All-Employee Competencies Training Opportunities
Starting in February
The employee competencies define what every VA employee needs to know and be able to do to contribute to the overall mission of VA while upholding the I CARE values.
Courses are comprised of multiple sessions; you MUST sign up for all sessions within a course to receive your course completion certificate.
View the VALU-sponsored Virtual Instructor Led Trainings calendar to find the sessions that best fit with your schedule. Note: You must have access to VA’s network to view the calendar.
Instructions for Signing Up
Accountability and You: Demonstrating Responsible Work Behavior.Building a commitment to results allows employees at any level to implement accountability that works. The accountability process is a three-stage process supported by a specific, clear agreement. To be accountable and own the results, whether successful or not, without fault or blame, means you can marshal the combined power of responsibility, empowerment, and accountability. Taking personal accountability is key component in achieving successful task results and increased professional growth.
Advanced Decision Making and Problem Solving. This advanced course offers an opportunity to examine the appropriate use of groups, the ethical dilemmas that can exist in satisfying a myriad of stakeholders, and pitfalls and decision-making traps common to groups. You will apply these group management skills as you practice impact analysis. This advanced decision-enhancing tool allows stakeholders to research the implications of a policy change, emerging trend, innovation, or event that has or might occur in a quick, inexpensive, and comprehensive way.
Advocating For Your Customer. This intermediate-level course, part of the Veteran and Customer Focus (VCF) Learning Program, is designed to equip VA employees with hands-on strategies for customer advocacy. Using VA-specific scenarios and interactive exercises, participants learn ways to analyze a variety of scenarios, work successfully with stakeholders, improve customer advocacy through established processes, and champion Veterans’ causes.
Balancing Customer Needs at VA. In this course, we discuss how customer service is critical to achieving the VA’s overall mission, and how it is a vital aspect of VA’s core values. After discussing how VA’s mission, vision, and core values help sustain positive customer service throughout the department, we also discuss the responsibilities of VA employees in responding to basic VA customer inquiries, and identifying the skills needed to appropriately manage these situations. After reviewing the four- step process for handling customer service complaints, you will practice responding to basic VA customer inquiries.
Balancing Requirements: Project Management at VA. This course is part of the organizational stewardship learning program. It is a Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) course that is approximately 14 hours long. This advanced-level course is based on current industry best practices, and takes participants through the development, execution, and controlling of project schedules and the requisite planning elements.
Building an Ethical Environment at VA. In this course, we will explore the core values, key characteristics, and programs that leverage integrity to support an ethical environment at VA. We will also discuss how to create and inspire an ethical environment and demonstrate the desired ethical behaviors that set the tone for others in the organization. Finally, you will synthesize your knowledge of strategies for ethical decision making and apply that knowledge to VA scenarios.
Building Positive Work Relationships. Research has shown that the ability to build and maintain caring, humane, and healthy working relationships is related to successful job performance and effective leadership. This course addresses the building blocks of such working relationships. This course encourages civility in the workplace by helping participants learn how to develop courteous and respectful behaviors, form effective working relationships, and set others at ease by creating open dialogue, even in difficult situations. We discuss the benefits of showing empathy in the workplace; how to recognize conflict and employ strengths for dealing with it; and how trust, communication, and honest feedback help to maintain relationships.
Communicating in Difficult Situations. Building positive relationships, fostering a climate of cooperation, and seeking positive outcomes from difficult situations will result in more productive employees and better-served Veterans. This course is designed to provide you with insights and information to better understand, communicate, and work with Veterans and your colleagues. You will have an opportunity to assess your negotiation skills, better determine the needs of all parties involved, understand the role that power plays in resolving conflict, and enhance your communication skills in difficult situations.
Communicating Positive Customer Service. This foundational-to-intermediate-level course, part of the Veteran and Customer Focus (VCF) Learning Program, designed to equip VA employees with the communication skills and relationship-building tools they need in order to carry out World-Class customer service. Using real-life VA workplace scenarios and interactive exercises, participants learn how to handle challenging customer service situations, communicate effectively and proactively, collaborate with stakeholders, and leverage relationships to provide superior service that embodies VA’s “I CARE” (Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, Excellence) Core Values and Strategic Goals (2011-2015).
