allow the senior executive to develop a broader perspective in the agency as well as Governmentwide.
5 CFR 412.401

Executive onboarding refers to the acquiring, accommodating, assimilating and accelerating of new executives into the organizational culture and business. Onboarding is not “orientation” but is a longer, more involved and deliberate approach of a fast track to meaningful, productive work and strong employee relationships tailored specifically to the needs of the executives. Executive onboarding should be strategic, so that it not only prevents executive derailment, but expedites the executive’s contribution to optimize strategic achievement.

Agencies need onboarding solutions/programs that address three types of new SES:

  • Executives from outside the agency, but still within the Government;
  • External executives from outside the Federal Government ; and
  • Executive who are promoted from within the agency.

Onboarding of key executives is even more critical than it is for other employees because of the significantly greater performance expectations leaders face and the greater impact they have on the overall performance of the organization.

Executive Order 13714

A rotation is defined as, "a development process, involving movement to another position or an assignment that broadens the executive's knowledge, skill and experience in order to improve talent development, mission delivery and collaboration." A rotation must last a minimum of 120 consecutive calendar days and provide experience outside the executive's current role.

Examples of rotations include the following:

  • Executive reassignment
  • Executive transfer
  • Developmental assignment internal to the agency, for example to another subcomponent, functional area, or location (e.g., acting in another executive position, field executive rotating to headquarters or vice versa)
  • Detail or developmental assignment external to the agency (e.g., Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) program; temporary assignment/detail to another Federal agency or private sector where permitted by law)
  • An assignment that includes full-time, extended service on a multi-agency or joint task force or project team that may provide employees with sufficient interagency experience to qualify as a rotation
  • Sabbatical

Opportunities for rotation should be linked to individual Executive Development Plans (EDP) and the agency's overarching annual talent management and succession planning process.

Executive Order 13714; 5 CFR 317.901; 5 CFR 412.401

OPM’s EO Guidance- Strengthening the Senior Executive Service: Implementing the Executive Rotations Requirement

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The Federal Workforce Flexibility Act (FWFA), Pub. L. 108-411, was enacted on October 30, 2004.

The FWFA requires each agency, in consultation with OPM, to establish a comprehensive succession management program to provide training to develop managers for the agency (5 U.S.C. 4121(1)). FWFA (5 U.S.C. 4121(2)) also requires each agency to establish a program to provide training to managers on actions, options, and strategies a manager may use in –

  1. Relating to employees with unacceptable performance;
  2. Mentoring employees;
  3. Improving employee performance and productivity; and
  4. Conducting performance appraisals.

FWFA (5 U.S.C. 4103(c)) requires agencies on a regular basis to provide training to accomplish performance plans and strategic goals. Agencies on a regular basis shall –

  1. evaluate each program or plan established, operated, or maintained under this subsection (a) with respect to accomplishing specific performance plans and strategic goals in performing the agency’s mission; and
  2. modify such program or plan as needed to accomplish such plans and goals.

The other provisions of FWFA were codified in 5 U.S.C. 5753, 5754, and 5550b.

Pub. L. 108-411

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The Government Employees Training Act (GETA), Pub. L. 85-507, enacted in 1958, established a flexible framework for Federal agencies to plan, develop, establish, implement, evaluate, and fund training and development programs designed to improve the quality and performance of their workforce and achieve their mission. GETA is codified in chapter 41 of title 5, United States Code.

Paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of section 2 of GETA, Pub. L. 85-507, are included in GETA, but not codified in chapter 41 of title 5, United States Code. These paragraphs serve as background information rather than mandating action. These paragraphs are extremely important, however, to an understanding of the law's intent. They read as follows:

  1. "In order to promote efficiency and economy in the operation of the Government and provide means for the development of maximum proficiency in the performance of official duties by employees thereof, to establish and maintain the highest standards of performance in the transaction of the public business, and to install and utilize effectively the best modern practices and techniques which have been developed, tested, and proved within or outside of the Government, it is necessary and desirable in the public interest that self-education, self-improvement, and self-training be supplemented and extended by Government-sponsored programs for the training of such employees in the performance of official duties and for the development of skills, knowledge, and abilities which will best qualify them for performance of official duties.
  2. Such programs are to be continuous in nature, shall be subject to supervision and control by the President and review by Congress, and shall be so established as to be readily expansible in time of national emergency; and
  3. Such programs shall be designed to lead to (A) improved public service, (B) dollar savings, (C) the building and retention of a permanent cadre of skilled and efficient Government employees well abreast of scientific, professional, technical, and management developments both in and out of Government, (D) lower turnover of personnel, (E) reasonably uniform administration of training, consistent with the missions of the Government departments and agencies, and (F) fair and equitable treatment of Government employees with respect to training.”

GETA was amended by the Federal Workforce Restructuring Act of 1994, Pub. L. 103-226, to permit agencies to take advantage of the existing training marketplace, which could include training from Government or non-Government entities.

Pub. L. 85-507

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Executive Order 13111

AAgencies may share and coordinate training programs (5 U.S.C. 4118(a)(6) and 5 CFR 410.305). This flexibility allows agencies to receive interagency training when the training would result in better training, improved service, or savings to the Government. Executive Order 11348 allows agencies excluded from 5 U.S.C. 4102 to also take advantage of this flexibility.

When an agency hosts a training course for other agencies, the host agency needs to ensure the training facility and curriculum are accessible to employees with disabilities (5 CFR 410.302(a)(2)).

Paying for Interagency Training Programs

Section 1535 of title 31 U.S. Code (Economy Act) authorizes the inter- and intra-departmental furnishing of goods and services on a reimbursable basis, and 31 U.S.C. 1536 authorizes the crediting of such reimbursements to the appropriation charged for goods and services.

