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- A–Z Index
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Individual development plans.
Career development planning benefits the individual employee as well as the organization by aligning employee training and development efforts with the organization's mission, goals, and objectives. An individual development plan (IDP) is a tool to assist employees in achieving their personal and professional development goals. IDPs help employees and supervisors set expectations for specific learning objectives and competencies. While an IDP is not a performance evaluation tool or a one-time activity, IDPs allow supervisors to clarify performance expectations. IDPs should be viewed as a partnership between an employee and their supervisor, and involves preparation and continuous feedback. Many agencies require IDPs for new and current employees, and encourage employees to update them annually.
When using an IDP, supervisors develop a better understanding of their employees' professional goals, strengths, and development needs. Employees take personal responsibility and accountability for their career development, acquiring or enhancing the skills they need to stay current in their roles. Some of the benefits of an IDP are:
- Provide an administrative mechanism for identifying and tracking development needs and plans
- Assist in planning for the agency's training and development requirements
- Align employee training and development efforts with its mission, goals, and objectives
There are no regulatory requirements mandating employees complete IDPs within the Federal Government, although many employee and leadership development programs require IDPs (e.g. PMF Program). Completing IDPs is considered good management practice, and many agencies have developed their own IDP planning process and forms. While there is no one "correct" form for recording an employee's development plan, an effective plan should include, at minimum, the following key elements:
- Employee profile - name, position title, office, grade/pay band
- Career goals - short-term and long-term goals with estimated and actual competion dates
- Development objectives - linked to work unit mission/goals/objectives and employee's development needs and objectives
- Training and development opportunities - activities in which the employee will pursue with estimated and actual completion dates. These activities may include formal classroom training, web-based training, rotational assignments, shadowing assignments, on-the-job training, self-study programs, and professional conferences/seminars
- Signatures - supervisor and employee signature and date
For more information on IDPs and to view IDP templates, please visit the OPM Training and Development Wiki.
Executive Development Plans
While there are no regulatory requirements for IDPs, Senior Executive Service (SES) members are required to have a plan for their continued training and development. Under 5 CFR 412.401, all Senior Executives must complete and regularly update an Executive Development Plan (EDP).
Facing constant challenges, changing technologies, and a dynamic environment, executives must pursue ongoing professional executive development to succeed and grow. It is crucial that executives continue to strengthen and enhance their Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs), broaden their perspectives, and strengthen their performance.
Federal agencies are required by law (Title 5, U.S. Code, Section 3396) to establish programs for the continuing development of senior executives.
SES members are required to prepare, implement, and regularly update an EDP as specified by 5 CFR 412.401. The Executive Development Plan (EDP) is a key tool in assisting executives in their continued development. EDPs should outline a senior executive's short-term and long-term developmental activities which will enhance the executive's performance. These activities should meet organizational needs for leadership, managerial improvement, and results.
EDPs should be reviewed annually and revised as appropriate by an Executive Resources Board or similar body designated by the agency to oversee executive development. OPM has developed a sample EDP template for agencies to reference when developing their own EDP form. You can find the sample template and other information on EDPs on the Training and Development Wiki .
If you have any questions regarding training policy or executive development, you can contact the Training and Executive Development Group by sending an email to [email protected] .
Individual Learning Accounts
An Individual Learning Account (ILA) is a base amount of resources expressed in terms of dollars and/or hours that is set aside for an individual employee to use for his or her learning and development. Accounts may be used to develop knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly relate to the employee's official duties. An ILA provides a flexible and innovative approach to encouraging agency employees to take control of their own learning and career development. ILAs were piloted in the Federal Government from March 2000 through September 2000.
ILA's can also be used to supplement existing tuition reimbursement programs. Appropriation law requires monies appropriated for a given fiscal year be expended in that fiscal year (31 USC Sec. 1502). Executive Order No. 13111 states: "To the extent permitted by law, ILA accounts may be established with the funds allocated to the agency for employee training. No new funds are required to implement ILA's. The best way to determine if your agency has an ILA program is to inquire at your agency's Human Resources Office.
You can find more information on ILAs on the OPM Training and Development Wiki.
Mentoring and coaching are both valuable tools to aid personal and professional development. While there are similar aspects to each method, they are fundamentally different in a variety of ways. Mentoring is a process that focuses specifically on providing guidance, direction, and career advice. Coaching's primary emphasis is on maximizing people's potential by working on their perceptions, self-confidence and creative drive.
Mentoring and Coaching efforts can operate as stand-alone programs or they can be integrated into an organization's training and development program. Many organizations, Federal agencies included, run formal mentoring and coaching programs to enhance career and interpersonal development.
Mentoring is usually a formal or informal relationship between two people-a senior mentor (usually outside the protégé's chain of supervision) and a junior protégé. Mentoring has been identified as an important influence in professional development in both the public and private sector. The war for talent is creating challenges within organization not only to recruit new talent, but to retain talent. Benefits of mentoring include increased employee performance, retention, commitment to the organization, and knowledge sharing.
Within the Federal Government, mentoring is often a component in developmental programs like the Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program (SESCDP), Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) Program, or the USDA Graduate School Executive Leadership Program (ELP). Agencies implement formal mentoring programs for different purposes. Some of these purposes include:
- To help new employees settle into the agency
- To create a knowledge sharing environment
- To develop mission critical skills
- To help accelerate one's career
- To improve retention
Informal mentoring is another option for employees to enter into a mentor/protégé relationship. An informal mentoring partnership has less structure and can occur at any time in one's career. The relationship is usually initiated by the mentor or protégé.
Please refer to the Best Practices: Mentoring publication for detailed information on mentoring.
For more information visit the OPM Training and Development Wiki .
What is coaching?
Coaching is an experiential development process which facilitates change and growth in both individuals and groups. In Federal government, coaching is utilized to address professional or business-related challenges. Through structured dialogue, coaches assist their coachees to deepen their insights and translate those insights into actions. Coaches apply specific techniques and skills, approaches, and methodologies that enable the coachees to develop their goals and design actions to achieve them. The coachee drives the coaching agenda, and is ultimately responsible for the outcome of the coaching engagement.
Federal Coaching Network:
The Federal Coaching Network (FCN) is a community of individuals across Government who are invested in the practice of coaching and whole-heartedly support its role in leadership development. The FCN was established in early 2013 in partnership with the Chief Learning Officer's Council.
The FCN promotes a coaching culture within Government by empowering leaders and employees at all levels to practice self-reflection, creativity in problem solving, accountability, and candid and respectful communication. The aim is to cultivate an environment of continuous learning and individual and organizational performance excellence by promoting positive leadership practices.
How can I find a coach?
The Federal Caching is a community of individuals across government who are invested in the practice of coaching and support its role in leadership development. If you are looking for a coach, please contact your agency POC and Chief Learning Officer (CLO). They can provide you with information on how to find internal or external coaches.
How do I become a coach?
OPM in partnership with the Chief Learning Officer’s Council (CLOC) supports a multi-agency Federal Internal Coach Training Program (FICTP). The Program currently runs on an annual basis, and participation is coordinated through each agency’s Chief Learning Officer or Training Director.
