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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Functional Training for Foreign Service Family Members


The Department of State is authorized to provide functional training to family members of U.S. Government direct-hire personnel anticipating an overseas assignment (section 704 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980). Functional training for anticipated prospective employment is offered to family members on a space available basis.

A family member must be a U.S. citizen whose spouse has been paneled for an overseas assignment to be eligible for most functional training. Family members may contact the Family Liaison Office for questions concerning training.

The functional training courses available to family members include Consular, General Services Operations, Human Resource Management, Financial Management, A dministrative and O fice M anagement, Computer End User and other IT courses. Participants that complete a course of study in MS Office and some other IT courses are eligible to sit for exams which provide certification in the area of study. Please visit the FSI/SAIT website or contact the School of Applied Information Technology at the Foreign Service Institute for more information on available certifications. Applicants should be prepared to devote the energy and study time necessary to learn technical material in a full-time course. Homework may be necessary in order to pass the required examinations in some of the courses.

Completion of any of the functional training classes does not guarantee a spouse a position at post, but may increase his/her employability.

Enrollment of family members in language training and area studies is coordinated through the Bureau of Human Resources / Career Development and Assignments. The employee should contact his/her Assignments Officer for further information about enrolling a spouse in language training.

FSI Functional Training Courses Available to Family Members on a Space-Available Basis

Basic Consular Course - (PC-530 or ConGen) 31 days
The Basic Consular Course, or ConGen, is required for all Department of State personnel encumbering consular adjudicating positions overseas, and is strongly recommended for those whose work has a significant consular component. 

This intensive, six-week course provides a realistic simulation of a busy consular section overseas.  Each student rotates through four modules focused on a different subject area:  Passports and Nationality (PPT); Immigrant Visas (IV); Nonimmigrant Visas (NIV); and American Citizens Services (ACS).  Throughout the course, they study and learn how to apply U.S. laws, regulations, and procedures relating to visas, passports, citizenship, and services provided abroad to U.S. citizens; consular automated systems and management and internal controls; and the role of security, accountability, fraud prevention, ethics, and public service in consular work.

 

Students are evaluated on the basis of four graded examinations, case studies, consular systems proficiency, and several other performance factors.  Each examination is graded on a 100-point scale, and students must pass each exam with a score of 80 percent or better to successfully complete the course.  Students who fail two exams are dropped from ConGen.  Students are required to maintain 100 percent attendance for all individual classes that make up ConGen’s six-week, intensive schedule, including on the course’s first and last days.

 

Course Modules
PC535 American Citizen Services 7 days
PC536 Passports and Citizenship 6 days
PC537 Immigrant Visas 6 days
PC538 Non-Immigrant Visas 12 days


Financial Management Overseas - (PA-211) 38 days
This entry-level tradecraft course provides instruction in the fundamentals of budget and financial management in Foreign Service posts abroad, and in the basics of the legislative and budgetary process in Washington, D.C. Modes of instruction include lecture, discussion, individual and group exercises, self-study and embassy simulation activities. Additional essential information on training requirements for those employees seeking designations as principal or alternate certifying officers is in the subchapters of 4 FAH-3 H-065. Course modules include: Working with ICASS (PA214) (4 days), Principles of Appropriation Law (PA215) (4 days), Accounting(PA220) (5 days), Vouchering and Certification (PA216) (5 days), and Supervising a Cashier (PA217) (5 days). Prerequisite: Basic familiarity with MS Windows, MS Word and MS Excel.

General Services Operations - (PA-221) 10 weeks
This ten-week course provides basic training in overseas general services operations. Instructors introduce students to the applicable regulations and procedures and guide them through case studies, role-plays and other practical exercises in four areas: general management issues; acquisitions; real property management; and overseas logistics management (comprising travel, transportation, motor pool, and property management). Successful completion of the acquisitions portion of the course qualifies students for the standard overseas contracting officer's name warrant issued by the Office of the Procurement Executive. Students will be expected to use computers to prepare a variety of documents and to access online versions of various regulations during training. In some cases, individuals may need only one or two modules of the course. PA221 Effective Operational Management for GSO MUST be taken before enrolling in any of the other 3 modules of the course. Prerequisite: Complete familiarity with PCs including MS Windows, MS Word, MS Excel and the Internet. FSNs must have professional-level competency in both spoken and written English at the 4/4 level.

Course Modules
PA221 EOM Effective Operational Management for GSO 2 Weeks
PA221 ACQ GSO - Acquisitions 4 Weeks
PA221 RE GSO - Real Estate 2 Weeks
PA221 LMO Logistics Management Overseas 2 Weeks


Human Resource Management - (PA-231) 4 1/2 weeks

This course provides a thorough grounding in the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to manage the Human Resource Program overseas. Through HR course managers, subject matter expert presentations, group discussions, simulations and case studies, participants will gain an operational knowledge of the principles of American and Locally Employed Staff human resource management. Enrollment preference will be given to Direct-hire Foreign Service and Civil Service employees who are going overseas as Human Resource Officers or Management Officers. Note: This course is not appropriate for clerical employees. It does not teach basic Human Resource clerical skills, processing personnel actions etc. Course modules include: PA235 American Human Resource Management (2 1/2 weeks), and PA236 LE Staff Human Resource Management (2 weeks).

Corequisites:
PA431 Web.PASS Post Personnel: Local Track 
PA432 Web.PASS Post Personnel: American Track
PA448 ePerformance for Foreign Service
PA496 Locally Employed Staff Performance Management and Evaluation
PA497 Foreign Service Performance Management and Evaluation
PA487 Intro to Evacuation Management System.

Prerequisites:
Course:  PA313 Effective Operational Management;  professional-level competency in English at the 4/4 level; basic computer skills, including word processing and spreadsheet skills; and the ability to use the Department's OpenNet and the Internet.
Note: PA313 provides students with basic knowledge about work in a management section overseas which is important for students to have before they begin the HRO course.

Foreign Service Office Management Specialist Training for Entering Personnel - (PK-102) 13 days
Through a series of hands-on activities, guest speakers and technical instruction participants are introduced to the culture of the Foreign Service and to the skills needed to be successful Office Management Specialists. The course provides realistic first-hand experience to reinforce the material presented. Office Management Specialists learn the fundamental skills required including “Tags & Terms,” State Department correspondence, management of official records, and the essentials of representational and Official Residence Expense vouchers. Students are also required to establish the classroom according to Diplomatic Security guidelines for a controlled access area, prepare oral presentations including a country briefing, recognize cultural sensitivity, learn appropriate protocol titles and language in a diplomatic setting, and work one day at the Department of State in their Bureau/country desk.

For a complete listing of courses, family members should check the FSI course catalog available in many CLO offices overseas, and in the Overseas Briefing Center at FSI. The course catalog is also available on the DOS Intranet web site. A copy of the course schedule may also be requested from FSI by sending an email to FSIRegistrar@state.gov

Enrollment

Department of State Family Members
There is no charge for functional training for a Department of State family member. Family members should contact the Family Liaison Office for information on enrollment.

Non-Department of State Family Members
For spouses of employees of other agencies, the parent agency of the employee must agreed to pay the course fee before the EFM can be considered for enrollment. There is no mechanism at FSI for the spouse to pay directly for a course, nor is it allowed. The fee for the Basic Consular Course may be waived for non-Department of State spouses if post requests the tuition waiver and FSI approves. Non-Department of State family members should contact the Family Liaison Office for enrollment Information.

Information provided by the Family Liaison Office
Contact the Family Liaison Office


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