OPM's Legacy LEAD Certificate Program


OPM’s Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Certificate Program is now known as the LEAD Institute. LEAD lets federal employees take charge of their professional development by providing a clear path to leadership training that is right for their career. Each role-based program is designed to deliver core knowledge and develop capabilities for leadership success based on the 2015 Federal Supervisory and Managerial Frameworks.



Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the legacy LEAD Certificate Program change?

When do these changes take effect?


What are these changes?


What do these changes mean for people enrolled in the legacy LEAD Program?


What is a teach-out plan?


I completed 1 or 2 courses in the legacy LEAD Certificate Program. What is my teach-out plan?


I completed 3-5 courses in the legacy LEAD Certificate Program. What is my teach-out plan?


I completed courses that began in 2015. Would those qualify toward the teach-out requirements?


I completed my courses but not my capstone paper. What should I do?


Who can I contact about my specific teach-out plan?


Is there an appeals process?


Where can I find additional information on the new LEAD Institute program?


I have another question...


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Why did the legacy LEAD Certificate Program change?


OPM established the legacy LEAD Certificate Program in 2008, with the first program launching in 2009. As federal leadership and development needs have evolved over the past decade, CLD initiated a program review in August 2019 to ensure LEAD would continue to transform government leaders for the future of work. The legacy LEAD Certificate Redesign Team was established to conduct an analysis of best practices from CLD’s single-agency and open enrollment programs, as well as agency-customer preferences

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When do these changes take effect?


Participants were no longer admitted into the legacy LEAD Certificate Program after November 2019. The legacy LEAD Certificate Program sunset timeline is March 2021. The new LEAD Institute enrollments began June 2020, with all four programs: Project Team Lead, Supervisor, Manager, and Senior Leader starting the week of August 24, 2020.

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What are the changes?


The legacy LEAD program consisted of 5 levels; the LEAD Institute has 4. The previous format was self-paced, the new format is cohort based. Previously, it took up to 3 years to complete; now 9 months. Tuition used to range from $17,000 to $34,000 by level, now it ranges from $8,750-$16,750.

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What do these changes mean for people enrolled in the legacy LEAD Program?


Participants declared their intent to complete a legacy LEAD Certificate by responding to a November 2019 email on how to declare their intent to complete their program. This notice also included basic information about completing their certificate through a strategically designed teach-out plan. Participants with questions about the teach-out plan should contact LEAD@opm.gov.

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What is a teach-out plan?


The teach-out plan provides equitable treatment of offering courses and substitutions currently in the LEAD Certificate at the appropriate certificate levels (as the current LEAD was based on GS-levels for each certificate); as well as in offering courses that meet the same GS-level, standard in hours, delivery mode, etc. 


The courses offered in the teach-out plan focus in the priority areas as follows:

  • Core and Assessment Courses must be completed
  • All LEAD levels will be considered to have 5 courses.
  • Certain courses maybe substituted to reach the 5-course minimum to complete the Certificate courses.
  • A capstone paper still required within 90 days following the completion of the last course.

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I completed 1 or 2 courses in the legacy LEAD Certificate Program. What is my teach-out plan?


Any undeclared LEAD Certificate participants will receive an email about their next steps to move into a cohort if they do not meet the 3-course minimum completed requirement. Individuals who have completed only 1 or 2 lead courses have been contacted by the LEAD Institute Account Managers to assist their enrollment in one of the new LEAD Institute programs. If you did not declare your intent to complete the certificate, you will be contacted with new options for participants in a LEAD (cohort-based) program.

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I completed 3-5 courses in the legacy LEAD Certificate Program. What is my teach-out plan?


You would have received a completion agreement to complete the remaining courses a reasonable period (12-month timeline), which includes an Individual LEAD Completion Plan (declarants as of December 31, 2019) stating the courses available, substitutions, schedules, and other options. Any current extensions to completion will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, anticipating substitution of courses beyond September 2020.

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I completed courses that began in 2015. Would those qualify toward the teach-out requirements?


Any individual with courses completed beginning in 2015 may have their courses qualify for the teach-out as 1) some were given extensions; 2) some finished courses and never did the capstone paper. The Dean of Faculty authorized reviews of requested exceptions before 2015 or appeals of other kinds. Sunset: 30 days to make the request from the email received of this options and 90 days from their request to complete the capstone.

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I completed my courses but not my capstone paper. What should I do?


Any individual with a capstone paper outstanding for legacy LEAD Certificate program courses after 2015 will be offered the ability to complete through a written paper or an offer of a verbal conference call as substitute. An individual that did not request a waiver will be reviewed. Emails will be sent to individuals who meet the course completions and be provided a due date 90 days from the email date.

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Who can I contact about my specific teach-out plan?


Please contact LEAD@opm.gov. Implementation of the legacy LEAD Teach-Out is administered by the LEAD Institute Faculty Program Director with the LEAD Teach-Out Account Manager.

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Is there an appeals process?


Appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis for any current declared participant who makes the request. An appeals process will be developed for review on the circumstances acceptable for making an exception to the 3 or less policy.

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Where can I find additional information on the new LEAD Institute program?


Please visit our LEAD Institute Page or contact the LEAD Institute Faculty Program Director. We look forward supporting your leadership development needs.

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I have another question...


Please contact our LEAD Institute Faculty Program Director. We look forward supporting your leadership development needs.

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Last modified: Thursday, July 9, 2020, 3:23 PM