Through this program, students will acquire a thorough understanding of the philosophical, historical, and ethical foundations of professional coaching and how they are applied within the Federal context. Students will explore the similarities and differences between coaching and related helping disciplines (e.g., mentoring, counseling) and the consideration of the scope of coaching's potential. In addition, they will learn and practice coaching skills in real-time conversations and observe and experience the effect of these skills as a coachee.
If you are interested in attending, or would to learn more about this program, please contact your agency Chief Learning Officer.
How can employees promote coaching culture without formal coach training?
Leader as a coach.
- It is important for leaders to develop coaching skills so they can help others reach their potential. A leader who leverages coaching techniques will support positive behavior change and develop a growth mindset in his or her employees. When leaders create a coaching culture, the goal is to work with employees to solve performance problems, and improve the work of the employee, team, and the department.
- A confidential process where two or more professionals work together to reflect on current practices to expand, refine, build new skills, share ideas and solve problems in the workplace. Each participant acts as both the coach and the coachee, collaborating in a highly focused group. They work together in partnership to address each of the topics or challenges presented.
- Coaching memo
- Federal Coaching network FAQS
Do you want to join the Federal Coaching Network?
Are you already a coach and looking for coachees in the federal government, contact your agency Point of Contact (POC) to learn more on joining the Federal Coaching Network.
Career paths are an integral part of an effective talent management system. They can inform workforce planning, recruitment, retention, training and development, succession planning, and career development.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) developed Governmentwide career path guides to support training and development initiatives with respect to occupations identified by the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, Congress or the President. The career path guides provide guidance to Federal agencies interested in creating or enhancing their own career paths for the occupation addressed.
Each career paths guide:
- Provides a career progression outline that enables employees to move among and across jobs in the occupation.
- Includes success factors that enable individuals to maximize performance and career advancement.
- Includes general and technical competencies, which help employees and supervisors plan and sequence appropriate career training and development.
- Lists common degrees and certifications the interviewed incumbents of the Federal occupation possess.
The current career path guides available for your use:
- Classification Career Path Guide
- Compensation Career Path Guide
- Employee Benefits Career Path Guide
- Executive Services Career Path Guide
- Human Resource Development Career Path Guide
- Policy Career Path Guide
- Information Systems Career Path Guide
- Military Career Path Guide
- Performance Management / Employee Relations / Labor Relations Career Path Guide
- Recruitment and Placement Career Path Guide
- IT Program Management Career Path Guide
If you have any questions regarding the career path guides, you can contact the Career Paths Team by sending an email to [email protected] .
- Agency Career Path Practices
Federal Emergency Management Agency Career Path Tool
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Career Path Tool (CPT) is intended to empower FEMA employees to take their careers into their own hands—to identify career goals based on an understanding of personal and organizational objectives, and to guide development toward attainment of those goals. Using a six-step career development process, the FEMA CPT organizes and structures various career information, allows employees to evaluate current knowledge, skills, and abilities against those recommended at each point along a FEMA career progression. The tool also provides users with training and development resources and guidance to manage their careers.
Department of Veterans Affairs' CareerScope Assessment Tool
Veterans may be able to use CareerScope , an online assessment tool, to measure their interests and skill levels. CareerScope also helps Veterans figure out the best career path when they move into civilian life. The tool recommends careers Veterans may enjoy and jobs in which they’re likely to do well. CareerScope also recommends courses or training programs that can help Veterans go after those careers.
Department of the Interior's My DOI Career
My DOI Career
Cyber Careers Pathways Tool
In support of the nation's cyber workforce, the Federal Cyber Workforce Management and Coordinating Working Group and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA) Cybersecurity Defense Education and Training Team launched the Cyber Careers Pathways Tool , an interactive resource to explore the NICE Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity (NICE Framework). Working professionals (cyber and non-cyber), employers, students and recent grads can explore 52 different kinds of cyber work based on shared communities, skillsets, specialization, and functions. The tool enables individuals to identify, build, and navigate a potential cyber career pathway by increasing understanding of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to begin, transition, or advance a cyber career.
The agency practices listed in this section should not be inferred as an endorsement by OPM. Agency practices are highlighted for informational purposes only. OPM makes no representation as to the reliability of the materials contained on or which can be accessed in this section. OPM is not responsible for actions taken or not taken based on information contained therein.
On This Page
- Career Path Guides: Human Resources
- OPM’s Multipurpose Occupational Systems Analysis Inventory - Close-Ended (MOSAIC) Studies and Competencies
- Workforce Planning
- Training & Development
- Succession Planning
- Career Paths: Charting Courses to Success for Organizations and Their Employees – Carter, Gary, Kevin Cook and David Dorsey, Wiley-Blackwell, 2009
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Your Initial Development Plan
Career Development Philosophy
The responsibility for career planning is jointly shared by the employee, the supervisor and the department/organization through training, education, work assignments and other developmental opportunities. The ideal career plan provides employees the opportunity to advance to the highest level of their capability. The most effective training and development strategy will result from a collaborative relationship between the respective participants in the process in order to identify specific developmental opportunities.
Career Development Objectives:
- Align with strategic objectives of the organization
- Continual development and learning
- Incorporation of both short term and long term goals
- Build upon your strengths and shore-up weaknesses
Your individual development is not something that can be enhanced solely through classroom training, but requires a thoughtful assessment of development opportunities in all forms (e.g. on-the-job training, rotations, special project work, mentoring, etc.). In the same vein, success is not defined solely through the lens of your personal technical proficiency, but also in your ability to improve the work for your entire organization. For instance, proposing better ways for DFAS to process a voucher is just as important as your ability to do so correctly using the current process.
Always be on the look-out for what you can do to improve both your day-to-day performance, as well as the performance of the entire organization.
The following chart summarizes the process of formalizing your Individual Development Plan (IDP). It shows the responsibilities of leaders, supervisors, and employees as well as "Where" you can go to find information to shape your development plan.
- Prospective Students
- Current Students
- Residents & Fellows
- Give to SMHS
Individual Development Plans
Start by assessing strengths and weaknesses. An individual development plan is part of a planning process to identify needs and set career objectives. Graduate and postdoctoral students should complete and update an Individual Development Plan . A useful approach is to use MyIDP which links to AAAS Science Careers .
Clinician investigators should complete the CTSA-CN IDP and clinical research appraisal inventory . The IDP is a first step for discussions with your advisory committee, and can be used to set short-term SMART goals.
Video Presentation: Goal Setting and Individual Development Plan - Alison K. Hall, PhD
Individual Development Plan (IDP)
DAF Civilian Individual Development Plans (IDPs) mandatory per 5 Apr 23 memo
- Published April 21, 2023
- By Courtesy AFPC Public Affairs
The Department of the Air Force provided a guidance memorandum, dated 5 Apr 23, emphasizing the mandatory requirement for civilian Individual Development Plans (IDPs). IDPs are useful for goal development and career planning, as well as help employees successfully perform their jobs and meet expectations. Compliance with this requirement will enable continuous personal and organizational development in a rapidly changing global landscape, which is key to ensuring the DAF is adequately prepared to achieve mission objectives.
