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NPD 3010.1B
Effective Date: February 11, 2022
Expiration Date: February 11, 2027
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: Strategic Workforce Planning

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer

1. Policy

a. It is NASA policy to:

(1) Conduct demand-driven workforce planning (WFP) activities to ensure the workforce is sufficiently agile in size and mix to effectively respond to both known and uncertain mission demand and strategically shaped to provide the mix of skills to support NASA's unique work roles. The workforce plans that result from these activities will thus reflect the goals of the mission and Mission Support Enterprise Organizations (MSEO), the requirements for the work (i.e., the "demand"), and will inform and influence decisions about workforce size, makeup, and skill set, as well as talent management practices for both the budget horizon (i.e., five years or sooner), and longer term (i.e., beyond five years). Workforce planning for the longer term is commonly known as strategic WFP.

(2) Use a consistent WFP framework, as established by the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer (OCHCO) and described in the OCHCO Workforce Planning Desk Guide for WFP practices and outputs, across all Centers and offices performing WFP activities.

(3) Use uniform tools, data, and technologies across the Agency to prepare and report workforce plans as prescribed by periodic OCHCO instructions and guidelines to the WFP community.

(4) Develop WFP processes consistent with and aligned to other planning processes such as Facility Master Plans, Acquisition Strategy efforts, and the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution process.

b. It is also NASA's policy to produce the following three types of WFP products for use annually to guide the direction and management of human capital within the Agency:

(1) Strategic Workforce Guidance and Requirements: The synthesis of Agency and Mission Directorate strategic direction and goals with anticipated impacts on overall workforce requirements of NASA. This guidance, developed by OCHCO with input from Agency and Mission Directorate leadership, will describe the workforce implications associated with current and anticipated demand within each mission directorate program (including technical missions and mission support), as well as large-scale Agency initiatives. It also articulates the major goals and guiding principles for development of Center and MSEO plans and identifies new policies, practices, and/or actions required of OCHCO in the coming one to five-year timeframe.

(2) Center Workforce Plans and Mission Support Enterprise (MSE) Workforce Plans: Developed by the Centers and MSEs to describe the workforce priorities and goals of that organization, as well as to recommend initiatives to achieve those goals. These plans, informed by the Strategic Workforce Guidance and Requirements, describe the Center/MSE-level goals for achieving the future state of the workforce, provide a current state assessment of the Center/MSE's workforce, report the gap analysis between current/future state, and offer prioritized actions to inform human capital management practices to achieve the future state.

(3) Agency Summary of Center/MSE Workforce Plans: Prepared by OCHCO and provides a compilation and summary of plans across the Agency with highlights of key themes, issues/concerns, recommendations, and strategic priorities. This synthesized view also summarizes overall progress made across the Agency towards meeting the requirements contained in the Strategic Workforce Guidance and Requirements product. Note: The exact titles of these products may change over time, while general content will be maintained.


a. This directive is applicable to NASA Headquarters and NASA Centers, including Component Facilities and Technical and Service Support Centers.

b. This directive is applicable to WFP for permanent and non-permanent civil service (CS) employees in the context of the total NASA workforce and includes onsite and near-site contract staff, non-CS interns, and others.

c. The Office of Inspector General has statutory independence and may create a separate WFP framework, tools, data, technologies, and guidance that meet its mission requirements.

d. In this directive, all mandatory actions (i.e., requirements) are noted by statements containing the term "shall." The terms: "may" or "can" denote discretionary privilege or permission, "should" denotes a good practice and is recommended, but not required, "will" denotes expected outcome(s), and "are/is" denotes descriptive material(s).

e. In this directive, all document citations are assumed to be the latest version.

f. In accordance with the Chief Human Capital Officers Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-296, Title XIII, November 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2287, nothing herein will be construed as limiting the Chief Human Capital Officer's authority in setting the standards and guidelines for WFP within the Agency.


a. Authority and functions of agency Chief Human Capital Officers, 5 U.S.C. §1402(a).

b. National Aeronautics and Space Act, 51 U.S.C. § 20113(b).


a. Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, Pub. L. 95-452, §1, October 12, 1978, 92 Stat. 1101.

b. Chief Human Capital Act of 2002, as amended, Pub. L. 107-296, Title XIII, November 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2287.

c. NPD 1000.3, Section (2), The NASA Organization.


a. The Administrator is responsible for establishing (directly or by delegation) the overall Agency policies and strategic goals for the workforce such that the workforce is aligned with Agency strategies.

b. The Associate Administrator is responsible for leadership and policy direction to:

(1) Provide the workforce vision for the Agency, including monitoring and describing any environmental, Congressional, Administration, or other major external factors projected to impact the workforce, and/or the major capabilities/functions desired within the NASA workforce.

