Breadth of Scope
The Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) contracted with CRC to analyze its current training program, assess its personnel, and reorganize its training program for compliance officers, and internal and public stakeholders in response to a 2016 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on agency program strengths and weaknesses. The GAO solicited public comment, interviews with stakeholders such as agency staff, contractors, and workers, data analyses and regulation review. CRC incorporated the GAO report and data collected into the needs analysis and assessment for improvement of the training program as a whole and development of courses. The overall goal was to develop a multi-tiered training program for compliance officers to be able to expertly and consistently apply agency standards and processes during compliance evaluations.
The GAO made recommendations for improvements which included:
- Identifying and applying for accreditation to offer continuing education units.
- Conducting a review and implementing improvements of the compliance officer training program.
Accreditation Program Management and Administration
After a thorough industry review and consideration of the goals and needs of OFCCP, CRC identified an accreditation certification that was reasonably attainable for OFCCP within a two- to three-year time frame. CRC briefed OFCCP on program accreditation and the benefits to the agency. Cost-benefit analysis of the accreditation bodies most appropriate for the agency was provided to OFCCP. Briefing also included a detailed accreditation process description, procedures, criteria, costs, and timeline. Once an accreditation certification was selected (International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)), CRC created a successful project workplan.
CRC conducted a thorough assessment of the agency’s training program and training staff with the goal of implementing instructional design and planning following established adult learning principles to develop a rigorous training program. Recommendations were also made for continued professional development of OFCCP training staff. The program also provided a means for measuring effectiveness and identified where program improvements were required.
CRC conducted numerous stakeholder meetings to review existing documents and processes. It was determined that OFCCP required a program for training staff to follow in order to bring consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness to developing training, and developing information outreach not requiring training solutions. The resulting OFCCP Course Design and Development Guide (SOP) included:
- Roles and responsibilities, Staff Qualifications, and applicable policies;
- Overview and discussion of adult learning principles, and instructional design methodology;
- Needs assessment and analysis from administrative requirements through approval, including data collection and analysis methodologies;
- Writing actionable objectives and designing to achieve the objectives, appropriate delivery, and evaluation;
- Developing course material including creating accessible materials/Section508 compliance;
- Implementation, publication, and management;
- Evaluation, recordkeeping, security, and privacy policies;
- Annual review process to ensure accuracy and proper functioning (e.g., confirm regulatory updates were included, links were active and directed the user to the correct content); and
- Templates and reference material.
It was also determined that OFCCP lacked an adequate needs analysis and assessment process for developing meaningful and measurable information transfer. Working with OFCCP training staff, CRC developed a thorough needs analysis and assessment process with worksheet templates and reference material. Following these processes brought into focus training which was actually needed and appropriate for the target audience. It was also used to determine information outreach that was more appropriate through non-training solutions such video-memos, short informational videos, and job aids. The analysis identified the characteristics of the target audience and considered appropriate delivery methods. Working with stakeholders, both external and internal, training and information outreach efforts were prioritized to ensure the greatest reach and impact.
To ensure successful meetings, conferences, and informational events, either virtually by webinar or entirely in-person, CRC developed a workplan template covering all of the steps required to plan and facilitate a successful event. The plan also included post-event evaluation, reports, and recommendations for improvements. These were based on workplans and checklists utilized by CRC that were tailored for the client and event.
Workplans included team assignments and task tracking; preparation of meeting documentation and distribution. Stakeholder meetings were conducted to determine event objectives, agenda items, and documentation. Pre-event activities included pilot studies, pre-launch technical review, equipment testing at least two days prior to a synchronous (live) event, ensure arrangements had been made for requests for accommodation pursuant to American Disability Act (ADA), and that all required documentation had been distributed and received. Attendees and registrants were provided with contact information for technical support prior to, during, and after an event.
In addition to the pre-event activities and technical testing, training staff were required to arrive at least one hour prior to any synchronous event to test conferencing lines. It is a requirement that training staff is well versed in the use of communication methods during conferencing events such as “raise the hand”, messaging, and polls to assist attendees. Post-course activities included, as appropriate, knowledge assessment, satisfaction surveys, preparation of transcripts and indexing, collecting comments, analyzing data collected and providing summary reports, and following up on action items determined by the Board or other committee.
CRC worked with OFCCP on storyboarding informational projects. The objective of storyboarding is to collect the information to be presented in a “brainstorming” creative process. Through a series of iterative reviews, the information is pared down to the most useful or on-point, then prioritized and sequenced. Ideas for graphic representation and text are sketched in. The storyboard is presented to management or an oversight committee for review and comment. This process provides a means to frame the direction of the project without the expense and time of media development. Revisions can be easily made using this method and the approval of stakeholders can be obtained before incurring greater investment.
Most of OFCCP’s informational delivery at this time is through asynchronous on-line (eLearning) using the agency learning management system, LearningLink. CRC also provided instruction and processes for instructor-led classroom, synchronous on-line (Webinar), and blended delivery