National Park Service
The Learning Place
Training and Development Standard Operating Procedures

NPS Employees

See File

I. Application and Selection for Training

  • Nomination

  • Prioritization of Nominations

  • Selection

  • Training Catalog

  • Course Announcements

  • Bulletin Boards

  • Internet

    II. Approval of Training

  • Prior to Registration

  • Approval for Training in Foreign Countries

  • Delegation of Authority

  • Training of Temporaries/Seasonals

  • Availability of NPS Training to Non-NPS Employees

    III. Individual Development Plans (IDP's)

    IV. Needs Assessments

    V. Mandated Training

    VI. Training Community Roles

  • Roles

  • SSO/Cluster/Park Training Support Personnel

    VII. Evaluations

  • Program

  • Personnel

  • Participant

    VIII. Certification and Accreditation

  • Certification

  • Training for Trainers (professional package)

  • Accreditation

  • Supervisory/Management Training Recertification

  • Credit for Developmental Opportunities

  • Audit of Courses for Non Credit

  • Training Materials for Certification Standards

    IX. Management of Training Funds and Expenses

  • Fund Management (training with cost)

  • Funding Alternatives

  • Overtime/FLSA

  • Training Locations/Sites (cost/appearance)

  • Marketing and Sale of Products/Services

  • Payment of Training

    X. Records and Reports

  • Training Records/History

  • Use of Software (Automated Resources Training System - ARTS)

    XI. Curriculum Development

  • Curriculum Design

  • Encouraging Interagency Joint Development

    XII. Management of Special Programs

    XIII. Employee Support

  • Chief, Training and Development Team

  • Course Coordinators

    XIV. Advanced and Continuing Education

    I. Application and Selection for Training

    A. Nomination

    ·The automated nomination form includes standard basic data and course-specific questions.

    ·The nomination form contains a section where the employee must verify that his/her supervisor has approved the requested training. An "actual" signature of supervisory approval will not be required for most training, which will reduce processing time. (Exception: law enforcement courses and when noted on the training announcement.)

    ·Electronic nomination forms and supplemental sheets, when necessary, will be required for all training.

  • NPS Course Nomination Form.

    B. Prioritization of Nominations

    ·Selection criteria to all Servicewide training and development events shall include a factor for long-range NPS developmental program participants. The relative weight of this criterial shall be determined by the Training Manger, or designee. In addition, Training Managers may use their full authority as delineated in the NPS Training and Development Standard Operating Procedures to select these types of participants when done in consultation with the relevant trianee, program manager and Regional Employee Development Officer. In all cases, the event or relevant competencies should be listed in the trainee's approved Individual Development Plan.

    C. Selection

    ·Participant selection will be made by the Training Manager or Course Coordinator, as applicable.

    ·The participant will be notified of selection by the Course Coordinator, as applicable.

    ·The Course Coordinator will notify the appropriate Employee Development Officer of the names of the course participants.

    D. Training Catalog

    ·Catalog data will be compiled by the Capital Training Center and disseminated via the Learning Place Bulletin Board on cc:Mail, the Learning Place web page on the Internet, as well as by each Training Manager.

    ·Training Managers will submit information to the Catalog Coordinator on a quarterly basis (October, January, April, July) by the 24th of the month.

    ·Updates are to be submitted in accordance to the guidelines instituted by the Catalog Coordinator.

    Catalog Format (as agreed to in March 1996)

  • Cross-referencing
  • Program description (clear, concise, and consistent)
  • Career field/sub-field
  • Program title
  • Program number
  • Description/competencies
  • Method of delivery
  • Dates
  • Location
  • Funding
  • Contact person

    E. Course Announcements

    ·Course announcements will follow the same format, including identified competencies, course codes, attached nomination form, and selection criteria.

    ·Training Managers will review and submit Servicewide training opportunity announcements to the Learning Place Bulletin Board on cc:Mail, the Learning Place web page on the Internet, as well as provide a copy to each Employee Development Officer.

    ·Servicewide course announcements will be distributed to employees through the Learning Place Bulletin Board on cc:Mail and the Learning Place web page on the Internet, as appropriate.

    ·Local Administrative Officers or Training Coordinators will be responsible for ensuring that announcements are publicized to all employees in their units who do not have direct access to the Learning Place Bulletin Board.

    F. Bulletin Boards

    ·The Learning Place Bulletin Board will be managed out of the Capital Training Center.

