OPM tracks training

Before leaving her post, Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James told chief human capital officers that their progress in IT training will be tracked with a scorecard.

James, who left her post on Jan. 31, issued a memorandum to federal chief human capital officers to help them create performance standards for information technology training. Their efforts would be graded in the Human Capital scorecard under the Workforce Planning Standards section, she said in the memo.

"Strategically managing human capital in every area is key to the success of the [President's Management Agenda] and to ensuring a federal work force prepared for the challenges that lie ahead," she said in the memo.

In her memo, she recommended that agencies must first determine organizational and individual training needs. To help human capital officers do that, OPM and the CIO Council have developed an online IT workforce competency assessment tool.

It allows agencies to evaluate current skill levels of individuals in their IT workforce, identify critical competency gaps and link those gaps to specific training courses and other learning opportunities. The assessment tool is available at www.golearn.gov.

"The federal work force must be able to meet the demands of the 21st century, and effective IT training is a critical component in meeting that challenge," James said.

Once an agency has determined its specific IT training needs and a strategy to meet them, it must develop performance standards to measure the strategy's effectiveness, she said.

Training is becoming an important part of an agency's mandate. OPM has developed a Guide to Strategically Planning, Training and Measuring Results to give agencies guidance in developing the standards.

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