NAO 202-411: NOAA Leadership Training Program

Issued 02/13/95; Effective 02/23/95; Reviewed Last: 06/18/15


This Order provides information and guidance on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Leadership Training Program. The NOAA Leadership Training Program (NLTP) will develop a sustainable cadre of well-prepared supervisors and managers to meet current and future needs, to improve the quality of leadership offered to employees, and to communicate clearly top management's goals and priorities throughout NOAA.


There are approximately 1900 supervisors and managers in NOAA. It is estimated that only 25 percent have attended a structured supervisory training program within the last 5 years. National Performance Review (NPR) initiatives will reduce the number of supervisors governmentwide as well as broaden their span of control. As NOAA implements these initiatives, supervisors and managers will devote more time performing purely supervisory duties. They need training to accomplish their duties efficiently and effectively.

The NLTP attempts to meet these needs while preserving supervisory and managerial discretion in determining the training source, resource commitment, and specific content selection to the maximum extent possible. It reflects senior management's desire to ensure that all NOAA managers and supervisors acquire a basic level of training to meet their expanding supervisory/managerial responsibilities.


.01 Participants.

Program participants at either the basic or the advanced level will attend the required basic supervisory course where applicable, apply for appropriate classes as they are publicized, and maintain records documenting their attendance at training classes.

.02 Supervisors of Participants.

Supervisors will counsel participants regarding their overall development including providing guidance on the selection of appropriate courses. They will likewise coordinate scheduling to facilitate attendance and attempt to secure resources including financial support for the participant's training and developmental experiences.

.03 Senior Level Managers.

Senior managers will ensure that resources in support of the program are made available within resource limitations and to monitor completion of the mandatory elements of the NLTP.

.04 Director, Human Resources Management Office (HRMO).

The Director, HRMO, and staff will coordinate NLTP activities across NOAA and work cooperatively with the servicing HR Offices to assist in program implementation, to include development of specific program guidelines, training source identification, publicity for course offerings, central coordination of nominations as appropriate for courses with limited allocations, and ongoing program evaluation.


.01 Overall Program Description.

The NLTP consists of a basic and an advanced component. The 80 hour basic component is mandatory for new supervisors, and stresses the acquisition and maintenance of supervisory, managerial, and leadership skills. The advanced level program is entirely voluntary, and is not limited to managerial and supervisory skills development, as it also includes public policy, and program management and development subject matter as well.

.02 Basic Program Description.

The basic component is composed of a total of 80 hours of mandatory formal instruction: a 40-hour course in basic supervision, and a second 40 hours of additional training acquired from various sources over a maximum period of two years. It is directed toward both newly-appointed and incumbent supervisors.

a. First 40 Hours.

1. New Supervisors. Effective January 1, 1995, all employees newly appointed to supervisory positions and those serving supervisory probationary periods, must attend an approved 40-hour course in basic supervision as a part of their performance requirements. Newly-appointed supervisors will attend this training within the first six months of their assignment. New supervisors in their positions since January 1, 1993, who have never attended a basic supervisory training program that included the subject matter described below (see basic program content), are also required to attend an approved program unless waived by their respective line/program/staff office head. It is the joint responsibility of probationers/new supervisors and their supervisors to ensure that this training is both scheduled and completed.

2. Incumbent Supervisors. All current supervisors who have not taken a course in basic supervision in the last 2 years are strongly urged to attend the initial 40-hour basic supervisory training program. Considering the numerous initiatives in Federal human resources management which are still in the evolutionary process (e.g. diversity, labor/management partnership, reinventing government), all supervisors should benefit from completing this program. The benefits in terms of professional enrichment and getting up-to-date exposure to the numerous new initiatives discussed above are self-evident. Likewise, senior management officials within NOAA will consider the completion of NLTP a demonstration of interest in self-development when making selections for mid-level and higher managerial positions.

b. Second 40 Hours.

The second 40 hours consists of various short courses that are available on a wide variety of related subjects, and from a wide variety of sources. This second segment of the basic component is also mandatory. Training officers - both from the NOAA Human Resources (HR) policy staff and the servicing HR offices - maintain information on training opportunities suitable for this second segment.


.01 Basic Program Content.

a. Basic Supervision, First 40 Hours.

Training officers have identified appropriate vendors to offer the basic 40-hour supervisory training, ensuring that core material is covered. Core material includes the following topics: the transition to supervision, the supervisor's role and responsibilities in for human resource management, employee relations and labor relations issues, delegation, motivation, administrative responsibilities, leadership skills, conflict management, and diversity. In addition to the training available from both public and private sources, there are two subjects that are essential for NOAA supervisors and managers to understand that can only be addressed specifically by internal resources: the NOAA Strategic Plan and the NOAA budget process.

1. NOAA Strategic Plan. This 2-3 hour presentation will coverthe then-current contents of the plan as well as a description of the planning process.

2. NOAA Budget Process. This 2-3 hour briefing session, developed by the Comptroller's office, will cover the budget formulation process, relationships with the department, OMB, and Congress, as well as stress the role of the individual manager in the process.

b. Supervisory/Managerial Programs, Second 40 Hours.

Training officers maintain a group of suggested sources for training beyond the initial 40 hours. This list, however, does not limit choices. If there are other reliable sources available, particularly in field locations, they should be used alternatively. No pre-clearance by training officers is required and the determination on vendor selection is left to the discretion of the sponsoring supervisor and the participant.

Generally, course should be at least 8 hours in duration, be non-scientific/technical in nature, and geared toward expanding on course material provided during the first forty hours. Examples of appropriate subject matter include but are not limited to: communication, negotiation, motivation, performance management, managing change, delegation, coaching, counseling, and team building, as well as general professional skills development courses such as conducting effective meetings, stress management, and time management.

c. Program Completion.

When the requisite 80 hours of training has been completed, it should be documented, and the record should be retained by the supervisor in the employee performance file (EPF).


.01 The advanced training component of the NLTP is an opportunity for continuing training and development. It is not limited to managers and supervisors. The subject matter covered in many of these programs is not limited to supervisory and/or management issues. It is unstructured and has no specific program content or time limitation.

.02 The advanced training component of the NLTP requires that senior line management develop internal mechanisms to review nominations for high-cost, high-visibility training programs, particularly those for which participation is very limited in terms of cost or available slots. Another ongoing consideration is to ensure that NOAA's commitment to diversity is reflected in the nomination process.


.01 The NOAA Training Officer will maintain and publicize a current list of the specific programs included in the advanced level in a wide variety of subject matter areas such as program planning and analysis, strategic planning, intergovernmental relations, media relations, consulting/communications/negotiations skills enhancement, and environmental politics.

.02 Examples of these programs are OPM Management Development Seminars and their Legis Fellows Program, management/executive/ public policy programs sponsored by university graduate schools such as the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Programs, the Syracuse University Maxwell School Programs, and the American University Key Executive Program, and certain programs offered by such organizations as the Brookings Institution, and the Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association.


Relevant training completed prior to participation in the NLTP may be credited toward completion of the basic level up to and including the total 80 hours of training if the training otherwise meets program requirements. Supervisors of employees seeking credit for prior training may make these determinations, with the concurrence from the next higher level of supervision. Technical assistance is available from the servicing training officer.


No central funds are available to support the NLTP. Line, Program, and Staff Offices are required to supply the necessary resources to support the program. Resource allocations should be consistent with NOAA's goal of devoting 1.5 percent of personnel compensation to training activities.




Acting Director, Office of Administration

Office of Primary Interest:
Office of Administration
Human Resource Programs and Organization Analysis Division (OA22)