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NPD 3410.2G
Effective Date: September 27, 2013
Expiration Date: December 31, 2020
Printable Format (PDF)

(NASA Only)

Subject: Employee and Organizational Development

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer


a. NASA's policy is to support the full utilization of the workforce in achieving the Agency's strategic outcomes and managing its human capital. In doing so, NASA will:

(1) Make training and developmental opportunities widely available to employees to enhance individual and organizational capabilities and competencies in accordance with Merit System Principles, 5 U.S.C. § 2301 (b)(7).

(2) Build and retain a skilled and effective workforce.

(3) Improve organizational performance.

(4) Maintain scientific, professional, technical, and management proficiency.

(5) Use on-the-job training through selected work experiences as the primary method of developing the job-related knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies of employees.

(6) Support systematic plans to broaden employees' knowledge and skills through mentoring, coaching, and planned work-related developmental assignments, including on-the-job training, rotational assignments, and non-NASA work experiences.

(7) Use formal training and educational experiences to complement work experiences and to improve organizational and individual performance.

(8) Retain compliance with all Federally mandated and Agency and Center required training.


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

b. This NPD does not apply to the Office of the Inspector General (IG), which has independent authority pertaining to the management of IG human resources management under 5 U.S.C. Appendix (Public Law 95-452).


a. Appointment, Reassignment, Transfer, and Development in the Senior Executive Service, 5 U.S.C. §§ 3391-3397.

b. Training, 5 U.S.C. Chapter 41.

c. National Aeronautics and Space Act, 51 U.S.C. Chapter 201.


a. Merit System Principles, 5 U.S.C. 2301.

b. Training, 5 C.F.R. Part 410.

c. Supervisory, Management, and Executive Development, 5 C.F.R. Part 412.

d. Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 C.F.R. Part 2635.


a. The Administrator retains the authority to:

(1) Establish policy for employee and organizational development programs and activities.

(2) Manage the Senior Executive Service (SES), Senior Technical (ST), and Senior Leader (SL) cadres, including their developmental assignments exceeding 120 days, details, and Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignments. Authority is otherwise decentralized and delegated to operating organizational levels, so that decisions are made by officials knowledgeable of competencies required to accomplish functions of the Agency.

b. Except where retained by the Administrator, the following officials shall have the authority in Employee and Organizational Development programs and activities:

(1) The Associate Administrator for the Mission Support Directorate, the NASA Center Directors, and the Executive Director for Headquarters Operations shall be responsible for providing leadership, direction, and resources to ensure that required employee and organizational development activities support the Agency's near and long-term needs.

c. The Chief Human Capital Officer shall:

(1) Be responsible and accountable for providing overall executive leadership and strategic policy direction for the Agency's technical, functional, leadership, and organizational training and development programs.

(2) Serve as the Chair of the Training and Development Advisory Council. Duties of the Chair may be delegated.

(3) Grant a waiver of the Agency's right to recover a full or partial repayment from an employee who fails to fulfill the terms of the continued service agreement for training costs in excess of $25,000 for corporate sponsored and funded courses (e.g., NASA Fellowships and Senior Executive Candidate Development Programs).

d. Center Directors, the Executive Director for Headquarters Operations, and the Executive Director of the NSSC shall:

(1) Grant a waiver of the Agency's right to recover full or partial repayment from an employee who fails to fulfill the terms of the continued service agreement. A full or partial waiver shall be based on the written documentation of circumstances that demonstrate that the recovery of repayment would be against equity and good conscience or the public interest. Costs equal to or in excess of $10,000 may be delegated to one organizational level below the Center Director. Costs less than $10,000 may be delegated further.

(2) Establish procedures for recovery of training costs for courses that are not successfully completed by their employees. Procedures will include a process for consideration of full or partial waivers of training costs in circumstances where recovery of repayment would be against equity and good conscience or the public interest.

(3) Manage their respective Center's resources for training and development in accordance with financial accounting requirements. They are accountable for adhering to the policies and guidelines set forth by the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer for ensuring that training and developmental activities are funded, fully supported, and conducted.

