OPS strives to cultivate a highly dedicated and successful workforce. OPS wants to hire, develop, and retain the best qualified and well-suited professionals in the industry. To do this, we provide career and leadership development and training starting from entry-level positions through senior ranks. OPS also fosters an environment that is engaging and communicative so that employees feel heard and function well as a team. Cultivating employees to grow in their jobs at the Smithsonian is one of our top priorities.
OPS is committed to staff development through a robust training program that ensures employees have the skills and knowledge necessary to best perform their duties for the Smithsonian Institution (SI). Staff development and training opportunities include recertification courses for Security Guards and Zoo Police Officers, skills development courses, as well as other training opportunities available throughout the year.
Career Development Program
OPS has also created several professional development initiatives to assist employees in their career progression. This includes:
- Career Development Guide (CDG): Published to enhance the performance and overall impact of OPS employees, it provides opportunities for professional growth and guides intrinsically and internally motivated employees by highlighting examples of self-development opportunities. The CDG includes chapters on career progression for OPS officers and for Physical Security staff. These chapters cover core competencies and technical competencies, occupational series, evolution of skills, professional development by position, and professional development opportunities. The goal is to continually add chapters to this guide so that all departments within OPS are included.
- Mentorship Program: This was developed to provide three different mentoring methods to OPS staff. The programs consist of panel discussions, a development program for mentors, and traditional mentoring, all with the goals to promote, teach, and provide knowledge to employees in order to support planning their career. These programs include all OPS employees, from grades GS4-13.
- Communication and Presentation (CAP) Club: Similar to Toastmasters International, a nonprofit organization with the purpose of promoting communication and public speaking, the CAP Club provides OPS staff the opportunity to learn how to effectively communicate with internal and external customers.