STEP 1: Registration
To begin the 2302(c) Certification Program 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. If you have any questions regarding the program, please email questions to the above email address or call the 2302(c) helpline at (202) 804-7163. Once OSC receives the completed form, we will enroll you in the 2302(c) Certification 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 thirteen 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. A sample letter/email that may be sent to agency employees is available
In consultation with OSC, provide training to managers and supervisors every three years 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 Certification 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 newly-developed training
quiz, a PowerPoint
presentation, and as noted above, OSC provides speakers for satellite and/or local training or to address larger groups of employees.
Provide a link from each agency’s website or intranet site to the OSC website
STEP 3: Request certification by submitting the compliance form
After completing the five requirements of the program, complete the compliance form, then 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(c), as well as compliance with the second Open Government National Action Plan. Additionally, we list certified agencies on OSC’s website and report federal agencies’ compliance with OSC’s 2302(c) Certification Program annually to Congress.