Inspector General Training Courses

FELTG provides training to federal, state and local Inspector General offices, on topics most important to IG operations and efficiency. Any of these programs may be presented onsite, or on a virtual platform. See below for program topics and descriptions.

Looking for a topic that’s not covered here? Contact FELTG’s Training Coordinator Mike Rhoads at 202-921-8113 or email  rhoads@feltg.com for information on how to bring to a course to your team.


 

IG-1: Properly Executing Annual Planning and Outreach: A Guide for OIGs (1/2 – 1 day)

Aside from completing a comprehensive OIG strategic plan, annual planning with robust outreach to your stakeholders is the single most important thing an OIG does. When properly executed, OIG annual planning focuses your personnel, time, budget, and oversight resources on the issues that really matter to your agency and the accomplishment of its fundamental missions. We all have limited resources. Therefore, it is imperative that OIGs also conduct continual stakeholder outreach to understand what challenges impede their mission.

FELTG Instructor Scott Boehm, whose federal career included a stint benchmarking for Best Practices within the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), will walk you through the five-step annual planning and outreach process while discussing elusive OIG and agency data sources that too many OIGs overlook. Attendees will leave this session with a template for OIG annual planning and outreach, complete with stakeholder questions that will reduce agency risk and maximize OIG return on investment (ROI).

Course Topics:

  • Write succinct project proposals.
  • Conduct risk analysis and prioritize potential projects.
  • Outline strategies to align potential projects with agency stakeholders.

 

IG-2: OIG Strategic Planning (1/2-1 day)

All Offices of Inspectors General (OIGs) have mandated quality standards and “should strive to conduct their operation in the most efficient and effective manner.  Each OIG should manage available resources, at the least cost, to produce the greatest results in terms of public benefit, return on investment, and risk reduction.” OIGs cannot accomplish this mission if they lack a robust strategic planning process. Because OIGs continually examine their agency’s internal controls for efficiency and effectiveness, they must also periodically examine their own.

Strategic planning ensures that your OIG resources (budgets, personnel, infrastructure, training, and time) are focused on accomplishing the mission, reducing risk, and maximizing return on investment (ROI) and public benefit.

FELTG Instructor Scott Boehm provides a thorough review of the strategic planning process, complete with examples from his federal OIG experience.  He will then tailor the process to address the specific requirements of all OIGs. These include clarifying the methodology, participants and their contributions, pre-session inputs, deliverables and timelines. He will discuss the OIG’s “Values Scan” and then the “Mandate Analysis” that gives the office its statutory or administrative authorities.  He will also show how to formulate the OIG Mission Statement while reviewing the agency’s strategic plan. Scott will discuss the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis and the OIG Vision formulation. He will demonstrate how to formulate OIG strategic goals and the strategies that get your OIG to the desired outcome, and then show how to formulate the plan of actions and milestones (POA&M) and develop the metrics that tell where your OIG is and where it needs to go in the next two-to-three years to increase its efficiency and effectiveness.

Course Topics:

  • Understand the OIG strategic planning process
  • Outline the strategic planning methodology, participants and their contributions, pre-session inputs, deliverables and timelines.
  • Explain an OIG’s “Values Scan” and “Mandate Analysis”
  • Demonstrate how to formulate the OIG Mission and Vision Statements and conduct SWOT analysis
  • Explain how to formulate OIG strategic goals and the strategies that support those goals
  • Demonstrate how to formulate the POA&M and develop metrics to measure OIG progress toward accomplishing the strategic goals

 

IG-3: An OIG Guide to Benchmarking for Best Practices (1/2-1 day)

Every Office of Inspector General should periodically conduct benchmarking for Best Practices with other OIGs. No OIG has all the answers or “perfect internal controls” and should, therefore, regularly seek better business practices from peer organizations. Both the “Silver Book” for federal, and the “Green Book” for state and local OIGs, state: “OIGs should strive to conduct their operation in the most efficient and effective manner. Each OIG should manage available resources, at the least cost, to produce the greatest results in terms of public benefit, return on investment, and risk reduction.”

Benchmarking ensures your limited OIG resources – budgets, personnel, supplies, infrastructure, training, and time – are focused on the issues that really matter to your agency.

FELTG Instructor Scott Boehm, whose federal career included benchmarking for Best Practices within the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), will walk you through the benchmarking process. Attendees will leave this session with an OIG benchmarking template that can improve your OIG’s annual planning process; audit, investigation and evaluation handbooks; product lines and report production; return on investment (ROI); and follow-up processes.