    ·The Learning Place Bulletin Board will be used to disseminate training-related Servicewide announcements, activities, programs, and developmental opportunities.

    G. Internet

    ·The Learning Place web page will be managed out of the Capital Training Center.

    ·Information for the Learning Place web page will be submitted to the Internet Coordinator in the Capital Training Center.

    ·The Stephen T. Mather Training Center will maintain and update all Career Field Essential Competencies on the Learning Place web page in consultation with all Training Managers and the Internet Coordinator.

    ·Information for the Learning Place web page will be proofed and edited prior to submittal to the Internet Coordinator.

    II. Approval of Training

    A. Prior to Registration

    ·Training must be approved prior to registration.

    B. Approval for Training in Foreign Countries

    ·Training in international venues is encouraged.

    ·Approval must be requested from the State Department via the Washington Office.

    C. Delegation of Authority

    ·Delegation of authority is to the lowest appropriate level, with exceptions (e.g., foreign travel) as warranted.

    D. Training of Temporaries/Seasonals

    ·Training Managers and park personnel are encouraged to include temporaries, seasonal, and volunteer personnel in training when possible/desirable.

    E. Availability of NPS Training to Non-NPS Employees

    ·Training Managers and park personnel are encouraged to include non-NPS personnel, partners, and employees of other agencies in training when possible/desirable.

    III. Individual Development Plans (IDP's)

    A. The IDP is an integral part of the needs assessment structure and provides Training Managers with information necessary to focus limited resources in the areas of greatest need.

    B. Employees and supervisors will identify training needs through an automated system of courses and developmental processes that address such areas as mandatory training, essential competencies, legal requirements, career development, and professional growth. All employees will have an IDP that is current and updated at the time of the employee's annual appraisal.

    IV. Needs Assessments

    A. American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) standards will be used as a resource in developing needs assessment instruments and processes.

    B. A summary of all training needed, as well as employee training history data, will be used in the development of new courses/programs.

    C. Each Training Manager for each career field will conduct a specific Servicewide task and proficiency analysis every 5 years for its employee group.

    D. All Training Managers will use the data generated by the automated IDP process for curriculum development within their respective career fields. This does not preclude any Training Coordinator in a park or Field Area from conducting a local needs assessment as needed. This will be accomplished prior to the start of each calendar year.

    V. Mandated Training

    A. Mandated training - training required by law or Executive Order.

    B. The delivery of all mandated and required training will be determined by Training Managers consistent with Training and Development policies, if not specified in Executive Order.

    VI. Training Community Roles

    A. Roles

    Leader and Deputy Leader, Training and Development Program (WASO) (as management consultant and participant)

    Responsible for:

  • Maintenance and updates of strategy/policy
  • National recordkeeping
  • Overall budget
  • Leadership and guidance
  • Continuity
  • NLC relationship
  • Agency and non-government relationship
  • Consultant/leadership/organization development

    Training Center Superintendents

    Responsible for the overall management and operation of the training and development program(s) assigned, as well as Servicewide programs and projects that enhance the training and development process.

    Training Managers

    Responsible for training and delivery in their respective career fields. They are also responsible for reviewing, recommending, and monitoring training sponsored by vendors. Training Managers will have access to evaluation, curriculum and course design, maintenance of training information, and records for the entire career field within the context of the national program.

    Employee Development Officers

    Responsible for coordination and facilitation of appropriate training and development for employees in their Field Area. They are also responsible for electronically updating the employee training history as training is completed. All Field Director Offices will have a full-time employee serving in the role of an Employee Development Officer.

    Training Community

    NPS Employees Monitor, coach, and assist in developing employees who have skills or interest in working with the Training and Development program or in becoming instructors, and identify those assets to management and employees.

    B. SSO/Cluster/Park Training Support Personnel

    ·Serve as a liaison between Training Managers and Training Centers with parks from their Cluster.

    ·A collateral duty Training Coordinator should be designated to assist with training needs, distance learning courses, the facilitation process, and ensure input of all training processes for each park and SSO.

    VII. Evaluations

    A. Program

    ·All developmental programs, Women Executive Leadership (WEL), Executive Potential Program (EPP), Intake Trainee Program, and Historic Preservation Training Center will be evaluated annually by the Capital Training Center for relevance, changes, accomplishments, and actions necessary. Information should be provided to the training community.

