Operations » Training » Executive Development Program

DEA Training is also responsible for a wide variety of leadership, management, executive, advanced, and specialized training programs in support of the agency mission.

Courses Offered

Group Supervisor Institute

The Group Supervisor Institute (GSI) is a mandatory school for all newly-promoted, first-line supervisors. GS-14, 1811s are required to complete a three-week GSI, while GS-14, non-1811 personnel are required to complete a two-week GSI program.

The three-week GSI for GS-14, 1811s provides 120 hours of instruction encompassing a variety of subjects including leadership, administrative issues, and enforcement. The GSI includes 40 hours of specific leadership development training, provided by the University of Virginia. DEA has adopted the Situational Leadership Development Theory as the foundation of our leadership training. The Situational Leadership Development Theory is based upon a “leader” determining the readiness level of his/her subordinates and adjusting their leadership style to maximize the units’ performance and motivation.

The last week of the three-week GSI includes enforcement-related instruction that focuses on the leader’s ability to plan, coordinate, and manage enforcement operations and critical incidents.

Supervisor In-Service Program

The Supervisor In-Service (SIS) Program is a one-week school for GS-14, 1811, first-line supervisors who have completed the GSI. The SIS provides 36 hours of instruction, including a block on leadership development. The goal of the SIS is to provide relevant refresher training to all supervisors 24 to 36 months after attending GSI. Supervisors are only required to attend one SIS at the DEA Academy.

DEA Leadership Forum

The DEA Leadership Forum was first convened in 2000 to fulfill an identified need for interagency discussion regarding leadership development and training. The Leadership Forum provides an environment in which the participants freely exchange ideas regarding their leadership development training, current training initiatives, the focus of their future leadership and management training, as well as best practices in implementing an agency-wide leadership training program. The Leadership Forum is an excellent learning and networking experience for all of those tasked with the training and development of leaders in the law enforcement community.

Participants in the Leadership Forum have included agency heads from state and local police and sheriff’s departments. The forum has included DEA Special Agent’s in Charge as well as high ranking DEA Headquarters personnel.

Each prior Leadership Forum has centered on a prevalent theme in order to elicit discussion on challenges currently faced by law enforcement. Prior themes included the challenges associated with managing a younger workforce (Generation X), supervisory accountability, terrorism, and commitment to leadership.

Executive Seminar Programs

Exceptional supervisors, managers, and executives are selected to attend Office of Personnel Management (OPM) programs to enhance their leadership and management skills. These programs are for GS-13 to SES-level personnel. The Office of Training schedules numerous courses each year at Shepherdstown, West Virginia, or Denver, Colorado. DEA has spent approximately $160,000 a year for the past four years to provide state-of-the-art training to our supervisors and managers through OPM. The Office of Training also provides funding for other executive-level training through the Federal Executive Institute, the Brookings Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, and other learning institutions.

The Office of Training provides other supplemental training through off-the-shelf vendors. DEA’s goal is to increase the knowledge, skills, and abilities of each employee as well as to enhance management training opportunities. Funding is also provided for DEA supervisors to attend accredited colleges and universities for instruction in Law Enforcement Management, Public Administration, or other job-related fields.


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