FAQs - Public Service Workshops Program
1. What is the program?
The Public Service Workshops Program (PSWP) is a statewide professional development program designed to meet the professional development needs of New York State employees who are represented by the Public Employees Federation (PEF) as well as those who are Management/Confidential (M/C). PSWP utilizes private and public colleges and universities, professional associations, consultants, and for-profit companies to develop and deliver workshops to almost 60,000 PEF-represented and M/C employees. PWSP workshops help 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 that address a range of current needs and issues. While most workshops do not have prerequisites, some do. Please check the course description of the workshop you wish to take to determine if a prerequisite is required.
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 professional occupational groups - accounting/auditing, counseling, education, engineering, health care, information technology, and law/criminal justice. Some courses may be targeted specifically to PEF employees or M/C employees and will be noted as such in the course description. Acceptance into a workshop is based on the principle of "first come, all served." When the number of applicants exceeds class size, PSWP makes every effort to offer additional classes or schedule future workshops to meet the demand.
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 OER'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.
It is the policy of the State of New York to provide for and promote equal opportunity in employment and equal access to all programs and services without discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, sex, sexual harassment, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, familial status, marital status or status as a victim of domestic violence, pregnancy-related conditions, prior arrest records, youthful offender adjudications and sealed conviction records, and previous conviction records and any other status or condition protected by law.
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.