Initiative Name: Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act (FBPTA)
National Program Manager
General Services Administration Office
Office of High Performance Buildings
1800 F Street, NW Washington DC, 20417
Initiative Type: The Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act (FBPTA) of 2010 requires all federal personnel providing building operations and maintenance services to demonstrate competencies necessary to effectively operate government facilities. The General Service Administration (GSA)’s Region 4 utilized the FBPTA tools to build individual professional development plans for personnel and a Region-wide long-term training plan.
Sponsoring / Supporting Organizations: The mission of the GSA Office of Federal High Performance Buildings is to catalyze and facilitate the Federal government to operate more efficiently and effectively, and lead the marketplace to sustainability, by minimizing the Federal footprint through efficient use of energy, water, and resources, and by creating healthy productive workspaces. The Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings has an interdisciplinary team with expertise in energy, water, air quality, sustainable design, facilities management, budgeting, human behavior, organizational effectiveness, communications, and research.
Geographic Reach: Nationwide
Initiative Start Date: The Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act became law in 2010.
Initiative End Date: Current—Ongoing Program
High-performance buildings require the care of a workforce with advanced competencies in operations, maintenance, and energy-related technologies. As buildings become more efficient, they require a high-performance workforce that can maintain and operate them to their full potential.
GSA Region 4 faces the same professional development challenge that most organizations and individuals face. They must identify the training opportunities that align with the competencies needed to help the workforce reduce operational costs, achieve organizational facilities goals, and keep up with advances in the industry. The FBPTA helps do this through the following elements required by the Act:
- Develop Core Competencies for federal buildings personnel
The Act required GSA to establish a set of Core Competencies for buildings personnel involved in management and operation of buildings. GSA utilized a set of Department of Energy Job Task Analyses and collaborated with a range of government and industry practitioners to develop them. In 2012, GSA released its competency model covering positions in a range of fields including facility management, energy management and building operations.
GSA and Region 4 used the Core Competencies to assign competency requirements for its front-line buildings position, the GS-1176 Property Manager. Based on competencies assigned to those positions, GSA Region 4 performed an organizational gap analysis to identify region wide competency strengths and gaps.
- Develop a Recommended Curriculum and approach to continuing education
The Act required GSA to develop a "Recommended Curriculum." It did this through a consistent third-party review of a wide range of government, academic and industry-based training, certificates, and certifications programs. Nearly 200 individual resources have been aligned with the Core Competencies and added to the Curriculum. People can use a tool called Accelerate FM to find this “FBPTA-Aligned” training to address competencies relevant to their job.
GSA Region 4 used the results of its gap analysis to identify resources from the Recommended Curriculum that would fill their top competency gaps. From this they developed a regional training program and budget based on actual job needs.
- Maintain Core Competencies and Curriculum
GSA is required to provide annual updates to the Core Competencies and Recommended Curriculum. To ensure the competency model remains current and up to date and to gather input on program effectiveness GSA seeks input on this update from federal agency representatives, industry practitioners, and others who engage in FBPTA program implementation. This input also helps identify new training resources that can be added to the Recommended Curriculum each year.
After GSA Region 4 deployed its training program it evaluated results. Specifically, it documented performance improvements and cost savings attributable to its training program. These are now helping GSA evaluate the effectiveness of resources included in the Curriculum.
- Provide implementation support to federal agencies
GSA provides implementation support to federal agencies. A major part of this support are tools like the Federal Skills Assessment Test (FEDSAT) and AccelerateFM (AFM). Agencies can use the FPBTA tools to identify simple paths to compliance with the Act, to develop an organizational approach to training, and to track individual and organizational progress toward meeting those goals.
GSA Region 4 used these tools to perform their organizational gap analysis which they used to develop their long-term training plan and budget.
GSA REGION 4 OBJECTIVES
- Focus on professional development for the Property Manager and Building Management Specialist positions
- Utilize the FBPTA tools to determine Region-wide gaps and develop justification for a training budget to fill those gaps
- Complete training to fill gaps, track progress, and evaluate changes in performance
GSA REGION 4 PATH TO FBPTA PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION
Step 1: Define Agency Program
- GSA and Region 4 identified the Property Manager and Building Management Specialist positions and the competencies for which each position would be responsible.
Step 2: Perform Gap Analysis
- Region 4 personnel used AFM to enter all relevant training completed and completed the self and supervisor proficiency assessments in the tool.
- Region 4 used this data to perform a gap analysis and determine the most consistent opportunities for closing gaps across the region.
Step 3: Facilitate Training Program
- Region 4 senior leadership reviewed courses in the Recommended Curriculum to find the resources that best met regional competency gaps.
- Two main courses, the Facility Management Professional (FMP) and an in-house building operations training Shave FM were selected.
- Region 4 senior leadership created a budget and action plan to support property managers and building specialists across the region in completing these resources.
GSA REGION 4 FBPTA IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAM RESULTS
The GSA’s Region 4, Southeast Sunbelt Region followed the general FBPTA program implementation steps and had tremendous short term and long term results as outlined below. By identifying training based on actual competency gaps, it was clear that the FBPTA tools helped justify training dollars, in fact it was the best justification for training in 10 years at GSA.
- 141 federally-owned facilities
- 44.4 million rentable square feet
- 188 FBPTA affected associates
- Decreasing training budgets
- Competency gaps in workforce
- Finding the RIGHT Training
- Identification of top competency gaps across the region
- 116% increase in training budget
- 5% decrease in energy intensity region wide
- 15% decrease in energy intensity at Memphis Service Center
- Improved employee engagement feedback
LONG-TERM ANTICIPATED RESULTS
Skilled workforce that is up to date in trends and technologies
Training program based on actual job needs
Engaged workers excited about professional development and career growth opportunities
Clear path to continued FBPTA compliance by using tools to close competency gaps
BENEFITS TO FEDERAL AGENCIES
There is significant potential to reduce the operating costs of the federal government through effective implementation of the FBPTA by federal agencies. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) estimates that up to $2 billion in savings is possible through low-cost or nocost operational changes in our federal buildings. PNNL also notes that savings will not persist without trained personnel. An effective workforce strategy and an educated and skilled workforce have an enormous potential to decrease energy consumption and increase operational savings. Specifically, the benefits federal agencies can expect by going through FBPTA program implementation are:
- Competency and Proficiency Assessment of Personnel
- Finding the Right Training to Meet Individual and Agency Needs
- Plan for Continual Monitoring and Reporting
|Facilities Management Institute - Houses Accelerate FM, contains FBPTA information, and other workforce resources||fmi.gov|
|Accelerate FM - Professional development planning and FBPTA compliance documentation tool||acceleratefm.us|
|FEDSAT - Skills assessment tool to assess competency related to high priority FBPTA performances||sftool.gov/fedsat|
|Career Map Tool - Career mapping tool that shows entry points and career progression within energy and facilities industry||facilitiescareermap.feapc.com|