Completion of a civilian Individual Development Plan (IDP) is codified in DoDI 1400.25, Volume 410, DoD Civilian Personnel Management System: Training, Education, and Professional Development and DAFMAN 36-142 , Civilian Career Field Management and Centrally-Managed Programs (supersedes AF Manual 36-606). IDP guidance for DCIPS and CES employees should be IAW DAFI 36-1101, Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) and DAFI 36-141, Cyber Excepted Service (CES). Supervisors should coordinate with the Labor Relations Officer to ensure all bargaining obligations are completed prior to implementation of the mandatory requirement for bargaining unit employees. If a civilian employee does not currently have an IDP, supervisors should develop one immediately.
- Per DAFMAN 36-142, para. 4.2.1., IDPs should be used for the following:
- Record employee short-term and long-term professional goals.
- Record employee annual training and development plan to assist in meeting the employee’s professional goals.
- Align employee training and development efforts with organizational core values, mission, and vision.
- Acquire an understanding of employee strengths and developmental needs.
It is highly encouraged that employees and supervisors use the automated MyVector IDP tool located within MyVector (DAFMAN 36-142, para. 22.214.171.124.). To register for a MyVector account , please click here MyVector Account Registration Steps . IDPs should be developed concurrently with the individual’s annual performance plan and reviewed during each feedback session (DAFMAN 36-142, para. 126.96.36.199.).
As supervisors and employees create and review IDPs, the DAF Civilian Career Enterprise Leaders Roadmap & Functional Experts/Leaders Roadmap serve as valuable resources for identifying training, experience, and career development opportunities. Individual development planning benefits the DAF by aligning employee training and development efforts with its core values, mission, and vision.
For additional resources, please reference the A1C IDP memorandum, which includes the MyVector IDP How-to-Guide, Civilian IDP Fact Sheet, and Civilian Career Roadmaps. Please contact your supervisor for additional information.
The appearance of external links on this site does not constitute official endorsement on behalf of the U.S. Air Force or Department of Defense.
Florida State University
FSU | Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
Individual development plan (idp).
Florida State University has adopted the use of the Individual Development Plan or IDP for all its postdoctoral trainees. Postdoctoral scholars and their advisors can generate an IDP at the new Postdoctoral Orientation every August and a helpful slide presentation can be found below to use as a resource for incoming postdocs that may arrive throughout the year. The IDP can be incorporated into the annual review process as a helpful goal setting tool. In addition, advisors who are supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should be advised that use of the IDP is mandatory for all non-competitive renewal reports.
- 'Click here' for NIH Policy Regarding IDP and Investigator Annual Progress Reports (RPPR)
- Slide presentation file - What is an IDP?
- Individual Development Plan for Postdoctoral Scholars as Adopted by Florida State University
- myIDP , an interactive web-based tool that helps postdocs in the sciences examine their skills, interests, and values
Technical Career Field Program
General program information.
The Technical Career Field (TCF) program offers two years of training in critically identified positions within specific career fields in accordance with VHA’s Succession Workforce Plan. Program participants receive paid salary/benefits, training/travel stipend, access to a preceptor/mentor and hands-on training.
The core curriculum is a career specific training plan developed by subject matter experts and used as the foundation for every trainee's technical program learning requirements. Specific developmental needs are assessed and added to the plan to create an Individual Development Plan (IDP). The IDP is the trainee's two-year roadmap to successful completion of the program. Trainees are coached, mentored and most times supervised by a local preceptor. Preceptors are selected through a rigorous application process, and are subject matter experts, currently employed within the specific VHA career field.
There are several career fields to choose from. Qualifications for the individual positions are listed on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) website or the Job Opportunity Announcements (JOA) for each location. Depending on the hiring authority used to announce TCF positions, Pathways Recent Graduate educational requirements may apply to these positions, including recent qualifying education within the past two years/six years for Veterans with intervening military service. Any moving expenses associated with the initial acceptance of a TCF position are the responsibility of the individual applicant.
Compliance and business integrity (cbi), contracting, environmental management.
- Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
Health Information Management
Human resources management, office of health informatics (ohi), office of information and technology, prosthetic representative, public affairs, supply chain management, volunteer management, engineering, biomedical engineering, biomedical equipment support specialist, boiler plant operator/utility system specialist, gems - va environmental engineers and protection specialists, general engineering, industrial hygienist, safety specialist.
This immersive internship offers the opportunity to learn and expand your knowledge and skills as a health information analyst.
The TCF Program/Compliance and Business Integrity (CBI) Officer training program is intended to develop professionally competent employees as leaders and operational managers to administer the CBI Program at VA’s facility, network and national levels. The training program provides appropriate time for prospective CBI personnel to get the experience they need under the supervision of a well-qualified preceptor, including attending conferences held by leading compliance industry associations.
The trainee and preceptor will assess the trainee’s skills, knowledge and abilities with those required by the program to create a Personal Development Plan. In order to identify weaknesses in a trainee's knowledge, skills or abilities, the preceptor may assign self-study activities, which may include review of regulatory or industry guidance, technical information related to statistical sampling, or other desired skills and knowledge.
A preceptor may recommend or require that a trainee complete these courses if a weakness is discovered in his or her abilities during the course of their work and evaluation. Various distance learning activities are provided free of charge by the VA Employee Education Service (EES).
However, if necessary, trainees may attend formal classroom instruction in order to understand key concepts of compliance activities. The cost of these courses will be deducted from the travel and training budget trainees are provided each year.
Upon graduation from the trainee program and reporting to their new permanent duty station, new CBI Officers will be fully functional, needing only minor efforts to adapt to the new work environment.
Skills, Knowledge and Abilities
At the conclusion of the training program, candidates will be proficient in the following knowledge, skills and abilities:
- An overall knowledge and understanding of the mission and function of Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
- A comprehensive working knowledge of the CBI Program in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- The ability to act independently as a CBI Officer and administer a compliance committee
- The ability to analyze the need for general and topic-specific compliance training, design training programs, and provide necessary training to VA employees
- The ability to maintain open lines of communication within the organization to include anonymous methods of communicating compliance exceptions, as well as the ability to track compliance exceptions and notify stakeholders of developments
- The ability to manage an enforcement and discipline program within the realm of the duties of a CBI Officer, including identifying and verifying potential matches to the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE)
- The skills and ability to identify areas of the revenue cycle that pose risk to the organization, quantify the problem using monitors and audits, and communicate the findings of such reviews to leadership and other affected employee groups
- The ability to investigate potential compliance exceptions using a range of investigative techniques, from informal inquiries and fact-finding efforts to formal investigations; and the ability to present findings in a clear and concise manner, both orally and in writing
- The ability to assess risk to the organization
- The ability to assess the effectiveness of compliance efforts within the organization
- The ability to participate as an active member of top management in strategic planning for the future of the VA CBI Program as a whole
Trainees will participate in CBI Officer activities and conduct the variety of activities normally associated with serving as a CBI Officer. These will include providing training to employees, reviewing VA systems in an effort to identify and remedy compliance exceptions, conducting investigations of possible compliance exceptions, etc.
