Training Top 125 Best Practice: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Leadership Development Program

A competency model and curriculum exist for every level of leadership: Individual Contributors (leading self), Group Leaders (leading projects), Managers (leading people), and Executives (leading organizations).

The leadership development program at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)—an independent bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury that charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks and federal savings associations—is founded on the belief that every employee can lead. A competency model and curriculum exist for every level of leadership:

  • Individual Contributors (leading self)
  • Group Leaders (leading projects)
  • Managers (leading people)
  • Executives (leading organizations)

Program Details

In 2015, OCC developed a two-day classroom course for all employees: “Leadership Foundations” (LD101). This is the cornerstone of OCC’s leadership development program, designed to realize Comptroller Thomas J. Curry’s vision for institutionalizing leadership development into the agency’s culture.

This course is designed to be the first step in employees’ leadership development journey. The program builds on LD101 and includes curricula targeting every level of employment, addressing the additional competencies and behaviors expected as leadership responsibilities grow. The more than 500 employees who have completed LD101 to date have assessed it with a 96 percent favorability rating.

While all OCC employees complete LD101, individual contributors can further their learning through “The Leader Within,” which includes a 360-degree assessment, “Crucial Conversations,” “Communication and Interpersonal Skills Training,” and a “Career Power” course. For those leading projects, the leadership journey also includes completing “Leading Groups,” and, for OCC’s Examiner workforce, “Leading Training Teams” and “Practical Techniques.” Supervisors further their leadership development by enrolling in “Leading and Engaging,” “Coaching for Results,” “Career Development Conversations,” and “Leveraging Diversity and Creating an Inclusive Work Environment.”

OCC offers one-on-one coaching to all supervisors and managers, brings in leadership experts through the Leadership Speaker Series, and offers Webinars on critical issues. When managers are selected for executive positions, the agency provides them a coach and one-on-one assistance in planning their executive development needs in alignment with OCC’s four executive competencies:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • External Relations
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Vision

An internal consultant works with each executive to find the right developmental support, whether it is through vendor-provided training, a peer mentor, or coaching.

Regardless of individual leadership level at the OCC, employees have access to an online tool to self-assess their leadership competencies against well-defined behaviors expected at each level of leadership. They can use this self-assessment to build their individual development plan (IDP). All employees are expected to identify at least two leadership competencies to develop and document in their yearly IDP.


OCC’s Leadership Development program shows the following performance results:

  • OCC’s leadership development program was highlighted in the Government Executive news journal (12/8, Lunney): “ a number of initiatives focused on the workplace, including a ‘robust’ leadership development track and supervisor coaching program.”
  • According to the 2015 Office of Personnel Management’s government-wide Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, the OCC ranks eighth among 319 Agency Subcomponents, with an increased score up 6 percent over the last two years. Assessing whether “My supervisor provides me with opportunities to demonstrate my leadership skills,” OCC employees provided a positive response of 80.5 percent compared to 65.5 percent government-wide.
  • 86 percent of OCC employees think managers are doing a good job, according to the most recent Sirota Employee Engagement survey, which classifies responses above 75 percent in the highest, “Very Positive” category.

Training Top 125

2017 Training Top 125 winners demonstrated a strong focus on effective training and employee development tied to corporate strategic goals and business impact.

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