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HR Certificate (Tier 1) Program


The project goals will be multi-faceted and will aim at providing a solid, structured, and measurable training program comprised of a set number of Core Classes and Functional Areas, which are practical, job-related, and DC Government specific, with a focus on the real issues that confront contemporary HR practitioners and managers.

The framework of the program consists of three tiers: Courses required for Tier 1 cover the conceptional, technical, and procedural knowledge and skills needed by the successful HR practitioner. The primary goal upon Tier 1 completion is to equip and prepare District HR Professionals with a broader and deeper understanding of HR Fundamentals. Through the standardization and documentation of business processes across all human resource functions, the HR Certificate Program will ensure that the HR Professionals are utilizing industry best practices and cutting-edge knowledge in an effort to provide the District’s workforce with first-class customer service.

Application Process/ Timeline


  • Cohort Model: Each cohort 20 people.
  • Eligibility Requirements:
    • 2 years of HR experience in the District Government, and the experience should be explicitly reflected in the applicant’s resume
  • Application:
    • Submit the online application
    • Included in the online application, applicant needs to submit 3 essays
    • Agency Recommendation
    • Interview
    • HR make the selection based on the points of each applicant


Course Name Duration
Which Myers-Brigg’s personality best describes you? 1 week
Learn how HR policies are made and implemented in District government. Understand how different policies affect District employees and managers. Practice navigating the District Personnel Manual to find answers to employees’ questions.
3 hours
Gain the information needed to advise new, current, and separating employees about their benefits. Make sure you can accurately and thoroughly analyze and respond to questions from employees about their employee benefits.
4 hours
This course is designed to introduce you to the fundamental elements of compensation and the administration of the District Government compensation programs.
6 hours
Leave Management
Participants will leave this course with an understanding of the District’s family leave and disability related benefits. Participants will be exposed to the various requirements of the District’s Paid Family Leave program (PFL), Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, participants will learn how these policies overlap with short and long-term disability programs.
3 hours

Introduction to the ADA:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
  • The ADA Amendments Act of 2008
  • Title I and Who is Protected?
  • What is Employment Discrimination?
  • Employee and Employer Requirements
  • Enforcement
2 hours
Learn how suitability screenings keep the District’s workforce safe and secure. Understand how and why screenings vary depending on an employee’s responsibilities, from working with children to operating heavy machinery. Know the critical roles HR professionals play in ensuring proper suitability, including general screening for new hires, reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol testing, and as system maintenance.
2 hours
Performance Management and Employee Discussion
Become equipped with the skills you need to make meaningful performance distinctions. Implement communication, planning, tracking, and other performance tools to make, or advise on making, performance decisions. Learn how to hold productive performance discussions with your employees.
4 hours

Employee Relations
By the end of the course, participants will have the competency of:

  • General understanding of the basic laws and regulations that encompass employee relations
  • Understand HR’s role in employee relations matters
  • Outline the rights and responsibilities of the parties in employee relations matters
  • Identify difference between performance and conduct
  • Discuss difference in employee and supervisory probationary periods
  • Describe progressive discipline and the difference between corrective and adverse actions
  • Outline performance process and taking performance-based actions
  • Describe the grievance and appeals processes
 3 hours

Writing a PD

This training will provide participants with an:   

  • Overview the District’s classification policy
  • Identify supervisory, employee, and human resources advisor responsibilities in writing PDs
  • Explain the do’s and don’ts in writing position descriptions
  • Discuss the components of Factor Evaluation System
  • Define the factors necessary for writing District Schedule nonsupervisory and supervisory
  • position descriptions
  • Write complete and accurate District Schedule nonsupervisory and supervisory position descriptions
 2 days
Organizational Development
Introduce conflict as it occurs in a variety of contexts and the ways in which communication can impact the outcome of conflict. Provide students with a framework for the systematic analysis, management and negotiation of conflict through the use of communicative strategies.
6 hours
Strategic Human Capital Management
Gain a solid foundation in strategic human capital management concepts, principles, and best practices. Learn the skills needed to align HR goals, performance, and budget with agency mission and use metrics to identify needs and outcomes and measure progress toward identified outcomes.
4 hours
Presentation Skills
This training will help participants to discover how to craft presentations around essential objectives, present key concepts with enthusiasm, design and present effective visuals and employ techniques of presentation delivery.
2.5 hours
Capstone Preparation
Offers participants an opportunity to increase their impact and effectiveness as a human resources professional. the capstone course applies human resource concepts to improve organizational effectiveness. Program participants apply existing professional standards and theories to human resource management.
2.5 hours


  • Post- test for each course
  • Group project: reading assignment presentation
  • Individual Capstone project
  • Complete HRCI assigned tasks with Percipio

Contact & Additional Information

For additional information about the HR Certificate Program, please contact Vivian Liu at [email protected]. or Kwelli Sneed at [email protected].