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Division of Human Resources

LEAD: Supervisory Essentials

Sound Check Requirements 

Effective August 1, 2021: Participants in online classes for the OPD certificate programs (LEAD, Managing High Performing Teams, and Effective Communication) MUST have a working microphone on their computers or use the dial-in feature and be able to verbally participate in the sessions.  OPD will require a sound check during introductions at the beginning of the session to verify your ability to participate.


The LEAD (Supervisory Essentials) program, is required for all supervisors of University staff hired into a supervisory position after January 1, 2010 (Policy HR 1.51 [pdf]). The program consists of seven courses with a total of 17.5 training hours. LEAD: Leading at USC/Writing Position Descriptions should be completed first and is a required prerequisite to other LEAD courses.

In addition to the coursework, participants will be required to pass a comprehensive, open-note, final exam with a score of at least 80% to achieve their LEAD certification. Participants will have two opportunities to pass the exam.

Note: LEAD is only for supervisors of staff and HR Contacts. Non-supervisors are not permitted in the program.

Review our training calendar or course list by subject to register for any of the courses.

Program Curriculum 

  • Class 1: Leading at USC and Writing Position Descriptions (2.5 hours – Prerequisite)
  • Class 2: Hiring at USC (2.5 hours)
  • Class 3: Interviewing and Selecting Employees (2.5 hours)
  • Class 4: Flexing Your Leadership Style (2 hours)
  • Class 5: Setting Expectations and Coaching (3 hours)
  • Class 6: Tackling Difficult Conversations (2 hours)
  • Class 7: Managing Expectations (3 hours)

Courses should be completed within 18 months of hire into a supervisory position. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions and answers about our LEAD, Managing High Performing Teams and Effective Communications certificate programs.

Note: Employees should always obtain supervisory approval to attend training courses offered through Organizational and Professional Development. 

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