Informal Educational Sessions
In order to complete OJT activities, it may become necessary for a trainee to research solutions to complex compliance exceptions, and the regulatory or policy implications of activities within the site. Trainees must be fully capable of researching and defining all details necessary to carry out assigned tasks.
VA Conference Activities
If available during the course of the training program, trainees will attend a national CBI Conference or Academy.
Site visits to VA networks and facilities, and to the central office are included for shadowing experiences. Trainees will also have the ability to travel to other sites where they do not currently work. The purpose of these visits is to familiarize trainees with the processes and activities that take place at the various organizational levels and entities.
Meetings with Leadership
Since a major goal of the TCF Program is to develop leaders for the future of VA, trainees will become knowledgeable about the entire VA system and use these meetings to assist them in determining their future career goals.
- The ability and willingness to relocate is a requirement for selection as a TCF Program trainee
- If relocation is necessary for permanent placement, VA pays for moving expenses
- U.S. citizenship
VHA’s Procurement Operations Office offers a very robust training plan for trainees through the Technical Career Field – Healthcare Contracting Training program. This program is designed to fill a critical need in our organization through the development of highly skilled, competent, and motivated Contract Specialists who are ready, willing and able to meet the needs of our Veteran patients in a way that truly affects their quality of life.
Contracting Specialists (1102 Career Field Series) have very stringent course requirements to achieve their Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) Level 1 certification. To qualify for this program, the applicant must meet the basic requirement of a 4–year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree with a major in any field OR at least 24 semester hours in any combination of the following fields: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management.
In this two-year program, trainees will receive approximately 4,160 hours of training: 3,574 OJT hours, 478 hours of coursework and 108 hours of workshop/conferences. Over the two-year period, trainees are expected to travel at least 20 weeks away from their duty location to attend courses at the VA Acquisition Academy in Frederick, Maryland, as well as travel to a minimum of four (two per year) other VA locations in the continental U.S. for specialized training.
In addition to specialized training in health care contracting, trainees will learn about and assist with performing market research, reviewing specifications and statements of work; acquisition milestone plans, identifying the appropriate method of procurement i.e., simplified acquisition procedures, sealed-bidding and negotiations; advertising all applicable requirements, preparing the solicitation documents using agency contract writing systems for issuance; and ensuring the contract represents the best value (price and other factors considered) while meeting all aspects of Federal and VHA contracting regulatory requirements.
Environmental Management Service (EMS) personnel at VA apply principles and relevant aspects of chemistry, biological and physical sciences to provide oversight and operational management that includes policies and operational guidelines for EMS. The effectiveness of EMS operations within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is critical to ensure each medical center, domiciliary, clinic, and Community Living Center (CLC) is maintained in a state of physical and biological cleanliness fully meeting all requirements for a medical care environment.
EMS carries out its oversight and responsibilities through the following health care environmental program functions:
- Health Care Environmental Services: Outlines the procedures, reporting requirements, and operating guidelines within VHA medical facilities which includes but is not limited to the following: cleaning and protective-surface maintenance; waste handling; bed cleaning services; equipment and supplies; staffing; testing and evaluation; training; and contractual services associated with program functions.
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Oversees the IPM Program which provides the requirements for establishing and maintaining an effective IPM program within VHA medical facilities.
- Textile Care Management (TCM) Program: Oversees the TCM Program which outlines the procedures, reporting requirements, and operating guidelines for textile management, textile processing operations, and employee uniforms within VHA medical facilities.
- Waste Management and Recycling (WMR) Program: Oversees the WMR Program which outlines the procedures, reporting requirements, and operating guidelines for waste management and recycling within VHA medical facilities.
- Interior Design (ID) Program: Oversees the ID Program which provides the requirements for establishing and maintaining an ID Program within VHA medical facilities which includes but is not limited to the following: planning and standardization; programming; project development; budget; customer service; and training affiliations.
- Environment of Care (EOC) Monitoring: Oversees EOC compliance as it relates to patient care activities, capturing deficiency data and generating corrective actions to correct identified potential safety risks for EOC deficiencies.
An EMS leader uses the knowledge and experience described above to ensure adherence to statutory, regulatory and VA requirements. As the EMS leader for the VA Medical Center (VAMC), the trainee will become knowledgeable and gain expertise to serve as a regulatory and technical specialist, and assist the VAMC in solving complex environmental and compliance issues.
The VA Technical Career Field (TCF) Program hires trainees for a two-year program, which provides the training necessary for the transition into the workplace, with the same benefits as other Federal employees.
These trainees receive one-on-one training and mentoring for the first year by preceptors who are experienced EMS professionals at one of the more than 150 VA medical centers throughout the country. For the second year, trainees remain at that host facility, or they may choose to relocate to another VA medical facility at the 6-month mark of the second year to continue on-the-job training, with relocation expenses paid by the program.
During the two years of training, EMS trainees have the opportunity to attend national conferences, perform a one-week rotation in VA Central Office, attend core training events, participate in site visits and network with other trainees in the program as part of a wide variety of training experiences and continuing education activities that will enhance the prospect of upward mobility in VA.
The professional experience provided in the training program, along with the vast numbers of VA 'Boomers' approaching retirement, increases the potential for rapid promotion in this career field into leadership positions within VA.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
The TCF Program/Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is a comprehensive training program designed to develop EEO Specialists for Veterans Health Administration (VHA). This program provides the foundation for developing EEO trainees from entry level to full performance level through planned training, rotational assignments and on-the-job work experiences.
The primary objective of this program is to develop a cadre of well-trained EEO Specialists for VA though a comprehensive curriculum that provides trainees with an in–depth training experience that includes both practical and didactic segments in all of the major EEO areas. While the program can be modified for local adaptation, a general framework of competencies has been developed to ensure that trainees receive uniform and consistent training.
Through an environment that is conducive to learning, the EEO trainee will:
- Develop knowledge of VA’s mission, vision and goals, and how they impact the EEO Program.
- Develop knowledge of the EEO/Affirmative Employment Office, Office of Resolution Management, Diversity & Inclusion and other components within VA that impact EEO.
- Develop knowledge of principles and practices required in the EEO arena pertaining to developing an effective EEO Specialist (e.g., Special Emphasis Programs, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), EEO complaint process, reasonable accommodation, and workplace harassment, including prevention of sexual harassment).
- Obtain knowledge of VA’s administrative programs (e.g., human resource management, fiscal, etc.) that impact the EEO Program.
- Review and apply EEO Federal regulations, VA directives and station policies.
- Develop policies and procedures designed to further enhance the EEO Program and advise management officials of various EEO regulations.
- Develop and implement educational programs, training, and marketing materials to inform management, supervisors, and employees of EEO and diversity components.
- Provide technical guidance to management, supervisors, and employees concerning EEO.
- Develop proficient written, oral communication and listening skills.
- Establish networks with a diverse group of individuals.
- Conduct data analysis and make recommendations to further enhance equal employment opportunities.
As a finance trainee, you will experience a wide range of hands-on fiscal activities such as accounting, budget analysis and VA’s managerial cost accounting system.
