STEP 1: Registration
To begin the certification process, please fill out the registration form and email the form to OSC at
email@example.com. The registration process allows OSC to provide additional assistance to agencies seeking certification or recertification. If you have any questions regarding the program, please email questions to the above email address or call our helpline at (202) 804-7163. Once OSC receives the completed form, we will enroll you in the program and list your agency on OSC's website.
STEP 2: Complete the five certification requirements:
Post the laws regarding Prohibited Personnel Practices (PPPs) as well as information regarding the process for making confidential disclosures to OSC. Posters containing this information should be displayed in all personnel and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) offices and in other prominent places throughout the agency.
The following posters are required to be posted throughout your agency and made available on your intranet in order to obtain certification:
"Whistleblowing”: Defines a “whistleblower” as someone who discloses information he or she reasonably believes evidences a violation of any law, rule, or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.
“Whistleblower Retaliation”: Asks, “What is whistleblower retaliation?” A federal employee authorized to take, direct others to take, recommend or approve any personnel action may not take, fail to take, or threaten to take any personnel action against an employee because of protected whistleblowing. Cites an example. Defines “protected whistleblowing.”
“Prohibited Personnel Practices” (PPPs): Lists 14 prohibitions, including: whistleblower retaliation; discrimination for engaging in conduct unrelated to work performance, such as discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation; and hiring and promotion offenses that offend the merit system. 5 U.S.C. §§ 2302(b)(1)-(b)(13).
The following materials, though not required to obtain certification, are also highly recommended:
Provide to all employees on an annual basis, written materials on PPPs, whistleblower disclosures, and OSC’s role in enforcing the laws over which it has jurisdiction. Agencies should also include this information on agency websites. As noted above, OSC has developed materials that can be e-mailed to help agencies fulfill this requirement.
In consultation with OSC, provide training to managers and supervisors to ensure their understanding of their responsibilities under the PPP and whistleblower protection provisions of Title 5. If your agency elects to use forms or training materials outside of the materials provided by OSC, you must send the materials to OSC and receive approval
prior to dissemination to ensure the materials meet the requirements of the program. OSC strongly recommends in-person, interactive training, especially for high-level managers and supervisors. Supervisory training should be tracked to ensure that all supervisors have been trained prior to filling out the compliance form. OSC has developed several options to aid agencies in fulfilling this requirement of the program, including a training quiz and a PowerPoint presentation (coming soon). As noted above, OSC also provides speakers for satellite and/or local training or to address larger groups of employees.
- PPP and Whistleblower Disclosure PowerPoint Presentation (coming soon; please note this PowerPoint is not intended as a standalone training tool, instead it should be used as a supplement to in-person training or may be provided to supervisors in addition to having them complete the quiz)
- PPP and Whistleblower Disclosure Training Quiz (coming soon)
Provide a link from the agency’s website and intranet site to OSC's website
STEP 3: Maintain certification by completing an annual certification checklist (coming soon)
Agencies will maintain certification by completing a quick and easy annual certification checklist to ensure ongoing compliance.
STEP 4: Submit the compliance form (every three years)
After completing the five requirements of the program, complete the compliance form and email the form and supporting documentation to
firstname.lastname@example.org. After OSC reviews the submission and ensures satisfaction of the five requirements, we will grant the agency a certificate of compliance indicating the agency's fulfillment of the statutory obligation under section 2302(d) as well as compliance with the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 and the NDAA. Additionally, we list certified agencies on OSC's website and report federal agencies' compliance with OSC's Certification Program annually to Congress. Agencies will request recertification by submitting a compliance form (along with supporting documentation) every three years.