Learners FAQ

PDS Performance & Development Solutions

  1. What is PDS' role in providing training?
  2. Who can attend PDS courses?
  3. What is the typical timeframe for a course?
  4. How can I enroll in an upcoming seminar?
  5. How will I know if I am enrolled in a course?
  6. Is there a charge for PDS courses?
  7. How do I pay for a PDS workshop?
  8. Am I eligible to attend a specific PDS course?
  9. How do I cancel a PDS course?
Q1:

What is PDS' role in providing training?

A1:

PDS is the centralized training unit for Iowa state government as provided in the Iowa Code, section 8A.431. PDS is a unit of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services (DAS)/ Human Resources Enterprise (HRE). This relationship with DAS/HRE allows PDS to provide training courses that are aligned with state personnel policies. As the primary training unit for state government, PDS is also able to negotiate reduced prices with training providers and pass those savings on to state departments.

Q2: Who can attend PDS courses?
A2:

PDS courses are available to any State, County or City employee.  Courses are available to all non-government related citizens as well. 

Q3: What is the typical timeframe for a course?
A3:

The standard time for a course varies by course and is identified in the course description.

Q4: How can I enroll in an upcoming seminar?
A4:

To enroll in a seminar, potential course participants should log into the State of Iowa Learning Management System (LMS) and submit an electronic request. If you are having issues logging in to your LMS account, please contact your agency’s training liaison. If your organization does not have a training liaison, you can reach out to the PDS team at pds@iowa.gov.

Q5: How will I know if I am enrolled in a course?
A5:

The LMS system will generate an email to both the employee and their manager after the request has been submitted to enroll in the course. Once the manager has approved or denied the request, another email will be sent notifying the employee. Course notifications, including the course title, instructor, date(s), starting and ending times, and location, will be included in the email. In the event of a course cancellation after notifications have been sent out, PDS will contact Training Liaisons or non-state course enrollees.

Q6: Is there a charge for PDS courses?
A6:

Yes, there is a charge in order to cover the costs of putting on the training and keeping it up to date.

Q7: How do I pay for a PDS workshop?
A7:

The Iowa Department of Administrative Services bills the agency or organization that  the attendee works for. Attendees may also pay for the seminar individually by providing a check to PDS for the cost of the seminar. Checks should be payable to ‘Treasurer State of Iowa’. Pre-payment may be requested for non-state employees.

Q8: Am I eligible to attend a specific PDS course?
A8:

Most PDS courses have a recommended eligibility listed in the course description. It is up to individuals, or their appointing authority where applicable, to approve or deny course enrollments based on the recommended eligibility.

Q9: How do I cancel a PDS course?
A9:

When a state employee enrolls in a PDS course, the agency purchases a "seat" in the course. If the employee becomes unable to participate in the class, the agency must notify PDS at least fourteen (14) calendar days in advance of the course date to withdraw from the course. Failure to provide the required (14) days' notice will result in the agency being charged for the seat in the course. Agencies may, in the alternative of proper notice, send a substitute to the course to fill the purchased seat. This is encouraged. The agency must inform PDS of the change in employee participation for proper billing. This policy also applies to non-state employee participants.

·      In cases in which an enrolled employee is severed from state employment before the course date, agencies are encouraged to fill the purchased seat with another employee if the agency is not able to comply with the (14) day notice requirement. If the purchased seat is unfilled the agency will still be charged.

·      To provide proper notice of withdrawal, participants need to contact the agencies training liaison, who will then inform PDS. PDS will review the date of the withdrawal request and compare it to the date of confirmation to determine if the agency will be billed.

·      The agency will not be charged when the employee is unable to participate due to approved leave other than vacation.