2021 Public Sector HR Essentials-Session 4 Online Available

July 12 to December 27, 2021

Are you new to public sector HR?

Advance your professional development with invaluable expertise and specific strategies for success in the public sector with this foundational course.

Members: $999.00 Non-members: $1299.00

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Program Description

Are you new to public sector HR?

Designed to meet the unique needs of the public sector HR professional, this course eases the transition of HR professionals from the private sector to the public sector, covering all major areas of the public sector human resources operation including public sector HR basics, job classification and compensation, recruitment and selection, labor and employee relations, equal employment opportunity and diversity, and organizational development.
By participating in the Public Sector HR Essentials you can advance your professional development with invaluable expertise and specific strategies for success in the public sector.
Government executives, this is a perfect program to recommend to your frontline and mid-level human resources staff. The expertise, strategies and expanded professional network they'll gain will benefit your organization for years to come.

Offered in a flexible online format to meet your demanding schedule, Public Sector HR Essentials contains eight modules, which are facilitated by one of our experienced instructors, who is also an expert in public sector HR.



Key Audience
IPMA-HR's Public Sector HR Essentials course is recommended for entry-level HR professionals and anyone new to the public sector. 

This course is designed specifically for new human resource professionals, or those seeking knowledge of other HR disciplines outside of their normal work assignments. The course is divided into eight subject areas, or modules (listed below), covering all of the major areas of a fully functioning human resources operation. The information presented is intended to provide a working understanding of each of the following disciplines:

  • Public Sector HR Basics
  • Recruitment
  • Selection
  • Job Classification and Compensation
  • Employee Benefits
  • Labor and Employee Relations
  • EEO and Diversity
  • Organizational Development

Each module is self-contained, and can be used as a stand-alone session. Where appropriate, we have included cross references to material or information contained in other modules. This reflects the inter-relatedness of each of the functional disciplines under the HR umbrella.

Required textbook:

This is the main text used for the course. At the beginning of each module is the reading assignment.

Coursework includes:

  • Required Reading
    • Reading assignments in required textbook (Human Resource Management, Fifteenth Edition), as well as the E-book provided as part of the course.
  • Course Exercises
  • Module Quizzes: At the end of each module. To complete the course, you have to attempt these quizzes.  They are there as study tools to test your knowledge.  These will in preparation for the IPMA-CP exam.

All coursework must be completed during the timeframe of the course to receive a course certificate of completion.

Required Resources

Human Resources Management, 15th Edition

Textbook 15th Edition Image


By: Robert L. Mathis, John H. Jackson, Sean R. Valentine, and Patricia Meglich

*This textbook is required and is NOT included in the registration fee for the course. Note: exams are based heavily on readings from the textbook.

Click on the image above to purchase the textbook.


Module One - Public Sector HR Basics

This module provides an overview of the HR function in public organizations and includes:

  • Understanding the differences between public and private sector HR operations.
    • History of laws that have affected the development of the public sector HR function.
  • Review of the major laws and regulations that govern HR operations.
  • Roles and responsibilities of HR professionals in organizations.
  • Discussion of typical organizational structures.
  • Use of Information Technology to enhance HR operations.
  • Strategic HR operations.
  • Professional HR organizations.
  • Importance of ethics in HR.

Module Two – Recruitment

This module covers the following:

  • Role of workforce planning.
  • Planning and utilizing recruitment strategies.
  • Executive recruitment strategies.
  • Long-term recruitment strategies.
  • Importance of background and reference checks.
  • Negotiating with selected candidates.
  • Importance of evaluating recruitment strategies.

Module Three – Selection

This module covers the following:

  • Selection in the public sector.
  • Merit system considerations.
  • Typical selection methods.
  • Test development and design.
  • Test administration considerations.
  • Scoring methodologies.
  • Use of preference points.
  • Use and management of eligible lists.
  • Other qualification considerations.

Module Four – Job Classification and Compensation

This module covers the following:

  • Applicable laws and regulations that govern job classification activities.
  • Concepts and principles of job classification.
  • Job analysis techniques.
  • Classification processes.
  • Methods for establishing classification relationships.
  • Importance of classification strategies to other HR disciplines.
  • Translating classification into compensation.
  • Pay for performance.
  • Executive compensation.
  • Importance of compensation strategies to other HR functions. 

Module Five – Employee Benefits

This module covers the following:

  • Benefits terminology.
  • Types, characteristics and funding of benefits.
  • Selection and negotiation with providers.
  • Budget and cost control.
  • Applicable laws that govern benefit plans.
  • Retirement plans.
  • Importance of benefits strategies to other HR functions.

Module Six – Labor and Employee Relations

This module covers the following:

  • Applicable laws and regulations that govern labor/employee relations activities.
  • Bargaining units.
  • Collective bargaining models.
  • Forms of collective bargaining agreements.
  • Work interruptions/stoppages.
  • Laws and regulations that affect collective bargaining processes.
  • Discipline procedures.
  • Grievance administration and arbitration.
  • Labor/management relations.

Module Seven – EEO and Diversity

This module covers the following:

  • Laws that govern EEO and diversity strategies.
  • Regulatory/oversight agencies.
  • EEO concepts and employer’s policies.
  • EEO Uniform Guidelines and selection policies.
  • Discrimination complaints, investigations and resolution.
  • Reasonable accommodations.
  • EEO reports and monitoring.
  • Importance of diversity programs to other HR functions.

