Total Army Personnel Command letterhead
TAPC-CPP-T  22 September 1994


MEMORANDUM FOR SEE DISTRIBUTION

SUBJECT: New Legislation on Employee Training

 

1. The Federal Workforce Restructuring Act of 1994 amended the training law (5 USC 4100 aka Government Employees Training Act -GETA) to remove some restrictions on employee training, which will provide our managers greater flexibility in accomplishing civilian training, education and professional development for America's Army.

2. A synopsis of the five major changes to the Government Employees Training Act (GETA) and actual changes to wording of the GETA (underlined for each section) are provided as enclosure 1. To put these changes into a usable perspective however, you must obtain a copy of Title 5, United States Code, dated April 1994 (Subpart C, Chapter 41), which includes these amendments. We strongly recommend that you also obtain a current copy of the Code of Federal Regulations for Title 5. These two documents provide the statutory and regulatory authority for civilian training.

3. The term "agency," in Title 5 means the Department of Defense (DOD). Authority to conduct civilian training programs is delegated to Department of the Army by DOD. Title 5 requires agencies (DOD) to establish policies and procedures in certain areas (which then become uniform across the Department). Two instances where this is critical are:

  1. Continued service agreements. DOD has not yet prescribed the "minimum period" of training which will "trigger" continued service agreements. In the interim, the guidance contained in AR 690-400, chapter 410, para 5-7 will continue to apply (continued service agreements are required for all training conducted in non-Government facilities which exceeds 80 hours within a single program). Agreements are not required for training conducted in government facilities or correspondence courses of any length. We intend to propose policy requiring continued service agreements for all training (government and non-government) exceeding the "minimum period" threshold when the DOD Civilian Personnel Manual and Army's Chapter 410 are revised.

  2. Agency reporting requirements to OPM. Reporting of training expenditures and activities to OPM will be accomplished by DOD at least every three years. Reporting requirements within Department of the Army were prescribed by DAPE-CPE memorandum, dated 18 July 1994, subject: FY 94 Civilian Personnel Management Statistical Reporting Requirements (RCS CSGPA-663(R6)), which is provided as enclosure 2. As a general rule, our office will extract necessary statistical data from HQ ACPERS. Therefore, it is critical that all completed training be entered into ACPERS on a timely basis. Manual field reporting will be by exception only, for special programs such as the Academic Degree Training requirement mandated by DOD. Be assured that we will continue to pursue appropriate modifications to ACPERS and follow-on automated systems to reduce or eliminate manual reporting of statistical data.

4. Academic Degree Training. The DOD policy on academic degree training was contained in a memorandum from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness, dated 29 October 1993, and is attached as enclosure 3. Although the memorandum indicates that copies would be forwarded to Civilian Personnel Offices, we do not believe that such distribution was actually made. In short, 5 CFR 410.511 [57 FR 19515, May 7, 1991] permits but does not require agencies to authorize and pay for training that may lead to an academic degree, if necessary to assist in the recruitment or retention of employees in shortage occupations, especially those with critical skills. Predetermined shortage categories include: members of the Army Acquisition Workforce; special salary rate positions; and positions covered by direct-hire authority from OPM. In addition, positions determined by a local installation commander as being in a shortage category due to documented recruitment or retention problems are covered under this policy. Specific restrictions regarding use of this authority are contained in the DOD policy memo, and a copy of the actual Federal Register notice is attached as well. The Federal Register notice includes useful discussion of the changes and their relationship to other authorities. The Federal Register notice can also be extracted and utilized as a handy reference to the detailed documentation requirements set forth at 5 CFR 410.511 (j). We are also providing a copy of OPM's "Questions and Answers on the Academic Degree Training Regulations" as enclosure 4.