Agencies may provide interagency training on a reimbursable or non-reimbursable basis (5 U.S.C. 4104). Agencies should extend training programs to other agencies whenever this will result in better training, improved service, or savings to the Government (E.O. 11348, Section 302(d)). For more information on paying for training, please go to the Paying for Training section in this Index.

5 U.S.C. 4102; 4104; 4118; 31 U.S.C. 1535 and 1536 5 CFR 410.305; 410.302; Executive Order 11348

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Agencies must establish a succession management program to focus on developing managers as well as strengthen organizational capability, and to ensure an adequate number of well-prepared and qualified candidates for leadership positions (5 U.S.C. 4121(1) and 5 CFR 412.202). Employee leadership development programs are a fundamental tool for a robust leadership succession management plan. As a result of effective succession planning, an agency’s employee training and development program can ensure an adequate number of educated/qualified candidates for leadership positions within the organization.

Agencies may identify specific competencies from the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and OPM Supervisory & Managerial Frameworks and apply them to all leadership development programs starting with pre-supervisory training and extending through executive development. OPM encourages agencies to develop leadership development programs that meet the needs of the organization and the aspirations of individual employees.

Many agencies have already established leadership development programs. A catalogue of Federal leadership development programs can be found on OPM’s website under “FedLDP.” It is a searchable catalogue of leadership development programs throughout the Federal Government. Programs are listed in this catalogue by agency.

5 U.S.C. 3396; 3393(c )(2)(B); 4121(1) 5 CFR 412.202

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Employees are encouraged to join professional organizations to develop and enhance their career. However, agencies may not pay for individual membership fees of professional organizations. Individual membership fees are considered a personal expense. Agencies are prohibited from using appropriated funds to pay for individual membership fees or dues of professional organizations for Federal employees except if the membership fee is:

  • Covered by specific appropriation;
  • Covered by the express terms of general appropriation; or
  • Covered in section 4109 or 4110 of title 5, U.S. Code (5 U.S.C. 5946).

Agencies may pay for membership fees that are a necessary cost directly related to the training itself, or if payment of the fee is a condition of participating in the training (5 U.S.C. 4109(b)).

Agencies may become a member of a professional organization when the purpose of the membership is to obtain direct benefits for the Federal Government necessary to accomplish the functions or activities (e.g., accomplish projects or tasks to meet the mission of the agency) (Comptroller General Decisions B-177596 and B-302548). 5 U.S.C. 5946 does not prohibit agencies from paying for membership fees in the agency’s name.

5 U.S.C. 4109, 4110 and 5946 Comptroller General Decisions B-177596 and B-302548
5 U.S.C. 4121(2)(B) 5 CFR 410.203; 412.202(b)(1)

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Employees are required by 5 CFR 315.904(a) to serve a probationary period prescribed by the agency upon an initial appointment to a supervisory and/or managerial position. 5 CFR 315.905 gives agencies the authority to determine the length of the probationary period, provided that the period is of reasonable fixed duration, appropriate to the position, and uniformly applied. However, agencies have the option to establish different probationary periods for different occupations or a single one for all agency employees. Agencies may establish requirements on what constitutes satisfactory completion of a probationary period.

Agencies may include completion of new supervisory training as part of these requirements. For example, an agency requires a new supervisor to complete a probationary period of one year from the date of his or her initial appointment. For the new supervisor to complete the probationary period successfully, the agency lists a number of requirements, including completing the agency’s new supervisory training program within the probationary period. If the new supervisor does not complete the training program, the new supervisor would not meet the requirements to complete the probationary period satisfactorily even if the new supervisor meets the remaining requirements.

5 CFR 315.904(a); 315.905; 315.907(a)

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On December 27, 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order 13562 establishing the Internship Program and the Recent Graduates Program and revising and reinvigorating the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program. These two new programs, along with the PMF Program, collectively form what the President called the Pathways Programs. OPM issued the final rule for the Pathways Programs on May 11, 2012 (77 FR 28194). The Pathways Program requirements are found in 5 CFR part 362. The appointing authorities for the Pathways Programs are found in 5 CFR 213.3402.

Internship Program and Recent Graduates Program

Under 5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(2) and 5 CFR 410.401, agencies may pay for all or part of the training expenses for students hired under the Internship Program 5 CFR 213.3402(a)) or the Recent Graduates Program; 5 CFR 213.3402 (b). Agencies may pay for all or part of the following expenses, if they are directly related to the student's official duties:

  • Tuition and matriculation fees,
  • Library and laboratory services,
  • Materials and supplies,
  • Books (purchase or rental), and
  • Other services directly related to training, including travel and transportation expenses from duty stations and schools and between work experiences and study.

Recent Graduates Program

Training is an essential requirement for Recent Graduates (5 CFR.362.301). An agency must identify in its Memorandum of Understanding with OPM the duration of its Recent Graduate Program, including any criteria used to determine the need for a longer and more structured training program that exceeds 1 year (5 CFR 362.301(a)). An agency must ensure, within 90 days of appointment, that each Recent Graduate is assigned a mentor who is an employee outside of the Recent Graduate’s chain of command (5 CFR 362.301(b)). Within 45 days of appointment, an agency must ensure that each Recent Graduate has an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that is approved by his or her supervisor (5 CFR 362.301(c)). An agency must also provide at least 40 hours of formal interactive training per year that advances the goals and competencies outlined in each Recent Graduate’s IDP. Mandatory annual training, such as information security and ethics training, does not count towards the 40-hour requirement (5 CFR 362.301 (d)).

