The primary purpose of the Security Cooperation Workforce (SCW) Certification 2.0 Program, which will be implemented in phases during fiscal year ’24, is to establish a framework to guide Department of Defense (DOD) security cooperation professional development. A second purpose is to provide a consistent, disciplined mechanism to ensure National Defense Strategy (NDS) objectives are achieved through appropriate education, training, and development in nine functional areas.

The most significant changes embodied in Certification 2.0 include completely new, enhanced curriculum and a requirement to properly code SCW positions in manpower systems of record to reflect these enhancements. The following changes were also made:

  • Adding Capability Development as a core competency
  • Replacing 5 Areas of Concentration (AOCs) with 9 Functional Areas
  • Redefining the certification proficiency levels (Foundational, Practitioner, Expert, and Executive)
  • Prescribing proficiency levels largely by military rank and civilian grade

"Implementation of the NDS, especially integrated deterrence with allies and partners, will not be possible without a fully professionalized workforce."
– NDS Implementation Report

The Certification 2.0 Program, an element of the DOD Security Cooperation Workforce Development Program (SCWDP) prescribed by 10 U.S.C. § 384, is required to ensure DOD personnel assigned to statutorily defined Security Cooperation Workforce (SCW) positions have the SCW competency-based training and experience necessary to carry out assigned Security Cooperation responsibilities.

The authoritative document defining Certification 2.0 requirements is the Interim Implementation Guidelines for the DOD Security Cooperation Workforce Program 2.0. There will be a forthcoming update to DoD Instruction (DoDI) 5132.15, "Implementation of the Security Cooperation Workforce Certification Program," dated May 7, 2021.

Four Elements of Certification 2.0

“Now is the appropriate time to build on the foundation of the past to continue the professionalization of the security cooperation workforce...Certification 2.0 is more academically robust, more effectively aligns security cooperation competencies to functional areas, and fulfills the intent of NDAA 2017 and 10 U.S.C. 384.”
- James A. Hursch, DSCA Director

Learn the Process

As directed in the NDS and by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Director, the Defense Security Cooperation University (DSCU) initiated a rolling start of Certification 2.0 on September 30, 2023. The first year of implementation (September 30, 2023 – September 30, 2024) is a transition period in which completion deadlines will not apply.

Now is the time for SCW members to begin familiarizing themselves with Certification 2.0, ensuring their positions are coded in manpower systems of record referencing the Security Cooperation Position Coding Guide, and identifying their assigned functional areas and certification proficiency levels.

The Certification 2.0 Proficiency-Level Waiver Request process allows position owners to propose upgrades and downgrades to prescribed proficiency-levels of positions within the SCW. Additionally, Certification 2.0 Waiver Process Map illustrates the waiver process, and the Action Memo must be completed by the position owners to recommend and route a proficiency-level waiver.

Understand the Certification 2.0 Programs's background, why it is important and requirements, Certification 2.0 FAQ
Talk to your supervisor about your position coding in your manpower system of record.
Coming soon: View your certification proficiency level's requirements.
Check back in quarter three of FY24 for new DSCU courses and to launch your certification!

Ask Questions

Many questions and additional details about Certification requirements and answers to common questions in the Certification 2.0 FAQs document. This FAQ also includes definitions of key terms, describes the SCW competencies, outlines the nine new functional areas, explains what courses count towards certification and much more.

A few key questions answered in the FAQ document can also be found below:

Why is Certification 2.0 being implemented?
Security cooperation education, training and certification underwent a year-long reevaluation, which allowed for refinement of the DSCU curriculum and DOD certification requirements. This assessment resulted in a completely revamped program, Certification 2.0. The new certification requirements are tailored to the SCW’s competency needs, the current strategic reality, and answer tasks set forth by Congress and the NDS.
Who is a member of the SCW?
All members of the SCW—which includes members of the armed forces and civilian employees of the DOD who perform Security Cooperation functions—are required to be identified in the manpower systems of record and fully participate in the Certification Program. Security cooperation certification is a condition of employment for civilians and an order for service members. 10 U.S.C Section 384(h) (1)-(6) defines the DOD SCW.
How will SCW members be identified/coded?
All security cooperation positions must be coded in their manpower systems of record. Proper coding will ensure that SCW members take the competency-based courses that best meet the requirements of their assigned positions. DSCU has provided an updated Security Cooperation Position Coding Guide to assist the Military Departments, Fourth Estate, and other organizations with coding the SCW correctly. DOD Components should conduct an initial review of certification levels and ensure positions are coded in the appropriate Military Department or Fourth Estate manpower system of record by March 31, 2024.
When will DSCU Certification 2.0 courses be available?
SCW members are encouraged to begin their required courses—at the appropriate level—as they are made available by DSCU. DSCU will announce available courses on this website.
  • Foundational-level courses will be offered starting Q2 FY24
  • Practitioner-level courses will be offered starting Q3 FY24
  • Expert-level courses will be offered by October 1, 2024
Beginning October 1, 2024, SCW members will be required to complete required certification courses.
What are the new proficiency levels within Certification 2.0?
The new proficiency levels within Certification 2.0 are Level 1 Foundational, Level 2 Practitioner, Level 3 Expert, and Level 4 Executive. Certification 2.0 requires all members of the workforce, including new and long-standing members, to obtain appropriate professional, proficiency-based certification primarily determined by rank/grade.
What are the nine new Functional Areas?

Complete definitions for the Functional Areas are in the Interim Implementation Guidelines for the DOD Security Cooperation Workforce Program 2.0, pages 5-6.

Functional Areas
(A) Policy and Resourcing (Aligns with previous AoC 1)
(B) Foreign Military Sales and Financing (Aligns with previous AoC 2)
(C) Security Cooperation Organization (Aligns with previous AoC 3)
(D) Support Enablers *FM, HR, Legal, IT (Aligns with previous AoC 4)
(E) Acquisition (Aligns with previous AoC 5)
(F) Building Partner Capacity/DoD Train and Equip (New)
(G) Advise, Train, and Education (New)
(H) State Partnership Program (New)
(I) Assessment, Monitoring, and Evaluation (New)