Course Topics:

  • Plan and coordinate benchmarking with other OIGs
  • Conduct risk analysis and prioritize the OIG internal controls requiring the most improvement
  • Outline strategies to incorporate Best Practices into their OIG internal controls and peer review quality standards

 

IG-4: An OIG Guide to Measuring Return on Investment (1/2-1 day)

All statutory OIGs, whether in federal, state or local government, must regularly report their return on investment (ROI) to their state legislature or to Congress. This ensures that the OIG is focused on the tax dollars that fund it and the tangible efficiencies that OIG recommendations save the taxpayer. The Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, requires OIGs to include in their semiannual reports to Congress, two categories of monetary impacts for audits, inspections, and evaluations:

  • Questioned costs (with unsupported costs and disallowed costs as subsets)
  • And recommendation(s) that funds be put to better use

Many state and local legislatures have similar requirements.

OIGs with a large ROI continually validate their “worth” to their legislature, Agency and the taxpayer.  However, these arcane terms are often open to interpretation, and many OIGs struggle with quantifying their monetary savings to their taxpayers.

FELTG Instructor Scott Boehm, whose federal career included benchmarking to determine Best Practices for measuring savings and ROI within the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), will walk you through the process. Attendees will receive multiple examples from federal OIG staff actuaries to plan for, and compute, their own ROI.

Course Topics:

  • Understanding the definitions of questioned costs, unsupported costs, disallowed costs, and funds put to better use
  • New strategies for computing their return on investment for audits, inspections and evaluations
  • “Other Impact” categories that can, and have been, monetized by federal OIGs in the past

IG-5: UnCivil Servant: Holding IG Employees Accountable for Performance and Conduct (1-2 days)

FELTG’s flagship course UnCivil Servant empowers federal IG supervisors to confidently handle the challenges that come with supervising in the federal workplace. We hope that you never have to fire an employee. But it’s important that you have the tools to effectively address poor performance and misconduct, should the need arise. UnCivil Servant identifies misconceptions about performance and misconduct-based actions and provides you with simple step-by-step guidance for taking swift, appropriate and legally defensible actions.
 
Course Topics: Supervisory authority; employee rights; fundamentals of disciplinary actions and unacceptable performance actions; establishing rules of conduct; proving misconduct; selecting a defensible penalty; providing due process via agency discipline procedures; writing valid performance standards; handling performance problems; implementing an Opportunity to Demonstrate Acceptable Performance; removal for unacceptable performance in 31 days.
 

IG-6: The IG Supervisor’s Role in EEO (1/2-1 day)

For many federal IG supervisors, the EEO process is mysterious and foreboding. With this course, FELTG aims to make it less so. Federal supervisors have a role to play in the EEO process – and it’s an important one. FELTG’s experienced instructors describe that role in detail and provide specific guidance of how to handle each step along the way. Failure to understand the process will lead to costly mistakes, especially if the complaint reaches the EEOC. Attendees will leave this course with a thorough understanding of Equal Employment law basics.

Course Topics: The role of EEO in the federal government; defining protected categories: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability and reprisal; what to do if you’re a Responding Management Official in a complaint; defending against frivolous complaints; EEO witness tips.


IG-7: Preventing and Correcting Sexual Harassment in the IG Workplace (1/2-1 day)

The #MeToo movement has had a noticeable influence on the workplace. There has been a noticeable increase in sexual harassment complaints, according to EEOC reports. Supervisors who attend this course will learn their responsibilities to respond to harassment claims, as well as how to effectively address situations before they rise to the level of harassment. Employees who attend this course will understand the rights and responsibilities employees have in preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.

Course Topics: Definition of sexual harassment; circumstances that constitute harassment; roles in harassment; tangible employment actions; hostile work environment harassment; same-sex harassment; strategies for prevention.


IG-8: Handling Behavioral Health Issues and Threats of Violence in the Federal Workplace (1-2 days)

These are the kind of workplace challenges that make you pause and, sometimes, doubt yourself. What should you do if someone threatens violence at your agency? How can you best prepare yourself to protect the lives of those around you? Are there risk factors that might give you an indication of when someone will become violent? What do you do when an employee with bipolar disorder is going through a manic phase? Our behavior health expert will provide you with real answers – once that require more understanding more than the law says. For federal managers, these topics are too important to ignore.