5. Deregulation. As a result of the FPM Sunset and a DOD-wide deregulation effort, Chapter 410 of the DOD Civilian Personnel Manual (and related DOD Instructions) will be totally revised. The new DOD issuance will contain department-wide policy (continued service agreement minimum period, academic degree training, etc.). In turn, our Army regulation will be reduced from the more than 20 existing chapters of AR 690-400/410/412/413 to less than 20 pages of Army unique policy guidance, e.g., ACTEDS, leader development, etc. The thrust of our future regulation will be empowerment. We believe that given the authority and responsibility, managers will do what is right. We anticipate that policies in the DOD CPM and our Chapter 410 will be developed in partnership with unions at the national consultation level, and therefore, will be binding on local installation bargaining units.

6. We recommend that this package be reproduced and provided to every individual in your organization (and it's subordinate serviced activities) involved with the administration of civilian training, education and professional development.

7. POC at PERSCOM Mr. Robert E. Cronin, DSN 221-9419 or (703) 325-9419.

8. Civilian Training and Leader Development - An Investment in the Future!




//Original signed //
Robert C. Zenda
Chief, Training and Leader
Development Branch

UNITED STATES
OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, DC 20415


JUNE 22 1994

MEMORANDUM FOR HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

FROM: JAMES B. KING, DIRECTOR

Subject: New Legislation on Employee Training

 

Your agency now has greater flexibility to train its employee because of new legislation contained in the Federal Workforce Restructuring Act of 1994. The Legislation fulfills an important National Performance Review(NPR) recommendation to remove restrictions on employee training to help develop a multiskillied workforce in the Federal Government.

Under the new law, which can be implemented immediately, your agency can fund training in support of its mission and performance goals and is no longer limited by a worker's official duties. By broadening the purpose of training, and targeting it to strategic business plans, you can make it a management tool that is more responsive to the current and future needs of your agency, through leadership development, retraining, cross-training, continuing professional education and technical training.

The new law also allows agencies to make use of available training services without regard to source, government or nongovernment.

In government today, we face an accelerating rate of change and an increasing demand for productivity and customer service. In all sectors of our economy, investments in training have been proven essential to the enhancement of employee skills and improved organizational performance. The new flexibilities for training give us more ways to do this, and I urge you to use them to tap the full potential of our most important resource - our people.

The attachments provide a summary of the changes to the law and specific new wording for each section. The Office of Personnel Management will be involving agencies and others in the revision of the regulations using negotiated rulemaking procedures.

For more information, please contact Joseph Kennedy in the Human Resources Development Group at 703) 235-1016.


Information on the Amendments to
the Government Employees Training Act (GETA)

 

On March 30, 1994, the President of the United States signed into law H.R. 3345, the Federal Workforce Restructuring Act of 1994 (Public law 103-226). The Act includes amendments to the Government Employees Training Act (GETA), which can be implemented by agencies immediately. The amendments are designed to reduce restrictions on training to allow managers to focus on organizational mission and to take advantage of the available training marketplace. The amendments change GETA in the following ways:

 

For more information, please contact Joseph Kennedy in OPM's Human Resources Development Group at (703)235-1016.


Changes to the law 5 U.S.C. 4100 et. seq.(changed material underlined)

4101. Definitions

Paragraph (4), the definition of training is changed to read as follows:

(4) "training" means the process of providing for and making available to an employee, and placing or enrolling the employee in, a planned, prepared, and coordinated program, course, curriculum, subject, system, or routine of instruction or education, in scientific, professional, technical, mechanical, trade, clerical, fiscal, administrative, or other fields which will improve individual and organizational performance and assist in achieving the agency's mission and performance goals;

 

4102. Exceptions; Presidential authority

No change.

4103. Establishment of training programs

Subsection (a) is changed to read as follows:

(a) In order to assist in achieving an agency's mission and performance goals by improving employee and organizational performance, the head of each agency, in conformity with this chapter, shall establish, operate, maintain, and evaluate a program or programs, and a plan or plans thereunder, for the training of employees in or under the agency by, in, and through Government facilities and non-Government facilities. Each program, and plan thereunder shall-

(1) conform to the principles, standards, and related requirements contained in the regulations prescribed under section 4118 of this title;

(2) provide for adequate administrative control by appropriate authority;

(3) provide that information concerning the selection and assignment of employees for training and the applicable training limitation: and restrictions be made available to employees of the agency; and

(4) provide for the encouragement of self-training by employees by means of appropriate recognition of resultant increases in proficiency, skill, and capacity.