    ·Evaluations are mandatory for all NPS training activities (courses, programs, and other developmental opportunities). All opportunities will be evaluated for ongoing relevance to the Servicewide program, instructor competence, and learning content.

    ·Information will be maintained electronically.

    ·Training Managers will evaluate the return of investment for each training opportunity. Elements such as delivery method, travel and per diem, cost per participant, and impact of the training should be considered.

    ·Long-term evaluation to measure improved job performance or changed values will be routinely accomplished for training and development programs. WASO will be responsible for ensuring that this is accomplished.

    ·Each Servicewide Training Center should use the same evaluation format--content should be identical. Additional information related specifically to the course material presented at a Training Center may be solicited in a separate section of the form.

    ·American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) standards will be a point of reference for all evaluation processes.

  • Participant Evaluation Form.

    B. Personnel

    ·Establish a Servicewide database of instructors. Training Managers and Course Coordinators will then have a larger instructor pool to provide resources.

    ·Access to the database should be limited to Training Center Managers and members of the training community involved in the actual design and delivery of the course. The database should include:

  • Instructor's name
  • Actual courses/sessions taught
  • Location (duty station/geographic area)
  • Skills rating based on cumulative participant evaluations
  • Primary and secondary cc:Mail addresses
  • Telephone number(s)
  • References
  • Academic background

    This database will be designed as a stand-alone system if its addition to the overall automated training system would be cost-prohibitive.

  • Course Evaluation Form.
  • Session Evaluation Form.
  • Sample Short-term Evaluation Memos.

    C. Participant

    ·Prior to the training, the Course Coordinator or the Park Training Coordinator will send a cc:Mail message to the selectee's supervisor to notify him/her that a short-term follow-up evaluation will be required. The selectee will be informed of this requirement in his/her notification of selection.

    ·Approximately 60 days after completion of training, the Training Coordinator will send a follow-up cc:Mail message to the trainees' supervisor. Ideally, the computer program will automatically generate this message with an address list and send a reminder to the Course Coordinator.

    VIII. Certification and Accreditation

    A. Certification

    ·All certified training will provide completion certificates.
    ·All training, in order to be credited to an employee training history, must be certified for the specified career field.

    ·Training is certified if
    (1) it has been approved by a Federal, State, or local licensing authority, and
    (2) it is offered by a college, university, vocational, or professional organization or society.

    ·Not fulfilling any of the above, the training must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate Training Manager. To be certified training, it must consist of delivery by approved NPS/non-NPS instructors, use approved lesson plans, and use competency based materials.

    B. Training for Trainers (professional package)

    ·The training community is encouraged to join professional training organizations and attend seminars, conferences, and related activities.

    ·The professional training staff will receive training in Instructional System Design (ISD) and facilitation skills in order to maintain or receive creditability and improve their performance as professional trainers.

    ·To be a certified trainer for mandatory or certificate courses, an instructor must be a subject matter expert and have an understanding of adult learning theory.

    C. Accreditation

    ·Managers need to work with Universities, etc., when possible, to establish accreditation.

    D. Supervisory/Management Training Recertification

    ·Office of Personnel Management and Department of the Interior's requirements are to be reviewed by the Supervisory Management and Leadership Training Manager, and updated requirements are to be disseminated to the training community.

    E. Credit for Developmental Opportunities

    ·Work performed as part of an officially designated task force, Servicewide committee, or work group will be documented to the employee's official personnel file and/or training history upon successful completion of the task.

    ·Work performed on special details or in an acting assignment of 30 days or more is creditable to an employee's official personnel file.

    ·Attendance at job-related professional meetings is creditable for developmental and training purposes.

    ·Training Managers will establish standards to be applied consistently in meeting career field competencies.

    F. Audit of Courses for Non Credit

    ·It is acceptable to allow an employee to audit up to 20% of a course; however, it is not acceptable to allow an employee to audit an entire course because of violation of merit selection considerations.

    ·An employee who wishes to audit any portion of a course must have permission from the Course Coordinator. When using NPS sites for courses in-the-field, the site manager must be informed in writing, in advance, of auditing and attendance policies.

    ·Employees who audit training events do NOT receive credit for attendance.

    G. Training Materials for Certification Standards

    ·All training materials used for certification will be closely monitored (films, books, lesson plans, videotapes, etc.) for current mission applicability, updating, and replacement.