Course Topics: Your agency’s legal obligation to provide its employees with a safe workplace; ADAAA requirements on accommodating individuals with mental impairments and other behavioral health issues; types of mental disabilities and how they may exhibit in the workplace; the “direct threat” analysis; dealing with suicidal employees; dos and don’ts when working employees who have behavioral health issues; myths and facts about targeted violence in the workplace; individual characteristics that put an employee at higher risk of committing an act of violence; steps to take if someone becomes violent in the workplace; developing and implement an in-house threat management team to deal with threat assessments; risk management; the best ways to keep employees safe during a crisis.


 

Upcoming Training Events


Jul
12
Tue
Developing and Defending Discipline: Holding Federal Employees Accountable – Washington, DC @ International Student House
Jul 12 – Jul 14 all-day

Download Individual Registration Form

Note: In the event COVID-19 makes it unsafe to hold this class in person, the program will be held virtually. Registration MUST be received by July 5 in order to guarantee a seat.

Event Description

The pandemic has become endemic, and many employees are returning physically to the office as a new form of hybrid workplace takes root in many agencies. It’s as imperative as ever that your employees are doing the work they are assigned to do and following all workplace rules, regardless of where they are physically located. Unfortunately, Federal supervisors continue to struggle when it comes to holding employees accountable for performance and conduct in the new hybrid environment.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

FELTG is here to make federal supervisors’ and advisers’ lives easier by clarifying common misconceptions. For example: Many supervisors believe that an employee’s protected activity (EEO complaints, whistleblower disclosures, or union activity) precludes the supervisor from initiating a suspension or removal. (Spoiler alert: This is not true).

More importantly, FELTG’s Developing & Defending Discipline: Holding Federal Employees Accountable teaches supervisors how to take defensible misconduct actions quickly and fairly – actions that withstand scrutiny on appeal by the MSPB, EEOC, or in grievance arbitration. Plus, if you have an under-performing employee working for you now, we will show you the steps to take to give the employee an opportunity to demonstrate acceptable performance, and how to determine whether the employee is successful or should be removed.

In addition, we’ll discuss how you can defend against allegations of discrimination and hostile work environment claims, and the role of the supervisor and adviser throughout the EEO process.

This training will include the most up-to-date guidance based on President Biden’s Federal workplace Executive Orders and OPM regulations, as well as all of the lessons learned over the pandemic, plus practical tips from new MSPB case law.

And … this training will mark the return of FELTG to in-person open enrollment training.

Join us for this three-day seminar and come away with the tools you need to hold your employees accountable, and defend every action you take.

The program runs 8:30 – 4:00 each day and meets OPM’s mandatory training requirements for federal supervisors found at 5 CFR 412.202(b).  CDC and local COVID-19 safety protocols will be observed.

Enrollment is limited to ensure a little extra space per attendee, so register soon. 

Instructors

Deborah Hopkins, Katherine Atkinson

Deborah Hopkins Portrait

Download Individual Registration Form

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Session 1: Accountability for Conduct and Performance, Part I
Presented by Deborah Hopkins, Attorney at Law, FELTG President

Course Description: This program begins with a discussion on the foundations of accountability and supervisory authority in the federal government. After learning to identify the differences between performance and conduct issues, the seminar will shift the focus to discipline and misconduct theory and practice. From emphasizing the five elements of misconduct, to explaining how an agency can defend its penalty and provide the employee with due process, to a discussion on discipline procedures and appeals, the attendee will receive a thorough education on properly – and legally – handling employee misconduct issues in the federal workplace.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the differences between employee performance and misconduct issues
  • Identify the five elements that must be present in every discipline case
  • Recognize the supervisor’s and advisor’s roles in disciplinary procedures and appeals

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Session 2: Accountability for Conduct and Performance, Part II
Presented by Deborah Hopkins, Attorney at Law, FELTG President

Course Description: This session begins with a focus on one of the most misunderstood areas of accountability: poor performance. The conversation includes the requirements to document and justify the decision to put an employee on a performance demonstration period, implementing a performance demonstration period, initiating and completing a performance-based action, and determining the appropriate outcome after the employee has been given an opportunity to demonstrate acceptable performance. From there, the discussion turns to some tricky supervisory scenarios that become less intimidating after explanation: dealing with attendance issues, properly handling the absent employee, medical removals and dealing with telework issues.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the legally-required procedures to hold an employee accountable for poor performance
  • Identify and implement the procedures to deal with leave abuse
  • Learn how to handle performance and conduct challenges for employees that telework