For more information on the Pathways Program, please visit the Students & Recent Graduates site.

For information on the Presidential Management Fellows Program, please visit

5 U.S.C. 4107; 4109(a) (2) Executive Order 13562; 5 CFR part 362; 5 CFR 410.401; 213.3402

Agencies may pay the cost of catering services (luncheons, dinners and coffee breaks), under 5 U.S.C. 4110, if a training conference is held at a hotel or conference center (Comptroller General Decision B-171321). The catering services must be necessary to achieve the objectives of the training conference, such as establishing an environment that requires, stimulates, and fosters communication among participants and interaction among participants as often as possible. For example, the meals were also working sessions for the participants, and the agency determined it was not feasible for participants to take meals elsewhere.

5. U.S.C. 4110 Comptroller General Decision B-171321

Expenses for meals or refreshments may be paid as a training expense under 5 U.S.C. 4109. For example, Comptroller General Decision B-244473 determined that meals and refreshments may be charged as a Government expense for employees attending authorized training in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 4109 when provision of the meals and refreshments is necessary to achieve the training program’s objectives. However, an agency must determine that meals and expenses are necessary for employees to obtain the full benefit of the training. These three conditions must be met:

  1. Meals must be incidental to the training program.
  2. The attendance by the employee at the meals or refreshment break must be necessary to full participation in the program.
  3. The employee is not free to partake of meals elsewhere without being absent from the essential business of the meeting or training.

The decision also determined that there is no specific limitation on the amount per meal and snack that an agency may incur for training. For example, if an agency provides training and includes meals and snacks along with the training, agencies would not need to limit the amount they may pay for meals and snacks other than the application of sound management to avoid unnecessary expense.

5 U.S.C. 4109 Comptroller General Decision B-244473

Agencies may pay meals and refreshments in connection with the attendance of Government employees at meetings and conferences under 5 U.S.C. 4110. Meals and refreshments provided at a formal conference or meeting must involve topical matters of general interest to Government and non-Government participants. For example, a conference on Hiring in the Federal Government would qualify as a topical matter of general interest to Government and non-Government participants. Meals and refreshments at routine business meetings primarily involving day-to-day agency operations would not be payable under 5 U.S.C. 4110 since such meetings are not of general interest to Government and non-Government participants.

5 U.S.C. 4110 Comptroller General Decision B-230576 and B-270199

Agencies may pay for meals included at no extra charge in registration fees under 5 U.S.C. 4109 when the training program is held at the employee’s duty station.

5 U.S.C. 4109 Comptroller General Decision B-224995

Agencies may pay or reimburse, under 5 U.S.C. 4109, a training officer or coordinator of a seminar who sponsors non-Government guest speakers for meals for the guest speakers if the agency determines the meals are a necessary incident to providing the training. For example, if a training officer brings in an outside expert on mentoring to conduct a mentoring workshop, the training officer may pay for the expert's meals and refreshments.

5 U.S.C. 4109 Comptroller General Decision B-165235

Agencies may use appropriated funds or funds otherwise available to the agency to pay expenses for employees to obtain professional credentials, including expenses for professional accreditation, State-imposed and professional licenses, and professional certifications; and examinations to obtain such professional credentials (5 U.S.C. 5757 (a) as enacted by section 1112(a) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, Pub. L. 107-107). This authority may not be exercised on behalf of any employee occupying or seeking to qualify for appointment to any position that is excepted from the competitive service because of the confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character of the position (5 U.S.C. 5757 (b)).

Agency heads have the authority and flexibility to pay for credentials, including certifications that relate to the mission, goals and objectives of the agency. For more information, please see Certification and Certificate Programs. Although this is a broad authority, agencies should remain cognizant of the merit system principles and any collective bargaining obligations. In addition, agencies should consider the strategic purpose of the organization in determining the most cost-effective use of the authority.

5 U.S.C. 5757 Certification and Certificate Fact Sheet

Agencies may pay or reimburse an employee for all or part of the necessary expenses of training, attendance at meetings and for temporary duty training assignments (5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(2), 5 U.S.C. 4110, and 5 CFR 410.403). These expenses include:

  • Travel, lodging and per diem (5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(2)(A))
  • Tuition and matriculation fees (5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(2)(C))
  • Library and laboratory (5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(2)(D))
  • Purchase or rental of books, magazines, materials, and supplies (5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(2)(E))
  • Other services or facilities directly related to the training of the employee (5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(2)(F))
  • Temporary duty training assignments (5 CFR 410.403)
  • Temporary relocation expenses (5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(2)(B))
  • Conference registration fees, and (5 U.S.C. 4110)
  • Course or workshop registration fees (5 U.S.C. 4110)

Agencies may use their appropriated funds for expenses for employees to obtain professional credentials, including expenses for professional accreditation, State-imposed and professional licenses, and professional certification; and examinations to obtain such credentials (5 U.S.C. 5757).

Agencies may pay for the transportation of dependents and household effects incident to an employee’s receiving training at a particular location rather than paying per diem (Comptroller General Decision B-146083). However, the amount paid may not exceed the total per diem allowance payments the employee otherwise could have received while undergoing such training at the location had the employee not elected to accept the allowance for transportation of his or her immediate family and household effects.