Two or more agencies jointly may operate under a training program.

4103.

Subsection (b) is changed to read as follows:

(b)(1) Not withstanding any other provision of this chapter, an agency may train any employees of the agency to prepare the employee for placement in another agency if the head of the agency determines that such training would be in the interests of the Government.

(2) In selecting an employee for training under this subsection, the head of the agency shall consider-

(A) the extent to which the current skills, knowledge, and abilities of the employee may be utilized in the new position;

(B) the employee's capability to learn skills and acquire knowledge and abilities needed in the new position; and

(C) the benefits to the Government which would result from such training.

 

4104. Government facilities; under use of

No Change.

4105. Non-government facilities; use of

Subsections (b) and (c) are eliminated, so that the section reads as follows:

The head of an agency, without regard to section 5 of title 41, may make agreements or other arrangements for the training of employees of the agency by, in, or through non-Government facilities under this chapter.

4106. Non-Government facilities; amount of training limited

Section deleted.

4107. Non-government facilities; restrictions

The section title is changed to: Restriction on degree training.

Subsections (a) and (b) are eliminated and subsections (c) and (d) are redesignated (a) and (b) respectively.

Redesignated subsection (a) reads as follows:

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, this chapter does not authorize the selection and assignment of an employee for training, or the payment or reimbursement of the costs of training, for-

(1) the purpose of providing an opportunity to an employee to obtain an academic degree in order to qualify for appointment to a particular position for which the academic degree is a basic requirement; or

(2) the sole purpose of providing an opportunity to an employee to obtain one or more academic degrees.

In redesignated subsection (b)(l), the reference to subsection (c) is changed to subsection (a).

4108. Employee agreements; service after training

Subsection (a) has been changed to read as follows:

(a) An employee selected for training for more than a minimum period prescribed by the head of the agency shall agree in writing with the Government before assignment to training that he will-

(1) continue in the service of his agency after the end of the training period for a period at least equal to three times the length of the training period unless he is involuntarily separated from the service of his agency; and

(2) pay to the Government the amount of the additional expenses incurred by the Government in connection with his training if he is voluntarily separated from the service of his agency before the end of the period for which he has agreed to continue in the service of his agency.

4109. Expenses of training

No change.

4110. Expenses of attendance at meetings

No change.

4111. Acceptance of contributions, awards, and other payments

No change.

4112. Absorption of costs within funds available

No change.

4113. Agency review of training needs; annual program reports

Subsection (b) has been changed to read as follows:

(b) Each agency shall report to the Office, at least once every 3 years, and at such times and in such form as the Office prescribes, on its programs and plans for training of employees under this chapter. The report shall set forth-

(1) information needed to determine that training is being provided in a manner which is in compliance with applicab1e laws intended to protect or protect or promote equal employment opportunity; and

(2) information concerning the expenditures of the agency in connection with training and such other information as the Office considers appropriate.

4114. Non-Government facilities; review of training programs

Deleted.

4115. Collection of training information

No change.

4116. Training program assistance

No change.

4117. Administration

No change.

4118. Regulations

Subparagraph (a)(7) is changed to read as follows:

(7) the submission of reports by the agencies on results and effects of training programs and plans and economies resulting therefrom, including estimates of costs of training.

Subsection (b) deleted and subsections (c) and (d) are redesignated as (b) and (c) respectively.

4119. Training for employees under the Office of the Architect of the Capitol and the Botanic Garden

No change.



DAPE-CPP (690-200)
 18 JUL 1994


MEMORANDUM FOR SEE DISTRIBUTION

SUBJECT: FY 94 Civilian Personnel Management Statistical Reporting Requirements (RCS CSGPA-663(R6))

 

1. Reference DAPE-CPP Memorandum, subject as above, dated 4 February 1994.

2. On 31 March 1994, the President of the United States signed into law H. R. 3345, the Federal Workforce Restructuring Act of 1994. The Act includes amendments to the Government Employees Training Act (GETA), which changed agency reporting requirements to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on training expenditures and activities. Therefore, the following amendments are being made to Attachment #4 of referenced memorandum regarding the Annual Report of Civilian Training Activities.

