CGDSP – Certified Government Digital Services Professional

Whether you are a web manager, communications specialist, citizen engagement officer, or digital services director, your position and responsibilities have transformed from serving as a technical resource to becoming a professional digital communications leader. Managing a government’s web service delivery has become more complex as expectations increase and many new—and more sophisticated— users, whether residents or other departments, are utilizing your organization’s web services.

Certified Government Digital Services Professional Badge

Benefits of Certification

  • Being certified by well-regarded institutions demonstrates a commitment on your part to implement the latest leadership skills and practices
  • Being certified helps you justify travel to conferences, meetings, and other training opportunities
  • Being certified demonstrates that you are current and “in-the-know” when it comes to digital service delivery
  • Students graduating from the program are encouraged to display the Certified Government Digital Services Professional— CGDSP—designation after your work title.

Become a PTI Member receive a discount on all Training & Professional Development courses.

Growing as a Digital Services Leader

Digital service delivery has grown both in importance and significance. It is now rated among the top 5 areas of importance and focus for public sector organizations, according to recent surveys from national organizations.

Managing a government’s digital service delivery has become more complex as expectations increase and more sophisticated users, whether residents or other departments, are utilizing your organization’s digital services.

Add to these complexities the increase in the variety of today’s digital platforms, the competition for internal resources and for many in public sector organizations, the challenge to position digital services as a strategic and vital resource that serves the public proves that the need for a leadership program for digital services professionals has never been greater, or more timely.

The CGDSP™ Certification Program is designed to fit in with the busy schedules.

As a digital services professional, you face many challenges:

  • Keeping abreast of compliance rules & regulations
  • Staying on top of the latest technology platforms
  • Meeting the needs of internal customers
  • Responding to the public’s demand for more services
  • Cybersecurity
  • Leadership, Managership, and Followership

Program Overview

Recognizing how busy you are and the time constraints you face, this program is designed to be completely virtual and self-paced. The course is divided into 7 major subject areas that are delivered through a series of short videos and reading materials along with suggested reading materials. Each of the modules will be followed with a short test/quiz. At the conclusion of the program each student will submit a Capstone paper – 10 to 15 pages in length – describing a program or practice that you have implemented, or an organization or web/digital services issue that you have resolved. Finally, each student is required to sign and acknowledge our CGDSP Code of Ethics.


All professional certifications require recertification, and the CGDSP program adheres to this professional practice by requiring recertification every three years in order to maintain your certification. No further coursework is required and instead offers numerous ways you can earn contact hours over the three-year period. 

Course Content

Module 1: Course Intro
• Defining digital government and services
• Course requirements and expectations
• Syllabus Review

Module 2: Digital Government and Service Delivery:
• Understanding Digital Government
• Digital Service Delivery
• User Experience (UX) Design
• Citizen Participation

Module 3: Technology and Data Management:
Artificial Intelligence
• Web & App Management
• Data Governance
• Metrics and Big Data

Module 4: Governance and Compliance:
Management and Governance
• Compliance and Contract Management
• Crisis Management

Module 5: Security and Cloud Computing:
Cybersecurity Basics
• Privacy
• Cloud Computing

Module 6: Digital Marketing and E-commerce:
Digital Marketing
• E-commerce and Payment Systems

Module 7: Professional Development:
• Leadership
• Soft Skills (Problem-solving, Critical Thinking, Adaptability, Customer-focus Mindset)
• Ethics

Program Faculty reserve the right to modify the program to adapt to a changing environment.

Lead Faculty

Program Leader

Program Leader

Dr. Alan Shark, DPA

Dr. Alan R. Shark focus has been technology leadership, governance, civic engagement, and emerging technologies in the public sector with an emphasis on artificial intelligence and the public sector. He has taught Technology & Public Administration for over 15 years starting at Rutgers SPAA and currently is associate professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University. He serves as an affiliate faculty member for GMU’s Center for the Advancement of Human Machine Partnership.

In addition to his teaching and research responsibilities, he has served as executive director of the Public Technology Institute (PTI) since 2004. He is co-chair of the Standing Panel on Technology Leadership for NAPA and serves on the executive committee for ASPA’s Science & Technology Interest Group.

He frequently writes about technology and government and has over 10 books that he has either written or edited including the textbook, second edition Technology & Public Management and is the host of the bi-monthly podcast, Sharkbytes.Net.

Among his more recent work, he is the author of the textbook Technology & Public Management, Second edition, 7 Trends That Will Transform Local Governments through Technology, Smarter Cities for a Bright and Sustainable Future, and CIO Leadership for CIO Leadership for Cities and Counties: Emerging Trends and Practices.

His most recent focus has been on technology leadership in the public sector and in particular, artificial intelligence. His interests focus on:

  • Systems for Human AI Collaboration
  • Smart Cities and Data Governance
  • Future of Artificial Intelligence and Public Service
  • Human Centered Design
  • Robotic Process Automation for the Public Sector

Course Delivery

This course will utilize Moodle as its Learning Management System. All course information, policies, syllabus, suggested reading materials, test/quizzes, course instructional videos, etc.

Additional Requirements

Separate and apart from the 7 general areas offered within 7 modules, the program requires each student take 2 additional self-paced online courses that are offered through Percipio (formerly Skillport).

Applicant Prerequisites

An applicant applying to the CGDSP Program should possess the following:

      • Be employed in the public sector for at least three years.
      • Have a track record of administrative or managerial experience in basic web design and communications management.
      • Have exposure to social media and app applications.
      • Have at least a 2-year college degree or equivalent.

The above requirements are necessary to help ensure a robust and meaningful class.

Applicants can still apply if they do not meet or exceed the above requirements by requesting a waiver. (With regard to a college degree: PTI’s experience has been that a student’s overall experience surpasses formal learning.)

A minimum of 6 students are required in order for the program to proceed.


NAGW and PTI Member Officials: $2,900
Non-members: $3,400

Tuition is to be paid in full prior to the start of the program.


Certification is granted for a period of three years from the date of graduation. Graduates are expected to be recertified every three years by participating in a variety of activities, including, but not limited to, participating in education events – such as attending webinars, national and state professional conferences – writing articles, mentoring staff, etc.

Ethics Policy

Upon graduation, all students will be required to sign a non-binding Digital Ethics Policy.

Enrollment open now.
Interested in taking the next step?

As a digital and web professional, you face many challenges:

  • Keeping abreast of compliance rules
  • Staying on top of the latest technology platforms
  • Meeting the needs of internal customers
  • Learning the latest on citizen-facing technologies
  • Responding to the public’s demand for more services
  • Learning the latest in Social Media developments

In light of all of these challenges, there is a growing demand for practical and leadership-oriented professional development certification aimed at recognizing the digital professional in this fast-evolving field who is delivering digital services through traditional and new methods and platforms.

Having a certification program designed specifically to fit the needs of today’s busy digital services professional is highly desirable to demonstrate your competencies and skills required in today’s competitive environment.

Recognizing this need, the National Association of Government Web Professionals (NAGW) has partnered with the Public Technology Institute (PTI) now a division of Fusion Learning partners and the Rutgers University Center for Government Services to offer a sevenmonth certificate program: the Certified Government Digital Services Professional (CGDSP).

This program is about leadership in the field of digital services delivery. It is not designed to be a technical solution-based program.

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