Module Eight – Organizational Development

This module covers the following:

  • Organizational culture and change strategies.
  • Employee development.
  • Performance management.
  • Progressive discipline and counseling and coaching.
  • Application of organizational development strategies to succession planning.

Is the course online or in-person?

The IPMA-HR Public Sector HR Essentials course is offered entirely online, providing you with the flexibility to work around a demanding schedule.  

Is there a set time where all students and the instructor have to log in, or can the work be done at your own pace?

Each module spans 3 weeks.  During those 3 weeks, you can log in and work at your own pace. There will be Q&A sessions for every two modules.  Students will be required to participate in 2 out of the 4 sessions to complete the course.

What are the qualifications for the program?

Participants should be entry-level human resource professionals or new to the public sector. Although not required, it is helpful for participants to have at least one year of work experience in the public sector.

Who is the target audience?

This course is best suited for those who are new to HR or the public sector. It can also serve as a refresher course for those at the executive level.

How is this course different from other HR courses?

This course is different from other HR courses because of its focus on the public sector environment.

How is this course different from IPMA-HR's Developing Competencies for HR Success?  

This course is designed for entry-level HR professionals and is required prior to taking the IPMA-CP exam. The Developing Competencies course is not required to gain the IPMA-SCP certification, but it is the course recommended to pursue certification.

What does the course consist of?

The course consists of eight (8) learning modules covering the basics that every HR professional in the public sector needs to know.

Module 1Public Sector HR BasicsThis module describes the practice of human resources management in the public sector environment. The private and public sector can differ in important ways from the laws that govern employees to the roles that are required of a public sector practitioner. This is an important course for anyone interested in working for or with a government employer.

Module 2 - RecruitmentThis module provides a comprehensive overview of the recruitment function from developing a strategy to conducing background investigations and negotiating with prospective employees. It also includes a section on evaluating recruiting strategies.

Module 3 - SelectionSelection in the public sector differs greatly from the private sector. Merit system principles often apply, requiring a high level of transparency.   The course covers selection from beginning to end including how to administer a test, creating and maintaining eligible lists, and how to handle the appeals process in the event of a challenge.

Module 4 Classification and CompensationThis module provides a comprehensive look at classification and compensation in the public sector setting. Students learn the basics of classification from concept to application, how to translate classification into compensation and different strategies.

Module 5 - Benefits: Students learn about all types of benefits typically offered by employers including retirement, health, work/life programs, wellness programs and more. This course covers the laws governing benefits, trends and strategies in providing benefits and how to negotiate in a unionized environment.

Module 6 - Labor and Employee Relations: This module provides an overview of collective bargaining laws, models and agreements. Students learn about the collective bargaining process and outcomes as well as discipline, grievances and enforcement of agreements.

Module 7 - Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Diversity: Students learn about EEO and diversity from recruitment and selection to managing the employee relationship. An overview of relevant laws is provided, along with practical information on their application. Students also learn about diversity programs and strategies. 

Module 8 - Organizational Development: This course provides a comprehensive look at organizational development including employee development, performance management, progressive discipline, succession planning and how to use information technology to enhance service delivery.

How long are the modules?

Each module lasts approximately 3 weeks and contains roughly 7-12 parts.

What is the time commitment for the program?

The course materials can be read at your own pace within each module time frame ( 3 weeks). It is expected that the coursework be completed within the scheduled dates as laid out. The amount of time required for each module is dependent on the amount of content. You can expect to spend anywhere from 5-6 hours on the shorter modules (5 and 7) and 8-12 hours on the other modules as there is more content to cover.

What materials are needed for the course and can they be purchased through IPMA-HR?

The required text for the course is "Human Resource Management, 15th Edition" by Robert L. Mathis and John H. Jackson. The exams are based heavily on readings from the textbook. IPMA-HR does not provide the textbook, but it can be purchased through Amazon.

After registering for the course, how do I gain access?

After you register for an IPMA-HR course, you will be sent a confirmation email that contains information about the course including the site URL, your login credentials, and your initial password.  The course will be open to view the Monday prior to the start date of the course.

What do I need to do to receive a certificate of completion?

In order to earn the certificate of completion for the course, an individual must complete all eight modules, including the written assignments (posts), and attempt all practice exams.

How involved is the instructor with the students?

The instructor is readily available to answer questions and will review the written posts and provide feedback. Facilitators are experienced professionals from the public sector who are able to address issues unique to that environment. 

How many exams are there?

There is a practice exam at the conclusion of each module, which serve to test your knowledge of the content covered. These practice exams are also excellent study tools for the final IPMA-CP exam.

What does the course fee include?

The fee for the course includes all eight modules of online learning, one attempt at the IPMA-CP exam, the support of your expert instructor, and the certificate of completion.

What if I need to cancel my registration?

Please review our cancellation policies for specifics on Professional Development courses.

If you didn't find the answer to your question, please send an email to: meetings@ipma-hr.org.

Trainer Highlights

Richard Heil is the founder of The Curtis Group.

Heil served the state of Pennsylvania as the first director of personnel for the Department of Aging, director of employee relations and development, and director of personnel for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

He has conducted the Developing Competencies for HR Success course on behalf of IPMA-HR for a number of international entities, including the Asian Development Bank and Iraqi Ministries of Interior and Defense, as well as the Peoples’ Republic of China and the government of Thailand.

He is also the co-writer and developer of IPMA-HR's Public Sector HR Essentials course.