5 U.S.C. 4109; 4110; 5757; 5724; 5946 5 CFR 410.401; 410.403; 410.404; Comptroller General Decision B-146083

Agencies may use current fiscal year funds to pay for training occurring in the next fiscal year:

  • if registration for the training is required before the end of the current fiscal year; and
  • the next fiscal year’s appropriation has not been enacted (see 60 Comp. Gen. 425, 455 (1981)). (Comptroller General Decisions B-233243, B-213141- O.M., and B-321296)

The training also must be a bona fide need for the next fiscal year. For more information on the bona fide needs rule, go to Principles of Federal Appropriations Law, Volume 1

Comptroller General Decisions B-233243, B-213141-O.M. and B-321296

Agencies may pay for registration fees for a training seminar or workshop sponsored by an interagency board, council, commission, such as the Federal Executive Board so long as:

  • Payment of the fee directly benefits the agency; and
  • The fee does not include elements designed to capture more than the direct costs of sponsoring the seminar.

Payment of the registration fees does not violate the general prohibition against interagency financing of boards or commissions.

Comptroller General Decision B-245330

Agencies must establish a succession management program which includes training to develop managers, strengthen organizational capabilities, and ensure an adequate number of educated/qualified candidates for leadership positions within the organization (5 U.S.C. 4121(2); 5 CFR 412.201; 5 CFR 412.202). For further information on Pre-Supervisory Training, please see Leadership Development section.

5 U.S.C. 4121(2) 5 CFR 412.201; 412.202

Although the head of an agency has training procurement authority under 5 U.S.C. § 4105, procurement of training in most agencies is governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). When agencies choose to use a contract as the method for acquiring training in or through a non-Government facility, section 4105 exempts only the requirement for formal advertising, which is otherwise required by section 6101 of title 41, but not the other requirements of the FAR (see Comp. Gen. decision B-204579). Agencies should consult their contracting office and/or legal counsel before procuring training through a contract.

5 U.S.C. 4105 Comptroller General Decision B-204579

Executive Order 11348 provided agency heads and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) further direction on how to implement GETA. The order directs agency heads to plan, program, budget, operate and evaluate training programs in accordance with chapter 41 or title 5, United States Code and with the policy set forth in section 102 of the order. The order directs agencies to:

  • Foster employee self-development by creating a work environment in which self-development is encouraged, by assuring that opportunities for training and self-study materials are reasonably available where the employee is stationed, and by recognizing self-initiated improvement in performance;
  • Provide training for employees without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, sex, or other factors unrelated to the need for training;
  • Establish and make full use of agency facilities for training employees;
  • Extend agency training programs to employees of other agencies (including agencies and portions of agencies excepted by section 4102(a) of Title 5, United States Code) and assign his employees to interagency training whenever this will result in better training, improved service, or savings to the Government;
  • Establish interagency training facilities in areas of substantive competence as arranged by the Office of Personnel Management; and
  • Use non-Government training resources as appropriate.

The order directs OPM to plan and promote the development, improvement, coordination, and evaluation of training in accordance with chapter 41 of title 5, United States Code, and with the policy set forth in section 102 of the order. The order directs OPM to:

  • Advise the President on means for furthering and strengthening programs of raining;
  • Counsel heads of agencies and other agency officials on the improvement of training;
  • Assist agencies to develop sound programs and financial plans for training and provide advice, information, and assistance to agencies on planning, programming, budgeting, operating, and evaluating training programs;
  • Identify functional areas in which new or expanded interagency training activity is needed and either conduct such training or arrange for agencies having the substantive competence to do so;
  • Coordinate interagency training conducted by and for agencies (including agencies and portions of agencies excepted by section 4102(a) of Title 5, United States Code);
  • Encourage agencies to make appropriate use of non-Government training resources;
  • Develop, install, and maintain a system to provide the training data needed to carry out its own functions and to provide staff assistance to the President; and
  • Provide for identification and dissemination of findings of research into training technology and undertake, or assign to other agencies, such research projects as may be needed.
Executive Order 11348

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5 U.S.C. 4115 5 CFR 410.601

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Agency heads may grant sabbaticals for up to 11 months to SES career appointees for full-time study or uncompensated work experience which will contribute to their development and effectiveness (5 U.S.C. 3396(c); 5 CFR 412.401(b)). Sabbaticals can broaden professional skills and provide an opportunity for personal growth. Sabbatical activities can include—

  • Teaching, study (independent or structured), research, or some combination of these at a college or university;
  • Non-institutional study or research (independent or guided);
  • Periods of relevant and developmental work experience in the private sector; with non-profit organizations, or with State or local governments; and
  • Activities or projects not covered above (e.g., bench research, invention, design, development; trouble-shooting or problem-solving assignments; writing).

Eligibility. Career appointees must have completed 7 years of service in SES positions or equivalent civil service positions (i.e., classified above GS-15 and having responsibilities consistent with SES functions described in 5 U.S.C. 3132(a)(2)), and at least 2 of the 7 years specifically must have been in the SES. The appointee cannot be eligible for voluntary (optional) retirement at the time the sabbatical begins. A sabbatical may not be granted to the same individual more than once in a 10-year period.

Conditions. Agencies must assure that sabbaticals do not violate conflict-of-interest regulations. A sabbatical is a prolonged period of time away from work with all the benefits and is not a part-time activity. An agency’s designated ethics official should advise on procedures appropriate to the agency’s needs.

The SES member must sign an agreement to continue in the civil service for a period of 2 consecutive years following the sabbatical. The agency head may waive this requirement for “good and sufficient reasons” (e.g., disability retirement, reduction in force, or other involuntary separation).

Employment Provisions. While on sabbatical, the executive—

  • Continues to occupy his/her SES position of record and to receive SES pay;
  • Continues to earn leave and is charged for any leave taken;
  • May receive such travel expenses (including per diem) as the head of the agency determines to be essential for the sabbatical study or experience. (In some cases, agencies have arranged to have the host organizations pay or share in travel and certain other expenses.); and
  • Remains subject to the SES performance appraisal system and must receive a performance rating in accordance with the requirements of that system. He or she should be evaluated against appropriate standards, including standards addressing activities involved in the sabbatical. Appropriate pay adjustments and performance awards may be given in accordance with agency’s SES pay policy.

