2019 TOC Distinguished Service Award Winners

The TOC Distinguished Service Awards Program was launched by the Training Officers Consortium in 1955 to stimulate improved government-sponsored training programs through recognition of individuals making significant contributions to the Federal training community in the field of human resource development (training, education, and career development).


Leadership Development Award

United States Department of Health and Human Services and
Office of Personnel Management

Program: Federal Internal Coach Training Program (FICTP)


Alan Myers, a Senior Instructional Designer at FDA and a Professional Certified Coach, combined his love of learning with his love of coaching to spearhead an effort to foster a culture of coaching across the Government. Embodying the ECQ of Leading Change, Alan pursued his vision of providing no cost coach training to create a cadre of effective and competent coaches across the Federal landscape.

The Federal Internal Coach Training Program (FICTP) is the product of Alan’s vision. By building coalitions, he secured the support of the CLO Council, partnered with OPM for program administration and recruited fellow coaches from multiple agencies to deliver content. Piloted in 2014, the FICTP just launched the 5th cohort!

The FICTP serves as a training conduit for employees at all levels within the Federal Government to receive coaching services enabling them to lead from where they are within their organization, and in the government. Each cohort is comprised of volunteers from multiple agencies who serve as instructors, mentor coaches, support coaches and program coaches. At least 30 agencies participate! Each participant must complete the following requirements to earn a completion certificate:

  • 11 full days of in-person training (8 hours per day)
  • 6 Webinars on coaching skills (1 hour each)
  • 12 mentoring group calls (1.5 hours each)
  • 24 hours of client coaching (at least 4 separate clients/6 hours each)
  • 2 observed coaching sessions (on mentor group calls)
  • 3 private recorded session (reviewed by mentor coach)
  • 6 coaching hours received (performed by program coach)
  • 5 page reflection paper

This program has added 130+ new coaches (approx. 60 per cohort) to the Federal space, upon completion of training each provides a minimum of 50 hours of coaching after graduation, that’s 6,500 hours of free coaching! This results in a moderate estimate of $1.3 million value for leadership coaching provided in the Federal space at no additional cost to the government.

The FICTP is recognized by the International Coach Federation (ICF) as providing Approved Coach-Specific Training Hours (ACSTH). It also received the 2014 Best Leadership Development Program Award by Human Capital Management in Government (HCMG).

Career Development Award

Human Resources Solutions

Program: Open Opportunities


Open Opportunities (https://openopps.usajobs.gov) is a government wide program offering professional development opportunities to current federal employees. The program facilitates collaboration and knowledge sharing across the Federal Government.

The program offers a wide variety of real world projects to work on. By participating feds can:

  • Advance your career by sharpening skills, or learning new ones.
  • Break out of your routine – collaborate with other employees across different agencies.
  • Make new contacts and join a community of innovators.
  • Work remotely or in-person – in fact the majority of Open Opportunities can be done remotely, so there are no travel costs

Since the launch of Open Opportunities:

  • 447 tasks have been successfully completed
  • Over 100 different agencies have participated by taking on a task
  • Over 30 different agencies have posted opportunities on the platform
  • 100% of CFO Act Agencies participate
  • 100% of participants responding to surveys said they would participate again

Notable products and deliverables:

  • Federal employees have learned new skills and been able to change careers e.g. one user changed her career from a project manager at the VA to a front-end engineer at GSA.
  • An acquisition portal was created on Open Opportunities, to enhance training and development of the federal Contracting and Acquisition workforce. This has resulted in more than 30 development opportunities being completed including the development of a new course, Establishing Line Items for Contracts and Orders.
  • An outreach strategy was developed for DOJ to Help Advance Civil Rights.
  • A Federal Crowdsource Mobile Testing Program was developed and 30 mobile websites and apps have been tested for mobile-friendliness before they were made available to the public.
  • Participants built the first iteration of the Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing Toolkit, https://www.citizenscience.gov/toolkit/#

Training Design and Development Award

Foreign Service Institute (FSI)

Program: Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience (CEFAR), Transition Center


The Foreign Service Institute’s Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience (CEFAR) developed and implemented a successful resilience training program that is now an acknowledged resource for foreign affairs managers, personnel, and family members. Recognizing that a foreign affairs career exposes individuals to certain stressful conditions that can affect work performance and well-being, including assignments in dangerous environments, CEFAR developed a curriculum and resources to enable individuals to navigate, recover from, and thrive despite the stressful aspects of a foreign affairs career. The training has improved trainees’ well-being and work engagement and managers report improved morale and communication as a result.