  1. a. Attachment #4 - Annual Training Report: Manual reporting requirements are rescinded for FY 94 for (1) Personnel Engaged in Agency Training Activities (OPM Form 1185), (2) Long-Term Training (OPM Form 1306), (3) Continued Service Agreements, and (4) All Narrative Summary Responses on selected HRD Topics except Academic Degree Programs reporting requirements. The revised reporting requirements are reflected in paragraph b. below.

  2. b. Academic Degree Programs: Provide the following information for every person who received Academia Degree Training during FY 94 using the format shown below.

NAME:
PURPOSE (Recruitment, retention, meet Acquisition requirements):
SHORTAGE CATEGORY (Predetermined or Agency determined):
ACADEMIC DISCIPLINE/FIELD:
NUMBER OF SEMESTER HOURS:
NUMBER OF ON-DUTY AND OFF-DUTY HOURS:
COST OF TRAINING:
ACTIVITY AND LOCATION:

Addressees should submit consolidated reports directly to the Total Army Personnel Command, ATTN: TAPC-CPP-T, 200 Stovall Street, Alexandria, VA 22332-0350 by 15 November 1994. Negative responses are required. The suspense for all other reporting requirements remains 31 October 1994.

2. We are pleased to be able to reduce the manua1 reporting requirements once more. However, it is still the major commands' responsibility to assure that Training Offices are documenting training planned for the future, in progress and completed training in the ACPERS Training Module so we can continue to retrieve statistical data for evaluative purposes and to meet our remaining reporting requirements. Questions regarding the above changes to training program reporting requirements should be directed to Charles Cline, COMM 703-325-1347 or DSN 221-1347.

FOR THE DIRECTOR OF CIVILIAN PERSONNEL



//original signed//
David L. Snyder, Chief,
Planning and Evaluation Division


29 OCT 1993

MEMORANDUM FOR DISTRIBUTION

SUBJECT: Department of Defense (DoD) Academic Degree Training Policy

 

This memorandum forwards DoD policy on academic degree training which is effective immediately, and supersedes all other guidance. In the future, it will he printed and distributed as part of the DoD Civilian Personnel Manual.

As you implement these policies, we encourage you to communicate and cooperate with representatives from your labor and employee organizations. Copies of this memorandum with attachments will also be forwarded to Civilian Personnel Offices. We are available to meet with you or your staff to provide information and advice. Questions regarding the interpretation or application of the attached policy should be directed to Ms. Lois Hickey, Defense Civilian Personnel Management Service, on (703) 607-1336.



//original signed//
Ronald P. Sanders
Principal Director
(Civilian Personnel Policy/Equal Opportunity)


Attachments:
October 27, 1993

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
ACADEMIC DEGREE TRAINING

A.REFERENCES

  1. Section 1206(a) of Public Law 101-510, "The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991"

  2. 5 United States Code (13.S.C.) 4107

  3. 5 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 410

  4. DoD Directive 1400.25, "Department of Defense Civilian Personnel Manual System"

  5. DoD Directive 5124.2, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Force Management and Personnel)

B. BACKGROUND

Public Law 101-510 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991) amended 5 U.S.C. chapter 41 to allow, but not require, agencies to authorize and pay for training that may lead to an academic degree, if necessary to assist in the recruitment or retention of employees in shortage occupations (existing or anticipated), especially those with critical skills.

C. POLICY

1. This policy applies to all DoD Components.

2. Installation commanders and other designated management officials are authorized to approve academic degree training in accordance with mission priorities and fiscal constraints. They may terminate academic training any time they determine it is in the best interests of the organization to do so.