(2) Ensure the Agency Centers, MSEs and other appropriate organizations within the Agency efficiently and appropriately comply with this WFP policy and its reporting requirements.

(3) Ensure that NASA's strategic acquisition and competitive sourcing processes are appropriately utilized to resolve any workforce supply-demand misalignment.

c. The Deputy Associate Administrator, Business Operations, is responsible for chairing the Mission Support Council (MSC), which includes determining and assessing mission support requirements (including workforce) to enable successful accomplishment of the Agency's missions.

d. The Mission Directorate Associate Administrators and MSE leadership shall:

(1) Define the current and future work requirements and priorities for their respective areas, identify anticipated duration of requirements (e.g., enduring capability versus short term), and consider Center Roles (as described in Section 6.2 of NPD 1000.3, and as applicable) in assigning tasks, programmatic and project responsibilities, budgets, and informing subsequent WFP at the Center level.

(2) Coordinate with the OCHCO to identify workforce requirements, trends, and priorities (i.e., programs' and projects' needed workforce capabilities that are expected to increase, decrease, or be sustained over some time horizon) that inform the WFP process.

e. The Chief Human Capital Officer shall:

(1) Promote and work with Agency senior leadership to design the vision for the workforce of the future to meet the Agency's strategic objectives.

(2) Exercise executive oversight of the WFP function for the Agency.

(3) Serve as the accountable official for NASA's WFP efforts to external stakeholders such as the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Office of Personnel Management, Congress, the National Space Council, etc.

(4) Ensure the establishment and maintenance of active, consistent efforts for WFP across NASA.

(5) Delegate the responsibility for leading, managing, and administering the Agency WFP program within OCHCO, for example to an OCHCO program management office.

(6) Integrate WFP into plans for resource allocation and use, including budgeting, acquisition, and use of information technology.

(7) Serve in an overall coordination role for strategic WFP, engaging other Agency organizations as deemed necessary.

(8) Ensure appropriate consideration and incorporation of workforce management requirements when initiating Agency's use of new technologies, such as automation of manual functions or tasks, moving from low-value to high-value work, and/or other workforce transformation/modernization efforts.

f. The Office of the Chief Financial Officer shall:

(1) Align budget and full-time equivalent (FTE) to reflect the workforce policy/guidelines.

(2) Coordinate with OCHCO in responding to OMB when sharing information about NASA workforce plans.

(3) Ensure workforce strategies are fiscally sound and are in alignment with the Agency's and Center's budgetary/mission objectives and requirements.

(4) Conduct labor pricing analysis to inform development of labor budgets for inclusion in the Agency's, MSEO's, and Centers' Workforce Plans.

g. Center Directors and MSE leadership shall:

(1) Work with the Center/MSE WFP staff to formulate overarching Center/MSE Workforce Strategy based on Agency Strategic Workforce Guidelines and Requirements.

(2) Determine how to implement Agency guidance for their organizations.

(3) Ensure that hiring is managed within parameters set forth in guidance as well as any additional constraints established by Agency leadership (e.g., to a target level of term employment or to a target ratio of hires to losses).

(4) Ensure that the Center / MSE is appropriately structured to optimize the mix and distribution of workforce to best support NASA's mission and carry out work activities and is aligned with Mission Directorate guidance.

(5) Plan for future workforce needs as documented in their organization's Workforce Plans, actively using human capital management approaches to build workforce capability that will be needed for future work.

(6) Ensure that strategic workforce requirements drive civil service intake (e.g., recruitment) training/ development efforts, as well as decisions about workforce component balance (e.g., FTE/FTP levels; Work-Year Equivalent (WYE)/FTE levels).

(7) Ensure that WFP and human capital activities at the Centers/MSE support appropriate diversity and inclusion within the workforce.

