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Employee Competencies Training Opportunities - December 2015

Employee Competencies Training Opportunities 
Starting in December

The employee competencies define what every VA employee needs to know and how to contribute to the overall mission of VA while upholding the I CARE values.

These courses begin in December, 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.

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

  1. Click on the name of the class below. This will direct you to the main sign-in page of the Talent Management System (TMS).
  2. Log into TMS with your User Name and Password.
  3. The next screen you will see is the “Curricula” for the course.
  4. Click the button that says “Self-Assign Curriculum” (located on the bottom right).
  5. The next screen will show you all the items (e.g., prescreens, self-assessments, etc.) you may start immediately. Begin with the first one listed.
  6. Once completed, go back to your To Do List and pick the MODULE in the sequence (Note: All MODULES must be completed in the same prescribed timeline).
  7. Select MODULE 1, and add it to your learning plan.
  8. After you finish MODULE 1, you will be able to proceed to MODULE

December Courses

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.

  • Number of Sessions: 4 VILT Sessions
  • Duration:  9.5 Hours Total
  • TMS Curricula #: OHRA-029

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.

  • Number of Sessions: 1 VILT session
  • Duration:  2 Hours Total
  • TMS Curricula #:  OHRA-023

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.

  • Number of Sessions: 5 VILT sessions
  • Duration: 13.5 hours total
  • TMS Curricula #: OHRA-021

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.

  • Number of Sessions: 1 VILT Session
  • Duration:  2 Hours Total
  • TMS Curricula #:  OHRA-022

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.

  • Number of Sessions: 1 WBT course and 5 VILT sessions
  • Duration: 11.5 hours total
  • TMS Curricula #: OHRA-045

Building Writing Skills. This foundational-level course, part of the Written Communication Learning Program, is part designed to equip Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) employees with the tools needed to write effectively, using plain language.

  • Number of Sessions: 4 VILT Sessions
  • Duration: 11 hours total
  • TMS Curricula #: OHRA-052

Communicating Complex Issues Clearly. Writing Journey: Communicating complex issues clearly is part of the written communication learning program. Through a series of activities on workplace-related topics, this course teaches the three foundations of professional writing – know your audience, apply critical thinking to both organization and execution, and revise and edit.

  • Number of Sessions: 4 VILT Sessions
  • Duration:  12.5 Hours Total
  • TMS Curricula #: OHRA-049

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).

  • Number of Sessions: 3 VILT Sessions
  • Duration:  10.5 Hours Total
  • TMS Curricula #:  OHRA-028

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.

  • Number of lessons: 1 WBT course and 2 VILT sessions
  • Duration: 8 hours total
  • TMS Curricula #:  OHRA-056

Contributing to Team Excellence. In this course, participants explore the characteristics of effective teams and good communications skills. They learn how their day-to-day roles, tasks and responsibilities fit into and support the department and the administrations’’ goals. Participants also see how their roles impact others, and how all VA employees work towards the same goals. Finally, the course emphasizes the value of knowledge sharing and how others’ strengths can be used to improve individual performance.  

  • Number of Sessions: 4 VILT Sessions
  • Duration: 8.25 Hours Total
  • TMS Curricula #:  OHRA-011

Enhancing Your Influencing Skills. In the speaking professionally: Enhancing Your Influencing Skills course, participants examine the value of personal influence in the workplace. 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. In this three-day virtual, instructor-led experience, participants are immersed in interactive exercises and group discussions that help them enhance and apply their influencing skills.

  • Number of Sessions:  3 VILT Sessions
  • Duration:  6.5 Hours Total
  • TMS Curricula #:  OHRA-053

Formal Writing Using Plain Language: Course 1- Addressing Data Cells. This is course 1 of the Formal Writing Using Plain Language series. 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.  

  • Number of Sessions: 1 VILT Session
  • Duration:  2 Hours Total
  • TMS Curricula #: OHRA-036

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.

  • Number of Sessions: 1 VILT Session
  • Duration:  2 Hours Total
  • TMS Curricula #:  OHRA-043

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.

  • Number of Sessions: 2 VILT Sessions
  • Duration:  5 Hours Total
  • TMS Curricula #:  OHRA-030

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.

  • Number of Sessions: 3 VILT sessions
  • Duration: 6.5 hours total
  • TMS Curricula #: OHRA-027

If you have any questions, please contact 

In the event a course you registered for is canceled, you will be notified via e-mail.