3. This authority cannot be used if there are excess employees in the same grade and series/skill or targeted grade and series/skill registered in the Priority Placement Program (PPP) as available for the Activity or geographic location of the shortage position. In addition, this authority cannot be used if Separation Incentives are being offered at the Activity or geographic location to positions in the same grade and series/skill or targeted grade and series/skill as the shortage position. When the position is in a shortage category determined by law and the law requires a specific degree or a number of mandatory academic hours, the above restrictions do not apply for retention purposes. In all instances, there must be a reasonable expectation that the Department of Defense will receive a return on the investment. Management officials will consider retraining of current employees before approving academic training as a recruitment incentive.

4. Any academic training provided must contribute to effective performance in the shortage position or occupation and be obtained through nationally or regionally accredited institutions.

5. In exercising this authority, merit system principles and competitive procedures shall be followed in soliciting and selecting individuals. This authority shall be used to support the goal of a workforce representative of all segments of society without regard to political affiliation, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or handicapping condition.

F. PROCEDURES

1. Follow procedures in accordance with 5 CFR 410.511.

2. Documentation, reports, and records shall be maintained in accordance with 5 CFR 410.511 requirements and readily available for review and submission upon request.

3. The following information shall be maintained on a fiscal year basis for each instance of training accepted: (a) shortage category (pre-determined or Agency-determined); (b) purpose of training (recruitment, retention, meet acquisition requirements); (c) name of employee and (d) current title, grade and series; (e) shortage position's title, grade, series and (f) the Activity and location; (g) academic discipline/field; (h) number of semester hours; (i) number of on-duty or off-duty hours; (j) cost of training. Components must compile the information and forward it to the DASD (CPPIEO) by November 30 of each year. Components may issue interim record keeping and documentation procedures until the data can be input and retrieved from the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System (DCPDS) or Defense Business Management System (DBMS).

G. SUPPLEMENTATION

The policies set forth above shall not be supplemented except as prescribed by statute or otherwise authorized by the provisions of this policy. Established career program proponents in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretaries of the Military Departments, Directors of Defense Agencies with independent appointing authority, and the OSD Director of Administration and Management are authorized to issue internal implementing procedures where they (or their Assistant Secretaries or equivalent) determine such procedures to be essential. Copies of such procedures shall be provided to ODASD (CPP/EO) for review prior to publication.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (Q&As) on the ACADEMIC DEGREE TRAINING REGULATIONS 5 CFR Part 410 MAY 7, 1992

To provide a better understanding of the Academic Degree Training Regulations, a series of questions and answers (Q&As) addressing key regulatory issues are presented below. The Q&As are organized by topic for your convenience.

Should you have additional questions, please contact Tom Fox in the Human Resources Development Group of OPM. Tom can be reached on (202) 632-9768.

1. EFFECTIVE DATE. When are the regulations effective?

Thirty (30) days after publication in the Federal Register.

2. AGENCY IMPLEMENTATION. What will an agency need to do to implement the Academic Degree Training Regulations?

An agency is required to cover--in its training policies established under 5 CFR 410.301(a)--decisions to authorize training under these new regulations (see 5 CFR 410.5ll(a)(6)). Delegations of authority will need to be made where considered appropriate in order to address recruitment/retention problems expeditiously. It is incumbent on the agency to determine which of its occupational shortages involve "skills critical to its mission" [see 5 CFR 410.511(a)(2)]. Appropriate consideration is to be given to "monetary inducements authorized by law"--already provided or being provided--which contribute to alleviation of its staffing problems [see 5 CFR 410.5ll(a)(3)].

3. BALANCED WORKFORCE CONSIDERATIONS. May an agency identify an occupation as a "shortage occupation" in applying the regulations if women or members of a racial or ethnic minority group are not "appropriately represented" in that occupation?

Workforce imbalance in the occupation by itself does not constitute a shortage category. A shortage determination MUST be based on other factors described in 5 CFR 410.511(b)(c)(d)(e) and (f). Once such a shortage determination has been made for an occupation, the need for a balanced workforce is a factor for consideration in making decisions, consistent with merit system principles set forth in 5 U.S.C. 2301(b)(l) and (2), about that occupation.