(8) Provide data to inform Agency-level workforce decisions and provide support, as requested, to OCHCO in its Agency-wide strategic WFP initiatives.

h. The Assistant Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity Programs shall ensure that workforce diversity and inclusion are key elements in the Agency's strategic workforce plans.

i. The Assistant Administrator for STEM Engagement shall ensure that student programs align with future workforce competency or discipline area requirements and that they augment the pipeline for the future workforce.

j. The Chief Engineer shall implement approaches to identifying and managing the technical capabilities of the engineering and program management communities, including the workforce component of these capabilities.

k. Other Chiefs (e.g., Chief Technologist, Chief Scientist, Chief Information Officer) shall be engaged, as necessary, for specific workforce issues relevant to their technical areas.

l. The Chief of Safety and Mission Assurance (in coordination with the Office of the Chief Engineer) shall implement approaches to identifying and managing the technical capabilities of the safety, reliability, maintainability, technical risk assessment, and quality communities, including the workforce component of these capabilities.

m. The Chief Health and Medical Officer shall implement approaches to identifying and managing occupational health and the technical capabilities of health and medical, including the workforce component of these capabilities.

n. The Assistant Administrator for Procurement shall implement approaches to identify and manage the technical capabilities of the procurement community, which includes mandatory Federal certification of all in the 1102 job series, mandatory training to receive certification, and continuous learning to retain certification validity.




a. The OCHCO will ensure compliance with current policy and any supporting directives and/or instructions by:

(1) Reviewing Center and MSE Workforce Plans for completeness of all the required plan content as indicated in any plan formats/templates.

(2) Reviewing the content of the Center and MSE Workforce Plan in terms of the "reasonableness" or rationale and/or method used to develop that content.

(3) Facilitating the review of the Center and MSE Workforce Plans, in partnership with the Mission Directorates, for linkages to the Agency strategic plan, associated workforce goals, and Mission Directorate priorities.


NPD 3010.1A, Strategic Workforce Management, dated January 15, 2009.

/s/ Bill Nelson



Workforce Planning: The term "workforce planning" generally refers to the function and process of projecting data-informed, one to five-year estimates of workforce requirements, that are based upon mission demands and the current state of the workforce. It will also be appropriate to do longer term (i.e., more than five years) strategic workforce planning (defined below) and projections as necessitated by changes in mission and mission support needs.

Strategic Workforce Planning: Strategic workforce planning is the discipline of determining the size and composition of a future workforce that is able to perform well the organization's most important functions, maintain capabilities, and fulfill key business goals over a long timeframe. More generally, workforce activities or decisions are strategic if:

• They directly pertain to strategic initiatives or priorities established by the Agency.

• They can impact the workforce over a long timeframe (i.e., the decisions or actions cannot be quickly undone or are to be implemented over multiple years).

• The result desired from proposed actions is some years into the future.

• A successful outcome is pivotal to the Agency's ability to accomplish its mission (e.g., successfully developing a new set of human spaceflight vehicles).

• The actions are designed to reduce or prevent workforce mismatches that have the potential to damage the Agency in a significant way.

• Their scope pertains to the long-term viability of the NASA workforce (e.g., acquire and retain deep technical skills and refresh itself over time).


CS Civil Service

FTE Full-Time Equivalent

FTP Full-Time Permanent

MSE Mission Support Enterprise

MSEO Mission Support Enterprise Organization

OCHCO Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer

WFP Workforce Planning

WYE Work-Year Equivalent


C.1 5 CFR pt. 250, Personnel Management in Agencies.

C.2 OMB Circular A-11, Preparation, Submission, and Execution of the Budget.

C.3 OMB Circular A-76, Performance of Commercial Activities.

C.4 NPD 3000.1, Human Capital Management.

C.5 NPD 3213.1, Excepted Service Appointments.

C.6 NPD 3410.2, Employee and Organizational Development.

C.7 NPD 3713.2, Federal Equal Opportunity Programs of NASA.

C.8 NPD 1800.2, NASA Occupational Health Program.

C.9 NPR 3300.1, Employment, Appointment Authorities, and Details.

C.10 NPR 3330.1, NASA Career Transition Assistance Plan.

C.11 NPR 3335.1, Merit Promotion and Placement.

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