(4) Budget for and use training and development resources to improve organizational and individual performance, including allowing the use of funds to pay for an academic education, credentials, and licenses.

e. The Agency Office of Chief Human Capital Officer (OCHCO) shall:

(1) Be responsible for oversight of NASA's training, leadership, and organizational development programs and activities consistent with training requirements in 5 C.F.R. Part 410 and the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 C.F.R. Part 2635.

(2) Approve and allocate Agency-wide training funds, manage corporate learning activities, review and approve foreign training requests, and provide Agency program oversight, including the approval of biannual Center training and development plans.

(3) Permit the use of foreign-owned training organizations for NASA employees only when it is fully justified by a requirement that cannot be met by domestically owned organizations or when there is a distinct advantage to the Agency.

(4) Approve the use of appropriated or other available funds to select and assign an employee to academic education if the education is part of an Agency employee development program or process that is linked to accomplishing the strategic goals of the Agency, contributes significantly to meeting an identified Agency training need or resolves a staffing problem and is provided by a college or university that is accredited by a nationally recognized body.

(5) Approve the use of appropriated funds or funds otherwise available to pay for expenses for employees to obtain professional credentials, including expenses for professional accreditation, State-imposed and professional licenses, professional certification, and examinations to obtain such credentials. This authority may not be exercised on behalf of any employee occupying or seeking to qualify for appointment to any position that is excepted from the competitive service because of the confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character of the position, e.g., Schedule C appointments.

(6) Serve as the Executive Secretary for the Training and Development Advisory Council (TDAC) and Executive Secretary of the NASA Executive Resources Board, which oversees and coordinates the SES system for executive development.

f. The Agency OCHCO Training Officer shall:

(1) Support employee training, retraining, mentoring, coaching, and organizational development activities leading to better ways of delivering services, improving work performance, and increasing the value of employee contributions to current and future Agency missions.

(2) Be responsible for the functional management of NASA's training and development programs and activities, which includes the design, development, and implementation of the Agency's training and leadership programs.

(3) Establish policy and programs to provide new supervisors at least 40 hours of supervisory and management training within six months of their assignment, 80 hours within the first two years, and continuous supervisory training to all supervisors at least once every three years in accordance with 5 C.F.R. Part 412.

(4) Establish policy and programs for advanced training for all supervisors and managers as needed and continual development and training for Senior Executives.

(5) Conduct a biannual review of Center training and development plans to ensure that the Agency is efficiently developing and utilizing training and associated budgets.

(6) In coordination with Agency procurement officials, permit participation in vendor promotional training to the extent permitted by training laws (reference 5 U.S.C. Chapter 41), ethics, procurement, and travel regulations.

(7) With the authorization of the cognizant contracting officer or Contracting Officer Technical Representative, permit NASA contractor personnel to attend authorized and scheduled NASA training, provided that space is available and such attendance does not deny civil service employees the training. The training must be necessary for Government purposes.

(8) Require employees selected for training in excess of 80 consecutive hours to complete a continued service agreement. The employee shall agree to continue in the service of the Federal Government after the end of the training period for a period equal to at least three times the length of the training/development.

(9) Develop and administer the Agency training and development policy, annual Agency training and leadership development budget, review Center's biannual training and development plans and Agency-level training plans, makes recommendations to the Agency OCHCO, and serve on the TDAC in an ex officio capacity.

(10) Be responsible for the overall management and oversight of the Agency's academic education programs, processes, and activities.

(11) Make every effort to negotiate discounted tuition rates with universities for civil service employees that take academic courses paid by NASA.

(12) Establish the Agency's position on the payment of college credits for life or work experience and the criteria for such payment.

(13) Require employees to submit transcripts for academic education through official correspondence with academic institutions to document successful course completion.

g. The NASA Center Human Capital Directors and/or Human Resources and Organizational Development (Training) Officers shall:

(1) Be responsible for developing and implementing employee and organizational development programs at the operating organizational levels.

(2) Be responsible to Center Directors for providing technical advice and human resource development functional support to their Center managers and for providing training plans, as required, to the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer for purposes of Agency program planning and evaluation.