4. LEGAL AUTHORITY TO MAKE A "PRE-DETERMINED SHORTAGE." Does any agency other than OPM have statutory authority to identify occupations as having a "pre-determined shortage"?

The Department of Veterans Affairs has the authority for its medical occupations in that agency under 38 U.S.C. 4107(g).

5. SHORTAGES IDENTIFIED BY LAW. Is there an example of an occupational group which has been identified by law as having a "pre-determined shortage"?

The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991, PL 101-510) identified the acquisition occupation as having a shortage throughout the Department of Defense for a ten-year period from the date of that law.

6. APPLICATION TO ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT (TYPING) POSITIONS. How could the new regulations be applied to an employee in an administrative support position with typing in its title?

If the position is in a locality where the occupation has been declared a shortage category by OPM under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 5305, the employee's occupation comes under the "predetermined" category--see 5 CFR 410.511(b)(l). Conceivably, a course of study could be authorized, if it is mainly selected for its potential contribution to effective performance in the administrative support (typing) occupation and its purpose is to retain the employee in that occupation--see 5 CFR410.511(g)(2).

The agency will need to determine if merit promotion procedures apply to selection for such training. Even if the training is not associated with promotion within the employee's occupational field or will not provide educational credits which will contribute to qualifying for assignment to a different position with higher promotion potential, the agency will need to review its priorities and available funds to ensure that decisions to use the new Academic Degree authority are made equitably. The agency will need to consider whether the special salary rate for the employee is, itself, sufficient to ensure retention of the employee in his/her occupation.

The employee could, conceivably, enter into competition for training to obtain qualifications for entry into another shortage occupation with better promotion potential--under merit promotion procedures.

7. RECRUITMENT INCENTIVE. Can this new authority be used in recruiting a person who is already qualified for appointment to a shortage occupation?

In its external recruitment efforts, an agency can refer to the possibility of academic training related to the occupational field targeted by those efforts--see 5 CFR 410.511(g)(2). An agency cannot guarantee academic degree training to external recruits since approval is dependent upon a variety of factors that come into play in the future such as:

  1. the availability of funds;
  2. agency determinations on relative criticality of various shortage occupations;
  3. changes which may occur over time affecting the occupation in question;
  4. balanced workforce (EEO) considerations;
  5. the extent to which other inducements of a monetary nature may have alleviated the shortage; and
  6. the actual performance of the employee in that occupation.

8. RECRUITMENT PROBLEMS. What limit is there on the amount or duration of training that can be approved under this regulation to address a recruitment problem?

The training may be authorized to the extent that it qualifies an employee for a shortage position -- see 5 CFR 410.511(g)(l). Once the employee has received sufficient training to qualify for movement into the shortage position, the training ceases.

9. RETENTION PROBLEMS. What control needs to be exercised over the substance of training to retain a valued employee in a shortage occupation?

The training must involve a "course of study which is mainly selected for its potential contribution to effective performance in that occupation"--see 5 CFR 410.511(g)(2).

10. RETAINING VALUED EMPLOYEES. If an agency has provided training under the new regulations to retain a valued employee in a shortage occupation, resulting in his/her obtaining a Master's degree, what could the agency do to ensure retention of the employee after the employee fulfills his/her continued service obligation?

If, after completion of the training for a Master's degree and the attendant continued service resulting from that training investment, the agency is concerned over the possibility of losing the employee's valued services, it can authorize training (for example, leading to a doctorate) to ensure retention of the employee.

11. EXTENT OF TRAINING TO RETAIN AN EMPLOYEE IN AN ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT (TYPING) POSITION IN A SHORTAGE LOCALITY. Could training to address a retention problem be provided in sufficient amount for an academic degree for an employee in an administrative support (typing) position?

This would depend on the availability of academic courses which would contribute to effective performance in the employee's occupation and the willingness of the agency to support non-relevant units of education during the course of study. Other factors coming into play would be the level of the degree (e.g., Associate Degree) and the amount of education (does the employee already have a related degree) the employee already had before the training under the new regulations commenced.