CEFAR’s resilience training and resources have had a demonstrable impact in elevating the concept of resilience as a personal and professional effectiveness tool in the Department of State. An evaluation of the training showed that, to date, the vast majority of trainees continue to practice the resilience behaviors addressed in the training, and 94% of trainees believe they are better able to manage a stressful or adverse experience as a result. The impact of the training is both personal and professional, with 79% noting that resilience has had a positive impact on their well-being, and 76% stating that it has positively affected their work engagement. The concept of resilience has taken hold as an organizational management tool as well. Managers who requested resilience training at their posts reported a noticeable short- to medium-term impact on the organization, especially in raising morale, improving communications, and decreasing anxiety.

Finally, CEFAR’s impact may be measured by the incorporation of the concept of resilience as a leadership tenet. Resilience has now become part of professional training of Foreign Service Officers, Foreign Service Specialists, and Civil Service personnel, who are exposed to resilience training modules in orientation, tradecraft, and leadership classes.

Training Design and Development Award

Allied Command Transformation

Program: NATO Policy for the Protection of Civilians (PoC) Virtual Reality (VR) Simulation


The NATO’s policy on the Protection of Civilians (PoC) Virtual Reality (VR) Simulation immerses NATO decision makers into encountering the humanitarian impacts of war and to emphasize NATO’s PoC policy during the conduct of military operations. This is an immersive VR application to place the learner into a wartime environment and allow them to encounter scenarios and interact with the 3D virtual environment. The experience within the simulation will emphasize the NATO PoC concept framework, and its constituent elements for Understanding the Human Environment, Mitigate Harm, Contribute to a Safe and Secure Environment and also Facilitating Access to Basic Needs providing a holistic picture of the operational area from a civilian perspective

NATO Protections of Civilians (PoC) Policy clearly provides that the protection of civilians should be incorporated into the planning and conduct of all NATO and NATO led operations. The NATO PoC 3D virtual reality simulation was designed to operationalize the NATO PoC Policy allowing the learner to recognize the complexities of modern warfare and the holistic nature of protecting civilians in both natural and man-made crisis situations. The highly immersive and interactive environment demonstrates the potential impacts of war on the civilian population and provides them with interactive situational elements, which provide possible real-world effects on populations, infrastructure, civilian health and well-being, as well as the historical and cultural impacts of conflict. The need to protect civilians from harm during war and times of crisis, is not new however crisis within the early part of this century have emphasized the increasing vulnerability of civilian populations particular when conflict takes place within an ever increasing urban environment. The VR simulation has multiple learning scenarios that include the topics of genocide, ethnic cleansing, regime crackdown, post-conflict revenge, communal conflict, predatory violence, and insurgency.



Innovation Award

Division of Administration

Program: FDIC Virtual Nationwide Division Conference & Learning Event- All Aboard to Organizational Success


FDIC’s Division of Administration (DOA) partnered with Corporate University (CU), and solicited volunteers from across the agency, on a ground-breaking effort — to host a half-day conference and learning event via a virtual platform, rather than a traditional, all-hands, in person event.  The event “All Aboard to Organizational Success,” which focused on a customer service theme and took place in October 2017, demonstrates how innovative thinking, inter-divisional collaboration, and hard work can help the agency engage with employees in new ways.  Members of the Committee shared ideas and information and solicited stakeholder buy-in leading to a well-received and effective event.

Through organizational partnership, the Committee presented a blended design that was well-received by the executive sponsor, Ms. Arleas Kea.  The approach involved limited use of video-teleconferencing (45-minute guest speaker opener and 30-minute closing) which brought together all DOA staff simultaneously coupled with 17 regionally-based, 2.5 hour on-site customer service activities delivered in small groups.  Adobe Connect was used to train all facilitators (plus alternates) in carrying out customer service learning events.  Each local facilitator received one of ten customer service activities, including PowerPoints with facilitator notes and materials.  The 17 small groups simultaneously worked on varied customer service activities and excitedly shared highly creative slogans that represented key learnings during the 30-minute closing via video-teleconferencing.

