What is the PWLF credential?
The APWA Public Works Leadership Fellow (PWLF) credential is a service credential. This program was developed for individuals with 20 or more years’ experience in the field of public works, who want to “give back” by passing on their knowledge and supporting the development of future generations of public works leaders. A PWLF or mentor is required to mentor a PWS, PWM or PWE candidate for at least 40 hours a year.
Is PWLF for me?
  • Are you interested in utilizing your experience, talents and vision to mentor the next generation of public works leaders?
  • Are you interested in contributing to the public works profession?
  • Are you interested in adding to the body of knowledge?
How will the PWLF program benefit me?  
  • You will gain a prestigious credential which shows you are a recognized and respected leader in the field of public works
  • You will develop personal relationships with future leaders in the field of public works as you mentor them throughout their credentialing program
  • You will stay aware of trends in the field through the eyes of the next generation of leaders.
What kind of credential is PWLF?
The PWLF designation is a service credential, you will continue to use the credential by staying active and supporting your candidate. To qualify you must have at least 20 years of experience in the field of public works. 
Who reviews my application?
All applications are reviewed by the DCS Center Program Council (PC). The DCS Program Council is a group of experienced public works professionals selected by the Board of Directors because of their leadership and commitment to APWA.

How do I maintain my Public Works Executive (PWLF) credential?
Maintaining the PWLF credential requires you to assist in the professional development of program candidates, and participate in volunteer activities ONLY during those times when you are not mentoring a program candidate.
  • Perform at least 40 hours a year of mentoring, or 40 hours a year of public service and/or continuing education, if you are not currently mentoring a candidate. Non-mentor hours must be recorded on your DCS Hours form.
  • Abide by the ethical standards set by the American Public Works Association Board of Directors
  • Pay the annual $50 renewal fee
Once I am accepted as a mentor, Can I mentor more than one candidate?
Yes. Several of our PWLFs have two candidates.  
What are my responsibilities as a mentor?
You are responsible for working with you candidate for at least 40 hours a year and understanding the standards and requirements for each of the five products your candidate must submit for graduation:
  • 360 evaluation
  • Professional Development Plan (PDP)
  • Executive Project proposal
  • Final Project
  • Professional portfolio
For those times when I am without a mentee, what qualifies as 40 hours of public service/continuing education?
  • Present at an APWA event
  • Write an article for the Reporter or other professional publication
  • Write or contribute to a paper for publication
  • Attend courses, workshops or webinars
  • Volunteer at your local APWA chapter in a leadership capacity
  • Attend or facilitate training programs offered by APWA or other associations, agencies, or municipalities
  • Attend or present at APWA National Conferences: PWX (formerly known as the International Public Works Congress & Exposition-"Best Show in Public Works") or North American Snow Conference
  • Attend or present at public works related conferences offered by other organizations
  • Moderate, or act as a Subject Mater Expert (SME) for a CLL
  • Read, write, or contribute to articles or books on leadership
What are the fees related to the Public Works Leadership Fellow (PWLF) program?
Receiving a Donald C. Stone Center credential is making an investment in yourself—and your future. The Public Works Leadership Fellow program shows you’re a proven leader in the field of public works, and provides you the opportunity to give back by assisting in the development and advancement of the next generation of public works leaders. For fees, please click here to view the PWLF Pricing Page. All fees are non-refundable.