TN 16 (03-02)

DI 39521.410 Resources for Training and Staff Development

A. Introduction

This section provides guidelines for securing training and staff development for DDS employees.

B. Policy

1. General

When possible, training and staff development activities should take place within the DDS, parent agency or within State government.

SSA regional training as well as other Federally sponsored courses may be available and appropriate and should be considered by the DDS.

2. Sources of training

The State may find it preferable or necessary to obtain training or staff development through outside resources. This training may be conducted by parties in the public sector (i.e., educational institutions).

Outside resources may be used if sufficient funds have been approved through the budget process or by special supplemental request to the regional office.

The following are considered outside resources:

  • Office of Personal Management, (where costs are involved)

  • State universities and colleges,

  • Training sessions sponsored by professional associations.

3. Professional association meetings or conferences

Meetings/conferences are usually not considered training or staff development, unless it can be demonstrated that the learning experience is beneficial to the disability determination process and considered the primary purpose for the session. For example: Where the conference offers one or more learning opportunities (breakout sessions) covering topics related to DDS duties.

Where limited attendance and sponsorship is feasible, these opportunities should be considered in terms of:

  • relative costs,

  • probable merits,

  • reasonably justified participation, and

  • extent to which they meet high priority identifiable agency needs.

4. Considerations involving outside resources

Outside resources for training and staff development may be used where individuals require professional or technical study which will make them more valuable in terms of accomplishing the disability determination function. Outside resources should not be used where it would be uneconomical, or otherwise impractical for the DDS to conduct training and other employee development activities.

Staff development using outside resources should be granted to an employee because of its educational value to the staff member and because it benefits the program (e.g., the course of study makes the employee a more valuable staff member to the agency in terms of accomplishing the disability determination function).

It is not required that the training lead to an academic degree or certificate of any kind. However, if it meets the “job-related” criteria outlined above, the fact that the contemplated training may be part of an academic program leading to a degree or certificate need not be a factor in approval or disapproval of the study.

5. Allowable costs for outside resources

The following costs may be allowed:

  • Personal service costs in the form of leave

  • Tuition, books and course fees

  • Travel and per diem at State-approved mileage rates when travel would be granted under State