Career Development Guide

Career Development Guide


  1. Career development is an essential element in the management of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). The complexity and variety of our mission requires the constant upgrading of knowledge, skills, and abilities. This document establishes the Standard Procedures for employee career development and training. It is designed to be of use to employees, supervisors, and managers at level.


This document applies to DoDEA non-educator employees without discrimination because of race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, physical, or mental handicap, sexual orientation, or other factors not related to the need for training. (Educators should seek guidance on career development issues from their supervisors or negotiated agreements.) It recognizes the following as legitimate policy objectives for civilian career development activities:

  1. Improving employee performance of current duties;
  2. Providing means for developing employees' skills to meet current and future organization needs;
  3. Providing opportunities for development of high-potential employees;
  4. Providing employees with the necessary competencies to meet changes in organization policy, mission, structure, equipment, or technology;
  5. Maintaining specialized proficiencies;
  6. Assisting with the upward mobility of lower-level employees.


Career development for civilian employees is supported at the highest National level. Employees can reasonably expect their supervisors to guide them in the area of career development but employees must take charge of their own learning and development.

  1. Individual Development Plan (IDP):
    IDPs are the employees' written plans for developing the competencies they will need to succeed in their careers. IDPs are the joint efforts of supervisors and employees.


  2. Standard Form (SF) 182 (Authorization, Agreement and Certification of Training):
    This is a multi-purpose form designed to request, approve, fund, and certify completion and evaluation of civilian employee training. It is required to initiate career development courses or programs which may incur cost to DoDEA.


Career development is not the domain of just one individual or section. It is one of the agency's most important undertakings and is the shared responsibility of the entire organization.

  1. Areas of responsibility:
    The responsibility for training is shared by employees, supervisors, management, and the Human Resource (HR) Policy Branch.
    1. Government regulations and Executive Orders place the responsibility for human resource development with the head of each agency.
    2. Chiefs of Divisions are responsible for adequately funding the career development needs of their employees. The Division Chiefs, site managers, Superintendents or other senior managers are the authorizing officials for requested training activities/ courses.
    3. Supervisors are the approving officials for specific training activities/courses. With the employees, they will look at IDPs to determine the need for and suitability of these activities.
    4. Employees have the ultimate responsibility for their own career development. They should keep current on the career development information on the DoDEA web site and read the periodic training announcements sent out by the HR Policy Branch. The individual employees are charged with:
      1. Initiation of SF-182. After the determination of need, they should complete the SF-182 and obtain supervisory approval signatures.
      2. Obtain HR approval for compliance with regulatory requirements;
      3. Returning proof of course completion to the HR Policy Branch so that their training records can be updated;
      4. Keeping copies of all pertinent training forms and documents.
    5. The HR Policy Branch has a wide variety of duties and responsibilities. These include:
      1. Certification that a training activity or course meets regulatory requirements;
      2. Locating suitable courses or programs for career development opportunities;
      3. Arrangement of the payment for career development activities;
      4. Tracking training and development for the organization;
      5. Arranging special training activities;
      6. Reviewing and making suggestions for IDPs as requested;
      7. Working with supervisors on gap analysis and recommended training during "opportunity periods," also called "Performance Improvement Plan" periods


  2. Types of Training:
    Under the law, career development activities may be full or part- time, during duty or off duty hours, day or evening or any combination of these. They may be carried out by classroom, on-the-job, technology based, conference/workshop, blended, or correspondence. Training activities may be provided by:
    1. DoDEA,
    2. Another Government agency,
    3. A school, college or university,
    4. A manufacturer or corporation,
    5. A professional association,
    6. Other competent persons or groups in or out of the Government,
    7. Developmental work assignments such as details, rotations, mentoring, etc.


  3. Training Objectives:
    The following are legitimate career development objectives that must apply to all employees equally:
    1. Improving employee performance of current duties;
    2. Providing a means for developing employee skills to meet current and future workforce needs;
    3. Providing opportunities for development of high-potential employees;
    4. Providing employees with necessary competencies to meet changes in organizational policy, technology, etc.
    5. Maintaining "state-of-art" specialized proficiencies;
    6. Assisting with the planned upward mobility of lower-level employees.


