RGCI - Government Contractors, Its Time to Get Your Training On

You’re probably not feeling quite like THIS about training, but we do want to remind you of a few topics that you, as a federal government contractor, need to address with your workforce on a fairly regular basis. We can’t hit them all, but this is a list of those that should be on the radar of your Human Resources staff and are relevant to most contractors.

EEO, Anti-Harassment & Affirmative Action

Is This Training Required

YES, absolutely. Regardless of size and/or threshold requirements, we strongly suggest consistent training and awareness on these topics. Title VII requires equal employment and a work environment free from harassment. These requirements apply to all employers with 15 or more employees. As a government contractor, depending on contract values[1], you likely have additional responsibilities as well:

Who Needs This Training?

All employees need to be made aware of your Equal Employment, Anti-Harassment and Affirmative Action obligations, policies and efforts, as well as how they may report a complaint if they have one. Moreover, managers and all others involved in the hiring process need additional training and a true understanding of the company’s responsibilities and their role in the recruit to hire process and internal procedures.

What Type of Training is Required & How Often?

The regulations do not specify a particular method of delivery or frequency.[2] Employees need to be reminded at least annually of their rights and responsibilities. Optimally, we suggest an interactive training session for managers and all employees who are involved in the hiring process.

Business Ethics and Code of Conduct Awareness

Is This Training Required

FAR 52.203-13 Contractor Code of Business Ethics and Conduct says yes…and it’s just plain smart! You’ll find this is a requirement in contracts expected to exceed $6 million with a performance period of 120 days or more; however, any contractor that has ”represented itself as a small business concern pursuant to the award of this contract or if this contract is for the acquisition of a commercial item as defined at FAR 2.101” are not required to have an “awareness” program….so even if it is not a must, should I? It should certainly be on your radar if your business and contract values are growing. Keep in mind that it takes time to develop a code that meets the requirements and suits your business.

Who Needs This Training?

All employees, “and as appropriate, the Contractor's agents and subcontractors,” as this is a required flow-down clause. The depth of training may vary based on employee roles and responsibilities, but all should understand the contractor’s policy, procedure and internal control system.

What Type of Training is Required & How Often?

Per the regulations, “periodically and in a practical manner.” We suggest some type of awareness or training (in addition to distribution of your written policy!) at least annually.

Anti-Human Trafficking

Is This Training Required

Check your contracts for FAR 52.222-50 Combating Trafficking in Persons. You will likely find it’s in there, which means you at least need to notify your employees of the government’s policy prohibiting trafficking in persons and the actions that will be taken for violations of the policy. If the contract value exceeds $550,000 and is for supplies (other than Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS)) acquired outside the U.S. or for services to be performed outside the U.S., then you also need a full Anti-Human Trafficking Compliance Plan.

Who Needs This Training?

All employees need to be notified and informed of the Compliance Plan, if applicable.

What Type of Training is Required & How Often?

The regulations don’t specify but we suggest that in addition to having a written policy, that it be shared at least annually in another format, such as in training. You can always include it with your other annual training opportunities.

Drug-Free Workplace Awareness

Is This Training Required

If the contract meets or exceeds the simple acquisition threshold (currently $250,000) and is performed in the United States, then likely yes, per the Drug Free Workplace Act and FAR 52.223-6 Drug-Free Workplace.

Who Needs This Training?

All employees need to be made aware of the ongoing drug-free awareness program established by the contractor.

What Type of Training is Required & How Often?

The regulations aren’t specific, but the key word here is “ongoing.” We suggest inclusion in your handbook, annual training and frequent reminders to all employees of their obligations.

Training and awareness programs can take on many shapes and sizes. The format you choose will likely depend on the specifics of your workforce and the type of work you’re doing. While we often suggest having a written policy and annual training or awareness, it sure doesn’t hurt to throw in reminders at employee lunch events or in company newsletters too…and don’t forget new hire orientation! We encourage you to think beyond the “check-the-box” mentality that often goes along with annual compliance training and instead use this as an opportunity to reinforce company values while also laying a solid foundation for future audits and a strong pro-active stance if ever in need of a strong defense (i.e., claims of discrimination, fraud, harassment). It’s understandable if you aren’t quite up to the level of excitement as the guy up top, but hopefully you’ll be feeling more like this when it’s complete!


Redstone GCI is available to assist contractors in assessing and determining applicable Human Resource compliance requirements and needs, including policy review, development and implementation as well as full suite of customized compliance training to be presented live or virtually. Redstone GCI assists contractors throughout the U.S. and internationally with understanding the Government’s expectations in applying the multitude of regulations that come with being a Government Contractor.

[1] Threshold requirements may be found here: Jurisdictional Thresholds (dol.gov)

[2] Note, however, that some states have very specific Anti-Harassment training requirements to consider.


Learning Management System for Government Contractors LEARN MORE

Written by Sheri Buchanan

Sheri Buchanan Sheri joined Redstone Government Consulting, Inc. in December 2012 as a Human Resources Consultant. She provides HR consulting services to our customers on a wide range of issues, from specific projects to an ongoing outsourced solution of the human resources function. Sheri has two decades of experience in providing a comprehensive assessment of all areas of HR, including establishing and implementing policies and practices, contract transition efforts/onboarding, and investigations. Sheri’s experience covers a broad spectrum of compensation planning and analysis for total compensation projects, reasonableness assessments including executive compensation, compensation philosophy development, total reward strategies, benefits analysis, market pay and pay equity evaluations. She regularly supports clients with the analysis and mapping of labor categories and the preparation and analysis of wage calculations and supports clients in pricing disputes with DCAA. Sheri has a wealth of experience in navigating the many compliance challenges associated with Service Contract Act and Davis Bacon Act. She has been a valuable resource to our clients in all these areas. She stays abreast of the various requirements of the Department of Labor and, of great importance to government contractors, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, as well as other federal and state regulations impacting human resources. Professional Experience Prior to joining Redstone Government Consulting, Inc., Sheri served in various roles in the Human Resources arena. While employed by a mid-size government contractor she assisted with database development, recruiting, affirmative action planning and contract proposals. Sheri later became an Employment Specialist with one of the largest employers in Huntsville, where she assisted and led managers in the interpretation and documentation of the progressive disciplinary process, conducted employee investigations and allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge and employee disputes, conducted unemployment hearings and conducted new employee orientation. Sheri developed and presented management training, administered facility compensation plan, monitored staffing budgets and wrote job descriptions and handbook revisions.

About Redstone GCI

Redstone GCI is a consulting firm focused on fulfilling the needs of government contractors in all areas of compliance. With a singular mission to help contractors through the multiple layers of “red tape,” we allow contractors to focus on what they do best – support their mission with the U.S. Government. We are home to a group of consultants made up of GovCon industry professionals, CPAs, attorneys, and retired government audit and acquisition professionals.

Our focus and knowledge of audit and compliance functions administered by DCAA and DCMA will always be at the heart of what we do. However, for the past decade, we’ve strategically grown to support other areas of the government contractor back-office with that same level of focus and expertise. We’ve added expertise in contracts management, subcontract administration, proposal pricing, various software systems, HR and employment law, property administration, manufacturing, data analytics/reporting, Grant specialists, M&A, and many other areas. When we see a trend in the needs of contractors, we act to ensure we can provide the best expertise in the market to fulfill those needs.

One thing our clients can be certain of is that with the Redstone GCI Team in your corner, there is no problem too big and no issue too technical for our team to tackle.

Topics: Contracts & Subcontracts Administration, Government Compliance Training, Human Resources, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs