NASA currently spends millions of dollars on both internal and external training for its employees. When an employee attends external training, NASA pays not only for the training costs, but travel and per diem as well. Often times the travel and per diem costs are triple the cost of the actual training. There are times when an employee is not able to attend training that they have registered and paid for, resulting in those funds being lost. We could limit these costs by utilizing the online courses we already have access to.
NASA currently has a subscription to the SkillSoft Online Content Library, as well as the Books 24x7 online library. This provides NASA employees with access to over 2,500 online courses and over 10,000 online books 24 hours a day and seven days a week. SkillSoft work with the government to align many of their courses with government competencies and they also work with professional organizations, such as PMI, to design courses that can be used to achieve certifications. There are certification preparation courses available, that cost thousands of dollars if an employee takes the training with an outside vendor.
When an employee needs training, they should be required to see if the training is currently available in the SkillSoft catalog. If it is, the employee should complete the SkillSoft training before participating in external training. This will save money on the cost of training as well as the travel costs associated with the training. If the online training is not sufficient, then a request can be submitted for external training. Since they have completed similar training online already, the employee will go into the external training course with a greater knowledge of the topic, and in turn get more out of the course to take back to the workplace.