  4. Developmental Programs:
    These programs are available from a variety of sources for Federal employees. These are excellent career development opportunities but usually require a great deal of effort and commitment from participants. Some examples follow:
    1. DLAMP- The Defense Leadership and Management Program (DLAMP) is a Department-wide program for growing future DoD civilian leaders through "joint" civilian training, education, and development. DLAMP serves as the framework for achieving the objective of the Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces to ensure a DoD civilian leadership community capable of leading in a "joint" environment. It nurtures a shared understanding and sense of mission between civilian and military leaders.
    2. WELP- Women's Executive Leadership Program is designed to help participants acquire or enhance competencies needed to become a successful Federal leader or manager. The twelve-month program is open to women and men at the GS 11-12 or equivalent level of responsibility with less than one year's supervisory experience.
    3. ELP- Executive Leadership Program's core curriculum employs the training concepts and methods used by the military departments. Graduates of the program are prepared to assume more responsible supervisory and managerial positions. DoD employees at the GS 12-13 or equivalent level of responsibility are eligible to attend.
    4. EPP- Executive Potential Program is a one-year program to prepare program specialists for managerial and executive positions. It consists of a one-week residential orientation program, individual needs assessments, individual development plans, advice from senior officials, three one-week residential seminars, and two 60 day developmental work assignments. EPP is open Federal employees at the GS 13-14 or equivalent level of responsibility.
    5. SELC- Senior Executive Leadership Course is for applicants in positions at the GS 14 or equivalent level of responsibility through the SES level. It is an intense one-year program, which is the second component of the ELP.


  5. Payment:
    Training is authorized and certified for payment on SF-182. Since training activities are paid in advance, it is extremely important that employees be fully committed to the activity before initiating application paperwork. Employees may be held liable for costs incurred by the Government because of training they do not complete.


  6. Training Rosters:
    Instead of an SF-182, a roster of attendees may be used to document no-cost, on-site training. Copies of the roster may be given to attendees to document the training in their personal training records. An SF-182 with a roster of attendees and supporting documentation is used to document training that incurs a cost.


  7. Possible Reasons for Denial of Training/Career Development Activities:
    Although employee career development is an important aspect of Federal employment supported by regulations and Executive Orders, sometimes it becomes necessary for training requests to be disapproved. This may be because of budget constraints or the training activity has been found to be "inappropriate" under the guidelines below. It is also possible that training may be denied to employees who have taken part in earlier training activities so that other employees may be given the opportunity to use available training funds. Questions about training, which has been denied, may be addressed first to supervisors and then to the HRD staff.


  8. Continued Service Agreements:
    Under some circumstances, employees must agree in writing before assignment to training to continue in service for a period at least equal to three times the length of the training period.


  9. Inappropriate Training:
    DoDEA is prohibited (as are all Government agencies) from spending appropriated funds on training that is offensive to Federal employees and unnecessary in the execution of their official duties. Congress has defined inappropriate training as training that:
    1. Does not bear directly on an employee's official duties;
    2. Induces high levels of unnecessary emotional or psychological stress;
    3. Does not notify employees prior to training of the content and methods to be used;
    4. Does not have required written course evaluations;
    5. Contains methods or content associated with religious, quasi-religious belief systems or "new age" belief systems;
    6. Is offensive to, or designed to change, employee's personal values or lifestyle outside the workplace;
    7. Includes non-work related material on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).


  10. Human Resources Center Competencies:
    The DoDEA Human Resources Center HR Competency Framework provides a model for identifying the competencies that are necessary for employees in all personnel positions and specialties. The competencies are broken down into three primary areas or domains. All employees, no matter what their levels or positions, require some skills in the Professional, Business Management and Technical domains. The Competency Framework should be used as a guide to develop individual employees' IDPs as well as to prepare the total work force for the 21st Century. It is anticipated that the Human Resources Center's Framework will be used as a model to create a framework for other occupations.


  11. HRD Points of Contact:
    For more information on any aspect of career development, please feel free to contact the HR Policy Branch or Chery Lomax Surratt at (571) 372-0813 or by email

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