OPM and the Chief Human Capital Officers Council have revalidated the need to continue special initiatives to close skills gaps governmentwide in what are deemed high-risk mission critical occupations:  (0110) Economist, (0201) HR Specialist, (0511) Auditor, (1102) Acquisition, Cybersecurity and the STEM functional area.

A leader representing each of those occupations will partner with a CHCO to develop a governmentwide strategy for that occupation, OPM said in a memo to agencies.

In addition to the governmentwide focus areas, each CHCO agency has identified their own medium-risk and high-risk occupations that they will address, it said.

Agencies will have specific criteria for monitoring and reporting, including: appointing an agency lead responsible for coordinating activities designed to close skills gaps; identifying root causes for medium- to high-risk occupations; developing four-year and 10-year strategies for closing gaps; submitting an action plan, targets and outcome-oriented metrics; implementing governmentwide and agency-specific strategies; and monitoring progress. Quarterly and annual reports also will be required.

“OPM will provide guidance and tools on conducting root cause analysis, developing an action plan, setting targets and developing outcome-oriented metrics. Additionally, OPM will provide ongoing support in helping agencies achieve their skills gap closure objectives,” the memo said.