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Office of Special Counsel (OSC) Outreach, Training, and Certification Program Overview

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) offers training to federal agencies and non-federal organizations in each of the areas within OSC’s jurisdiction. Specifically, OSC offers training on:

OSC also provides trainers for agencies to certify under OSC's Certification Program. [NOTE: Please see the Certification Program Information page for recent statutory changes impacting the program].
Additionally, OSC publishes a variety of materials on prohibited personnel practices, whistleblower disclosures and the Hatch Act. These publications can be printed from OSC's website.

Prohibited Personnel Practices (PPPs)

Prohibited personnel practices (PPPs) are employment-related activities that are banned in the federal workforce because they violate the merit system through some form of employment discrimination, retaliation, improper hiring practices, or failure to adhere to laws, rules, or regulations that directly concern the merit system principles. OSC has the authority to investigate and prosecute violations of the 14 PPPs.

The Hatch Act

The Hatch Act, a federal law passed in 1939, limits certain political activities of federal employees, as well as some state, D.C., and local government employees who work in connection with federally funded programs. The law’s purposes are to ensure that federal programs are administered in a nonpartisan fashion, to protect federal employees from political coercion in the workplace, and to ensure that federal employees are advanced based on merit and not based on political affiliation.