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Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)


FLY (Finding the Leader in You)

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Check FAI’s Cornerstone OnDemand for Upcoming Course Dates

On this page:
Program Benefits  |  Purpose  |  Program Structure  |  Contact

Introducing the FLY Program

FCL-VA-0207 Finding the Leader in You (FLY) is a 3.5 day foundational leadership course designed for the acquisition workforce. The FLY program is designed for participants to collaborate in small group discussions and projects to identify the diverse qualities of team players who make positive contributions and identify ways to apply those qualities to benefit their team’s tasks and relationships. The class culminates with small groups designing and delivering a brief assigned team building activity to the class to demonstrate the qualities of a team player and review key class concepts.

Currently, open registration for VA participants only occurs on Cornerstone OnDemand.

Our FLY participants have provided tremendous feedback:

“I thought this class was fantastic. It was a great opportunity to explore how leadership works at the VA and how to be successful in the organization. It was a great opportunity to refresh my memory on different leadership qualities and how to tie that in to working for the federal government. I would recommend this course to any new 1102 who wants to move up in the VA.”

“The FLY course is a very great entry level course, and as I participated in this course with some of my GS-7 employees, I love the foundational leadership that is being taught, the culture and mindset of team playing is something that the VA needs to incorporate and have available for all new coming employees. Excellent course!!”

“It was a great class with a good mixture of students. I am new to the VA so it was very helpful in hearing the different views, experiences, etc from others. Would definitely recommend.”

Who will benefit the most from FLY?

FLY is open to GS-7, GS-8, and GS-9 members of the VA Acquisition Workforce

FLY participants who recognize the value of working as a team to complete tasks and build respectful working relationships will benefit most from FLY. FLY participants are highly interested in improving VA workplace culture and success by investing in themselves through leadership training and continual learning. FLY focuses on competencies that are the launching point of future leadership opportunities. The program involves active participation and collaboration; therefore, participants must be available fulltime throughout the class.

The Contracting Professional School at the Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy has developed leadership training to meet acquisition workforce needs beyond FLY’s GS 7-9 audience. The FLD 163 CLIMB class meets the needs of GS 11-13 members of the acquisition workforce. Learn more about CLIMB »

Also, the award-winning SALT leadership program meets the needs of Supervisory 1102s and Program/Project Managers. Learn more information about SALT »

Why are we FLYing?

In 2019, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs signed a memo asking all VA team members to be active participants in their professional development. This sparked an initiative to further invest in talent at VA with strategic and impactful professional development programs. Members of the Talent Development Council (TDC), along with learning leaders across VA, inspired by OPM Leadership Competencies, ICARE Values and Servant Leadership Principles, created the Leadership Development Framework (LDF) ()VA Staff only with the goal of fostering a continuous learning culture.

The LDF identifies five key leadership levels: Emerging Leader (leading self), Team Leader (leading projects), First Line Supervisors (leading teams), Manager (leading programs) and Senior Leader (leading organizations).

VAAA already offers leadership training via the SALT program at the First Line Supervisor and Manager levels of the LDF and CLIMB program for Emerging Leaders and Team Leaders. FLY addresses OPM Leadership competencies identified at the LDF’s Emerging Leader level:

  • Accountability
  • Continual Learning
  • Problem Solving
  • Team Building
  • Integrity/Honesty
  • Resilience
  • Flexibility
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Oral Communication
  • Written Communication
How is FLY structured?

The 3.5 day class is instructor-led with scheduled blocks of time for breaks and assignments. The first three days of class include instructor-led discussions and activities, independent assignment periods to read the required textbook and complete graded assessments and journal assignments, and group assignments to prepare for the capstone activity. The final day of class is mostly for group delivery of the capstone activities and the final assessment.

Participants earn course credit for passing the post-course assessment, completing journal and capstone activities in accordance with a passing rubric score, and participating in class. Full attendance is required.

Example of daily schedule:

  • Hour 1: Live classroom session
  • Hour 2: 10-minute break and live classroom session
  • Hour 3: Independent assignment (reading, journal, etc.)
  • Hour 4: Lunch
  • Hour 5: Group planning of Capstone
  • Hour 6: 10-minute break followed by live classroom session
  • Hours 7 and 8: Independent assignments (reading, journal, assessment, capstone, etc.)
Have a question about FLY that we haven’t answered?

Contact Houston Keil for more information.