    IX. Management of Training Funds and Expenses

    A. Fund Management (training with cost)

    ·An automated SF-182 process will be used for recording all training and costs regardless of training source.

    ·Employees who have legitimate reasons for not attending and/or completing a training course may be excused from fiscal liability. Such reasons should be compelling (e.g., illness of the employee during the training, death/serious illness in the employee's family). This decision will be made in conjunction with the employee's supervisor/manager.

    ·Employees who do not complete training or who do not perform satisfactorily during training will be assessed for all costs associated with that training.

    ·If a trainee does not meet minimum performance standards for attendance at a course, the Course Coordinator has discretionary authority to dismiss the employee from the course (after working with the trainee to improve performance). The Course Coordinator will notify the employee's supervisor prior to making that decision. The Course Coordinator or the supervisor will update the employee's training records by indicating a "not certified" notation in the certification block for that course. This information will be tracked and will be a useful screening tool when providing an employee with future training opportunities.

    ·Once funding is available, a central training fund will be utilized to pay for essential competencies training.

    ·A fee may be charged for any NPS-sponsored training development opportunity, as deemed appropriate to cover course materials, administrative, and related costs.

    B. Funding Alternatives

    ·Employees are encouraged to identify alternative funding for developmental opportunities, but must comply with legal and ethical requirements.

  • Tuition Assistance Program.

    C. Overtime/FLSA

    ·Overtime will be governed by the most current FLSA/5 CFR regulations.

  • FLSA/5 CFR Regulations

    ·Any eligible overtime claims due to training and development programs will be paid by the employee's duty station, not the training and development program.

    ·Training should be scheduled to avoid any conflict of payment of premium wages.

    D. Training Locations/Sites (cost/appearance)

    ·Training locations will be selected on the basis of cost and accessibility for a majority of class participants. A good faith effort MUST be made to accommodate applicants with special needs.

    ·Training locations may also be selected based on relationship of the topic to location, public appearance, non-use of high cost geographic rate areas, and existence of unique value or resources.

    E. Marketing and Sale of Products/Services

    ·NPS will market and sell products generated by Training and Development programs.

    ·All revenue generated by sales will be returned to employees in the form of additional training and developmental programs.

    F. Payment of Training

    ·Tuition and fees will be established for all NPS training programs and will be charged to non-NPS participants, unless waived by the Training Center Superintendent.

    ·Tuition and fees may or may not be charged to NPS participants.

    X. Records and Reports

    A. Training Records/History

    ·Course reports are forwarded to the appropriate Training Center Superintendent for all courses sponsored or certified by that Training Center. At a minimum, an Executive Summary will be forwarded to the Training Manager, who may request a complete course report. Reports should be submitted within 1 month following completion of the course. Course reports should be filed or maintained on disk for the duration that they are useful for the evaluation and design of course.

    B. Use of Software (Automated Resources Training System - ARTS)

    ·Policy and implementation are being developed at this time.

    XI. Curriculum Development

    A. Curriculum Design

    ·All NPS training will be based on a formal curriculum design derived from essential competencies.

    ·Curriculum design teams will work closely with Training Managers and career field representatives to ensure that the program meets broad mission, goals, and objectives.

    ·American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) standards will be used for curriculum design.

    ·Training Managers, upon selection, will be given Instruction System Design (ISD) training.

    ·Programs (courses) within a designed curriculum may support one or more developmental levels (entry, developmental, and full performance).

    B. Encouraging Interagency Joint Development

    ·The NPS will enter into joint development efforts whenever appropriate.

    XII. Management of Special Programs

    ·Participants in long-range NPS developmental programs (i.e., Intake Trainee Program and the Bevinetto Congressional Fellowship will be permanently placed in positions at the successful completion of their program. The National Leadership Council's designee will ensure that such placement occurs immediately upon graduation.

    XIII. Employee Support

    A. Leader, Training and Development Team

    ·The Leader, Training and Development Team, will ensure that all training facilities and lodging conform to accessibility requirements.

    B. Course Coordinators

    ·Course Coordinators will ensure that special needs are accommodated and that barrier's which restrict an employee's ability to learn are mitigated.

    XIV. Advanced and Continuing Education

    ·Employees are encouraged to attend courses offering Continuing Education Units (CUE's) that have been reviewed, recommended, and monitored by Training Managers.

    See File Employee Development Home

    Last Update: July 10, 2001