Agencies should monitor their sabbatical programs, including the nature of participants’ activities during their sabbaticals, to determine if developmental objectives have been met.

Records documenting the decision process in granting a sabbatical must be maintained for 2 years from the date the sabbatical is approved by the agency.

5 U.S.C. 3396(c); 3132(a)(2) 5 CFR 412.401(b)

Agencies must make available to employees information concerning the selection and assignment of employees for training and the applicable training limitations and restrictions (5 U.S.C. 4103(a)(3)). Agencies must also establish criteria for the fair and equitable selection and assignment of employees to training consistent with merit system principles (5 CFR 410.306(a)) (For more information regarding merit system principles, see 5 U.S.C. 2301(b)(1) and (2)). Agencies must further prescribe procedures as are necessary to ensure that the selection of employees for training is made without regard to political preference, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or handicapping condition, and with proper regard for their privacy and constitutional rights as provided by merit system principles (5 CFR 410.302(a)).

The provisions of 5 CFR part 410 that regulate the selection and assignment of employees to training generally also provide further instruction on more specific situations. Individuals on an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) mobility assignment may be assigned to training if that training is in the interest of the Government (5 CFR 410.306(b)). State and local government employees given an appointment (For more information regarding IPA appointments, see 5 U.S.C. 3374(b)) in a Federal agency are deemed employees of the agency, and agencies may provide training as they do for other agency employees (5 CFR 410.306(b)(1)). State or local government employees on detail (For more information regarding IPA details, see 5 U.S.C. 3374(c)) to a Federal agency are not deemed Federal employees, but may be admitted to training programs the agency has established for Federal personnel and may be trained in rules, procedures and/or systems pertaining to the Federal Government (5 CFR 410.306(b)(2)). Finally, agencies may pay all or part of the training expenses of students hired under the Pathways Internship Program (5 CFR 213.3402) appointments subject to the prohibitions on academic degree training (5 CFR 410.306(c)).

5 U.S.C. 4103(a)(3); 2301(b)(1) and (2) and 3374 (b) and(c) 5 CFR 213.3402; 5 CFR part 335; 5 CFR 410.302(a)(1) and (f); 410.306; 410.307 (b)-(d); 410.308(a)

The SES Candidate Development Program (SESCDP) is one succession management tool agencies may use to identify and prepare aspiring senior executive leaders. An SESCDP provides SES candidates with Governmentwide leadership challenges, interactions with senior employees outside their department and/or agency, interagency training experience, executive level development assignments, and mentoring. The combination of these experiences should enhance their executive competencies and increase their understanding of Governmentwide programs and issues beyond their individual agency and profession.

Graduates of an OPM-approved SESCDP who are selected through civil service-wide competition and are certified by OPM’s Qualifications Review Board (QRB) may receive an initial career SES appointment without further competition. Agencies must have a written policy describing their program. Requirements for agency candidate development programs are in 5 CFR part 412. Revised 5 CFR 412 requires all agencies to submit their program’s written policy to OPM for approval before announcing subsequent programs. For further information on SES CDPs, please visit the SES CDP Wiki Page.

5 CFR 412.301; 412.302

The "Authorization, Agreement, and Certification of Training" (SF-182) is the Governmentwide training form used to request, approve, and certify completion of training courses, conferences, seminars, symposia and academic courses. The SF-182 is approved by GSA for mandatory Governmentwide use (For more information on Standard Forms, see General Services Administration’s Standard and Optional Forms Procedural Handbook ). Its primary purpose is to document and track employee training, especially training paid with agency funds.

Beginning December 31, 2006, each agency shall report the training data for its employees’ training and development at such times and in such form as required for the OPM Governmentwide Electronic Data Collection System, which is explained in the Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping and the Guide to Human Resources Reporting (5 CFR 410.601). The SF-182 is the form (either manually or electronically) to request, approve, and certify completion of training. However, agencies may request an exception to this requirement from OPM (see Exceptions to the SF-182). In addition, OPM has the authority to collect information on agency training programs, plans and methods used inside and outside of Government (5 U.S.C. 4115). To facilitate the collection of data, the SF-182 contains the mandatory data elements agencies must report to OPM.

OPM recommends agencies complete all sections of the SF-182 except numbers 4, 5 and 6 in Section C. OPM further advises that Personally Identifiable Information (PII) (i.e., Social Security number and birth date), is optional on the form but is necessary when electronically submitting training data to OPM’s Electronic HR Integration (EHRI) database (see 5 U.S.C. 4115 and the Privacy Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-579), Sec. 7(b)). The PII allows the training record to be matched to the employee’s record in the EHRI database.

For more information on the mandatory data elements and collecting training information, refer to the Guide for Collection and Management of Training Information or go to the Reporting of Training Data section of this Index.

Exceptions to the SF-182

Agencies may request an exception to using the SF-182 form when they can demonstrate that the difference in the content, format or printing specifications of the equivalent form is cost-effective or in support of a mission-related initiative (Exception to the Standard Form 182 memo). To learn more about how agencies can request an exception to the SF-182 form, please email

5 U.S.C. 4115; Pub. L. 93-579, section 7(b) 5 CFR 410.601; Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping; Guide to Human Resources Reporting; the Guide for Collection and Management of Training Information

Agencies, in consultation with OPM, must develop a comprehensive management succession program. These programs must:

  • Implement developmental training consistent with agency succession management plans;
  • Provide continuing learning experiences throughout an employee’s career such as details, mentoring, coaching, and learning groups and projects; and
  • Include program evaluations pursuant to 5 CFR 410.202.
5 U.S.C. 1103 (c); 4121 5 CFR 412.201; 410.202; 250.204(5).