Communicating With Empathy. This course addresses the importance of empathy in workplace communication. Participants examine ways to increase active-listening skills, interpret nonverbal communication, and consider how work roles can influence the way people communicate. Through engaging discussions and role-play, participants learn how to become better empathetic communicators, and encourage open dialogue in the workplace.
Communicating With Executives. Frequently, communication channels in an organization only run in one direction, from the top down. However, being able to effectively communicate upward to senior leaders is extremely important to the success of an organization. This course provides an overview of general upward communication principles, as well as how to select the most appropriate platform and setting to communicate your ideas or requests. Using VA specific scenarios, participants will explore the various methods utilized in upward communication and practice targeting their messages and ideas for senior leaders.
Preventing and Resolving Customer Service Breakdowns. The course offers practical tools, resources, and application opportunities to improve participants’ ability to handle customer issues that have escalated due to improper procedure or breakdowns in communication. Through scenarios that simulate real-life, participants identify the breakdowns involved in service scenarios and apply strategies to reach resolution.
Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 4- Responding to Congressional Inquiries. This is course 4 of the Formal Writing Using Plain Language series. Using VA-specific scenarios, this interactive module provides participants with hands-on application of writing techniques to deliver clear, concise, and effective responses to any Congressional inquiry, following VA standards and Plain Language Guidelines.
Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 5: Evaluating Data and Summarizing Findings. This is course 5 of the Formal Writing Using Plain Language series. This course introduces participants to the Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion (IMRAD) format, and how it is applied at VA.
Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 6- Writing for Procurement. This is course 6 of the Formal Writing Using Plain Language series. Writing for Procurement provides hands-on writing strategies for delivering clear, concise, and effective procurement responses — including Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Statements of Work (SOWs), Performance Work Statements (PWSs), and proposals for initiatives, following VA standards and Federal Plain Language Guidelines.
Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 7- Writing Strategic Plans. This is course 7 of the Formal Writing Using Plain Language series. Using VA-specific scenarios, this module provides participants with hands-on application of writing techniques to deliver a clear, concise and effective vision statements, mission statements, values, overall goals, and objectives following Plain Language and VA Correspondence Guidelines.
Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 8- Writing Grants. This is course 8 of the Formal Writing Using Plain Language series. Writing Grants addresses how to write persuasive Statement of Need section and project goals in grants.
From Stress to Success. The goal of this intermediate-level course is to equip VA employees with the tools needed to be resilient and proactive in times of stress, crisis, and uncertainty. This course provides an overview of stress in the workplace, and the ways perception impacts stress responses. It teaches participants how to minimize the negative impact of stressful situations, increase resilience, and maximize their outcomes by using positive, proactive behaviors.
Teamwork: High Performing Teams. Building and sustaining high-performing teams requires real effort. Effective team-building requires planning, an understanding of the differences between team members, and innovative thinking. A team that works effectively together often produces better results than those of a single person working on a project. Throughout this course, we will discuss processes and techniques that underlie all effective teams, and help us meet the objectives of the course.
Understanding Customer Service. This foundational-level course, part of the Veteran and Customer Focus (VCF) Learning Program, is designed to equip VA employees with the tools they need to deliver world-class customer service. Participants learn how to build relationships with all VA stakeholders to ensure VA’s mission and goals are clearly communicated and met. This course provides an overview of what customer service means within VA and how a service provider can create positive customer service experiences, whether face-to-face, on the phone, or via e-mail. Applying VA-specific scenarios and interactive activities, participants use problem-solving techniques to apply practical and professional solutions to resolving customer service problems, work successfully with VA stakeholders, and take a proactive role in promoting excellence in Veteran customer service.
If you have any questions, please contact VALUCommunicationsSharedMailbox@va.gov.
In the event a course you registered for is canceled, you will be notified via e-mail.