OPM's Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Certificate Program

OVERVIEW

The Office of Personnel Management's LEAD Certificate Program empowers Federal leaders to take charge of their professional development by providing a clear path to leadership education and development that's right for them and their careers. The LEAD Certificate Program offers essential leadership skills that help individuals fulfill their Individual Development Plan (IDP), putting them squarely on the path to career development. 

By training tomorrow's leaders today, the LEAD Certificate Program helps training officers, managers and supervisors meet the challenge of succession management.  At each Certificate level, current and future leaders assess their leadership effectiveness, gain core knowledge and develop critical skills for leadership success, culminating with a certificate signed by the Director of OPM, formally recognizing the employee's achievement. 

HOW THE LEAD PROGRAM WORKS

OPM created LEAD with busy Federal professionals in mind, giving you the option to decide what courses to take and when. You can choose from a variety of targeted courses within each leadership track, and you will have three years to complete your certificate.

 At each level of development, rising Federal leaders will participate in content rich courses that provide:

  • Assessments of current leadership effectiveness and/or potential
  • Overviews of key competencies critical to successful at each level of leadership
  • Essential knowledge of government-wide policy 
  • Intensive development of workplace relevant skills
HOW YOU BENEFIT

  • Professional development directly relevant to your current position and future goals
  • OPM-designed curriculum aligned with Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) which is the leadership criteria recognized government-wide
  • Simplified process for fulfilling Individual Development Plan (IDP) and providing the essentials of leadership training
  • Flexibility to develop valuable new skills around your schedule
  • Document evidence of your leadership development
  • Eligibility of many LEAD courses for undergraduate and graduate credit granted by the American Council on Education (ACE)

HOW YOUR AGENCY BENEFITS

  • Clear progression to support succession management
  • Networking and sharing of best practices among agencies
  • Key staff have hands-on experience with ideas, techniques and information in an inter-agency collaborative learning environment
  • Ideal for fulfilling training requirements for Presidential Management Fellows and many SES candidate Development Programs
  • Ease of government-to-government interagency agreements
  • Courses are offered in Charlottesville, VA; Denver, CO; Oklahoma City, OK: Washington, DC and other locations around the country.

Outcomes of the LEAD Certificate Program 

  • Documents and honors those that put in the effort to be a better leader
  • Ensures all leadership training is directly relevant to Government application
  • Clarifies which leadership training is most critical for success; it provides a "short list" for use by employees and training managers to help focus employee development

Five Leadership Levels - One Great Career Move

The five levels of leadership in the LEAD Certificate Program are:

  • Project/Team Lead 
  • Supervisor
  • Manager
  • Executive 
  • Professional Leader

What are the rules for the LEAD Certificate Program?

  • LEAD Certificates are issued for a specific level of leadership.
  • For a given level, you must complete the required number of courses in EACH column of the table below, which will result in a total of 5-6 courses to be completed for each LEAD Certificate level.
  • The last of the 5-6 courses must be completed within 3 years of the start date of the first courses taken.
  • It is recommended, but not required, to complete the Assessment and Core courses first, before taking the Policy and Skill categories.
  • You may earn a LEAD Certificate for a level of leadership, even if you are not at that level, but we strongly recommend checking with your training manager to see whether your agency has any specific rules regarding taking courses for a higher level than your current position.

How do I get a LEAD Certificate?

  • The LEAD Certificate Program is a self-paced program, which means OPM is not formally involved until you complete the 5-6 required courses for a given level of Leadership. This also means you register for each course individually as you progress through the program.
  • Within 90 days of completing the last of the 5-6 courses at a given level, you must email a list of your five completed courses with the start dates to validate completion within the three year period to the OPM LEAD Certificate Program Manager: Julianne Gatewood at LEAD@opm.gov.
  • Once validated, you will have 90 days to submit a 4-6 page capstone paper (Word file) [27 KB], detailing lessons learned and describing at least one example of application back on the job.  The paper will be reviewed for Pass/Fail by an OPM Program Director/Faculty Member.
  • Once a "Pass" rating on the capstone paper is attained, you will receive a LEAD Certificate. 
“The program reminded me that my interpersonal relationships and leadership opportunities within the workplace directly translate into positive impacts on our Agency’s ability to perform our mission and serve the public interest. 

