DI 39563.450 Training Controls
The State will ensure that all employees have an acceptable level of competence. SSA will conduct or specify training if: (a) a State agency's performance approaches unacceptable levels; or (b) the material required for the training is complex or the capacity of the State to deliver the training is in doubt and uniformity of the training is essential.
DDS's should have formal written training plans for examiners, clerical staff, physicians and supervisors. Training plans, either provided by SSA or locally produced, should also be available for specialized fields such as continuing disability reviews (CDR's), the evidentiary hearing process, etc.
A. Examiner training
The DDS should utilize comprehensive disability training materials that will develop an examiner trainee's ability to carry out assigned adjudicative responsibilities involving the assimilation, interpretation and assessment of the adequacy of medical evidence and other proofs necessary for a decision that is consistent with SSA regulations and adjudicative criteria. In order for training examiners to perform at an acceptable level of technical competency and proficiency, DDS management may wish to utilize SSA training guides, lesson plans, audio-visual material and other program guides. Where possible, agency medical consultant resources and experienced agency staff should serve as a training cadre. Mechanisms for assessing additional individual and group needs should be used. Study and review results from supervisors, quality assurance and other internal/external reviews should be used for these purposes.
B. Clerical training
Support function staff are critical to the effective operation of the DDS. General program orientation and specific task related training are needed to assure that support staff members fully comprehend their roles and responsibilities and the impacts of their actions. DDS's should assess and meet ongoing training requirements based on programmatic, reporting and legislative changes as well as technological advances.
C. Medical consultant training
Medical Consultants also need training in program concepts. Review physicians should fully understand SSA disability claims documentation requirements so that they can assess the adequacy of medical evidence in relation to SSA regulations and adjudicative criteria. Good initial and followup training, with Chief Medical Officer involvement, is needed to ensure that the examiner and physician function as a team. Medical consultants and examiners will function more effectively if they are better acquainted with their respective roles in the disability process. Study and review results should be shared with, and used by, DDS management to assure that medical consultant performance is consistent with SSA policies.
D. Supervisory training
The need for training of new and experienced supervisory staff in management techniques and all aspects of workload and personnel management is paramount. DDS's should ensure that supervisors are trained and that continuing education in this area is provided. For further information regarding DDS training, see DI 39521.000 ff.