Employee Competencies Training Opportunities
Starting in June 2015
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. These courses begin in June, so sign up today!
Courses are comprised of multiple sessions; you MUST sign up for all sessions within a course to receive your course completion certificate.
Many courses are offered again throughout the remainder of the year. 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. Participants will learn why accountability is important for organizational—and personal—growth as well as ways to marshal the combined power of responsibility, empowerment, and accountability to improve performance.
Balancing Requirements: Project Management at VA. This advanced course takes participants through the development, execution, and controlling of project schedules and the requisite planning elements.
Building Ethical Environments. In this course, you explore the core values, key characteristics and programs that leverage integrity to support an ethical environment at VA, as well as discuss how to create and inspire an ethical environment and demonstrate the desired ethical behaviors that set the tone for others in the organization.
Building Positive Work Relationships. This course teaches 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.
Building Writing Skills. This foundational-level course, part of the Written Communication Learning Program, is designed to equip VA employees with the tools they need to write effectively using Plain Language.
Communicating Complex Issues Clearly. This course, part of the Written Communication Learning Program, provides a series of activities on workplace-related topics while teaching the three foundations of professional writing – know your audience, apply critical thinking to both organization and execution, and revise and edit.
Communicating in Difficult Situations. This course is designed to provide participants with insights and information to better understand, communicate, and work with Veterans and colleagues.
Communicating with Empathy. This course addresses ways to improve communication skills, with a focus on listening with empathy as well as shows how to interpret nonverbal communication and consider how work roles influences the way people communicate.
Communicating with Executives. Using VA specific scenarios, you will explore the various methods you can use in upward communication and practice targeting messages and ideas for Senior Leaders.
Communicating Positive Customer Service. This foundational-to-intermediate-level course, part of the Veteran and Customer Focus (VCF) Learning Program, uses real-life VA workplace scenarios and interactive exercises to teach how to handle challenging customer service situations, communicate effectively and proactively, collaborate with stakeholders, and leverage relationships to provide superior service.
Contributing to Team Excellence. Participants apply collaboration techniques in a group setting, assess the impact of team dynamics, practice team-building skills, and identify communication styles that increase team performance using VA-specific scenarios.
Creative Solutions to Overcome Workplace Obstacles. This foundational course delineates the similarities and differences between decision making and problem solving while exploring how the two processes are inextricably linked. Participants are introduced to the advantages and disadvantages of individual versus group decision making and problem solving while making application to the VA world.
Demonstrating Ethical Behavior. Through guided discussion and activities you will examine what ethics means to you and how organizational values, external influences, and personal beliefs impact ethics-related decisions in the context of working at VA. You will practice identifying possible inputs into ethical decisions using the characteristics of ethical decision-making as well as learn about the resources available at VA to help you make ethics-related decisions.
Enhancing Your Influencing Skills. This intermediate-level course provides strategies to help participants become more aware of their own behaviors in relationships and offers insight into how others may be feeling or reacting based on how the brain processes information.
Establishing Priorities and Achieving Work Goals. Participants will create plans to manage time, balance priorities, and set goals. Participants also practice making appropriate adjustments to those plans to account for challenges and non-routine projects.
Ethical Dilemmas - Balancing Customer Needs at the VA. This course highlights how customer service is critical to achieving VA’s overall mission and how it is a vital aspect of VA’s core values. After reviewing the four step process for handling customer complaints, you will practice responding to basic VA customer inquiries.
Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 1- Addressing Data Calls. Through VA-specific scenarios, this interactive module provide participants with hands-on application of writing techniques to deliver clear, concise, and effective written responses to any data call following VA standards and Plan Language Guidelines.
Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 2- Drafting Memorandums. This course provides hands-on application of writing techniques to develop clear, concise, and effective memorandums.
Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 3 - Writing Issue Briefs. Using VA-specific scenarios, this interactive module introduces participants to an easy-to-follow approach and hands-on application of writing techniques to develop a clear, concise, and effective issue brief following VA standards and Plain Language Guidelines.
Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 4 - Responding to Congressional Inquiries. This interactive module uses VA-specific scenarios, 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 course introduces participants to the “Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion” format and how it is applied at VA.
Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 6 - Writing for Procurement. This course provides hands-on writing strategies for delivering clear, concise, and effective procurement responses for proposals following VA standards and Federal Plain Language Guidelines.
Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 7 - Writing Strategic Plans. Using VA-specific scenarios, this module provides participants with hands-on application of writing techniques to deliver a clear, concise and effective vision statement, mission statement, values, overall goals, and objectives following Plain Language and VA Correspondence Guidelines.
Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 8 - Writing Grants. This module addresses how to write persuasive Statement of Need section and project goals in grants following VA standards and Plain Language Guidelines.
Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 9 - Writing Business Cases. Using VA-specific scenarios, this interactive module provides participants with hands-on application of writing techniques to deliver a clear, concise, and convincing business case following VA standards and Plain Language Guidelines.
Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 10 - Writing Position Papers. Using VA-specific scenarios, this interactive module provides you with hands-on application of writing techniques to deliver clear, concise, and compelling position papers following VA standards and Plain Language Guidelines.
Fostering an Inclusive Culture. This intermediate-level course outlines methods for seeking out diverse ideas and alternative viewpoints; examines ways to involve people with diverse backgrounds in the problem-solving process; and presents techniques to resolve conflict through open, transparent communication.
From Stress to Success. This course provides an overview of stress in the workplace and the ways perception impacts stress responses while teaching participants how to minimize the negative impact of stressful situations, increase resilience, and maximize their outcomes by using positive, proactive behaviors.
High-Performing Teams. Participants learn how to build an effective team through planning, understanding differences between team members, and innovative thinking.
Identifying and Solving Problems. This course will explore key aspects of problem solving, including defining a problem, barriers to problem solving, problem solving processes, specific to VA and its mission to serve Veterans.
Influencing Decisions and Gaining Buy-In. In this course, participants will explore the key strategies for influencing decisions and gaining buy-in and practice preparing for and delivering a mock proposal to key decision makers within VA.
Influencing Strategies to Get Results. Through storytelling, small- and large-group discussions, role plays, and self-assessments, participants gain insight into their relationship with themselves and others in order to apply influencing strategies that get results.
Leveraging and Optimizing VA and Federal Resources. This course shows participants how to use VA and Federal resources appropriately and examine the impact inappropriate use has on Veterans, VA employees, and VA’s public image.
Organizing and Conducting Effective Meetings. Participants learn the elements for an effective meeting include a clearly defined purpose, thoughtful preparation, smooth facilitation and a record of the meeting’s actions and decisions.
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.
Refining your Communication Style. This foundational-to-intermediate-level course helps participants improve the quality and impact of their oral communication in briefings and presentations, both virtually and in person.
Speaking with Confidence. Participants learn how to deliver effective presentations by exploring different techniques for handling public speaking challenges, practicing using these techniques, and discussing their experiences.
Systems Thinking: Seeing the Big Picture. This course provides participants a safe environment to discuss the topic of systems thinking at VA under the guidance of a designated instructor.
Understanding Customer Service. This foundational-level course, part of the VCF Learning Program, is designed to equip VA employees with the tools they need to deliver world-class customer service.
Working with Diverse Teams. This advanced-level course, you will experience a combination of activities including role plays, case studies, small group discussions, video clips, and instructor-led discussions.
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 email.