Usda pathways programs training and development plan

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USDA Pathways Programs Training and Development Plan


The purpose of the USDA Pathways Programs Training and Development Plan is to facilitate the design and implementation of the career and professional development of USDA Interns, Recent Graduates, and PMF's. The USDA Pathways Programs Training and Development Plan outline the Pathways Programs training requirements for Interns, Recent Graduates, and Presidential Management Fellows. The plan covers a period of at least two years for Interns and PMF's and at least one year of training for Recent Graduates. The plan must be used in conjunction with each Pathways participant's Individual Development Plan.


The USDA Pathways Programs Training and Development Plan provides basic guidance for a competency-based training program that can be phased out to correspond with the performance appraisal cycle and blended into a variety of training formats. USDA managers and supervisors are required to provide periodic feedback and an assessment during the IDP evaluation process.

The first phase of the plan provides an orientation to federal employment, professional development, and focuses on the core competencies that USDA values. The second phase of the plan focuses on technical competencies, mentoring, attending seminars and conferences, an application of knowledge, shadowing, rotational assignments, project management, and leadership development. Presidential Management Fellows will be afforded a more robust training plan in an effort to meet OPM Senior Executive Leadership Training requirements.

Roles and Responsibilities


It is the role of the supervisor to provide interns with performance feedback and an annual performance evaluation. A copy of the evaluation should be provided to the Student Intern Coordinator and the USDA Student Intern Program Manager. It

is also the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure the success of the intern by performing the following tasks:

Providing interns with a detailed copy of the policies and procedures of the organization Offer guidance on the expectations of work, dress code, and performance Complete a performance evaluation Make recommendations and monitor the execution of the IDP Support shadowing, mentoring, and rotational assignments Provide meaningful work experiences Provide regular and periodic feedback Stay abreast of the USDA Pathways Programs Promote Interns, Recent Graduates, and PMF's, if applicable Reward Interns, Recent Graduates, and PMF's if appropriate

Interns, Recent Graduates, and PMF's

USDA Interns, Recent Graduates, and PMF's will be offered several learning opportunities throughout their experience at USDA. It is the responsibility of each USDA Pathways Program participant to take advantage of the dynamic training opportunity outlined in this training and development plan. The Intern, Recent Graduate, and PMF must:

Complete and implement an Individual Development Plan within 45 days of his/her entrance on duty date Interns and Recent Graduates must complete at least 40 hours of training as outlined in this training plan PMF's must complete 80 hours of training per year for 2 years as outlined in this training plan Participate in a mentoring event or experience Complete at least one rotational assignment Participate in agency-wide and department-wide training opportunities Participate in at least a ? day shadowing experience (USDA Interns only)

Intern Development Program Manager

The role of the USDA Intern Development Program Manager is to provide a variety of learning opportunities that fosters career, leadership, and professional

development for Interns, Recent Graduates, and Presidential Management Fellows. The USDA Intern Development Program Manager is responsible for the following:

Conduct a series of orientation webinars during the fall and summer Serve as a training resource for interns, supervisors, mentors, and Student Intern Coordinators Collaborate with Supervisors and interns in order to identify training needs Conduct IDP Workshop webinars periodically Collect data on shadowing, mentoring, and rotational experiences, IDP development, and performance plans and feedback

Rotational Supervisor

The role of the Rotational Supervisor is extremely important. The rotational experience should foster creativity, decision-making, and knowledge transfer. The Rotational Supervisor is responsible for:

Provide a meaning work experience Review and adhere to all rotational agreements Review the IDP and provide work that is aligned with the participants goals and objectives Provide performance feedback periodically Provide a copy of the performance assessment to the participant, the participant's immediate supervisor, the Student Interns Coordinator, and the Student Intern Development Program Manager

Rotational Assignments, Mentoring Experience, and Shadowing Experience

The rotational, mentoring, and shadowing experiences are important aspects of the Pathways Programs experience. They allow participants to gain knowledge of a variety of skills and processes throughout the department. Before a rotational assignment is completed, the learning objectives in the participants IDP should be included and carefully examined. A written MOU should be prepared between both supervisors if the participant will be remaining within the agency. A MOU should be prepared between the specific agencies if the participant will be rotating and/or shadowing between agencies. The participant should receive a copy of the

terms of the agreement. The rotational experience should have the following characteristics:

