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


Oct
4
Tue
Virtual Training Event – Conducting Effective Harassment Investigations
Oct 4 – Oct 6 all-day

Download Individual Registration Form

Event Description

Investigating harassment in your Federal agency can be an intimidating assignment, one that is rife with innuendo, conflicting accounts, and raw emotions. Ensuring that your investigation is legally compliant and protects employees, while helping the agency minimize liability, is a taxing task. It’s even more challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic when most investigations must be done virtually.

Together, these three instructor-led live training sessions will provide a solid basis for a successful and effective approach to conducting legally-sufficient harassment investigations that stand up upon third-party review. Peruse MSPB and EEOC cases and you’ll find that poorly conducted investigations are far more common than they should be, and the cost of these investigations to agencies are bigger than you’d expect.

Understand the differences between EEO and non-EEO harassment. Learn the best techniques to conduct an investigation – whether onsite or virtually. Write a report that covers all the crucial information. And much more.

This open enrollment FELTG Virtual Training Institute program Conducting Effective Harassment Investigations offers opportunities to ask questions of FELTG’s experienced instructors, and get answers in real time. Plus, this program fulfills the requirements for 8-hour annual EEO investigator refresher training.

You can register for any of the sessions individually, or you can register for all three. This program runs from 1:00 – 4:30 eastern each day, with a 30-minute break from  2:30 – 3:00 eastern.

Download Individual Registration Form



Tuesday, October 4

Session 1: Investigating Harassment: Misconduct Principles

1:00 pm – 4:30 pm eastern (break from 2:30 – 3:00)
Presented by Deborah J. Hopkins, Attorney at Law, FELTG President

Course Description: An effective harassment investigation begins with a solid foundation of misconduct law in the federal workplace. Attorney and FELTG President Deborah J. Hopkins will explain the principles that underpin a successful investigation of federal employee misconduct, whether it’s on-duty or off-duty. Attendees will learn the five elements of discipline and understand how they relate to the misconduct investigation process. Plus, they’ll learn about evidence standards and burdens of proof in misconduct cases, how Douglas factors play in to an investigation, the importance of nexus, what to do when a witness won’t cooperate, and much more.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Identify the relationship between the foundations of federal accountability and misconduct investigations.
  • Identify and collect relevant penalty evidence during the investigation.
  • Recognize the mistakes that derail effective misconduct and harassment investigations.

Wednesday, October 5

Session 2: Understanding Harassment and Planning the Investigation

1:00 pm – 4:30 pm eastern (break from 2:30 – 3:00)
Presented by Katherine Atkinson, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course description: What is the scope of the investigation? Who should you interview? What documents are you going to need? Preparing your investigative plan is a critical step in developing a legally sufficient investigation. Attorney Katherine Atkinson will explain the proper role of the investigator and how you can avoid the pitfalls of an insufficient investigation with the proper preparation and knowledge. Plus, she’ll answer important questions about representation: Does the witness have the right to a representative? Does the union have a right to attend the interview – even if the witness doesn’t want the union there? What rights does agency management have in the process?

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Discern the difference between EEO and non-EEO harassment, and the impact that has on the investigations’ legal sufficiency.
  • Identify witness rights and management rights.
  • Recognize the three basic characteristics of evidence in a harassment investigation.

Thursday, October 6

Session 3: Conducting the Investigation and Writing the Report

1:00 pm – 4:30 pm eastern (break from 2:30 – 3:00)
Presented by Katherine Atkinson, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor

Course description: Attorney Katherine Atkinson will share legal principles and proven guidance to navigate this most critical and challenging part of harassment investigations: conducting the interviews and gathering relevant evidence. Attendees will leave the session with techniques for questioning, tools for reading body language, suggestions on how to handle difficult personality types, and tips for writing the fact-finding report (FFR) and report of investigation (ROI). Ms. Atkinson will also share how technology is changing the investigation process, including a very timely discussion of conducting virtual interviews.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Identify the similarities and differences in conducting onsite and virtual interviews.
  • Apply logic and judgment to evaluate conflicting statements.
  • Write a fulsome report on the findings from the harassment investigation.


Price

  • Early Bird Tuition (register by September 19): One Session = $370  |  Two Sessions = $700  |  Full Event = $935
  • Standard Tuition (register September 20-October 6): One Session = $400  |  Two Sessions = $730  |  Full Event = $995
  • Rates per registrant. No split registrations permitted.
  • Want to register a group? Group discounts are available through September 19. Contact FELTG.
  • REGISTER NOW.

