Although Section 2181 of the Federal Reports Elimination and Sunset Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-66) (1995) abolished the requirement for an agency to review the needs and requirements for training employees under its jurisdiction at least once every three years, planning for training is still required under Title 5 USC §4103. E.O. No. 11348 §303 (1967), as amended, requires heads of agency to review, at least annually, organizational, occupational, and individual needs for training. This requirement is referenced in Title 5 CFR §410.203.
A systematic and continuing review of current and foreseeable organizational training needs provides a realistic basis upon which to plan, program, budget, direct and evaluate a viable training program. Such reviews consider the broader issues and forces that impact organizational and program effectiveness as well as occupational and individual training needs.
Individual training needs are assessed within the context of the organization's strategic goals in order to ensure employees' performance competency and development. Some agencies use Individual Development Plans (IDP) to document this assessment and to plan for employee training and development.
A copy of the Training Needs Assessment Handbook can be downloaded at http://www.opm.gov/hrd/lead/pubs/pubs.asp.
The U.S. Congress passed the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, Pub. L. 103-62 (1993) to:
improve Federal program effectiveness and public accountability by promoting a new focus on results, service quality, and customer satisfaction;
help Federal managers improve service delivery by requiring that they plan for meeting program objectives and by providing them with information about program results and service quality; and
improve internal management of the Federal Government.
The Act underscores the importance of strategic planning in the Federal Government. When an agency engages in strategic planning, it establishes goals and objectives which move it toward desired outcomes. The Act thus links strategic planning to a systematic approach for the assessment of organizational needs and to a periodic evaluation of programs, including human resource development, to meet those identified needs.