12. "RETENTION PROBLEM" CRITERIA. Under the regulations, agencies shall consider, among other things, current and projected vacancy rates and the rate of turnover in the occupation. What is the difference between "vacancy rate" and "rate of turnover"?

"Vacancy rate" would reflect what portion of an agency's authorized or planned staffing level for a particular position is vacant. "Rate of turnover" refers to the average length which employees stay in the position. An agency could have a tolerable vacancy rate yet have a real staffing problem because of high rate of turnover.

13. WHAT'S NEW IN DEALING WITH RETRAINING OF EMPLOYEES. If an

employee is selected for training to qualify for movement into a shortage position, what academic courses could be provided under the new regulations which could not otherwise be authorized?

Heretofore, all courses making up a program of study to qualify for movement into a different occupational field had to be relevant to performance of official duties in the targeted occupation. Now, if the target is a shortage position, an agency may pay for courses to the extent that they qualify an employee for movement into that position. Courses not meeting the test of relevancy could be approved insofar as they provide education which can be substituted for required work experience.

14. RETRAINING FOR SHORTAGE OCCUPATION. If there is no requirement for an academic degree to qualify for a shortage position, could the agency continue to provide courses leading to an academic degree after the employee had attained the minimum qualifications for movement into that position?

Once the employee becomes qualified for the target position, authorization of training under the new regulations will cease. If, after determining that the employee is successfully performing in the new position, the agency believes additional training will be needed to retain the employee in the shortage occupation, it can authorize additional academic training for that purpose--see 5 CFR 410.511(g)(2).

When additional training is necessary due to a performance deficiency or to enhance current performance, such additional training--which would be covered by the standard training regulations, not the "academic degree" training regulations--would have to meet the test of relevancy.

15. COOPERATIVE-EDUCATION PROGRAMS. Could the new regulations be of help to cooperative-education programs?

Yes, if the target of the program is a shortage occupation. Before, each course for which tuition was paid under the training law had to meet the test of relevancy. That is no longer the case under the new regulations.

16. FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT STATUS. Do the regulations authorize appointment to a shortage position of a person lacking full qualifications for that position--with the condition attached to the appointment that it would become final after the employee obtains the needed qualifying educational credits?

To receive educational support under the training law, a person must be a Federal employee, occupying a position for which qualified. The new regulations provide no new appointment authority. (See second paragraph under "Recruitment Methods, Appointments, and Other Considerations" in the Federal Register Notice.) Someone recruited into a cooperative-education program can potentially benefit (as explained in Item 14) because that person becomes a Federal employee before receiving tuition support under the training law.

17. OTHER MONETARY INDUCEMENT. If an employee has benefited through some monetary inducement to recruitment or retention in a shortage occupation, would that preclude the provision of training under the new regulations?

The employing agency would be required, under 5 CFR 410.511(a)(3), to give "appropriate consideration" to such other inducement, but the existence of such an inducement would not be an absolute bar to training under the new regulations.

18. ADDRESSING UNIQUE STAFFING PROBLEMS. If, for example, an agency determines that it has a retention problem which meets the criteria in 5 CFR 410.511(g)(2) and there is only one person occupying that shortage position, could an assignment of that employee to training under the new regulations normally be made without considering other matters?

The fact that a unique position is involved does not free the agency from other considerations. There may be other problems of staffing shortages of greater criticality to the agency. Furthermore, there would be a need to determine whether, in other

shortage occupations, consideration of the need for a "balanced workforce" would result in assigning a higher priority to training for that occupation.

19. AGREEMENTS TO CONTINUE IN SERVICE. Under the regulations, is there any change in the use of an agreement to continue in service (5 CFR 410.508 and FPM Chapter 410, 5-7)?

There is no change in the requirement for and use of an agreement to continue in service upon completion of training. An employee selected for academic degree training MUST have signed an agreement to continue in service prior to approval of training.