Employee Competencies Training Opportunities
Starting in July 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 July, 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 Open Enrollment and Webinar 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:
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.
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.
Balancing Requirements: Project Management at VA. This advanced course takes the participant through the development, execution, and controlling of project schedules and the requisite planning elements.
Building Positive Work Relationships. In this course, 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.
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. 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.
Communicating in Difficult Situations. This course is designed to provide you with insights and information to better understand, communicate, and work with Veterans and your colleagues.
Communicating with Empathy. This course addresses ways to improve your communication skills, with a focus on listening with empathy; you’ll learn the traits and the specific skills of active listeners; you’ll also examine ways to interpret nonverbal communication and consider how work roles influence 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 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. Using VA-specific scenarios, 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.
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.
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 you 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. 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 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. Writing for Procurement 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.
Foundations of Good Judgement. This foundational-level course explores the significance of good judgment as an essential element in VA’s “I CARE” initiative and its role in supporting VA’s mission. Through interactive VA-specific activities that simulate real-world scenarios, participants learn ways to cultivate good judgment skills.
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.
Influencing Decisions & 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.
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.
Strategic Concepts to Solve Problems. Through individual and small- and large-group activities, you will explore how to identify and define problems, formulate decision criteria, determine and assess alternative solutions, implement the best alternative, and evaluate the implemented solution.
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.
Teamwork Essentials. This course introduces the traits of highly effective teams and examines the individual characteristics of team members that contribute to the team’s success.
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. Using VA-specific scenarios, this course provides an opportunity to apply techniques that resolve conflict and encourage collaboration between diverse teams.
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.