What is the PWS credential?
The APWA Public Works Supervisor (PWS) credential provides national recognition that you have successfully completed the requirements of a rigorous program and have acquired the skills and knowledge necessary to earn the PWS credential. Once a PWS credential is obtained, individuals must continue to document 20 hours of professional development activities a year. 
Is PWS for me?
  • Are you interested in receiving a credential to show that you have attained recognition for skills, knowledge and practical application in supervision?
  • Are you new to supervision and wish to begin working toward a credential?
  • Do you have supervisory experience but are new to public works?
  • Are you interested in preparing yourself for opportunities in public works as a supervisor or team leader?
How will the PWS program benefit me?
  • You will gain relevant public works experience while in the program
  • You will develop a personalized professional development plan based on the results of your assessment
  • You will be mentored by an experienced public works leader with at least 20 years' experience to hone your skills, abilities, interests, visions, and talents, as you design, develop and implement a final project
  • You will learn the basics about supervision, the latest thinking in leadership and how these apply to public works situations
  • You will grow your professional network
How long does it take to earn a credential?
The credentialing process generally takes PWS candidates about 18 months to two years to complete. You have four years to complete the program.
Is PWS credentialing an online course?
This credentialing program is personalized to promote professional development. You and your program mentor will work together to create your Professional Development Plan (PDP), then the two of you will use that plan as a map to guide you through the process of completing the program’s requirements.
The APWA Public Works Supervisor (PWS) credentialing program is not an online course. 
Who will review my application?
All applications are reviewed by the APWA DCS Center Program Council (PC). This is a group of experienced public works professionals selected by the Board of Directors because of their leadership and commitment to APWA.
What is an APWA Public Works Institute (PWI)?
APWA Chapter Public Works Institutes (PWIs) offer a 90 hour certificate program designed for supervisors and managers who aspire to become leaders. The curriculum covers eleven core areas that are the basis for effective public works leadership. Institutes are offered in a variety of formats. Many are face-to-face courses that are run as multi-day workshops, and span one to three years. Others are online programs which are either instructor-led or self-paced, and some combine elements of both. Completing an Institute is a requirement for obtaining PWS credential. The total cost, depending on the institute, can range from $900 to $4,200.
What is the PWS project requirement?
Every level of the DCS Center credentialing program has a required project. This project serves to showcase and summarize the candidate’s professional development throughout the course of the program. At the PWS level, the project involves improving or creating a process, solving a problem or writing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). A project should improve the operation of the candidate’s agency, organization or community. The project does not have to be implemented prior to graduation, but it should be implementable. Most candidates’ projects are implemented by their organizations.
Can I proceed to the next level in the DCS Center?
After you have successfully completed the Level 1 Public Works Supervisor program, you are qualified to enter the Level 2 PW Manager (PWM) program; earning a PWS credential waives the college degree and experience requirements.
How do I maintain my Public Works Supervisor (PWS) credential?
This program is based on a life-long learning model. Maintaining the PWS credential requires continuing your professional development, formally and informally. You will be required to:
  • Continue to work towards goals in your Professional Development Plan
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours of professional development through public service and/or continuing education each year and record hours in 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
What qualifies as 20 hours of public service/continuing education? 
The 20 DCS hours should be hours that continue to stretch your growth as a public works leader. Here are a few suggestions: 
  • Read articles or books on leadership
  • Publish articles in technical journals or the Reporter
  • Volunteer for activities at your local APWA chapter that stretch you as a leader
  • Attend training programs offered by APWA or other associations, agencies, or municipalities
  • Attend APWA national conferences: PWX (formerly known as the International Public Works Congress & Exposition-"Best Show in Public Works") or North American Snow Conference  
  • Attend public works related conferences offered by other organizations
  • Attend, Moderate, or act as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for a CLL
  • Use the Members Library to access videos of CLLs
What are the fees related to the Public Works Supervisor (PWS) program?
Earning a Donald C. Stone Center credential is making an investment in yourself – and your future. The Public Works Supervisor program can open the door to more career choices. For fees, please click here to view the PWS Pricing Page. The cost of attending institutes is included in a convenient chart on the Pricing Page, and all fees are non-refundable.
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