The TCF Program/Finance training program offers opportunities to learn and develop as an accountant, budget analyst and managerial cost accounting (MCA) analyst in the financial community of Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Trainees are recruited each spring to work at medical facilities and hospital network corporate offices for a period of two years.
Facilities sponsoring training programs change annually, so contact the Program Manager to receive current information about the preceptors leading the program. Salary and excellent benefits are provided. Hiring typically begins in May/June timeframe.
What training programs are available?
- Trainee graduates will have the knowledge, understanding and familiarity with VA governing policies, procedures and regulations related to the functions of VHA accounting policies.
- Trainee graduates will have the knowledge, understanding and familiarity with VA governing policies, procedures, and regulations related to the functions of VHA budget formulation and administration.
- Trainee graduates will have the knowledge, understanding and familiarity with VA governing policies, procedures, and regulations related to the functions of the VHA Managerial Cost Accounting (MCA) System.
As a finance trainee, you will experience a wide range of hands-on fiscal activities related to accounting, budget analysis and the Managerial Cost Accounting (MCA) System. All are designed to train you and provide experience to prepare you for future positions in the VHA finance community.
In addition to fiscal topics, you will have opportunities to work with medical and support services throughout the VHA medical facilities and staff agencies. You will participate on interdisciplinary work groups and committees that address ways to plan better services for Veterans of all ages and from all branches of service. These will assist you in:
- Establishing effective working relationships
- Practicing communication and networking skills
- Applying diplomacy and resourcefulness to daily assignments
You will also benefit from funds dedicated for travel and formal learning experiences to add to your professional skill sets and experience. These funds may also be utilized for you to attend conferences and additional training events as determined by your supervisor, preceptor and/or Program Manager.
At the end of your two-year training period you will have also experienced operational, managerial and strategic fiscal activities designed to help you analyze and address complex systems and funding programs.
Upon completion of your two-year training period you will be placed at your host training site where the technical competencies and skills you have learned will be utilized.
Under the guidance of an assigned preceptor, interns have the opportunity to gain substantive work experience at all levels in a clinical setting.
The TCF Program/Health Information Management (HIM) training program at VA is designed to further develop the knowledge, skills and abilities of future HIM leaders who develop and manage VA health information management programs in accordance with policies, laws, science, technology, and Federal Government rules and regulations. Our goal is that upon completion of the two-year training program, trainees will continue their careers as valuable members of the VA workforce, contributing to long- and short-range administrative and operational HIM needs.
Under the guidance of assigned preceptors, trainees have the opportunity to gain substantive work experience, work with leadership at all levels and advance their HIM careers. While the work environment is administrative, the setting is clinical. This program is designed to support succession planning for HIM within VA. Trainees for the TCF HIM trainee program are selected from within VA or from external recruitment at the GS 9 levels.
Training is conducted via a variety of methods (i.e., on-the-job training, formal training at conferences, web courses, rotations to other facilities or offices within VA, shadowing, etc.). There are many networking/learning opportunities available among trainees (not just among HIM trainees but among other trainees at the training site), health information managers in VA, as well as VA leadership in general. Upon completion of the program, graduates will have broad knowledge and skills pertaining but not limited to the following:
- VA regulations and policies regarding Veterans’ benefits, security, privacy and management of Veterans’ health records
- Health Information Management, Master Veteran Index (MVI), Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), National Patient Care Database, and the Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS)
- Enrollment, eligibility determination, scheduling, admissions, fee basis (non-VA care), compensation and pension examination processing and management, beneficiary travel, decedent affairs, revenue cycle processes and practices to include first- and third-party billing
- The integration, dependencies, inter-relationships and complexities of the diverse operational areas of the largest health care delivery system in the United States
In addition, the graduate will have an opportunity to master interpersonal and negotiating skills, as well as learn and apply accepted administrative management concepts, practices and innovations.
This program develops well-trained Human Resources professionals through a comprehensive curriculum that includes both practical and didactic learning segments.
The TCF Program/Human Resources Management (HRM) training program is a comprehensive program designed to train candidates for Human Resources positions within Veterans Health Administration (VHA). This program provides the foundation for developing HRM trainees from entry level to full performance level. It includes planned training, rotational assignments, and on-the-job work experiences.
While the program can be modified for local adaptation, a general framework of competencies has been developed to ensure that participants receive uniform and consistent training throughout the country.
The primary objective of this program is to develop a cadre of well-trained Human Resources professionals through a comprehensive curriculum that provides candidates with an in-depth training experience that includes both practical and didactic segments in all of the major Human Resources Program areas.
Trainees will receive training in the traditional functional areas of Human Resources Management, as well as in the core competencies as described in the Resource Guide for HR Professionals. The general (core) competencies discussed in the guide are as follows:
- Human Resources technical competencies in the areas of classification, staffing, pay administration, benefits, employee relations, and labor relations
- Human Resources in VA
- Communication and consulting skills
These core competencies, combined with HR technical expertise and core competencies of the High Performance Development Model, are applicable to all HR professionals.
The emphasis on these competencies is based on a VA-wide survey of managers, supervisors, and HR staff, as well as HR competency models developed by the International Personnel Management Association (IPMA), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).
The Resource Guide is a good resource for identifying the competencies needed to effectively perform HR work today. Preceptors use this guide in preparing each trainee’s Personal Development Plan (PDP).
This immersive internship offers the opportunity to learn and expand your knowledge and skills as a health informatics and data analytics professional.
Health informatics is the interdisciplinary field concerned with the design, development, adoption, and application of informatics and data analytics-based innovations in healthcare delivery, management and planning. The VA Office of Health Informatics (OHI) Technical Career Field (TCF) Training Program is designed to develop the informatics and analytics knowledge, skills, and abilities of those entering the health informatics field. Our goal is that upon completion of the two-year training program, trainees will continue their careers as valuable members of the VA workforce.
There is a critical need for a workforce skilled in health informatics and data analysis that can help develop, deploy and utilize health information technology and informatics principles to improve care delivery in VA. As this field is rapidly evolving, the types of roles are as well, and may include a wide range of activities such as data analysis, workflow analysis and process re-design, clinical application deployment, and end-user training.
During the two-year mentorship program, trainees will be placed on an individualized development plan that consists of a variety of on-the-job training experiences and continuing education activities designed to enhance your skill sets and provide exposure to valuable operational activities. Trainees will also be exposed to informatics and analytics modernization initiatives.
At the successful completion of the training program, trainees are converted to permanent positions in VA medical facilities.
Training is conducted via a variety of methods (i.e., on-the-job training, online courses, webinars, conference calls, job shadowing, etc.). Trainees have the opportunity to attend national conferences as well as network with other program participants as a way to begin building professional networks.
IT Specialist Trainee experiences will include computer operating systems, network and application management, hardware management, information security, computer maintenance, and system installation.
The Office of Information and Technology (OIT) training program offers a variety of technical experiences in the world of information technology. A job in information technology at VA offers the opportunity to work in the most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the world. The program provides the foundation for developing Information Technology (IT) Specialists from entry level to full-performance level. Training for this career field follows a comprehensive training guide that leads the trainee through IT core competencies that begin at the introductory level and progress toward more advanced technical competencies. The trainee is guided through the program by their assigned preceptor who works one-on-one with the trainee and coordinates other activities with seasoned IT staff members.
