Conferences as Training

Determining if a Conference is a Training Activity: 5 CFR 410.404

Army employees may attend conferences as training only after a determination has been made that the conference is truly a training activity. Once such a determination has been made, attendance will be considered a developmental assignment (see 5 U.S. Code, Section 4110).

A conference may be determined to be a training activity when the program meets all of the following criteria:

  1. The announced 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 which meets the
    definition of training ;

  3. The content of the conference is germane to improving individual and/or organizational performance, and

  4. Developmental benefits will be derived through the employee's attendance.

Evaluating Mission-Related Benefits. Managers must evaluate the mission-related benefits to be derived from having employees attend specific conferences in terms of the purpose and agenda of the conference, the value of the conference as a communication tool, and the qualifications of employees who will attend as official representatives of the Army.

Reviewing Costs and Benefits. The benefits of participation should be weighed carefully against the direct and indirect costs to the Government. Participation, whether as an attendee or speaker, may result in substantial costs to the Government, such as conference fees for attendees, travel expenses, and compensation for employees while attending conferences. Additionally, there are hidden costs such as the loss of time that would have been spent by employees to accomplish specific program assignments.

Minimizing Travel Costs. Whenever possible, travel costs should be minimized by designating employees at or near conference sites as conference participants. When the same conference is held at different locations, attendance should, whenever possible, be at that conference location which will result in the least travel and per diem expenses to the Government.

Content last reviewed: 3/20/2007-DLS

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This page was last revised: 12/28/2011