New supervisors are required to receive the following (5 CFR 412.202):

  • Initial supervisory training within one year of the new supervisor’s appointment;
  • Retraining at least once every three years (applies to all leaders);
  • Training on mentoring employees;
  • Training on improving employees’ performance and productivity;
  • Training on conducting performance appraisals in accordance with agency appraisal system; and
  • Training on identifying and assisting employees with unacceptable performance

Agencies must also issue written policies to ensure they provide training when employees make critical career transitions, for instance, from non-supervisory position to manager or from manager to executive. This training should be consistent with assessment of the agency’s and the employee’s needs.

Agencies are encouraged to go beyond the regulatory training requirements for new supervisors described earlier in this section. OPM developed a comprehensive supervisory and managerial training framework that outlines mandatory and recommended training for aspiring leaders, and current and newly appointed supervisors and managers.

5 CFR 412.202; Federal Supervisory and Managerial Frameworks and Guidance

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The President by Executive Order 11895 delegated to the Office of Personnel Management the authority to designate individuals appointed by the President for training under chapter 41 of title 5. OPM delegates to the head of each agency authority to authorize training for officials appointed by the President (5 CFR 410.302(b)(1)).

Note: Training for heads of agencies will continue to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for review since self-review would constitute a conflict of interest (5 CFR 410.302(c)).

If the head of an agency authorizes training for a Presidential appointee, he or she must maintain records that include (5 CFR 410.302(b)(2)):

  • Name and position title of the official (5 CFR 410.302(b)(2)(i));
  • Description of the training, its location, vendor, cost, and duration (5 CFR 410.302(b)(2)(ii));
  • Statement justifying the training and describing how the official will apply it during his or her term of office (5 CFR 410.302(b)(2)(iii)).

In exercising this authority, the head of the agency must ensure that the training is in compliance with chapter 41 of title 5. This authority may not be delegated to a subordinate (5 CFR 410.302(b)(1)).

Executive Order 11895; 5 CFR 410.302(b) and (c)

Agencies may provide training to non-temporary employees that in certain instances may lead to promotion, consistent with merit system principles (5 CFR 410.307(b); see also 5 U.S.C. 4103); however, agencies must follow their competitive procedures under 5 CFR part 335 when selecting a non-temporary employee for training that permits noncompetitive promotion after successful completion of the training (5 CFR 410.307(b); see also 5 U.S.C. 4103).

5 U.S.C. 4103 5 CFR 410.307(b); 5 CFR part 335

Appropriations law restricts agencies from using funds for inappropriate or offensive training. Since FY 1996 to the present, the annual appropriations law for each fiscal year has prohibited agencies from using appropriated training funds if the training:

  • Does not meet the identified needs for knowledge, skills, and abilities directly relating to the employees’ official duties;
  • Contains elements likely to induce high levels of emotional response or psychological stress in some participants;
  • Does not require prior employee notification of the content and methods to be used in the training course and course evaluations;
  • Contains any method or content associated with religious, quasi-religious, or new age belief systems as defined in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Notice N-915.022; and
  • Is offensive to, or designed to change, participants’ personal values or lifestyle outside the workplace

See, for example, section 635 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277).

In addition, Section 9 of the Ryan White Care Amendments Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-146) prohibits mandatory AIDS or HIV training for Federal employees, except for training necessary to protect the health and safety of the employee and the individuals served by the employee.

For further information on training restrictions, click on Guidance on Training Restrictions in Public Law 105-277.

Section 635, Pub. L.105-277; Section 9, Pub. L. 104-146 Guidance on Training Restrictions in Public Law 105-277

Chapter 41 of Title 5, United States Code, focuses on training and development in the Federal Government. It codifies the provisions outlined in the Government Employees Training Act (GETA) (Pub. L. 85-507) and the provisions related to career development in the Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-411).

For the purpose of Chapter 41, “agency” is defined as:

  • Executive departments;
  • Independent establishments as defined in 5 U.S.C. 104, which includes most other executive branch agencies and the Government Accountability Office;
  • Government corporations subject to chapter 91 of title 31;
  • The Library of Congress;
  • The Government Printing Office; and
  • The government of the District of Columbia.

5 U.S.C. 4101(1).

As specified in 5 U.S.C. 4102, chapter 41 does not apply to:

  • A corporation supervised by the Farm Credit Administration if private interests elect or appoint a member of the board of directors; or
  • The Tennessee Valley Authority.

For the purpose of Chapter 41, “employee” is defined as:

  • an individual employed in or under an agency; and
  • a commissioned officer of the Environmental Science Services Administration;

5 U.S.C. 4101(2)

As specified in 5 U.S.C. 4102, employees not covered under chapter 41 are:

  • Individuals who are members of a uniformed service while entitled to military pay under 37 U.S.C. 204;
  • Members of the Foreign Service; and
  • Individuals appointed by the President, unless these individuals are specifically designated by the President for training under this chapter.

