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Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 2302(c), agency heads are required to ensure, in consultation with the Special Counsel and the Inspector General of the agency, that employees of the agency are informed of the rights and remedies available to them under the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA), the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA), and related laws. Due to the passage of the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection act of 2017 and the Office of Special Counsel’s Reauthorization Act of 2017, OSC’s Certification Program has undergone several changes. Most importantly, we want to convey that if your agency follows the new instructions for certification, e.g., submitting the annual checklist and providing the updated handouts to employees, the agency will have satisfied the education requirements of the amended 5 U.S.C. 2302(c).
Certification Program Overview
OSC's 2302(c) Certification Program allows federal agencies to meet the statutory obligation to inform their workforces about the rights and remedies available to them under the CSRA, the WPA, the WPEA, and satisfy the new requirements of the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 and the NDAA.
The program consists of four steps: (1) registration, (2) completion of the five requirements, (3) submission of annual certification checklist, and (4) application for certification or recertification every three years.
STEP 1: Start the certification process by submitting the registration form.
STEP 2: Complete the following five certification requirements:
Place informational posters at agency facilities (new posters)
Provide information about the 14 PPPs and whistleblower disclosures to new employees as part of the orientation process and no later than 180 days after the date the new employee begins performing service as an employee (the 180-day timeframe is a new requirement; other OSC materials are currently being updated)
Provide information to current employees about the 14 PPPs and whistleblower disclosures on annual basis
Train supervisors, in consultation with OSC, on the 14 PPPs and whistleblower disclosures every three years and annual supervisory training on "how to respond to complaints alleging a violation of whistleblower protections" (new annual requirement for supervisors on "how to respond"). [NOTE: 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.]
Display a link to OSC's website on the agency's website and intranet (new requirement to include links to both website and intranet)
STEP 3: Maintain certification by completing an Annual Certification Checklist to ensure ongoing compliance.
STEP 4: Request certification by submitting the compliance form and supporting documentation. If all requirements have been met, OSC will issue the agency's certification. Every three years, agencies will need to request recertification by submitting a compliance form.
For more information on the five requirements, see the Certification Process page. For information specific to government corporations, see the Certification for Government Corporations page. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.