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Administrative Assistant Traineeship FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


Updated FAQs - 2/4/2020

On October 31, 2019, the Director of Staffing Services at the NYS Department of Civil Service issued General Information Bulletin No. 19-07 providing guidance on the Restructuring of Administrative Support Positions. A new two-year traineeship leading to Administrative Assistant 1, Grade 11 was approved. Trainees will be required to take four mandatory and four elective courses in the following competencies:

1. Once I complete the mandatory and elective courses, am I automatically enrolled in the Traineeship?

No, currently there are only two ways to enter the traineeship, through transfer or reinstatement. For either method you would need to consult with your agency and the NYS Department of Civil Service for guidance. Once an Administrative Assistant Trainee 1 examination is held and a new list is established, you may be able to be appointed into the traineeship through the eligible list.

2. The bulletin states that trainees will have to complete four mandatory courses. Who will provide these courses?

The NYS & CSEA Partnership for Education and Training (Partnership) will provide mandatory in-person courses through the Skills for Success catalog. The Skills for Success catalog is released twice a year, and courses are held statewide in the spring and fall. Eligible employees can access the catalog at the Partnership's website: www.nyscseapartnership.org and enroll in courses through the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS) https://nyslearn.ny.gov.

3. Who is eligible to participate in Skills for Success courses?

Employees are eligible to participate in Skills for Success courses if they are:

  • CSEA-represented New York State (NYS) employee (ASU/02, OSU/03, ISU/04, or DMNA/47)
  • CSEA-represented employee working in a local government, school district, state authority, or the private sector, as space permits
  • NYS employee (previously in the ASU/02) serving a probationary period in a transition title or traineeship supported by the Partnership (MC/06 or PS&T/05) may attend courses in the interpersonal communication, math skills, work management, and writing skills categories, as space permits
  • NYS employee in a Management/Confidential (MC/06) clerical or secretarial title, as space permits
If you do not fall into one of these categories, please contact your human resources office.

4. What can I do if I'm unable to attend the live mandatory courses?

The Partnership has developed four online learning certificate programs as an alternative for employees who are unable to attend the mandatory courses in person or who prefer to take courses online at their own pace. A computer and a connection to the Internet is required to take these courses. The certificate programs are currently available. CSEA-represented NYS employees will access these certificate programs through the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS). The Partnership will provide an EKB (online learning) license for CSEA-represented NYS employees (ASU/02, OSU/03, ISU/04, or DMNA/47). For more information, contact the Partnership at (800) 253-4332 or use our How to Register for a Certificate Program guide.

4a. How do I get access to the online certificate programs if I am not eligible through the Partnership?

  • CSEA-represented employees working in a local government, school district, state authority, or the private sector should contact their agency to obtain an Empire Knowledgebank (online learning) license. This will enable them to enroll in the online learning certificate programs through their agency and access the certificate programs through the EKB Internet Portal. If you have additional questions, please contact your agency or the NYS Department of Civil Service at 877-NYS-Jobs or email: Examinfo@cs.ny.gov. The NYS Department of Civil Service FAQs can be found at www.cs.ny.gov/home/faq.
  • M/C or PEF-represented employees should contact the Workforce and Organizational Development Unit (WODU) at the Governor's Office of Employee Relations to obtain an Empire Knowledgebank (online learning) license. This will enable them to enroll in the alternative online learning certificate programs using the WODU process. If you have questions, please contact your agency or WODU at (518) 474-6772 or email: WODU@goer.ny.gov.

5. How can I access the in-person elective courses?

The Partnership will provide in-person elective courses through the Skills for Success catalog for CSEA-represented NYS employees (ASU/02, OSU/03, ISU/04, or DMNA/47).

Employees in the Administrative Assistant Traineeship must complete four elective courses, one under each of the four competencies. Each agency will work with their employee to determine what four elective courses will meet the requirements based upon the duties and function of the position. It is at the agency's discretion to approve all coursework. See Elective Course List by Competency Area.

5a. How can I access the four one-hour webinars as an alternative to the in-person courses?

Four one-hour webinars selected from the same competency area may be substituted for a one-day training for the elective courses only. These webinars will also be available through the Skills for Success catalog. See Elective Course List by Competency Area.

6. What can I do if I'm unable to attend these elective courses?

If you cannot attend the in-person elective courses or live webinars, you will be able to access recorded versions of the webinars, as they become available, through the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS).

6a. What do I do if my agency does not have access to SLMS?

If your agency does not have access to SLMS, you will be able to work with your agency to view recorded versions of the webinars on the Partnership's YouTube channel. However, an agency representative will need to attest to the completion of all four webinars for each elective credit in this case.

7. Are there other training options?

Your agency will determine if other coursework is equivalent to the mandatory or elective courses. Agencies will be required to maintain attestations or proof that the coursework is equivalent. Some examples of equivalent coursework could be a college course or an agency-sponsored training.

Agencies may also request a worksite training for CSEA-represented NYS employees from the Partnership if they meet minimum enrollment requirements for any of the in-person mandatory and elective courses, as well as group viewings of webinars. Access the worksite training application form.

8. Will current Secretary 1 and Secretary 2 employees be expected to complete the required traineeship coursework?

No, current Secretary 1 and Secretary 2 employees are not required to complete the coursework.

9. What happens if I do not get appointed to the Administrative Assistant Traineeship in the first two-year cycle?

The Partnership will continue to offer the courses needed to complete the Administrative Assistant Traineeship training requirements for as long as it is being supported by the NYS Department of Civil Service.

10. Who do I contact with specific questions about the traineeship, eligibility, salaries, grades, and other non-training related issues?

Please contact a human resources or personnel representative at your work location.

11. What if there isn't a Human Resources or Personnel representative at my worksite?

Please contact the Human Resources office at your agency's headquarters or contact the NYS Department of Civil Service. See question #4a for contact information.