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FAQs — Public Service Workshops Program Information

  1. What is the program?

    The Public Service Workshops Program (PSWP) is a statewide professional development program that utilizes private and public colleges and universities, professional associations, consultants, and for-profit companies to develop and deliver workshops to the 48,000 New York State employees who are represented by the Public Employees Federation (PEF) and 10,000 Management/Confidential (M/C) employees. The PSWP program is designed to meet the professional development needs of employees, maintain and increase the professional competencies of employees and enhance preparation for employees’ promotional opportunities.  Offerings include non–credit workshops and courses ranging from a half–day to several days in length addressing a range of current needs and issues. 

  2. Who is eligible?

    All New York State PEF–represented and M/C employees are eligible to participate in the PSWP. Some workshops have been designed to meet the specific needs of the seven broad occupational groups (accounting/auditing, counseling, education, engineering, health care, information technology, and law/criminal justice).  Some workshops require prerequisites, while others do not. 

    Acceptance into a workshop is based on the principle of “first come, all served.”  When the number of applicants exceeds class size, PSWP will attempt to offer additional classes or schedule future workshops to meet the demand.  Some courses may be targeted specifically to PEF employees or M/C employees.

  3. Will I get time off from my job to attend?

    Release time shall be granted to attend PSWP workshops held during regularly scheduled working hours unless the employee cannot be spared from the workplace due to operational needs.  Consistent with prior program years, employees should make sure that their immediate supervisors approve workshop attendance before registering on the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS).

    When approved, time is granted for attendance at the workshop and for reasonable travel time to and from the workshop. Release time may not be used for workshops that are offered outside the employee’s normal working hours and does not include time to complete assignments or study outside the classroom.

  4. How much does it cost to attend a workshop?

    The cost of a workshop is covered under the PEF collective bargaining agreement and through M/C funds and is not charged to employees. Employees will have to pay for travel expenses, unless their agency has made other arrangements.

  5. Will I be graded?

    Workshops are non–credit and, therefore, no grade is assigned.  Attendance and completion status of coursework is available in your SLMS Learner History.

  6. Will I receive credit?

    Some workshops may carry various kinds of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) that may be used to satisfy professional licensure requirements.  The workshop description will include this information where appropriate.

  7. Are workshop sites accessible to individuals with disabilities?

    All facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities unless otherwise noted in the course description. All reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate persons with disabilities, including instructional and classroom materials in alternate formats.  Employees should contact their agency PSWP liaison to arrange reasonable accommodations if necessary. See GOER's equal access and reasonable accommodations policies below.

  8. What is an Agency PSWP Liaison?

    Each state agency has an agency PSWP Liaison that serves as the agency’s primary contact and information resource for employees who wish to enroll in PSWP workshops.  In addition, liaisons work with agency managers to help identify training needs of PEF–represented members and M/C employees to guide the development of PSWP workshops to address those needs in alignment with agency goals.  Large, decentralized agencies may have established a network of personnel at regional, facility, and work site locations to assist the central office agency PSWP liaison.

The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) and the State of New York provide equal access to its programs for all persons and is an equal opportunity employer. It is our policy to maintain an academic and work environment free of discrimination and harassment against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic characteristics or information, political beliefs, status as a victim of domestic violence, and veteran, marital or family status or any other discrimination prohibited by law. Harassment of any individual will not be tolerated.

Reasonable accommodations are available, upon request, in all aspects of state training, consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New York State Human Rights Law, to ensure that every individual is able to gain maximum benefit from the training experience.

Updated: July 9, 2012