The primary objective of this program is to develop a cadre of well-trained IT Specialist professionals through a comprehensive curriculum that provides trainees with an in-depth training experience that includes planned training, rotational assignments and on-the-job training (OJT) experiences. The program provides the training that is necessary for the transition from college to the VA workplace, with many of the same benefits as other federal employees. The trainee will work in IT specialty areas including customer support, applications software, data management network management, operating systems, information security and more. The preceptor partners with the trainee throughout the program and guides him/her in finding placement, usually at the trainee’s location. Opportunities abound for the trainee to grow into an IT-related career, and the only real limitation is what the trainee is willing to put into the program.
The OIT career field provides a detailed curriculum designed to develop a comprehensive knowledge of IT as it relates to VA. The OIT career field utilizes a detailed two-year training guide that describes the competencies the trainee will acquire as well as OJT activities and includes additional helpful information. There are opportunities for trainees to acquire IT certifications and other specialized IT knowledge. The first year of the program introduces the trainee to the more introductory concepts of IT, while the second year leads into the more advanced topics, providing options for specialized training in the trainee's area of interest. The trainee benefits from opportunities at their assigned facility as well as within their OI&T district.
The Privacy Officer training program develops new facility Privacy Officers into highly motivated and have the required skill sets to become well trained privacy professionals. This training program is intended to fill a critically identified position in VHA by developing highly motivated and skilled Privacy Officers that are knowledgeable in Veterans and employee’s privacy.
The trainees in this program will learn how to identity and apply privacy regulations and statutes such as the Privacy Act, Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA), Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Title 38 USC 5701, 5705 and 7332. They will also be communicating with VHA staff, senior leadership, Veterans and family members to ensure that privacy protections are in place. As a Privacy Officer trainee, you will have direct hands-on experience with investigating complaints, incidents and data breaches as well as many other opportunities to practice what you are learning. The primary goal upon completion of this upward mobility training program is to develop professional and knowledgeable leaders to fill future VA Medical Centers privacy vacancies in the Privacy Officer career field.
Training is conducted on the job by receiving one-on-one training from a knowledgeable and motivated Privacy Officer. The trainee will be visiting other VA medical centers within their VISN to gain an understanding of other facilities processes. The trainee will also attend a national conference such as International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) or American Society of Access Professionals (ASAP) to gain an aspect of national privacy organizations.
Trainees in this program learn to properly manage, order and provide an array of prosthetic equipment, sensory aids, devices and benefit programs in accordance with authorizing laws, regulations and policies.
Prosthetic Representatives serve as leaders within the Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS) at VA medical centers. The mission of the PSAS is to provide comprehensive support to optimize health and independence of the Veteran. Our vision is to be the premier source of prosthetic and orthotic services, sensory aids, medical equipment and support services for Veterans.
Our PSAS serves as the pharmacy for assistive aids and as case manager for the prosthetic equipment needs of disabled Veterans. The special mission of the PSAS is to be an advocate for a core population of Veterans with special needs for prosthetic services, equipment, devices and sensory aids.
Upon successful completion of the program, trainees will be eligible for placement as permanent Federal employees in a PSAS that best fits their skills, needs and circumstances.
Our objective for this training program is to ensure that all trainees enter their first placement position with the technical, professional, leadership, and managerial knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to effectively assist with managing a PSAS.
Public Affairs interns are trained to become professional, competent public affairs officers, who can contribute to meeting VA’s succession planning goals.
The field of Public Affairs and Communications has evolved to become a proactive aspect of senior management within Department of Veterans Affairs. Concurrently, effective communication with stakeholders within and outside of VA is an essential part of VA’s mission, and a professional public affairs officer (PAO) must possess certain levels of knowledge and experience in order to be effective.
The PAO of the 21st century should be expected to do more than plan special events and take photographs. VA is under constant scrutiny by the media, Congress, and the public; the PAO plays an important role in responding to agency issues, as well as shaping the perception and image of the organization.
Developing communications strategies, positive media relations, effectively communicating to staff and the public, utilizing the power of the Internet to reach Veterans, and positively promoting medical centers must be key functions of a public affairs officer.
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Public Affairs TCF Program is designed to meet and identify short- and long-range public affairs needs of VHA. The program is intended to develop skilled, competent public affairs professionals, who will be critical to VA’s success in the future.
The training program will also assist the public affairs program in meeting succession-planning goals. The training program provides appropriate time for trainees to get the experience they need under the supervision of a well-qualified mentor. The public affairs trainee program will be conducted in a manner that will fully utilize the trainee’s time and effort.
Upon completion of the training program, graduates will be fully functional Public Affairs Specialists. The program will create trained, mobile, well versed and tested individuals for senior positions in the VA Public Affairs community by:
- Providing opportunities for each trainee to develop the necessary knowledge, skills, and leadership abilities in a supportive environment
- Achieving basic uniformity in the qualifications, selection, training, and evaluation of the trainees
- Ensuring all graduates enter their first placement positions with all the necessary technical knowledge and skills required for successful performance
The Technical Career Field (TCF) Supply Chain Management (SCM) Program is an on-the-job training program intended to develop professionally competent employees to administer supply and material management functions for Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The trainee's growth and development for the two-year period is overseen by a preceptor who is selected annually via an extensive application process.
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Technical Career Field (TCF) Program is a national workforce development program designed to replenish technical staff in critically identified positions.
The TCF SCM program currently consists of the 2010 series.
- Hired at the GS 5 or GS 7 level, target GS‑9
Inventory Management (IM) Trainees are offered focused education/training that is nationally funded to include salary/benefits, training and travel ceilings. Upon successful completion of the two-year training program, TCF SCM trainees will be fully functional Inventory Management Specialists who are trained, well-rounded and tested in the VA supply chain management/logistics community, and may be non-competitively placed. Future classes/slots for the TCF SCM Program are determined annually based on VHA succession needs and budget.
In the 2010 series, IM trainees will learn analytical work in managing, regulating, coordinating and exercising control over supplies, equipment and other material. They will study phases of material management including initial planning, provisioning and requirements determination, acquisition and distribution, accountability, and ultimate issue for consumption, retention or disposal. The trainee will obtain knowledge of acquisition processes, automated records and control systems, material substitution criteria, and storage, issue and disposal processes.
On-the-Job-Training (OJT) GI Bill®
Veterans and other eligible persons may be eligible to receive a monthly stipend in addition to wages, which could help them meet their expenses while training in an approved training program. If you currently have existing benefits under the GI Bill®, you may choose to use them while training in your approved on-the-job (OJT) TCF program. VA has approved The TCF SCM career field, Inventory Management Specialist position, for the purposes of OJT benefits.
Education & Talent Development
To stay in compliance of the OJT requirements, all trainees will be required to maintain an Individual Development Plan (IDP). Tracking of the mandatory 4,160 hours (two years) of training/education will be documented on the IDP.
The following is an estimate of time and activities a trainee will be exposed to using the blended learning approach:
- 70% On-the-Job Experiences & Challenges (action learning, problem solving, shadowing, self-directed, projects and assignments.)
