This framework is intended to provide agencies a “clear, comprehensive, and flexible structure for ongoing executive development,” writes Mark D. Reinhold, associate director of employee services for OPM, in a memo about the framework.
Federal agencies are legally required to establish programs for the continuing development of their senior executives. According to the framework, all senior executives should annually engage in developmental activities, and should pursue developmental assignments at least once every three to five years to broaden their perspective, such as rotations to new executive positions, interagency projects, and sabbaticals or assignments outside the federal government.
The executive development framework also incorporates mandatory training, recommended key leadership behaviors, developmental objectives, and developmental opportunities at each specific stage of an executive’s lifecycle of learning. For instance, some of the mandatory training focuses on ethics, how to conduct performance reviews, and mentoring, to name a few. Executives also are encouraged to review the framework to assess their current state of development and create a plan to strengthen specific competencies.
“Through continual learning and development, senior executives may broaden their leadership and technical skills, experience, and perspectives, while promoting increased collaboration across the federal government,” explains the framework. “This preparation is critical for the federal government to succeed in its workforce planning and talent and succession management.”
The Framework for the Continuing Development of Federal Senior Executives is the result of OPM’s partnership with the federal Chief Learning Officers Council (CLOC). The CLOC working group incorporated in the guidance mandatory training, recommended key leadership behaviors, developmental objectives, and developmental opportunities at each specific stage of an executive’s lifecycle. The framework is located on OPM’s Manager's Corner, a cost-free web portal containing leadership development resources, accessed through HR University.