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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About FDA

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SMG 3120.1





Transmittal Number: 72-51 -- Date: 08/16/1972

[PDF Version]

 1. Purpose
 2. Policy
 3. Authorities


This Guide establishes the general policy of the Food and Drug Administration in the area of training and career development.


It is a basic policy of the Food and Drug Administration to give employees the opportunity to acquire the skills that will enable FDA to carry out its mission now and in the future. The Agency will assist employees in increasing their knowledge, understanding, skills, and abilities, thus preparing them to do their jobs better and to assume greater responsibilities. It is essential to the attainment of program objectives that we have a highly developed, well motivated work force.

A. FDA will develop a balance between centralized and decentralized approaches, thereby achieving: the better quality training, more uniform training results, more efficient use of training resources, and lower unit cost that derive from central professional direction; and the flexibility, relevance to local situations, and responsiveness that result when line officials have authority to act to meet training needs as they see them.

B. The FDA training and career development programs have the following specific goals:

1. To ensure that all training is part of an integrated overall FDA training program, designed to meet specific needs for competent employees to do specific jobs and to enhance the opportunities of employees to have satisfying careers.

2. To equip employees with the necessary background knowledge -- both technical and administrative -- so that they can perform their jobs competently and with understanding.

3. To provide a work climate in which employees are motivated to improve their performance and increase their potential for future responsibility.

4. To identify highly qualified employees and help them prepare for greater responsibilities through a variety of career development programs.

5. To provide a wide variety of opportunities for participation in self-development and management-sponsored activities both within and outside the Federal Government.

C. Employees will be selected for training opportunities without regard to their race, color, creed, sex, age, or national origin. FDA Managers will assure that employees participate on an equitable basis in training programs consistent with their individual needs and capabilities. Ordinarily, empLoyees will be selected for training on the basis of the benefits expected from the training in terms of improved performance or potential. Under certain circumstances, however, employees will find it necessary to compete for training required in connection with a specific opportunity for promotion. Such training will be announced under the applicable Merit Promotion Program and made available to all employees who are qualified and interested in being considered.


FDA officials authorizing training of employees will ensure that such training complies with requirements of law and policy contained in the basic authorities listed below. Assistance or advice in interpreting applicable requirements for training including those covered in this FDA Guide and its supplementary issuances may be obtained from the Staff Development and Training Branch, DPM, ACA.

A. Chapter 41, Title 5, U.S. Code, Dated September 6, 1966, Government Employees Training Act (formerly P.L. 85-507). Establishes general Government-wide authority and policy regarding the training of civilian employees of the Federal Government.

B. Executive Order 11348, Providing for the Further Training of Government Employees, Dated April 20, 1967. States Government policy, and provides Department and Agency heads with additional direction in their use of general statutory authority expressed in Chapter 41, Title 5, U.S. Code.

C. Civil Service Commission Regulations Contained in Chapter 410, Employee Development, Federal Personnel Manual. Authorized by both the Act and the Order. Implement a. and b. above, state general policy, provide program guides and basic requirements, set forth general principles, standards and other requirements relative to training of Federal civilian employees.

D. HEW Manual Instruction - Personnel, Chapter 410-1, Management of Training Programs. States Department requirements and policy pertaining to general management of training programs, provides procedural guidelines for training in non-Government facilities, and delegates responsibility and authority to operating agencies to plan, administer, and carry out training programs to accomplish the needs of their respective mission and activities.

E. FDA Staff Manual Guide 1032.1, Authority to Authorize Training in Non-Government Facilities. Delegates authority; to approve training in non-Government facilities.