Certificate: USAID Assistance Management

InsideNGO Certificate in USAID Assistance Management Program

Overview

Whether you are just starting your career in assistance management and compliance, work on a USAID-funded program, or have many years of experience, the InsideNGO Certificate in USAID Assistance Management demonstrates your commitment to continued learning and professional excellence in your field.

Professional Development

Gain skills and confidence while learning from compliance experts and fellow practitioners. Build your expertise in navigating, interpreting, and applying USAID regulations to solve the most common and complex challenges. Obtain formal, independent recognition by the leader in compliance training. Let your certificate speak to your level of expertise.

Organizational Excellence

Senior leaders and hiring managers can feel confident that certificate holders are well-positioned to lead important initiatives, build effective teams, and develop strong internal practices based on the expert-validated body of knowledge and rigorous curriculum anchoring the certificate learning and assessment process.

Recruiting for grants managers is always a challenge because it is difficult to truly assess the candidates’ depth of technical knowledge around a wide array of complex issues. The InsideNGO Certificate in Assistance Management allows organizations to more easily identify and select candidates who will provide the expertise they need.

Shawn Mood, Chief Human Resources Officer

Save the Children

How to Earn Your Certificate

There are three steps to earning the InsideNGO Certificate in USAID Assistance Management:

  • Enroll in the program
  • Complete a Learning Pathway (see below)
  • Demonstrate knowledge and expertise by passing an integrated Certificate Assessment

Candidates have three years from enrollment date to complete all course work and pass the exam to earn the certificate. Enroll online to become a certificate candidate, pay the program fee, and get exclusive access to candidate-only resources and expert perspectives.

You can enroll at any time and there are no prerequisites. The sooner you enroll, the sooner you become a candidate with access to exclusive candidate-only resources.

Candidate Handbook

Fee for US based staff: $550

Fee for non-US based staff: $250

(Staff must be permanently located outside of the US to be eligible for the non-US rate.)

Learning Pathways

Standard Pathway

Most practitioners will choose the standard pathway, which is using InsideNGO's world-class training courses to build knowledge in USAID assistance management. The standard pathway consists of workshops in three core areas:

  • USAID Rules and Regulations: Grants and Cooperative Agreements
  • Procurement Planning and Execution for USAID Grants and Cooperative Agreements
  • Financial Management for US Government Funding

I will certainly encourage colleagues to take this course. It is a great opportunity for one to demonstrate they have the knowledge, skills, and judgment to effectively manage USAID grants and cooperative agreements.  

Certificate Holder Apollo Ekelot

Director for Administration & Finance

UNHCR, Kenya

After completing these three workshops, candidates are eligible to take the certificate assessment.

Experience-Based Pathway

Practitioners with at least eight years of experience managing USAID assistance awards may pursue an alternative pathway to the InsideNGO Certificate. Through the application for experience-based qualification, candidates provide documentation of significant experience and responsibility in USAID assistance management, and earn accelerated eligibility to take the certificate assessment.

Having been in the industry and knowing most of the rules and regulations, being given the opportunity to take this course through the experienced-based pathway was really effective, as I did not have to relearn the basics, but was given the opportunity to refresh my knowledge and get the most up-to-date information.

Certificate Holder Margaret Mensah 

Director for Administration & Finance

URC-CHS, Bethesda, MD

Participants accepted into the experience-based pathway are still required to complete InsideNGO's USAID Rules and Regulations course in order to reinforce and refresh compliance-related knowledge and skills.

Exclusive Resources and Support for Certificate Candidates

Use the online Candidate Portal with additional resources to deepen knowledge within the program content areas and help candidates prepare for the Certificate Assessment. These resources include:

  • Practice test questions
  • Online discussion group for questions and peer-to-peer support
  • Lifetime access to resources and updates after successful completion of the certificate requirements

Candidate Portal

Learn more from Certificate program candidate profiles on our blog here and here!

Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any requirements for enrolling in the Certificate program?

No. There is no minimum requirement or qualification to enroll in the Certificate program. You do not need to have a finance-related background or even work for an NGO.

How long does it take to earn a Certificate?

Candidates are allowed up to three years from the time of their enrollment to complete the entire Certificate process. There is no minimum time requirement. Candidates enrolled in the Experience-Based Pathway may be able to complete the Certificate requirements sooner than those enrolled in the Standard Pathway because they have less coursework to complete. And Candidates who have taken required workshops recently may also be able to complete Certificate requirements more quickly—see next question for more information.

I already took one of the required workshops. Does it count toward the Certificate?

