Training and Education Policy

Section: Personnel Services Department
Date Issued: December 2006
Title: Training and Continuing Education

413.1  Purpose
Training and education 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. 

413.2  Scope
It is the responsibility of the Training Manager, in conjunction with the Director of Personnel Services and the County Administrator, to foster and promote opportunities for training and education to all County employees.

413.3  Training Policy

413.3.1  The Training Manager shall manage all aspects of the program and ensure training is conducted in accordance with the goals set forth by the organization.

413.3.2  The Training Manager shall support the achievement of the organizational goals by providing assistance to Department managers in developing and conducting training to meet the specific needs of their departments/divisions.

413.3.3  Requests for training shall be granted by management personnel at the lowest level appropriate and as training funds are available.

413.3.4  Leadership development programs shall be an inherent element of supervisory and management development for both new and present managers.

413.3.5  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.

413.3.6  Employees shall participate in new employee orientation and other continuing education and training programs when such instruction is considered necessary for satisfactory job performance.

413.3.7  Compliance training shall be conducted at regular intervals and in accordance with regulations governing such training.

413.4  Budget/Funding

Training and continuing education funds managed by Personnel Services shall be expended for training which affects the majority of the organization and provides the greatest return on investment.   Department specific training shall be budgeted for and funded by individual departments each fiscal year.

413.5  Continuing Education Tuition Assistance Policy

413.5.1  Policy
Tuition assistance 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.

413.5.2  Eligibility
Participation in the Continuing Education Assistance 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.

413.5.3  Application and Reimbursement
To participate in the program, and prior to course registration, employees shall complete and submit the “Continuing Education Assistance Application and Agreement” form (Exhibit G) to their immediate supervisor.  The supervisor shall review the application with the Department Head and forward the application to the Training and Education Center with signature approval.

413.5.3.1 Prior to course registration, the Training Manager shall review the employee’s application and eligibility and provide a written response to the applicant indicating approval or disapproval.

413.5.3.2  Upon successful completion of the approved course(s), with a G.P.A. of 2.0 or better, the employee must submit to the Training and Education Center, certification of successful course completion and the receipt for tuition paid to the accredited institution.  Requests for reimbursement must me made to the Training and Education Center not later than 30 calendar days after completion of the course(s).

413.5.3.3  Reimbursement for tuition shall only be made to employees who are on the active payroll at the time of reimbursement request, and who have prior written approval for such benefit from the Training Manager.

413.5.3.4  Tuition assistance shall not be paid by the County if the same or similar benefit is provided by the Veterans Administration or other similar financial source.

413.5.3.5  If an employee voluntarily resigns employment or is terminated for gross misconduct prior to 3 years after receiving tuition assistance reimbursement, he/she 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 resignation / termination.  Any refunds due the County and not paid at the time of resignation/termination, shall be deducted from the employee’s final pay.  In the event there is a balance due after this deduction, the employee will have 30 calendar days to make payment in full to the BCC to avoid legal action of recovery.

Training Funds

Charge Back Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to make maximum use of BCC training funds.

Scope

Personnel Services Department, Training & Education Center, provides a broad range of training without charge to individual departments. The Training & Education Center negotiates a "best price" with vendors and accepts participant enrollments sufficient to ensure a full class and to maximize the training dollars invested.

Employees occasionally have schedule conflicts which require them to forego training. Failure to notify the Training & Education Center 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 Training & Education Center, 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.

Policy

The Personnel Services Department, Training & Education Center, will charge back Departments for the cost of training for employees who do not notify the Training & Education Center, 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 the written cancellation is received by the Training & Education Center 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.

Responsibilities

Management

  • Select and approve personnel for training.
  • Forward training requests to the Training & Education Center.
  • Ensure training cancellations are received, in writing, by the Training & Education Center at least 1 full business day prior to the start of training.
  • Provide substitute employees for personnel who cannot attend due to unforeseen emergency situations.

Training & Education Center

  • Notify employees who have been accepted for a specific course, no later than two weeks prior to the start of the course.
  • Determine the cost of the training and the lost resources resulting from employees who neither attended nor canceled at least 1full business day prior to the start of class.
  • Maintain a quarterly listing, by Department, of employees who attended training.
  • Maintain a quarterly listing, by Department, of employees who cancelled in a timely and proper manner.
  • Maintain a quarterly listing, by Department, of employees who canceled late (less than 1 full business day) or who did not attend the training for which they were scheduled.
  • Maintain a quarterly listing, by Department, of charge backs assessed.

St Johns County Employees

Email is the preferred method for training seat cancellation. Email your cancellation request to eborley@sjcfl.us. Employees without access to email may fax, interoffice mail or hand deliver their cancellation request to the Training & Education Center. All personnel are reminded, regardless of the method of delivery, that training seat cancellations are valid only when received by the Training & Education Center 1 full business day prior to the scheduled training event.

The cancellation correspondence must include the following information:

SUBJECT LINE: TRAINING CANCELLATION REQUEST

BODY OF EMAIL: Employee Name, Department, Phone Course Title, Course Date(s) Supervisor Name, Phone Reason for Cancellation

The following information will be used only by authorized staff for management of training funds:

  • Forward the Budget Transfer Request form for the charge backs to the appropriate Department at the end of each fiscal quarter.
  • Provide an itemized bill related to training funds charge backs to Department Heads affected by the quarterly results.

With the establishment of this policy and procedure, the Training & Education Center will operate more effectively and efficiently by maximizing the use of available training. Any funds transferred to the Training & Education Center for "no show" employees will be used to meet additional County training needs.

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