The conference saved FDIC an estimated $45,000 in travel related costs and generated great ideas and engagement among DOA employees. More costs savings were realized because employees were not taken away for extended periods from daily tasks due to travel for a half-day event. Ratings for the conference were consistently at 4.5 and higher out of 5, which the Committee attributes to the innovative approach that involved blending technology and instructional methods rather than relying on a single, passive technology (e.g. VTC) for an extended period. Other FDIC Divisions are now piloting similar virtual events.

Learning Technologies Award

Office of Customer Advocacy, Policy and Portfolio Management

Program: EPA IT Training Program


The EPA IT Training Program offers professional, live in-person and custom trainings, on standard EPA software to all employees.  Our professional trainers perform 1-2 hours classes using Adobe Connect and Skype for Business.  The program allows us to provide high-quality training to employees across the country in a cost-effective way.  A simple SharePoint based registration system which helps employees to easily sign up for a class, receive a reminder or the ability to change their registration, as well as access to recordings and other class materials.  Custom trainings are provided by request using a SharePoint form tracks and manage these requests.

There are two full time trainers, one subject matter expert in O365 tools, and the other in SharePoint.  Ours customers are appreciative of a platform that gives them free training on the tools that are needed to do their jobs. As a result, the following shows the increase of custom training offerings have increased over the last three years. *These numbers do not include the hundreds of web-conference trainings provided over the years. 

The EPA IT Training Program has trained thousands via web-conferencing, in-person and custom trainings.  There are more people who are proficient in the tools they use to get their job done.  Increased attendance numbers from launch of the program, increased adoption of Office 365 and other IT tools.  Cheaper and better quality than adding training to each new rollout or change initiative. In addition, each employee and office does not have to pay for their own training. 

Here are some of the testimonies:

  • “Thank you, Mary.  It is always a pleasure working with you.  You are such a great trainer that R5 folks are already asking when are you coming back.”
  • “Mary – what an awesome class you ran this morning for 20+ very eager learners!  It was really terrific, and I’ve received great feedback all day from folks who attended and so appreciated the information. You did a terrific job fielding lots of questions while still managing to cover the key points identified in the outline.”
  • “Ms. Locks Excellent training, learned some new things w/ Powerpoint.”

Learning Technologies Award

Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Division, Philadelphia, PA

Program: Course Catalog and Registration Development


The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) nominates the Course Catalog and Registration Development Team for the Learning Technologies Award. This nomination recognizes the team’s development of an innovative, efficient, and adaptable online technology tool that manages, tracks, and registers employees for NSWCPD on-site workforce development classes. The course registration tool is live and the enrollment lists updates as employee statuses change. Since its creation, the online tool tracks approximately 100 on site courses to date, and manages approximately 2,200 employee registrations. Eliminating manual registrations, NSWCPD devotes less time tracking and more time researching beneficial courses for employees.

Prior to 2018, the NSWCPD Workforce Development Branch (WBD) used a manual process for advertising, registering attendees, and tracking attendance of on-site training courses. This process consisted of emails to the workforce, soliciting employees to register for particular courses, and manually tracking registration requests and attendance counts. The team developed an online registration tool allowing for reusable course offerings via a course catalog. Administrators use the tool to add and advertise courses. Employees gain access to a course schedule, register for courses, and share links with other employees who may need to complete a course. Supervisors can use the tool to “assign” a course to their employees, which can be easily accepted using the tool. After an employee registers for a course, each receives auto-generated emails from the online tool highlighting their course status changes. Every employee gets their own unique page to review their registration and course status.

The tool also allows WDB to track registrations, completions, withdrawals and no-shows, providing success rates of NSWCPD-hosted courses and whether there is a need to discontinue or bring on additional on-site courses. Since its creation, the online tool now tracks approximately 100 on site courses to date, and manages approximately 2,200 employee registrations. This process saved the WDB approximately eight hours per week (416 hours/year) and approximately $29,000 per year in labor costs.

Spencer Logan Leadership Award Recipient- Al Tyree

Al Tyree

Special Recognition Awards