If you've completed any of the required courses in the past two years, that workshop counts towards completion of your Learning Pathway. However, because regulations frequently change and because everyone benefits from regular opportunities to refresh knowledge and skills, workshops taken more than two years prior to enrollment do not count toward completion of the Learning Pathway. InsideNGO maintains records of workshop participation, so please contact us for information if you're unsure of when you participated in workshops.

Do I have to take the required courses in any particular order?

You need to take the USAID Rules & Regulations course first, but the other two courses can be taken in any order after that.

Do I have to attend the courses in-person?

Two of the required courses are only offered in-person, but InsideNGO’s Procurement Planning and Execution workshop is offered online (in eWorkshop format) and in-person.  A list of InsideNGO's upcoming workshops can be found here. To ensure that program participants have ample opportunity to complete the required workshops, candidates have up to three years to complete all coursework and pass the Certificate Assessment.

Does the enrollment fee cover the cost of attending the three required workshops?

No. The enrollment fee covers costs associated with the Certificate program. Workshop fees apply separately.

Is there a discount for the Certificate program if I am a member of InsideNGO?

No. Both members and non-members pay the same enrollment fee. However, members pay a reduced rate when registering for the coursework and both members and non-members alike can save money by meeting the early registration deadlines for individual courses.

Is there a discount if I am located outside the United States?

Yes. Enrollees outside the United States may use coupon code INTLCERT to receive a $300 discount on the enrollment fee. Please note that only persons with billing addresses outside the United States may use this code, and InsideNGO reserves the right to cancel any order that doesn't meet the eligibility criteria.

When is the Certificate Assessment offered?

The assessment is offered on a quarterly basis in February, May August, and November. On occasion, InsideNGO opens additional testing windows. Eligible candidates receive notification of testing opportunities several weeks in advance of testing windows.

How do I register for and take the Certificate Assessment?

After completing all of the required coursework, you will be notified of an upcoming assessment window. You will then be able to create an account with InsideNGO’s remote proctoring partner, ProctorU, and register for a time to take the online assessment that fits your schedule and time zone. You must register at least 72 hours before you plan to start the assessment.

On the day of your assessment, you will log in to your ProctorU account and be matched with a live test proctor to ensure test security and integrity. The proctor will help you log in to the assessment and will monitor that you are not using any restricted items during the test. You will be provided a resource packet to use during the assessment, which includes pdf versions of the current government regulations. You will have 4 hours to complete the exam, including one 15 minute break after the first 2 hours of the exam. Immediately after completing the assessment, you will be notified whether or not you received a passing score.

Do I qualify for the Experience-based Pathway?

Experienced professionals with more than eight years of direct responsibility supporting or managing USAID Assistance awards may qualify for the accelerated Experience-Based Pathway. Successful Experience-Based candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Minimum of 8 years of experience managing USAID Assistance awards
  • Strong understanding of the role of regulatory compliance for effective program administration, implementation, and management
  • Familiarity with rules and regulations pertaining to USAID assistance awards (including ability to reference regulatory documents appropriately)
  • Substantial experience with USAID rules and regulations related to financial management and procurement
  • Significant budget development and management experience
  • Demonstrated experience developing and/or managing effective financial management systems that comply with USAID standards
  • Demonstrated experience developing and/or managing effective procurement planning and execution processes
Who is behind the Certificate Program development?

We've assembled an advisory panel of NGO and assistance leaders to ensure that the Certificate will represent a rigorous standard of excellence and an important distinction within the NGO community.

InsideNGO Certificate Program Advisory Panel

  • Carol Smith, COO, Winrock International (Chair)
  • Rachel Conway, Director-Contracts & Procurement, Winrock International
  • Rajshree Haria, Director, Finance and Administration, Jhpiego
  • Jim Larson, Partner, Gelman Rosenberg and Freedman
  • Shawn Mood, Chief Human Resources Officer, Save the Children
  • Ken Repp, Director of OSP International, EDC

The Certificate Program also benefits from input by more than a dozen expert practitioners from InsideNGO member organizations such as: FHI 360, Abt Associates, Lutheran World Relief, Pact, Population Council, and PSI.

What makes this a trusted Certificate program?

InsideNGO stands behind this Certificate as the Standard of Excellence for USAID Assistance Management. It was built on the body of knowledge that supports our core workshops, and it has been thoroughly validated by more than a dozen leaders in the international development field. The program will continue to be thoughtfully managed and updated to meet the needs of development professionals who are dedicated to the excellence that the Certificate represents.

Other questions? Contact us at certificate@InsideNGO.org.