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Supervisor resource center moves to AF Portal

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Information, education and training critical to civilian supervisors is available at such online resources as the Supervisory Resource Center, which has moved to the Air Force Portal, SRC developers announced today.

Formerly located on the Air Force Knowledge Now platform as a community of practice page, Air Force Materiel Command has managed the SRC in some form since 2006. Effective Jan. 30, the AFKN site will be phased out and employees will be directed to the Portal site.

"We are continually additing content to appeal to wider audiences, based on their role - whether they are pre-supervisory, a new supervisor or an experienced supervisor. Then we introduce features focused on those roles," said Marti Paul, SRC program manager.

The SRC is not just for supervisory development, Paul said, explaining that it can also be used by supervisors to develop their employees.

For example, she explained, there is now a pre-supervisory development process that helps people prepare for their role as a supervisor. In addition, "knowledge nuggets" were added starting in 2009. Knowledge nuggets are short snippets of video that feature senior leaders talking about leadership topics, said Paul.

"We created learning programs based on Air Force institutional competencies and added those links to the SRC, and have continued to enhance its functionality based on Air Force topics of interest," Paul said.

The move to the Portal is beneficial for everyone, according to Paul. Now the SRC exists on a stable, well-known platform, and it will be easier for people to access areas that before required circuitous effort. To visit the SRC, go to the Portal, hover over the life and career tab, then force development, and select the SRC link on the top left side of the FD page.

In addition to the SRC, supervisors can quickly access valuable information on a wide variety of topics at the Air Force Personnel Services civilian supervisors resource page.

"If you're new to civil service, or a new supervisor, you'll find a lot of information that you need all located on one page. It's faster and more efficient ot go to the supervisors' resource page than to try to look up information every time you need it," said Jackie Holland, Air Force Personnel Center civilian future operations branch.

The page includes knowledge articles on filling vacant positions, pay and compensation, veteran hiring, and more. There are also quick links to reference guides, the supervisor's handbook, overseas employment and reduction in force.

"People might waste a lot of time looking for information that they could easily access on this page, so it's a definite benefit," said Holland. "And, there's a link on the page to the SRC, as well, so it's easy to visit the center for related information."

More formal education programs are also linked through the SRC, including Air University E-Learning programs, said Barry Waite, Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development.

"Air Force online supervisory courses have proved invaluable in preparing Airmen for their responsibilities," said Waite. "We must provide training to enable people to accomplish their mission and to achieve their goals, but the money required to send all supervisors to an in-residence program is unsustainable."

Prior to implementing the AU online learning environment, employing federal employees and contractor instructors to train new supervisors cost the Air Force more than $1.7 million annually.

"Some bases had a contractor visit once or twice a year to conduct training, which was inflexible and required new supervisors wait until a trainer visited," Waite said. "E-Learning brings the classroom to the student, and it's the same quality and technology major universities use for their online classes."

Three courses are available for civilian and military supervisors: USAF Supervisors Course (mandatory for all new supervisors), Civilian Personnel Management Course, and Military Personnel Management Course.

The USAF Supervisors Course - launched in the E-leaning format in 2009 - provides first level supervisors with leadership and management skills necessary in supervisory positons. Although it's mandatory for new supervisors, former military members who have completed certain military professional military education can request an equivalency.

CPMC is mandatory for all new supervisors of civilian employees, and MPMC is mandatory for all new supervisors of military members. They were launched in 2010 to replace courses taught by training professionals or travelling contractors.

"We do have some challenges, but overall the courses have compared fairly well to an in-residence course. About 85 percent of the students so far have reported favorably on the comparability, and we're saving the Air Force about $1 million annually," said Waite.

Challenges notwithstanding, the courses are popular with students who "are raving about the content and delivery," said Waite. "This course is the reason we received the AETC Learning Innovation Runner-up Award during the AETC Symposium last winter."

The courses are three of eight offered by the Air Force Human Resource Management School, according to Rebecca Sampson, HRMS future learning.

"I've been involved since 2000 in distance learning and I've never seen as much interest or growth in this medium as I have over the past year. It's refreshing," said Sampson. Go to https://www.my.af.mil/afknprod/community/views/home.aspx?Filter=AF-ED-00-38 for details.

"Education and training are critical for success," said Mike Hameroff, Headquarters Air Force training. He advises all Airmen to go to the different sites and browse the contents.

"These are great tools, but tools are only beneficial if you use them correctly. You can save yourself a lot of time, irritation and rework if you know what the tools are and how to use them before you need them," said Hameroff.

For more information about leadership programs and other personnel issues, visit the Air Force Personnel Services website at https://gum-crm.csd.disa.mil.