Employee development is essential in attracting and retaining a knowledgeable and skilled workforce and supports the overall quality of services rendered to the public. Continuous investment in training and education is essential for improving the performance of the St. Johns County workforce and enhancing the services provided by the County Government.
It is the responsibility of the Personnel Services Department to foster and promote opportunities for training and education to all County employees. The Personnel Services Department shall manage all aspects of the program and ensure training is conducted in accordance with the goals set forth by the organization. The Personnel Services Department shall support the achievement of the organizational goals by providing assistance to Department Directors in developing and conducting training to meet the specific needs of their departments.
All on-the-job training shall be conducted during normal business hours and department supervisors shall be responsible for the conduct and documentation of training. Newly hired employees shall participate in the established orientation training program and other continuing education and training opportunities when such instruction is considered necessary for satisfactory job performance.
Leadership development programs shall be an inherent element of supervisory and management development for both new and present managers.
Compliance training shall be conducted at regular intervals and in accordance with regulations governing such training.
Requests for training shall be reviewed and approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor.
Training and continuing education funds managed by the Personnel Services Department shall be expended for training which affects the majority of the organization and provides the greatest return on investment. Department specific training (technical) shall be budgeted for and funded by individual departments each fiscal year.
Training Funds Charge Back
The Personnel Services Department provides a broad range of training without charge to individual departments. The Personnel Services Department negotiates a "best price" with vendors and accepts participant enrollments sufficient to ensure a full class and to maximize the training dollars invested. Employees will occasionally have scheduling conflicts which require them to forego training. Failure to notify the Personnel Services Department of their inability to attend the courses for which they are registered causes training seats to go unfilled. Many of these courses have a waiting list of prospective participants; thus, notification to the Personnel Services Department, by employees who cannot attend, would enable other interested employees to receive the training. In an effort to minimize lost training dollars because of “no shows” it is necessary to charge back Departments for vacant training seats.
The Personnel Services Department will charge back Departments for the cost of training for employees who do not notify the Personnel Services Department, in writing, of their inability to attend the courses for which they have registered. The amount of the charge back to the Department will be the estimated cost of the empty seat for that training course. Departments may avoid this charge by ensuring that written cancellation is received by the Personnel Services Department at least one (1) full business day prior to the start of the class or by substituting the employee with another to fill the reserved seat. Any funds transferred to the Personnel Services Department for "no show" employees will be used to meet additional County training needs.
Tuition reimbursement may be provided, based on availability of funds, to all County employees who complete educational course work from accredited institutions. Such educational courses must apply to the employee’s field of work or directly contribute to the individual’s professional development plan. Reimbursement for tuition shall not exceed $1000 per employee per fiscal year.
Participation in the tuition reimbursement program is available to all County employees provided they meet or exceed the one (1) year requirement as having served as a full time employee.
To participate in the program, and prior to course registration, employees shall complete and submit the “Continuing Education Assistance Application and Agreement” form to their immediate supervisor. The supervisor shall review the application with the Department Director and forward the application to Personnel Services with signature approval.
Prior to course registration, the Personnel Services Department shall review the employee’s application and provide a written response to the applicant indicating approval or disapproval.
Upon the successful completion of the approved course(s), with a G.P.A. of 2.0 or better, the employee must submit to the Personnel Services Department, certification of successful course completion and the receipt for tuition paid to the accredited institution. Requests for reimbursement should be made no later than thirty (30) calendar days after completion of the course(s) and no later than September 15th of each year. Reimbursement for tuition shall only be made to employees who are on the active payroll at the time of the reimbursement request, and who have prior written approval for such benefit from the Personnel Services Department. Tuition assistance shall not be paid by the County if the same or similar benefit is provided by the Veteran’s Administration or other similar financial resource.
Separation from the County
If an employee voluntarily resigns employment or is terminated for gross misconduct prior to three (3) years after receiving tuition reimbursement, the employee shall refund the County a prorated portion of the reimbursed funds. The refund shall be prorated using a formula of 1/3rd for each full year worked after completion of the course(s). The refund will be due at the time of separation. Any refunds due the County and not paid at the time of separation, shall be deducted from the employee’s final pay. In the event there is a balance due after this deduction, the employee will have thirty (30) calendar days to make payment in full to the Personnel Services Department to avoid legal action of recovery.