Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) for U.S. Federal Employees

Harvard Kennedy School offers a suite of executive programs to meet the professional training needs of U.S. federal managers and their military, corporate, and international counterparts. The curricula for many of these programs incorporate the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and their associated core competencies. These five ECQs (Leading Change, Leading People, Results Driven, Business Acumen, and Building Coalitions) are the fundamental prerequisites for selection to, assessment of, and continued assignment within the Senior Executive Service.

View the ECQ Program Alignment Grid

Executive programs meeting the ECQs are ideal for:

  • U.S. federal employees participating in an SES Candidate Development Program (SES-CDP)
  • Current senior executives who desire to change jobs and need to readdress their ECQs or would like to demonstrate enhanced education in their annual performance assessment
  • Transitioning military personnel applying for federal positions
  • Corporate executives who work closely alongside and/or advise U.S. federal leaders
  • International elected or career civil service executives who want to sharpen a broad range of leadership competencies and would at the same time enjoy gaining a deeper appreciation for strategies for success in large bureaucracies with the U.S. political and civil service systems
  • Any person who, regardless of employment, will be applying for a Senior Executive Service position

While Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education identifies an alignment between our program’s curriculum and the ECQs, this does not connote a certification by OPM. Harvard Kennedy School is designated as part of the Executive Development Community on the OPM website.

To discuss which program(s) might be best for you, please contact the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education Client Service team at exed@hks.harvard.edu or call 1-617-496-9000.

(*The Department of Veterans Affairs has authorized the use of veterans benefits (e.g. Post 9/11 GI Bill) for Harvard Kennedy School executive programs. This applies to tuition only, not room and board.)


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