- 20% Relationships & Networking (getting candid feedback, observing and learning from others, active role models, preceptors, coaches, mentors.)
- 10% Formal Learning (courses, classes, training opportunities, conferences, site visits, workshops, webinars, eLearning.)
Interns here will learn to manage and coordinate one of the largest volunteer programs within the Federal Government.
VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) is responsible for the strategic integration of volunteers and community stakeholders to support key committees and initiatives. The VAVS Program was established in 1946 and is one of the largest volunteer programs in the Federal Government. The program is supported by a VAVS National Advisory Committee, comprised of over 50 major Veteran, civic, and service organizations.
Through professional management, VAVS provides programs and services to supplement Veteran health care. VAVS staff is responsible for coordinating volunteers and community organizations, managing the gifts and donations program, and identifying community resources to support Veterans and their families through supplemental services.
VAVS is a very exciting and rewarding career. The work is extremely diverse, fast-paced, and provides an opportunity for interacting with people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Trainees must have a high degree of flexibility, organizational and interpersonal skills for optimal success. If you are up for a new challenge every day and feel you possess leadership potential, the TCF VAVS Program may be the career opportunity for you.
Trainees should understand that a career in VAVS involves program responsibilities that may require working outside of a normal tour of duty, including evenings, weekends, or holidays.
The VAVS Specialist TCF program is an upward mobility training program established to develop professional, competent leaders to fill future vacancies in the VAVS career field. All trainees must meet the appropriate minimum qualification standards for Voluntary Service Specialist, GS‑301‑5 or 7, target GS‑9.
The training program will expose the trainee to the full range of programs associated with volunteer management and community engagement. The position provides opportunities to learn all aspects of development, coordination and management of the Voluntary Service programs that will prepare the trainee for future positions of greater responsibility. Training is provided under the supervision of a preceptor. During the program, trainees can be promoted to a higher grade level when administrative and qualification requirements are met.
If you are selected as a VAVS TCF program trainee, you will use and develop a wide range of skills, which includes the following:
- Volunteer Program Management
- Planning and executing a variety of complex special events, ceremonies, and programs
- Public Speaking
- Facilitating Strategic Partnerships
- Creative Thinking
- Internal and External Communication
- Managing Gifts and Donations
- Working closely with diverse groups of people at all levels of the organization and in the community
- Administering timekeeping activities including running reports, analyzing the volunteer trends and reporting findings to the Voluntary Service Manager.
During the two-year training period, Biomedical Engineering interns have the opportunity to attend national conferences and core training events.
VA Biomedical/Clinical Engineers support and advance patient care by applying engineering and managerial skills to our health care technology. In a hospital setting, the clinical engineer functions as the technology manager for medical equipment systems. Additional responsibilities in this environment include the following:
- Financial or budgetary management
- Service contract management
- Data processing systems for managing the medical equipment
- Coordination of service agreements and in-house operations
- Supervision of in-house maintenance staff, depending on skill set and the structure of the department
Hospital-based clinical engineers also fill other important functions in assuring that the medical equipment is safe and effective. These functions include participation in the planning process and in the assessment of new technology, assuring regulatory compliance in the medical technology management area, investigation of incidents, and active participation in training and education of technical and medical personnel.
The VA Technical Career Field (TCF) Program hires graduate biomedical/clinical engineers for two-year paid training programs. The program provides the training that is necessary for the transition from college to the VA workplace, with many of the same benefits as other Federal employees.
These graduate engineers receive one-on-one training and mentoring by preceptors who are seasoned engineers at many of the more than 150 VA medical centers throughout the country. During the two-year training period, engineering trainees have the opportunity to attend national conferences and core training events, as well as network with other trainees in the program as part of a wide variety of training experiences and continuing education activities that will enhance the prospect of upward mobility in VA.
At the completion of training, trainees are converted to permanent positions in VA medical facilities. The professional experience provided in the training program, along with the vast numbers of VA ‘Boomers’ approaching retirement, increases the potential for rapid promotion in this career field into leadership positions within VA.
The TCF Program for Engineers provides funding for tuition and travel expenses for approved events, such as national career-related conferences and continuing education courses in the job-related field. Funding occurs on a fiscal year basis and may change from one year to the next. The amount of funding available is determined each fiscal year and is contingent upon budget approval.
During the two-year training period, engineering trainees have the opportunity to attend national conferences and core training events, as well as network with other trainees in the program as part of a wide variety of training experiences and continuing education activities that will enhance the prospect of upward mobility in VA. Below are some of the training activities for TCF Biomedical Engineering trainees:
- Essentials of Healthcare IT course
- Medical Device Security course
- National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) training
- Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR) course
- Supervisory training
- Attend industry conferences such as RSNA (Radiological Society of North America), AAMI (Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation), and/or HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society)
- Education site visits to other VA medical centers
- Week-long rotation through Washington, D.C. Central Office
The two-year Technical Career Field (TCF) Biomedical Equipment Support Specialist (BESS) program trains qualified individuals for on-site repair and preventative maintenance of medical systems within a medical center. BESS trainees will have the opportunity to learn about and work on a range of medical devices throughout the medical center including state-of-the-art medical systems.
The VA TCF Program hires technically creative individuals who have an aptitude for applying knowledge, specialized experience and skills to areas of comprehensive technical support such as preventive maintenance, repair, calibration, and installation of medical device systems.
BESS trainees receive one-on-one training and mentoring under the direct guidance of a Biomedical Engineer/Supervisory Biomedical Equipment Support Specialist for two years. During this time, the trainees will have the opportunity to attend training events and network with other BESS trainees as part of a wide variety of training experiences and continuing education activities that will enhance the prospects of future success.
At the successful completion of training, BESS trainees may be converted to permanent positions at VA medical facilities.
Below are some of the training activities provided for Biomedical Equipment Support Specialists:
- Equipment Training courses
- Specialized Equipment Training course
- Attend AAMI (Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation) annual conference or other industry conferences
- Educational site visits to other VA medical centers
The TCF Program’s Boiler Plant Operator/Utility System Specialist training program consists of two years of specialized training to safely operate VA Boiler Plant equipment and associated controls. Trainees are prepared for a challenging career as utility plant instrument and control technicians to possess the skills required for the maintenance and management of utility systems. This includes associated safety devices that ensure fuel-efficient plant operations at VA medical centers.
The purpose of this program is to provide qualified, recent military Veterans and individuals with instrument and controls specialty training or the aptitude to meet the needs of VA medical centers in routine utility plant operations. The objectives of the program include:
- Essential working knowledge of principles and practices required for the operation of Boiler Plants and related safety devices within VA medical centers;
- Guidance and resources for the development of knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to achieve professional growth and proficiency in safe utility operations;
- Support in seeking opportunities for placement in a permanent position upon completion of the program.