Chapter 41 (5 U.S.C. 4103-4112 and 4121) delegates the responsibility of training and development to heads of agencies. These responsibilities include:

  • Identifying the training needs for the agency;
  • Establishing programs to meet these needs;
  • Determining the appropriate delivery methods;
  • Establishing policies on paying for training;
  • Establishing policies on continuing to serve after training;
  • Establishing a comprehensive succession management program in consultation with OPM; and
  • Establishing a program to provide training to managers on actions, options and strategies relating to employee performance issues in consultation with OPM.
5 U.S.C. chapter 41
5 U.S.C. 4103 5 CFR 410.201-203; Executive Order 11348, section 303(a)-(b)

Under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, Pub. L. 87-195, as amended (22 U.S.C. 2357(a)), whenever the President determines it to be consistent with and in furtherance of the purposes of 22 U.S.C. chapter 32, subchapter I and within the limitations of chapter 32, any agency of the United States Government may provide training on an advance-of-funds or reimbursement basis to friendly countries, international organizations, the American Red Cross, and voluntary nonprofit relief agencies registered with and approved by the Agency for International Development (including foreign voluntary nonprofit relief agencies so registered and approved when no United States voluntary nonprofit relief agency is available). Such advances or reimbursements may be credited to the currently applicable appropriation, account, or fund of the agency concerned and shall be available for the purposes for which such appropriation, account, or fund is authorized to be used; for more information, please see 22 U.S.C. 2357(a)(1)– (2).

The Secretary of State is authorized to provide for special professional foreign affairs training and instruction of employees of foreign governments through the Foreign Service Institute (22 U.S.C. 4021(d)(1)).

Training and instruction shall be on a reimbursable or advance-of-funds basis. Such reimbursements or advances to the Department of State may be provided by an agency of the United States Government or by a foreign government and shall be credited to the currently available applicable appropriation account (22 U.S.C. 4021(d)(2)).

22 U.S.C. 2357(a); 22 U.S.C. 4021(d)

The Government Employees Training Act, or other training law, does not authorize the training of non-Government personnel. If courses or training are designed and conducted exclusively or primarily for the training of private citizens, a specific grant of statutory authority to conduct such training would be required (Comptroller General Decision B-151540).

However, a limited number of private citizens may be admitted to Government training under the following conditions set forth in Comptroller General Decision B-151540:

  • When the person’s attendance is incidental to the necessary and authorized training of Government employees; and
  • Only after adequate provision has been made for all Government trainees.
  • The tuition fee covering person’s attendance is deposited in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipt.

Money received from outside the Federal Government for Federal Government services must be deposited into the Treasury as soon as practicable (31 U.S.C. 3302(b)).

31 U.S.C. 3302 (b) Comptroller General Decision B-151540

Agencies may train, state and local government employees and accept reimbursements and payment for the training (Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970, Pub. L. 91-648). As specified in 42 U.S.C. 4742:

  • In accordance with such conditions as may be prescribed by the head of the Federal agency concerned, a Federal agency may admit State and local government employees and officials to agency training programs established for Federal professional, administrative, or technical personnel.
  • Federal agencies may waive, in whole or in part, payments from, or on behalf of, State and local governments for the costs of training provided under this section. Payments received by the Federal agency concerned for training under this section shall be credited to the appropriation or fund used for paying the training costs.
  • The Office of Personnel Management may use appropriations authorized by 42 U.S.C. chapter 62 to pay the initial additional developmental or overhead costs that are incurred by reason of admittance of State and local government employees to Federal training courses and to reimburse other Federal agencies for such costs.

Payments received for training employees of State and local governments are credited to the appropriation or fund used to pay the training costs.

A State or local government employee who receives an appointment in a Federal agency under 5 U.S.C. 3374(b) is considered an employee of that agency (5 CFR 410.306(b)(1)). If State or local government employees are detailed to a Federal agency under 5 U.S.C. 3374(c), these individuals are not considered employees of that agency under 5 CFR 410.306(b)(2). However, they may participate in agency training programs focusing on Federal personnel. They may also receive training in rules, practices, procedures, and/or systems pertaining to the Federal Government. If they use a Government computer, they must complete agency-sponsored IT Security Awareness training (5 CFR 930.301(a)(1)).

42 U.S.C. 4742; 5 U.S.C. 3374(b) & (c ) 5 CFR 410.306(b); 930.301(a)(1)

Agencies may establish programs designed to provide educationally related work assignments for students in non-pay status (5 CFR 308.103). Student volunteer service is service performed with the permission of the institution at which the student is enrolled, as part of an agency program established for providing educational experience for the student (5 U.S.C. 3111(b)(1)).Student volunteers are not Federal employees for any purposes other than for purposes of section 7905 (relating to commuting by means other than single-occupancy motor vehicles), chapter 81 of 5 U.S.C. (relating to compensation and injury), and sections 2672 through 2680 of 28 U.S.C. (relating to tort claims) (5 U.S.C. 3111 (c)(1)).

5 U.S.C. 3111(b)-(c) 5 CFR 308.103

The Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-411), section 201(a) (codified 5 U.S.C. 4103(c)), 5 CFR 410.202, and 5 CFR 250.203 require agencies to evaluate their training programs on a regular basis and ensure alignment with strategic goals. Training evaluation is an objective summary of data gathered about the effectiveness of the training. The primary purpose of evaluation data is to inform decisions. Training evaluation data helps the organization determine whether the training is accomplishing its goals. They also help agencies decide how to adjust their training approaches for greater effectiveness.

For more information on evaluating agency training programs please consult OPM’s Training Evaluation Field Guide (2011) on OPM’s website and OPM’s Training and Development Wiki

5 U.S.C. 4103(c) 5 CFR 410.202; 250.203
5 U.S.C. 552a 5 CFR part 293; 5 CFR 410.601

Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (5 CFR), is the codification of the rules governing Federal human resources management that have been published in the Federal Register. Part 410 of 5 CFR focuses on training. Agencies are to follow these regulations when planning, implementing, and evaluating their training programs. The following topics are addressed in part 410:

  • Subpart A – General Provisions
  • Subpart B – Planning and Evaluating Training
  • Subpart C – Establishing and Implementing Training Programs
  • Subpart D – Paying for Training Expenses
  • Subpart E - Accepting Contributions, Awards, and Payments from Non-Government Organizations
  • Subpart F - Reporting

Part 410 was revised in 2009 to incorporate the requirements of the Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108–411). See the December 10, 2009 Federal Register (74 Fed. Reg. 65383). The revised training regulations require each agency to:

  • Evaluate its training programs on a regular basis,
  • Evaluate its training programs and plans with respect to the accomplishment of its specific performance plans and strategic goals, and
  • Modify its training plans and programs as needed to accomplish the agency’s performance plans and strategic goals.