 

Event FAQs

  • Can I attend Virtual Training from my government computer?
    • FELTG uses Zoom to broadcast this Virtual Training Institute event. Many government computers and systems allow Zoom access. If for some reason your firewall will not allow access, you’re welcome to use your personal email address to register, and to attend the sessions from your personal device.
  • Can I earn CLE credits for this class?
    • CLE applications are the responsibility of each attendee; FELTG does not apply for the credits on behalf of attendees.  If you are seeking CLE credit, attendees may use the materials provided by FELTG in submission to your state bar. Attendees may also request a certificate of completion which will contain the number of training hours attended.
  • Can I share my access link with co-workers?
    • No. Registration for this event is per individual, and access links may not be shared. Each link may only be used by one person.
  • Can I register a teleworker?
    • This event is individual registration, so the cost is the same whether the person is teleworking or in an agency facility.
  • How do I receive a group rate discount?
    • Group rates are available for agencies registering 10 or more attendees for the full event. Group discounts are available through September 19.

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 courses.

Nov
1
Tue
Virtual Training Event – Advanced Employee Relations
Nov 1 – Nov 3 all-day

Download Individual Registration Form

Course Description

Employee relations professionals: FELTG’s three-day Advanced ER virtual training event gives you the kind of interactive foundational-based, training necessary to handle the most challenging and complicated situations.

Attendees will  receive in-depth training on topics including leave, performance, misconduct, and more. Have an employee who is absent so often she is unable to perform her job? Wondering how Paid Parental Leave works with FMLA? When is the last time you looked at critical elements? FELTG Senior Instructor Barbara Haga will give you the tools you need to handle any employee relations issue that comes your way, as well as guidance on ensuring that some of those challenges never arise.

The program runs 9:30 – 4:30 ET each day and is approved for 18 HRCI general recertification credits.

Instructor

Barbara Haga

Daily Agenda:

Tuesday, November 1

Leave and Attendance: Administering leave, with particular emphasis on sick leave, LWOP, and FMLA. Detailed review of sick leave provisions including authorized purposes for use of sick leave, limitations on use of sick leave for family care and bereavement, eligibility to use leave for care, notice requirements, acceptable documentation. Management actions to control use of leave and abuse of sick leave. Detailed review of FMLA provisions including eligibility to invoke FMLA, entitlement, coverage of family members, administration and notice requirements. Acceptable medical documentation under FMLA, definition of serious health condition. Substitution of paid leave, including Paid Parental Leave. Discipline tied to FMLA. LWOP – when LWOP is mandatory, limits on granting LWOP, employee status while on extended LWOP. Other topics –issues related to annual leave and leave transfer, other leave entitlements.

Wednesday, November 2

Performance Management: Managing performance from system establishment to conducting annual appraisals to taking actions linked to performance. GEAR initiative and other efforts focused on modifying Federal performance management system. Requirements for performance plans, including design of agency systems, rating schemes, and procedures for conducting appraisals. Linkage between appraisal and other personnel management decisions, including reduction-in-force and within-grade increases. Writing effective and measurable performance criteria that will withstand third-party review, including a workshop where participants will do an in-depth review of performance plans. Requirements for successful performance-based actions – from drafting a PIP notice that will withstand scrutiny to conducting a bona fide PIP to ensuring that due process is met in effecting an action on unacceptable performance.

Thursday, November 3

Misconduct and Other Related Issues: Implementation of a successful disciplinary program – delegation of authority, role of advisors, warnings and cautions, use of administrative leave. Nexus. Dealing with comparators in determining a penalty. Involuntary actions – resignations and retirements. Ordering and Offering medical examinations. Specific disciplinary situations: handling situations when an employee is unable to perform including excessive leave, disability retirement, separation disability; conduct unbecoming; misuse and technology-related misconduct; failure to meet conditions of employment.

Pricing

Early Bird Tuition (register by October 17):

  • 3 days = $1370
  • 2 days = $970
  • 1 day = $530

Standard Tuition (register October 18 or later):

  • 3 days = $1470
  • 2 days = $1070
  • 1 day = $630

 

Seminar registration includes a printed copy of the materials. In order to have the best chance to receive materials by the training date, please register by October 17 and provide a shipping address, and your materials will be sent via USPS Priority Mail. Registrations received after October will also receive printed materials, which will be shipped Priority Mail when registration is received; they may not arrive in time for the training.

Event FAQs

  • Can I attend Virtual Training from my government computer?
    • FELTG uses Zoom for this Virtual Training Institute event. Many government computers and systems allow Zoom access. If for some reason your firewall will not allow access, you’re welcome to use your personal email address to register, and to attend the sessions from your personal device.
  • Can I earn CLE credits for this class?
    • CLE applications are the responsibility of each attendee; FELTG does not apply for the credits on behalf of attendees.  If you are seeking CLE credit, attendees may use the materials provided by FELTG in submission to your state bar. Attendees may also request a certificate of completion which will contain the number of training hours attended.
  • Can I share my access link with co-workers?
    • No. Registration for this event is per individual, and access links may not be shared. Each link may only be used by one person.
  • Can I register a teleworker?
    • This event is individual registration, so the cost is the same whether the person is teleworking or in an agency facility.
  • How do I receive a group rate discount?
    • Group rates are available for agencies registering 10 or more individuals for the full event. Group discounts are available through October 17, 2022.

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