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Session 3: Defending Against Discrimination Complaints: The Supervisor’s Role in EEO
Presented by Katherine Atkinson, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course Description: One of the most intimidating experiences for a federal supervisor is being named in an EEO complaint. Yet, if you are a supervisor for any length of time, there’s a good chance it will happen. This session helps to clarify the federal EEO process so supervisors understand how defend against allegations of discrimination. After an explanation of the protected EEO categories, we’ll cover what to do – and what not to do – if you’re a Responding Management Official in a complaint, and what happens if you’re called as an EEO witness. From there, the program will cover the theories of discrimination, and will provide you with the tools you need to prove your workplace actions were legitimate and non-discriminatory. You’ll sleep better at night after attending this session!

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the theories of discrimination in the federal workplace
  • Recognize the situations where a employees need reasonable accommodation – and your role in the process
  • Understand how to successfully defend against allegations of harassment and discrimination

Pricing

Early Bird Tuition (register by June 28):

  • 3 days = $1495
  • 2 days = $1020
  • 1 day = $560

Standard Tuition (register June 29-July 14):

  • 3 days = $1595
  • 2 days = $1120
  • 1 day = $660

Seminar registration includes a copy of the textbook UnCivil Servant: Holding Employees Accountable for Performance and Conduct, 5th ed., by Wiley and Hopkins.

Metro, Parking, Directions

Metro: The International Student House (1825 R Street NW) is located in convenient proximity to the Red Line. Exit Metro at the Dupont Circle station and proceed to the Q Street/North exit. Head north (you will come off the escalator facing north; if you use the elevator take a left after exiting) on Connecticut Avenue to R Street NW (approximately one block). Turn right onto R Street NW. Cross 19th Street NW and the International Student House will be on the left side of the street approximately halfway down the block. If you reach the Bikeshare dock, you’ve gone too far. Approximate travel time on foot, by wheelchair or scooter: 7-10 minutes.

Parking: Street parking is metered and is limited to two hours, unless you have a Washington, DC, Zone 2 parking pass. The closest parking garage is at 11 Dupont Circle, approximately two blocks from the International Student House (1825 R Street NW). Approximate travel time on foot, by wheelchair or scooter: 5 -7 minutes.

From the Lyle Hotel: After exiting the Lyle Hotel, turn left. At the first intersection, R Street NW, turn right. Proceed approximately one block. The International Student House (1825 R Street NW) will be on your right, just past the Bikeshare dock. Approximate travel time on foot, by wheelchair or scooter: 4-6 minutes.

Jul
21
Thu
Webinar – Reasonable Accommodation Framework: Disability Accommodation Overview and Analysis
Jul 21 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Download Registration Form

Instructor

Deborah Hopkins

Course Description

 1

FELTG kicks off its five-part webinar series Reasonable Accommodation in the Federal Workplace with an overview of the the current state of disability law and how the ADA, ADAAA, and Rehabilitation Act apply to federal employees with disabilities. Before you can appropriately manage the complex reasonable accommodation requests you’re likely to receive in the next few months, you need a thorough understanding of the basics. Attendees will learn about:

  • Making disability determinations
  • What “qualified individual” actually means
  • Reasonable accommodation requests
  • The interactive process
  • Denials of reasonable accommodation
  • Reassignment and Medical Inability to Perform removals

Whether you’re an attorney, disability program manager, EEO or HR Specialist or a supervisor, you’ll want to be sure to attend this session.

This program meets the President’s mandate to provide training on diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the Federal workplace.

Price

  • Early Bird Tuition: $250 per site, per session (payment made by July 11).
  • Standard Tuition: $280 per site, per session (payment made July 12 or later).
  • Register for all five webinars in the series by July 11 and pay only $1195!

Teleworkers may be added to a main site registration for $50 per teleworker, per webinar, on a space-available basis.

Cancellation and No-show Policy for Registered Participants: Cancellations made after the cancel date on the registration form will not be refunded or given credit toward future courses. Pre-paid training using the “Pay Now” option will not be refunded or given credit toward future courses. No-shows will not be refunded or given credit toward future course.

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