The Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy earns the 2020 Learning! 100 Award for Performance.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Acquisition Academy trains the VA acquisition workforce to include contracting professionals, program and project managers, facilities managers, supply chain managers, and logisticians located at VA facilities across the nation. One of the VA Acquisition Academy’s (VAAA) greatest challenges is training a geographically dispersed workforce.
Training is essential for organizational effectiveness. VAAA operates with an eye towards continuous improvement. We understand that training takes an employee away from their day-to-day job. We are always looking for ways to achieve efficiency, increase education opportunities, and reduce time away from their workplace.
VAAA is addressing the challenge and increasing education opportunities through e-learning, virtual instructor-led classrooms, mobile device platform training, and off-site classes. The initiatives reduce travel costs, employee absence from the workplace, and overall training costs.
We increased our virtual training in FY19 with students earning more than 50,000 continuous learning points (CLPs) through virtual instructor-led training and more than 70,000 CLPs through virtual self-paced training, saving money in travel costs and reducing time away from the office.
VAAA adapted to mobile training, enabling our customers to complete training anytime, anywhere, and on any device. VAAA trains staff in medical facilities who may only be issued mobile devices, or they are in an area where a computer is used for multiple purposes and they cannot keep it tied up taking training. In response, VAAA updated and advanced its web-based training to adapt to mobile training. Training can now be taken on any device, is responsive, and allows users to jump from device to device without interruption through advanced bookmarking and security features. Training webinars, assessment testing, knowledge check tests, discussion boards, and learning management systems can now be accessed on any device.
VAAA also increased delivery of courses at regional and local facilities across the U.S. Bringing training to the customer increases registrations, reduces employee time away from their workplace, and reduces overall training costs.
During all these efforts, VAAA maintained its quality standard of 4.5 on a 5-point scale in the areas of business results, courseware, instructor, and satisfaction.
Having a well-trained workforce is critical to mission success, and VAAA will continue to seek out ways to increase training opportunities in the most efficient and effective manner to contribute to that mission success.
James Wood is the Chancellor of the VA Acquisition Academy