Training Restrictions (General)

The legal purpose of training continues to be to improve individual and organizational performance and to assist in achieving the agency's mission and performance goals (U.S.C. Title 5 §4101(4)). CFR 5 §410.203, based on Executive Order 11348, provides basic guidance to agencies for determining training needs of individual occupations, programs, and organizations.


Executive Order 11348, §402, DoD 1400.25-M, CPM 410.2 and AR 690-400, Chapter 410, Subchapter 5, Paragraph 5-11 establish procedures which must be followed whenever training in facilities outside the continental United States is contemplated for US citizen employees who are stationed in CONUS.

Army Civilian employees may not participate in training in facilities outside the continental United States (OCONUS) without prior approval of HQDA and/or DoD.

All requests for OCONUS training must address all criteria required by AR 690-400 and be submitted to HQDA, Office of the Assistant G-1(CP) ATTN: DAPE-CPD-TMD, 200 Stovall Street, Alexandria, VA 22332-0300 at least 60 days before training/travel is scheduled to commence.


Section 625 of the FY 2000 Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act contains language prohibiting the use of appropriated funds for inappropriate employee training. The language remains the same as in the FY 1999 appropriations act, PL 105-277, Section 635.

Note: Section 625 does not amend chapter 41 of title 5, United States Code, Training, or change the legal purpose of training. The purpose of training remains to improve individual and organizational performance related to an agency mission (5 U.S.C. §4101(4)).

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) clarifying guidance for the language of PL 106-58, Section 625, issued December 8, 1999, remains unchanged and applicable from the FY 1999 guidance (see below). OPM guidance strives to balance the intent of the applicable FY appropriation act language with the basic training law and authorities in 5 U.S.C. 41. PL 106-58, Section 625, contains five (5) restrictive clauses (reprinted below in bold). OPM guidance follows each specific clause, slightly modified to incorporate additional Army guidance.

Section 625. (a) None of the funds made available in this or any other Act may be obligated or expended for any employee training that--

(1) does not meet identified needs for knowledge, skills, and abilities bearing directly upon the performance of official duties;

Consistent with current law, this subsection reminds officials that there should be a relationship between the knowledge, skills, and abilities the training is intended to provide and an employee's lawfully assigned duties. Employees may be assigned to training associated with their current duties or anticipated duties related to the mission of the agency. 5 CFR §410.203, based on Executive Order No. 11348 (1967), provides basic guidance to agencies for determining training needs of individuals, occupations, programs, and organizations.

(2) contains elements likely to induce high levels of emotional response or psychological stress in some participants;

Officials at all levels responsible for the training of employees and training providers should carefully review and be sensitive to training content and training methods. Both content and methods should be evaluated in context with the purpose of the training. Training must not induce unnecessary psychological stress in participants. Some training programs might, of necessity, have the potential for inducing psychological stress and yet be performance related and in the Government's interest. An example would be training simulating stress already present in the employees' work environment. Army civilian leadership common core course curricula undergo periodic reviews to ensure compliance with this prohibition remains current.

(3) does not require prior employee notification of the content and methods to be used in the training and written end of course evaluations;

For all agency-sponsored training, employees must be notified, in advance, of the purpose of the training, about the content to be expected in the training, and of the methods to be used in the training.

Written end of course evaluations must be used to assess participant reaction to the training, vendor and instructor performance and to assess the effectiveness of any participatory learning techniques.

(4) contains any methods or content associated with religious or quasi-religious belief systems or "new age" belief systems as defined in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Notice N-915.022, dated September 2, 1988;

Officials at all levels responsible for the training of employees and training providers should review U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Notice N-915.022. The notice provides guidance in handling situations where an employee objects to participating in a training program because the content or the techniques or exercises used conflict with the employee's religious beliefs. In addition, the Notice reminds officials of their duty to accommodate employees' religious needs. Management officials and training providers will handle employees' requests for religious accommodation regarding training based on the individual circumstances of each request.

The Notice is available from the EEOC, Publications Information Center, P.O. Box 12549, Cincinnati, OH 45212-0549, 1-800-669-3362 (Voice), 1-800-800-3302 (TDD), 513-791-2954 (Fax). It is also available electronically from the Training Forum of the OPM electronic bulletin board (202-606-4800).

(5) is offensive to, or designed to change, participants' personal values or lifestyle outside the workplace.

This subsection reminds officials responsible for the training of employees and training providers that it is inappropriate to use Federally-sponsored training to change employees' personal values or to influence their lifestyles outside the workplace. This legislation does not affect training in Government ethics and codes of conduct expected of Federal employees. Both subjects are directly related to the performance of official duties. As noted earlier, the primary purpose for training is to improve performance.

Non-technical training is appropriate when it addresses:

  • Interpersonal skills that Federal employees need to provide services, work with, and manage persons both like and unlike themselves;
  • Behavior Federal employees are expected to exhibit, or may encounter, in the workplace; and/or
  • Workplace health and safety issues, security matters, and other subjects that bear directly on individual or organizational performance.

Officials may not require military or civilian employees to attend or participate in an acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) training program that does not address one of the three non-technical training criteria noted above. Section 9 of the Ryan White CARE Amendments Act of 1996, (Public Law 104-146, May 20, 1996), 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.

Section 625. (b) Nothing in this section shall prohibit, restrict, or otherwise preclude an agency from conducting training bearing directly upon the performance of official duties.

Content last reviewed: 3/20/2007-DLS