Does Your Training Program Pass the Test?

It’s very common for things to be out of date or expire and it’s up to us to update or renew those things that have a limited shelf life, like your computer, the latest app and even the gallon of milk in your fridge.  But what happens when your training program becomes outdated?  Who is responsible for updating training resources?

You can expect more from your training program if you inspect more.

Luckily for government agencies, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has a Training Evaluation Guide that outlines regulations and best practices to assist agency leaders in evaluating their training programs and initiatives.  According to the guide, the main purpose of evaluating your agency’s training program is to make good use of the agency’s resources, determine whether the current training is effective, and make adjustments to the programs, as needed.

Five key factors drive the efforts of this guide:  

1. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management Training Evaluation Regulations – 2009 OPM regulations require agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of their training programs. These regulations form the foundation for this field guide, and will increase the contribution of training to agency mission effectiveness.

 2. Accountability – Expectations for wise and documented use of training dollars are higher than ever. Clear connections between effective funding usage and agency outcomes are expected.

 3. The Open Government Initiative – The current administration has put an emphasis on government accountability. It has detailed a mandate that government spending and related outcomes be made transparent to the public.

 4. Training in the Federal Government – Within the Federal Government where mission accomplishment is vital and change is the only constant—training, and the effective evaluation of training, is critical.

 5. The Federal Chief Learning Officers Council – This group of high level federal government learning leaders has made it a priority to accomplish the previous three factors, and have committed their time and resources to collectively make it happen.

 High performing agencies are constantly focusing on improving their capabilities through learning systems, building knowledge capital, and transferring learning throughout the organization.  These agencies seek knowledge about the work environment and employee performance.  They treat mistakes and failures as important data, recognizing that they often can lead to breakthroughs.

How does your agency’s training program measure up?

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