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9 Tips to Ensure Efficient Spend on US Government Training

The ExitCertified Team | Wednesday, May 29, 2019

9 Tips to Ensure Efficient Spend on US Government Training

Unlike the private sector where training budgets ebb and flow based on workload, business health and other priorities, the United States Federal Government requires that its employees receive approved training for the technology, software and tools they use in their day-to-day operations. This means that not only are government workers obligated to take training, there is also a “use it or lose it” approach for dollars allocated toward training. And without completing the required training in popular brands like AWS, SAP, VMware, or IBM, the work cannot be done.

Manager optimizing training spend

The Federal Government’s fiscal year ends at the end of September, at which point all funds must be allocated to various purchases, including training and certification budgets. Trends show that much of the training budgetary research occurs between May through July and approvals for training often take a month or two. This must be completed beforehand to ensure that the spend hits the books before the end of September.

There are several tips that training procurement managers and employees should know to optimize their training spend. Without keeping these items in mind, the procurement of training could be a bit trickier as well as take longer to actuate. ExitCertified, a certified IT training solutions provider, has optimized its government training solution to ensure that the process is high quality as well as efficient.

Getting the Most Out of Your Training Dollars

Whether you are new to government processes or you are a seasoned government employee, it is important to know that processes and procedures within this industry are complicated. Regulations and requirements change frequently and making a mistake in the process can lead to loss of funds, delays or even not being able to get your employees trained – which affects their ability to work.

The following 9 tips can help government managers and department heads optimize their training spend:

  • 1. Use a vendor with a General Services Administration (GSA) contract

    ExitCertified has a robust offering of competitively-priced training curricula. This means you can choose from more than 5,000 courses to ensure your employees are in compliance and trained on the tools required for their jobs, while also knowing that the course pricing is competitive and less than the market rate. GSA pricing is available directly on ExitCertified.com. Making it easy to get the training you need with our GSA-approved price list. Here’s how you can take advantage of GSA pricing:

  • Option 1: Buy online
    Log in or register for an ExitCertified.com account using your government email domain. (We have an approved list of nearly 200 government email domains.) Once you’re logged in, navigate to the course(s) you’re looking to purchase and simply process the order.  (View our list of approved email domains). 

    Option 2: Generate an online quote
    Find the course(s) you are looking to get a price for and click "Generate a Quote" on the correct option. Next, complete your quote contact details and make sure to check off that you are “Eligible for General Services Administration (GSA) pricing.” Your quote will then be generated in a PDF. For a step-by-step guide, please view our video: How to Generate a Quote.

  • 2. Avoid “grey market” vendors
    There are many other training vendors in the market offering below-market rates. Frequently, these grey market trainers do NOT use certified and authentic course materials, and often, the government WON’T recognize any training certifications from these types of vendors. Vendors with a GSA contract such as ExitCertified use authentic course material from Oracle, IBM, AWS, SAP and others.

  • 3. Know what tools are required for your employees

    Most managers know what technology is required for their employees to do their job, but foresight is often important if there is a new tool or software required to do the job in the future. Training employees on these “future-use” tools ahead of time ensures they can remain effective throughout the coming years.

  • 4. Plan ahead for the procurement process

    Booking your training early is the best way to be sure that the course happens at the time and place you originally request. If at all possible, get a larger group of employees that may need training, as it facilitates filling the class. Paperwork and approvals can also take several weeks, so backtrack from the desired training date and allow for some padding of the schedule.

  • 5. Know which training delivery options will help your budget

    As you plan for training for you or your employees, budgetary restrictions may prevent traveling to attend an out-of-state, in-person ExitCertified course. ExitCertified offers a Virtual Training platform, iMVP, which allows for students to attend courses virtually, yet still interact directly with the certified instructor and other students in real time.

  • 6. Plan ahead for the procurement process

    If your department has a particularly large group of employees that needs training, the training is highly specialized to your department or you don’t want to have students from other private or public sectors attending the course, a “private event” training option is available. In these cases, the ExitCertified instructor will travel to your location to present the course. This option may also be more cost effective when compared to flying employees to a training location.

  • 7. “Payment up front”

    Typically, with any type of government contract, payments are made after the service is received. However, government departments can book students using a government purchase order, an SF-182. Once the course is completed, ExitCertified will send a bill or invoice for payment.

  • 8. Learning subscriptions are a silver bullet

    If you need to book training so that the spend shows up on your budget but you don’t yet know what specific courses are required, Learning Subscriptions are your answer. You can purchase an annual subscription of a particular block of classes at the beginning of the fiscal year and then take courses over the year from the subscription. While all of the classes are virtual and not led in real time by an instructor, they use authentic vendor materials and still count toward certification.

  • 9. Explore opportunities to partner with small businesses

    With ExitCertified’s wide range of partnerships, your training dollars can be spent wisely and invest in minority, woman-owned and small businesses to procure training.

Following these tips will allow US Federal Government departments and agencies to optimize their training budget spend, ensure that employees get the authentic and certified training required for them to perform their jobs and make efficient use of the procurement process.

Download the ExitCertified whitepaper, “How to Ensure Maximum ROI on IT Initiatives with the Right Learning Partner" to discover how a learning partner can support you in all stages of planning, implementing, and enabling high-quality training that aligns business and IT initiatives. 

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