Last at least 15 days and involve meaning work experiences Focus on developing the participants professional skills and defined competencies Align with the strengths and areas of improvement as outlined in the participants IDP and performance plan Allow the participant to gain experience in a different setting For example, if the participant works in Human Resources, he/she should rotate to the Office of General Counsel to gain insight into laws and regulations that impact his/her agency

Professional Associations, Seminars, Webinars, Conferences, Recommended Reading

USDA Pathways Programs participants must participate in regularly scheduled webinars and seminars for Interns, Recent Graduates, and PMF's. Each program participant must participate in at least 4 conferences and/or seminars per year. The USDA Student Intern Development Program Manager also strongly encourages program participants to participate in professional associations, USDA Connect blogs, and read periodic reviews in the career field of the participant's choice. A copy of a list of professional associations for federal government employees is attached. A list of recommending reading is also attached.

Mandatory Courses for Interns and Recent Graduates

The Voice of Leadership: Self-Assessment and Motivation Introduction to AgLearn IDPs Using Feedback to Improve Team Performance Diversity on the Job: Diversity and You Building Community Emotional Intelligence at Work Simulation (for Recent Graduates Only) Effective Interpersonal Communications Simulation Interpersonal Communication: Being Approachable Interpersonal Communication: Listening Essentials Strategies for Communicating with Tact and Diplomacy

Applying problem solving skills Conflict, Stress, and Time Management Business Ethics Simulation Conflicts of Interest and Impartiality for USDA Employees ( for Interns only) Developing a Code of Ethical Conduct Ethics: Using Government Property and Time ( for Interns only) Business Grammar: Parts of Speech ( for interns only) 7 Steps to Better Written Policies and Procedures Exercises and Suggestions to Improve Your Writing (for Recent Graduates only) Business Grammar: The Mechanics of Writing Business Writing: Editing and Proofreading Communicating Across Cultures Business Writing: Know Your Readers and Your Purpose Business Writing: How to Write Clearly and Concisely Ethics: Teaching, Speaking, Writing Essentials of Interviewing and Hiring: Preparing to Interview FSIS Writing Results-Oriented Accomplishment Reports Making your point in writing Building Improved Work Relationships Simulation Achieving Success: the Help of a Mentor 151 Quick Ideas to Improve Your People Skills Building Improved Work Relationships Simulation Are You Listening to Your Customers? Customer Service over the Phone Administrative Professionals: Representing Your Boss (for Recent Graduates only) Demonstrating Accountability in a Crisis Situation Professionalism, Business Etiquette, and Personal Accountability Leading Teams: Building Trust and Commitment (for Recent Graduates only) Leading Teams: Launching a Successful Team (for Recent Graduates only) Leading Teams: Motivating and Optimizing Performance (for Recent Graduates only) Critical Thinking Essentials: Applying Critical Thinking Skills Thinking Like a CFO: Preparing and Presenting a Business Case Generating Creative and Innovative Ideas: Enhancing Your Creativity (for Recent Graduates only)

100 Great Time Management Ideas 101 Ways to Make Every Second Count: Time Management Tips and Techniques for More Success with Less Campus to Corporate: Developing a Professional Image (for interns only) Communicating with Professionalism and Etiquette (for interns only) Addressing and Redistributing E-mail (for interns only) Public Speaking Strategies: Confident Public Speaking

Mandatory Courses for Presidential Management Fellows

The Voice of Leadership: Self-Assessment and Motivation Introduction to AgLearn IDPs Leader as Motivator Leadership Essentials: Motivating Employees Leading Teams: Motivating and Optimizing Performance Maintaining an Engaging Organization Retaining Top Performers Motivating Human Behavior Preventing Problem Performance The Voice of Leadership: Effective Leadership Communication Strategies Business Execution: Crafting a Business Strategy that Executes Business Planning Essentials: Preparing for Implementation Developing and Deploying Strategic Plans Developing Learning Practices Developing the Capacity to Think Strategically Hiring Strategic Thinkers Strategic Decision Making Operations Management: Facilities Planning and Management Strategic Approaches to Workforce Planning and Employment (HRCI/SPHR) Strategic Planning Strategic Management (HRCI/PHR) Strategic IT Planning Simulation Managing Software Project Outsourcing: Dealing with Risks

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