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Highlights

This publication supersedes GAO-03-893G, Human Capital: A Guide for Assessing Strategic Training and Development Efforts in the Federal Government (Exposure Draft), July 2003. As part of our ongoing review of agencies' efforts to address their human capital challenges, we saw the need for a framework to serve as a flexible and useful guide in assessing how agencies plan, design, implement, and evaluate effective training and development programs that contribute to improved organizational performance and enhanced employee skills and competencies. This guide was developed in response to that need. GAO has used and will continue to rely on the framework presented in this guide to analyze and report on training and development issues both within specific agencies and programs as well as across the federal government. The framework outlined in this guide summarizes attributes of effective training and development programs and presents related questions concerning the components of the training and development process. This guide is intended to help managers assess an agency's training and development efforts and make it easier to determine what, where, and how improvements may be implemented. Managers and analysts can use the guide to review an agency's overall training and development efforts as well as training and development associated with a particular agency program or activity. The guide focuses primarily on training and development rather than other important methods of learning within an organization, such as knowledge management. Consequently, users of this guide should keep in mind that this tool is a starting point and that it can and should be modified to fit the unique circumstances and conditions relevant to each agency. Training and development approaches, and how they operate in conjunction with other strategies to improve individual and organizational performance, are continually evolving and changing.

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