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Program Info & FAQs


The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 enacted 10 U.S.C. Section 384, “Department of Defense Security Cooperation Workforce Development.” Section 384 requires the establishment of the Department of Defense (DoD) Security Cooperation Workforce Development Program (SCWDP), and identifies professional certification as a mandatory element of the program.

The Certification Program will help ensure that DoD personnel assigned to positions in the Security Cooperation Workforce (SCW) have the training and experience necessary to carry out those responsibilities more effectively.

The information provided in this knowledge base is derived from the Implementation Guidelines for the DoD SCW Certification Program and provides additional details and instructions for members of the SCW. The guidelines are the official guidance for the program until a subsequent DoD Instructions is issued.

When Does the Certification Program Begin?

The DoD Implemented the Certification Program on January 1, 2020. The first year is a transition period intended to provide the DoD Components (as well as individual SC Workforce members) with time to familiarize themselves with the program and extend the training completion timelines to avoid over-subscription of required courses in the first year.

The transition period ends on January 1, 2021, following the issuance of a DoD Instruction for the Certification Program. At that time, mandatory participation for SCW members and course completion timelines will go into effect.

Reference: Implementation Guidelines for the DoD Security Cooperation Workforce Certification Program (p.1, Introduction).

Who is the Program Manager?

Section 384 designates the Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) as the program manager.

What are the Training Completion Deadlines?

Course completion deadlines do not apply during the transition year of implementation (January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020).

Beginning on January 1, 2021, SCW members will be required to complete their required certification courses by the following deadlines:

  • Basic-level certification: 1 year to complete all required Basic-level courses. Note that all SCW members require at least Basic-level certification.
  • Intermediate-level certification: 1 year to complete Basic-level courses and then 2 years to complete all required Intermediate-level courses (3 years total).
  • Advanced-level certification: 1 year to complete Basic-level courses, 2 years to complete Intermediate-level courses, and then 2 years to complete all required Advanced-level courses (5 years total). Note that Advanced-level courses will not be offered until 2021.
  • Executive-level certification: 3 years to complete all required Executive-level courses.

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