Interested? Research the 
course dates and prices and/or contact the LEAD Certificate Program Manager: Julianne Gatewood at LEAD@opm.gov or 202-606-0756 to get started!

Questions you may have: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

LEAD Certificate by Level of Leadership Table

The table below lists the recommended courses for each certificate level.  For your convenience each course listed is a linked directly to the course page which identifies course description, dates, locations and cost.

Required training for a LEAD Certificate at a Given Leadership Level**

Note: Our courses are reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. As a result, course requirements in this table may change. If you have taken a course towards LEAD at a particular level that you no longer see listed here, it will be accepted towards your LEAD Certificate.

Leadership Level
Assessment
Core Development
Policy Awareness
Skill
Immersion

Project/Team Lead

(No formal appraisal responsibility)

Take the following:

Leadership Assessment Program- Level 1

Take the following:

Team Development

None Required

Take the following:

Conflict Resolution Skills

Foundations of Project Management

Leadership Skills for Non-Supervisors

Supervisor

(Conducts performance appraisals for non-supervisory staff)

Take  the following:

Leadership Assessment Program- Level 1

Take both:

Supervisory Development 1: Fundamentals

Supervisory Development 2: Learning to Lead

Take the following:

Federal Agency Policies and Procedures

Take two of the following:

Coaching and Mentoring for Excellence

Communicating Face to Face

Conflict Resolution Skills

Engaging and Encouraging Employees

Resiliency 2.0

Manager

(Conducts performance appraisals for one or more supervisors)

Take the following:

Leadership Assessment Program Level 2

Take the following:

Management Development 1: Leading from the Middle 

Management Development 2: Leading Organizations 

Take one of the following:

Federal Agency Policies and Procedures

Federal Budgetary Policies and Processes

National Security Policy


Take two of the following:

Adapting to Organizational Change: Enabling 21st Century Leaders  

Coaching and Mentoring for Excellence

Communicating Face to Face

Engaging and Encouraging Employees

Extraordinary Leadership

Resiliency 2.0

Executive

(GS-15, Senior Executive Service or equivalent senior manager level)

Take one of the following:

Senior Executive Assessment Program  
(GS-15)

Leadership Assessment Program Level 2  
(GS 14)

 

Take the following:

Executive Development: Leading Change


Take one of the following:

Federal Budgetary Policies and Processes

National Security Policy


Take two of the following:

Conflict and Negotiations for Federal Executives

Creating and Sustaining Organizational Excellence

Crisis Leadership

Executive Communication Skills

Leadership Competencies: Applying the ECQs

Strategic Planning for Executives

Working with Congress for Federal Executives

Professional 

(Federal professionals who are not in a formal management position but who exercise influence, design and implement policy, and work in broad partnerships within and outside their agency.)

Take the following:

Leadership Assessment Program Level 2  

Take the following:

Building Coalitions

Choose any three from the Policy Awareness and Skill Immersion electives:

Policy Awareness

Federal Budgetary Policies and Processes

National Security Policy


     Skill Immersion

Adapting to Organizational Change: Enabling 21st Century Leaders

Conflict and Negotiation for Federal Executives

Crisis Leadership

Resiliency 2.0

Women's Leadership: Succeeding in the Workplace

 

Definitions of Terms

Assessment

A course provides assessment of current leadership effectiveness and/or potential customized for each level of leadership.  OPM uses a simulation assessment for the Team Lead level; an instrument-based assessment (ie MBTI) for the Supervisor and Manager levels; and a behavioral assessment for the Executive level

Core

A course that provides an overview for the key competencies considered critical to succeed at each level of leadership, as well as opportunities to develop those competencies

Policy Awareness

A course that provides essential policy knowledge that cuts across almost all Manager and Executive level positions such as budget and finance

Skill Immersion

A course that provides deep development on a specific skill or ability so that the participant can use it immediately upon returning to their agency.

Last modified: Friday, September 21, 2018, 1:12 PM