During the two-year training period, trainees will experience on-the-job training, classroom courses, online courses as well as local specialized training, depending on the student's needs. The specialized training is required to develop the knowledge for safe and reliable boiler operations in a medical center environment. Below are some of the training activities provided for TCF Boiler Plant/Utility System Operator trainees:
- Boiler Plant Essentials course
- Boiler Operation/Electrical Troubleshooting (levels 1 and 2)
- Safety Device Testing (increasing levels)
- Boiler Systems PLUS training course
- Locally specialized courses as available (per location)
GEMS - VA Environmental Engineers and Protection Specialists manage programs that control, reduce, and monitor environmental pollution and waste, while working with an interesting mix of employees in VA medical centers, including physicians, nurses and researchers. These programs are designed to protect the environment, personnel, visitors, property and natural resources with emphasis on implementing sustainable products and processes. Our environmental professional evaluate hospital activities, determine applicable regulatory requirements, and develop policies, programs and procedures to ensure compliance. They conduct training, recommend practices and equipment for elimination or reduction of wastes and environmental pollution
The General Engineer Program hires graduate engineers for two-year paid internships and provides the training that is necessary to transition from school to the workplace.
Engineers at VA are knowledgeable in the areas of professional engineering practices, including principles of engineering and standard trade practices involving energy applications and the planning, development, design, and construction of major and minor projects, and their cost factors.
Responsibilities require the mastery of a wide range of management and engineering skills needed in planning, designing, and carrying out projects, programs, and studies associated with health care delivery in the assigned areas within the medical centers.
The assigned areas of the medical centers are diverse and include construction, utilities, building maintenance, medical equipment maintenance, building service equipment maintenance and personal property maintenance, fire and safety systems, space utilization, and program management.
The VA Technical Career Field (TCF) Program hires graduate engineers for two-years of training. The program provides the training that is necessary for the transition from college to the VA workplace, with many of the same benefits as other Federal employees.
These graduate engineers receive one-on-one training and mentoring for the first year by preceptors who are seasoned engineers at the more than 150 VA medical centers throughout the country. During the two-year training period, engineering trainees have the opportunity to attend national conferences and core training events, as well as network with other trainees in the program as part of a wide variety of training experiences and continuing education activities that will enhance the prospect of upward mobility in VA.
At the completion of training, trainees are converted to permanent positions in VA medical facilities. The professional experience provided in the training program, along with the vast numbers of VA 'Boomers' approaching retirement, increases the potential for rapid promotion in this career field into leadership positions within VA.
Below are some of the training activities for TCF general engineering trainees:
- Core Engineering Training (VA)
- Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR) course
- Attend VHA’s National Engineering/Safety Partnerships conference
- Attend national ASHE Conference (American Society for Healthcare Engineering)
- NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) training
VA industrial hygienists identify, control, and eliminate environmental and occupational health hazards, while working with an interesting mix of employees in VA medical centers, including physicians, nurses, and researchers. Health care industrial hygiene is a challenging specialty, because it includes typical industrial hazards, as well as some that are specific to health care research.
Our industrial hygienists use sampling and analytical instruments to evaluate potential hazards to employees, patients, and the public, as well as conduct training and write policies, programs, and procedures. They perform investigations to determine causal factors and recommend procedures for elimination or reduction of a potential hazard.
The VA Technical Career Field (TCF) Program hires graduate industrial hygienists for a two-year training program. The program provides the training that is necessary for the transition from college to the VA workplace, with many of the same benefits as other Federal employees.
These individuals receive one-on-one training and mentoring for the first year by preceptors who are seasoned industrial hygienists at the more than 150 VA medical facilities throughout the country. For the second year, trainees may stay at that facility if a permanent position is available or may relocate to another VA medical facility across the country, with relocation expenses paid by the program.
During the two-year training period, trainees have the opportunity to attend national conferences and core training events, as well as network with other trainees in the program as part of a wide variety of training experiences and continuing education activities that will enhance the prospect of upward mobility in VA.
At the completion of the program, trainees are converted to permanent positions in VA medical facilities. The professional experience provided in the training program, along with the vast numbers of VA 'Boomers' approaching retirement, increases the potential for rapid promotion in this career field into leadership positions within VA.
Below are some of the training activities for TCF trainees in this career field:
- Basic and Intermediate Safety courses
- Basic and Intermediate GEMS (Green Environmental Management System) courses
- National VA Safety conference
VA safety specialists manage comprehensive safety programs designed to provide a physical environment free of hazards in the health care environment. Our safety program includes life safety, fire suppression, construction safety, vehicle safety, electrical safety, and emergency management elements. This program is designed to protect patients, personnel, visitors, and property. Our safety specialists manage a comprehensive fire safety and life safety program in support of The Joint Commission and other governing standards and regulations.
The VA Technical Career Field (TCF) Program hires graduate safety specialists for a two-year training program. The program provides the training that is necessary for the transition from college to the VA workplace, with many of the same benefits as other Federal employees.
These individuals receive one-on-one training and mentoring for the first year by preceptors who are seasoned safety specialists at the more than 150 VA medical facilities throughout the country. For the second year, trainees may stay at that facility if a permanent position is available or may relocate to another VA medical facility across the country, with relocation expenses paid by the program.
How to Find Job Announcements and Apply
Career fields began trainee recruitment as early as March. Individuals selected for positions may start working as early as the last pay period in May, and no later than the last pay period in September. Training site locations are reflected on JOA that are posted on USAjobs.gov annually, as early as mid-February. Open positions change each year and may not be offered at the VA facility of your choice, therefore, look for job postings listed on USA Jobs using the VA Careers link below. Every JOA listed on the VA Careers website is advertised nationally by the career field for all locations or by the local facility. Therefore, there is not one application process for all locations; announcements vary by location and are posted as VA internal opportunities, VA external opportunities or both. After determining the job(s) and location(s) you are interested in, you will need to apply to each advertised position separately.
VHA offers a designated number of TCF Program positions every year. Job opportunities are posted at various times for various locations from March-August. There is not one set date for job announcements at all locations. Review the VA Careers website for specific job postings and instructions on how to apply online for individual positions, and search by the following keywords (i.e., TCF, Pathways Recent Graduate), occupation or location.
Selection of trainees follows the federal government’s OPM hiring standards. Applicants can be hired at the 5 or 7 level ( GS-9/11 only for the leadership level trainees); salary tables are available on the OPM website . Beginning grades vary across the country and are typically dependent on education level and experience within the field of interest. Each TCF position requires employment for one year at the hiring grade level before being promoted, even if the individual meets qualifications/Time in Grade (TIG) requirements for a higher grade prior to reaching one year.
All selected trainees are required to sign a training agreement and continued service agreement. Once the two-year training program is complete, trainees are expected to be placed at their training site. In accordance with the Continued Service Agreement (CSA), after completion of the two-year training program, the trainee has an obligation of working three additional years for the VA. If not, the hosting site will initiate a bill of collection for the training/travel funds expended during the two-year training program.
Trainees may be placed non-competitively up to the appropriate target level position once the training is successfully completed, and job qualifications at the higher-grade level are fully achieved. Promotions and permanent placement are not entitlements and are dependent on trainee conduct and performance. A final placement grade depends on the hiring grade, TIG restrictions, and trainee performance.
For more information about TCF contact [email protected] .
To search jobs on the VA careers website: https://www.vacareers.va.gov/SearchCareers/ .