Training at GAO:

A Systematic Approach

Published: Oct 1, 1981. Publicly Released: Oct 1, 1981.

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GAO training programs have been undergoing extensive revision during the last 2 years. The first major step toward developing a comprehensive and systematic GAO training program was a training-needs assessment of the audit function. A task force analyzed the job of the evaluator in terms of over a hundred discrete tasks described as precisely as possible. Through a survey of the evaluators and their supervisors, data were gathered showing both the existing and desired levels of knowledge, skills, and abilities for each of the tasks. The data were used primarily in designing evaluator training courses. A formal training-needs assessment has also been completed for the secretarial-clerical staff and is underway for other nonevaluator personnel. The training branch provides orientation courses, technical courses, supervision, management, and executive development activities for evaluators, nonevaluator staff, and secretarial-clerical staff. Although the GAO training branch takes on the major administrative responsibility for courses, the branch is still dependent on highly skilled GAO employees to carry out the classroom instruction. Subject matter experts are particularly important for the credible presentation of technical material. In 1982, the focus will shift to the management and executive development training area and specialized technical areas, such as automatic data processing.

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