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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Right-of-Way Training

Professional Development, and Public Sector Right-Of-Way Professional Certification

Note: This program has been discontinued. Refer to the Right-of-Way Trianing page for current information.


FHWA requires that its employees in the Right-of-Way program have technical competency and expertise in a number of related subject areas. In order to assure that employees possess the required knowledge, several training and professional development programs are offered. The agency in partnership with IRWA is also developing a public sector professional certification program which will recognize public sector employee skills and professional knowledge required by the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (Uniform Act). The training, developmental, and professional certification programs are discussed below. For additional information for each of the programs listed below, contact the FHWA Division Realty Officer in your state.

Right-of-Way Professional Development Goals

To develop the staff members at both Division and Headquarters levels to a competency level to enable them to accomplish FHWA missions in an efficient and timely manner in accordance with the Uniform Act and other laws.

Training Objectives

FHWA's training and development programs are structured so that the agency offers the opportunity for each employee to acquire the knowledge to enable them to advance in their chosen fields of technical expertise. They also enable managers to identify the competency framework needed to accomplish their mission. Managers and employees can either take advantage of an existing training program or develop a personal one for the individual which will enable that individual to reach short and long-term professional goals.

Professional Development Core Elements

The Right-of-Way core professional developmental elements consist of the following:

National Highway Institute (NHI)

The National Highway Institute is a part of the Office of Professional and Corporate Development within the Federal Highway Administration. It is the training and education arm of FHWA. Its goals are as follows:

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NHI Training Courses

The Appraisal and Relocation courses listed below are traditional, instructor-led courses. The Web-Based Real Estate Acquisition course is for individual, distance learning. Materials and instructor notes for that course can be obtained by contacting the FHWA Division Realty Officer in your state.

The link to NHI training course descriptions and current course locations is as follows:

  2. Click on "Real Estate" for current course schedules.
  3. Click on each course number for detailed course descriptions.
  4. For information on hosting a course in your state, click on "Home" for access to NHI's home page from the link above.
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FHWA Professional Development Program (PDP)

The PDP employment program is directed toward recent college graduates with a bachelor or master's degree to serve in a variety of disciplines. It provides career development of the highest professional caliber. There are 12 discipline options within the program. Real Estate Services in one of those options. The program provides opportunities for training and on-the-job experience, planned career development, attendance at a Professional Development Academy, geographic and occupational mobility and diversified experience. It is designed to introduce individuals to the technical, administrative, and program management aspects of FHWA's right-of-way and highway beautification responsibilities. The program is two years in length. Those who complete the PDP program may be placed in any one of FHWA's offices nationwide based upon agency staffing needs. Mobility during the program is a requirement. We are seeking individuals who hold a bachelor's or master's degree in real estate, business, public administration, political science, law, finance or related fields. Persons with real estate training and experience related to Federally funded projects are also encouraged to respond. We anticipate advertising for several PDP positions in 2007. PDP positions will be filled at a GS-1170-9 with career ladder advancement potential to a GS-1170 –12. There are career opportunities for advancement to higher grades in FHWA after graduation from the program. For additional program information and instructions on how to apply, refer to the Professional Development Program web page.

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Real Estate Learning and Development Requirements

This development program is designed for FHWA staff new to the Right-of-Way and Outdoor Advertising Control program roles in FHWA Division Offices. The core training consists of specific training courses categorized into two priority sections, (1) immediate training to be obtained within 3 months, and (2) training to be completed within the first year. After completion of this training, persons are to be guided by FHWA's Right-of-Way Competency Framework.

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Public Sector Right-of-Way Professional Certification Framework

A multi-year research study conducted by FHWA's Office of Real Estate Services has determined there is a need for professional certification for employees in the public sector working under the Uniform Act. The research surveyed employees of state transportation agencies, large local public agencies, private sector firms performing work for public agencies, and federal agencies. On the basis of its research findings FHWA is preparing a framework for right-of-way professional certification with its partner IRWA. It will include a listing of specific training courses which should be taken by public sector right-of-way professionals. The framework will also include a group of capstone examinations. Each candidate for certification will be required to successfully complete a capstone examination. This certification framework is under development and will be completed in 2007. Upon completion it will be made available to State Departments of Transportation and others for implementation.

For further details on each of the Right-of-Way core professional developmental elements, contact the FHWA Division Realty Officer in your state.

Updated: 9/5/2014
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