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OPM's Discontinuation of Issuing Memoranda regarding Whether Conferences Qualify as a Training Activity under 5 CFR 410.404

Friday, May 1, 2015
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
Chief Human Capital Officers
From: 
Katherine Archuleta Director
Subject: 
OPM's Discontinuation of Issuing Memoranda regarding Whether Conferences Qualify as a Training Activity under 5 CFR 410.404

Effective immediately, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is discontinuing its practice of issuing memoranda regarding whether conferences qualify as a training activity in accordance with 5 CFR 410.404.  OPM is discontinuing this practice to make clear that agencies are responsible for their employees’ training and development as provided by the statute and regulations, 5 U.S.C. chapter 41 and 5 CFR Part 410.  To determine whether an agency may sponsor an employee's attendance at a conference, the applicable regulation, 5 CFR 410.404, requires agencies to make the following determination:  

Determining if a Conference is a Training Activity.  Agencies may sponsor an employee's attendance at a conference as a developmental assignment under section 4110 of title 5, United States Code, when—

(a)  The announced purpose of the conference is educational or instructional;

(b)  More than half of the time is scheduled for a planned, organized exchange of information between presenters and audience which meets the definition of training in section 4101 of title 5, United States Code;

(c)  The content of the conference is germane to improving individual and/or organizational performance; and

(d)  Development benefits will be derived through the employee's attendance.

When making this determination, agencies should review the conference’s agenda, session descriptions and additional information, as appropriate.  We encourage agencies to continue to consider professional training organizations and affinity groups as a source of training.  If you have questions regarding training, you should consult with your Chief Learning Officer or Training Officer for guidance.

cc: Human Resources Directors, Equal Employment Opportunity Directors, Chief Learning Officers, and Headquarters and Field Training Officers