About the Study
In 2018, the Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) partnered with the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and funded contractor Mathematica to conduct the OFCCP Compliance Officer Training Study. OFCCP protects workers employed by federal contractors and promotes equal employment opportunities. Well-trained Compliance Officers (COs) who understand the importance of OFCCP’s mission and the complexity of the work are critical to its ability to evaluate contractor compliance and investigate complaints of discrimination appropriately. The implementation and outcomes study aimed to examine how OFCCP implemented a series of courses for compliance officers as part of an accredited training program, including the Complaint Perfection and Investigation (CI) Training Course and the Analytical Decision-Making with Desk Audit Triage Approach (ADM) Training Course. The study looked at the extent to which there were measured or perceived changes to CO knowledge and application of knowledge after the trainings, as well as the efficiency and consistency of case processing in the period following the trainings.
This Department of Labor-funded study was a result of a learning agenda objective. It contributes to the labor evidence-base to inform Employer Compliance and Enforcement – Wages and Earnings and Worker Protection, Labor Standards, and Workplace-Related Benefits programs and policies and addresses Departmental strategic goals and priorities.
- How is the training implemented? What factors appear to influence implementation? What are challenges in implementation and how are they overcome?
- What processes are in place to determine compliance officer competency (such as policies, procedures, knowledge tests, supervisory feedback, etc.)?
- What outcomes are associated with accuracy and consistency?
- Does the training lead to positive outcomes or impacts on the accuracy and consistency of compliance evaluations and inspections? Are there effects on deficiencies found in closed cases that undergo post-case quality audits following compliance officer training?
- Of eight hallmarks of effective workplace training derived from the literature on adult learning, the CI training aligned with five hallmarks and the ADM training aligned with six.
- A majority of respondents to course satisfaction surveys were satisfied with the CI and ADM trainings.
- Measures of training-related knowledge were higher after training than before, but lower at the 6-month follow up for both the CI and ADM trainings.
- The perceptions of COs and managers were mixed as to whether the CI and ADM trainings influenced the accuracy or efficiency of case processing.
- Analysis of administrative data showed differences in efficiency of both complaint and compliance evaluation case processing across regions and other cross-sections.
- The study team’s assessment of the trainings as well as feedback from managers and COs indicate that OFCCP’s new approach to training has several strengths relative to past approaches, including more engagement and interaction, more knowledge checks and ongoing gathering of feedback, and smaller groups of regionally specific training.
Sattar, S., Carrillo-Perez, A., Harrington, A., Streeter, M., Dolfin, S., Demers, A., Rizzuto, A., Jeanne Bellotti, J. (2023). Mathematica. The Role of Training in Performance of Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Compliance Officers: Summary of Findings. Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor.
Project Duration: 36 Months
Contract End Date: July 2023
Contractor: Mathematica Policy Research
For More Information: ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) sponsors independent evaluations and research, primarily conducted by external, third-party contractors in accordance with the Department of Labor Evaluation Policy. CEO’s research development process includes extensive technical review at the design, data collection and analysis stage, including: external contractor review and OMB review and approval of data collection methods and instruments per the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Institutional Review Board (IRB) review to ensure studies adhere to the highest ethical standards, review by academic peers (e.g., Technical Working Groups), and inputs from relevant DOL agency and program officials and CEO technical staff. Final reports undergo an additional independent expert technical review and a review for Section 508 compliance prior to publication. The resulting reports represent findings from this independent research and do not represent DOL positions or policies.