FEMA Reservists: Training Could Benefit from Examination of Practices at Other Agencies

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "We compared FEMA's training of reservists with the training provided to reservists at the SBA, the Forest Service, and the Coast Guard--agencies with a disaster mission--and found similarities and differences; and, moreover, FEMA had not examined other agencies' training programs to identify useful practices. All four training programs shared some similar attributes with regard to training requirements, funding sources, training delivery, and training evaluation. For example, FEMA and two of the comparison agencies have a credentialing program used to document reservist qualifications. Differences included the timing of when ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. March 22, 2013.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "We compared FEMA's training of reservists with the training provided to reservists at the SBA, the Forest Service, and the Coast Guard--agencies with a disaster mission--and found similarities and differences; and, moreover, FEMA had not examined other agencies' training programs to identify useful practices. All four training programs shared some similar attributes with regard to training requirements, funding sources, training delivery, and training evaluation. For example, FEMA and two of the comparison agencies have a credentialing program used to document reservist qualifications. Differences included the timing of when training is delivered and the use of job aids to reinforce reservists' understanding of material covered in training courses. Regarding timing, SBA, the Forest Service, and the Coast Guard each train their reservists in advance of deploying these individuals to a disaster. However, factors such as the way in which FEMA funds its disaster program have limited the agency's ability to train its reservists in advance of deployments to disasters. FEMA plans to begin allowing up to 2 weeks of reservist training outside of deployments under the new reservist program during fiscal year 2013. Differences we identified in training practices indicate that an examination of other agencies' reserve training programs could be beneficial. For example, FEMA may benefit from examining the Coast Guard's use of job aids, which reinforce reservist training course material after course work is completed. As part of our work identifying key attributes of successful training programs, we have previously identified developing partnerships and learning from others as a core characteristic of a strategic training process. FEMA officials stated that while they had not looked to other agencies' training programs, training practices at other agencies that we highlighted in this report provide useful information for FEMA as it works to improve its reservist training efforts."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • March 22, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. FEMA Reservists: Training Could Benefit from Examination of Practices at Other Agencies, text, March 22, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302279/: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.