For more information on the Final Rule for Reporting of Training Data, please refer to May 17, 2006 Federal Register (71 FR 28547; redesignated and amended at 74 FR 65388).

Part 412 was revised in 2009 to incorporate requirements in the Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108–411). See the December 10, 2009 Federal Register (74 Fed. Reg. 65383). These changes require agencies to consult with OPM to establish a comprehensive management succession program, based on the agency’s work force succession plans, to fill agency supervisory and managerial positions (5 CFR 412.201). It also requires agencies to issue written policies to ensure they provide training within one year of an employee’s initial appointment to a supervisory position and follow up periodically, but at least once every three years, by providing each supervisor and manager additional training on the use of appropriate options and strategies to (5 CFR 412.202 (b)):

  • Mentor employees;
  • Improve employee performance and productivity;
  • Conducting employee performance appraisals in accordance with agency appraisal systems; and
  • Identify and assist employees with unacceptable performance.

Agencies must also provide training when individuals make critical career transitions (5 CFR 412.202(c)).

In the 2009 revision of part 412 (5 CFR 412.301, 302, and 401), OPM also made substantial changes to the SES Candidate Development Program requirements and established a requirement for the continuing development of current SES members tied to the performance process through an Executive Development Plan (EDP) (5 CFR 412.301 and 412.401(a)). All agencies are required to establish a program for the continuing development of their senior executives (5 CFR 412.401(a)). All executives are to have an EDP, have it reviewed by the agency Executive Resources Board annually, and update it regularly (5 CFR 412.401(a)(4)). The revised part 412 also provides for the developmental use of sabbaticals and long-term assignments outside the Federal sector, consistent with relevant provisions of law (5 CFR 412.401(b)).

The final rule for parts 410 and 412 was published on December 10th, 2009. Here is a link to the Federal Register Notice on the Final Rule for 5 CFR parts 410 (Training) and 412 (Supervisory, Managerial and Executive Development).

5 CFR part 410; part 412

Agencies may pay or reimburse for all or part of an employee's necessary expenses to attend a training event, including travel and per diem costs as specified in 5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(2).

Agencies must follow the requirements outlined in The Federal Travel Regulation, 41 CFR chapters 300 through 304, for employees who travel to attend training. The Federal Travel Regulation implements the statutory requirements and executive branch policies for those who travel at the Government’s expense.

Privately-Owned Vehicles

Agencies may authorize and pay or reimburse for use of privately-owned vehicles to travel to and from training (5 U.S.C. 4109 and 5 U.S.C. 5704). Employees who are engaged in official Government business, are entitled to a rate per mile established by the General Services Administration (GSA) for the use of a privately-owned vehicle. The mileage rates are on the GSA website. For more information on mileage rates, go to GSA’s Privately Owned Vehicle Reimbursement Rates website.

Per Diem Rates

Agencies may pay or reimburse an employee for all or part of his or her per diem expenses for travel to attend training (5 U.S.C. 4109 and 5 U.S.C. 5702). GSA establishes per diem rates for destinations within the lower 48 contiguous United States. The U.S. Department of Defense Travel Management Office sets rates for locations in Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. territories and the U.S. Department of State sets rates for foreign travel locations. Rates are set by fiscal year. Agencies should visit Per Diem websites:

As specified in 5 CFR 410.403(b), agencies may pay a reduced per diem rate, such as a standardized payment less than the maximum per diem rate for a geographic location. If a reduced or standardized per diem rate is not authorized in advance of the travel, and the fees paid to a training institution include lodging or meal costs, the agency must make an appropriate deduction from the total per diem rate payable on the travel voucher. See 41 CFR 301-11 Temporary Duty (TDY) Travel Allowances, Per Diem Expenses.

5 U.S.C. 4109(a); 5702; 5704 5 CFR 410.403(b); 41 CFR chapters 300-304

Agencies may also pay, or reimburse employees for, all or part of the necessary expenses of training, without regard to section 3324 (a) and (b) of Title 31, including among the expenses the necessary costs of (5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(2)(A-F)):

  • Travel and per diem;
  • Transportation of immediate family, household goods and personal effects;
  • Tuition and matriculation fees;
  • Library and laboratory services;
  • Purchase of rental of books, materials and supplies; and
  • Other services or facilities directly related to the training of the employee.

Tuition assistance programs, including individual courses, are NOT considered part of an agency’s academic degree program. Within a tuition assistance program, agencies pay for individual courses/classes. Employees are not required to undergo a competitive process like the academic degree program. Supervisors should adhere to the definition of training (5 U.S.C 4101(4)) when choosing which classes/courses to pay for.

As an example, an employee is working as a financial analyst and would like to enhance his skills and knowledge. He is also pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA). He enrolls in two finance courses at a university to enhance his job-related knowledge and skills. The finance courses would also count towards his MBA degree. The agency may pay the employee’s finance courses from the agency’s training funds — it would be considered part of a tuition assistance reimbursement program and not part of the agency’s academic degree program.

5 U.S.C. 4109(a)(2)(A-F); 5 U.S.C. 4101(4)

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