(3) Authorize a full or part-time planned academic education to address identified systemic Agency needs linked to specific Agency strategic goals.

h. Center Training Officers shall:

(1) Be required to obtain a signed continued service agreement in both Center and Agency-wide training or developmental programs in excess of 80 consecutive hours. Requests for waivers shall be handled as set forth by this NPD and implementing directives.

(2) Assess all academic education requests to ensure that employees obtain academic education only through established academic training programs and processes.

(3) Establish an annual cap for academic education and establish a formal process for consideration of exceptions.

i. All managers and supervisors jointly share with their subordinates the responsibility and accountability for their development and training. Managers and supervisors determine the job-related knowledge, skills, and competencies that employees need to effectively accomplish the organization's work. They are also jointly responsible with their subordinates for assessing current capabilities, determining near and long-term development and training to enhance employee performance, and preparing Individual Development Plans (IDP) that support job requirements to include timely completion of supervisory and management training, career goals, and Agency needs.

j. Mission Support Organizations and Disciplines shall be responsible for providing direction for satisfying legislative, regulatory, and/or administratively mandated training associated with their functional responsibility. They develop requirements for the resources to respond to these mandates and to provide technical guidance for the design, development, and delivery of training activities in support of their functional requirements.

k. The Associate Administrator for International and Interagency Relations shall be responsible for reviewing all requests for foreign training as tasked by OCHCO, including developmental work assignments, confirming the eligibility of any proposed training facility with the Department of State, and determining whether the training is compatible with current foreign policy objectives.

l. The NSSC shall be responsible for:

(1) A centralized mechanism for tracking the Agency's academic education expenditures.

(2) A centralized mechanism for tracking academic records.

(3) Ongoing support for NASA's online Learning Management System.


Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. Chapter 41, the Administrator hereby delegates to the specified officials mentioned above the authority to fulfill the duties set forth in section 5. Responsibility.


a. The Agency OCHCO will monitor NASA-wide metrics on training and development activities that contribute to the achievement of Agency human capital goals, as described in NASA's Strategic Plan. OHCM will conduct periodic compliance reviews that include a review of recovery payment waivers.

b. All Center training offices and the Headquarters training office will regularly monitor evaluation data from training courses. Training offices are encouraged to use a wide range of training and development measures, including the number of supervisors completing required training within the targeted timeframe, the number of training instances per NASA employee, the number and types of training offered, the percentage of employees receiving training, the number of employees meeting training goals identified in their respective IDPs, and wherever possible, the linkages between training and productivity improvement/cost savings.


Employee and Organizational Development, NPD 3410.2F, dated April 9, 2009.

/s/ Charlie F. Bolden


Federally Mandated and Agency Required Training

A.1 As a continuous learning Agency, NASA must ensure the optimal alignment of training to meet the objectives of the Agency's mission. Given the size of NASA's workforce, any training requirement poses a significant organizational cost. A systematic approach to the establishment of training requirements requires a consistent approval, implementation, and communication process. In so doing, this ensures that the investment of employee time and resources to training is maximized.

A.2 OCHCO has developed a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on Federally Mandated Training to provide clarity and structure to the process of evaluating, developing, and communicating federally mandated training. This guidance is designed to ensure that mandatory training is established in accordance with training laws and regulations, including frequency, duration, and content.

A.3 The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Training Policy Handbook defines Federally mandated training as "Mandatory training for all employees Government-wide. This includes training mandated by federal statute or regulation; such as in the areas of computer security awareness (Title 5 C.F.R. 930.301-305), ethics (Title 5 C.F.R. 2638.703 and 704), or executives, managerial, and supervisory (Title 5 C.F.R. Part 412)."

A.4 Agency-required training is defined as Agency-specific training required by the Agency and provided to employees in order to achieve the goals and objectives of the Agency.

A.5 When a potential training requirement has been identified, OCHCO will ensure that the training requirement has been properly evaluated in accordance with the SOP. The evaluation process will ensure that communications define: the training objectives, the target audience (civil service employees and/or contractors), deadlines, reporting requirements, instructions for accessing the training, and all other pertinent information.

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This document does not bind the public, except as authorized by law or as incorporated into a contract. This document is uncontrolled when printed. Check the NASA Online Directives Information System (NODIS) Library to verify that this is the correct version before use: https://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov.