The Public Works Institute template was designed to address the supervisory and management needs of current first-line supervisors and up, and those individuals aspiring to be better leaders and supervisors.
National approval is based on participants receiving instruction in the 11 core units shown above. Institutes have the discretion to decide what content to deliver from a range of topics listed under each core unit. It is not required that Institutes cover all topics under each core unit, but consider the topics as a guidance tool. Local, regional and state responsibilities may warrant additional sub-units be included by the Chapter. The PW Institute Template will continue to meet the Donald C. Stone (DCS) Level 1 Public Works Supervisor (PWS) and Level 2 Public Works Manager (PWM) authorized institute completion requirement.
Public Works Institute (PWI) Template – Effective January 2014
Unit 1: Supervisory Techniques and Skills
  • Role of the supervisor
  • Selecting new employees
  • Training new employees
  • Motivating employees
  • Problem employees
  • Performance feedback
  • Managing Workplace Stress
  • Time management
  • Conflict management
  • Organizational culture
  • Workplace safety
  • Effective crew scheduling
  • Labor management relations (non-union)
Unit 2: Basic Management Skills
  • Basic management skills
  • Delegation and empowerment of employees
  • Understanding of line-staff roles and relationships
  • Basic organizational design
  • Introduction to public works process
  • Information and records management
  • Creating action plans
  • Maintenance management systems
  • Negotiation skills
Unit 3: Communications Skills
  • Conducting effective meetings
  • Formal and informal business communication (including listening skills)
  • Business letters
  • Report writing
  • Presentation skills
  • Understanding generational differences
Unit 4: Leadership Skills
  • Leadership core competencies
  • Leadership styles
  • Team development
  • Ethics
  • Defining excellence
  • Developing a Personal Leadership Strategy
  • Embracing and Executing Change
  • Creating a Learning Organization
Unit 5: Community Service/Customer Orientation Skills
  • Customer service
  • Dealing with internal and external customers
  • Community diversity and service
  • Public relations
  • Media relations
  • Social media
Unit 6: Impact of Law on Public Works
  • General legal issues
  • Employment law
  • Liability and Public Works
Unit 7: Fundamentals of Government
  • Historical foundation/value of Public Works
  • Forms and functions of local governments
  • The regulatory process
  • Roles of local, state, provincial, and federal legislative – executive bodies
  • How Public Works fits into local government
Unit 8: Finance
  • Finance and budgeting
  • Alternative funding strategies
  • Asset management
  • Purchasing/inventory management
Unit 9: Resource Management Skills
  • Creative decision making
  • Basic project management
  • Contracting/bidding
  • Consultant management
  • Organizational self-assessment
  • APWA Accreditation
Unit 10: Overview of Public Works Operations 
Provide broad understanding of public works operations and how they are integrated. Recommended reference: APWA’s Public Works Management Practices Manual
  • Transportation
  • Right-of-way/utility/one call
  • Solid waste management
  • Emergency management
  • Facilities and grounds
  • Potable water
  • Wastewater
  • Stormwater/flood management master plan
  • Engineering and technology
  • Equipment and fleet management
Unit11: Creating the Future
  • Strategic planning
  • Policy development and implementation
  • Creating and growing sustainable communities
  • Leveraging resources with other entities
  • Systems thinking within Public Works
  • Data based decision making in Public Works
  • Succession planning
Delivery Method
The Chapter has the flexibility to determine the delivery format for their Institute.
Hours of Classroom Instruction
Institutes must contain a minimum of 90 hours of instruction in order to meet the nationally-approved template requirement.
Instructor Standards
The Chapter has the flexibility to obtain suitable instructors for their particular audience. It is recommended that instructors have a range of experience in public works and Chapters evaluate instructors on a regular basis. Chapters are encouraged to support continued instructor development and provide feedback on evaluation results.
The Chapter has the flexibility to develop and implement an assessment tool at the completion of their course.
Ongoing Program Evaluation
Each Institute will provide National with a brief annual report summarizing at a minimum: number of attendees, roster of graduates and dates training took place. It is recommended that Institutes also include in the annual report: topics delivered, course rosters, list of instructors, evaluation summary (when available) and future Institute dates and schedules (when available).
Every five years, Institutes will be required to submit an application for renewal requiring: compilation of annual reports including topics delivered, course rosters, number of graduates, list of instructors and evaluation summaries; identification of areas of success; and identification of areas that need change and improvement.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
 A chapter’s education chair or institute point of contact can apply for CEUs for an approved institute if it meets the criteria required of all chapter educational events:
  • Is a chapter-sponsored event
  • Relates to public works
  • Includes all of the required application information
For more information about CEUs, go to