AWI Institute Certificate Program Frequently Asked Questions
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What is the purpose of the AWI Institute Certificate Program?

The programs purpose is to teach the core knowledge and skills necessary to successfully perform impartial workplace investigations.

How will students demonstrate that they have learned what has been taught at the Institute?
Participants will take a series of three tests to assess their knowledge of the materials taught, interviewing skills, and analysis and report writing skills. The tests.will be given at the Institute on Friday between 7:30 am and 2:00 pm.

What will the tests consist of?
A one and three-quarter hour multiple choice knowledge test, a 20 minute oral interviewing test, and a one and one-half hour analysis and report writing test to which the student will write the answer on a computer.

What is a certificate?
Students who achieve passing scores on each assessment receive a certificate and the ability to use the certificate designation of AWI-CH, Association of Workplace Investigators Certificate Holder. Passing scores must be achieved within one year of Institute attendance.

What is the value of the certificate?
The certificate shows to the student and to the student's employer or prospective employer or clients that the student has attended the Institute and passed the tests. Obtaining a certificate means that the student has demonstrated success at achieving the stated learning outcomes of the training program. By training and evaluating workplace investigators AWI is fulfilling its mission of enhancing the quality of impartial workplace investigations. High quality impartial workplace investigations are valuable to employers, employees, and society in general.

Is this a certification program?
No. A certification program certifies to general competence in a field, based on a job analysis of the job duties in the field and an established body of knowledge.

Can an individual who has not attended the Institute take the certificate tests?
No. The certificate tests are tied to the content of the Institute so only individuals who attend the Institute are eligible to take the tests.

Are there prerequisites to attend the Institute or take the certificate tests?
There are no required prerequisites. However the Institute curriculum and tests are intensive and fast-paced. Some previous experience with such training and testing programs and/or some previous experience in the field of workplace investigations are recommended.

If a student fails a test can the student take the test again?
The student can take one or more of the tests twice. The opportunity to retake a test will depend on the availability of space at a future Institute within one year of the previous test. If space is available, the student retaking the test will need to attend the future testing session at the student's expense. There will be a fee for retaking a test without repeating the Institute. The fee will be $200 for the first test retaken, and $100 for each additional test retaken, up to a total of $400 if all three tests are retaken. If the student cannot pass the tests after two attempts the student cannot demonstrate that the student has adequately learned what was taught at the Institute, and will need to repeat the Institute prior to retaking the tests again.

How long will the certificate be valid?
For the lifetime of the certificate holder.

Will this accreditation also apply to certificates of completion issued for Institutes before 2017?
No, it will apply only to the new certificates issued after attending the Institute in 2017 and thereafter and passing the tests.

What is the difference between the certificates of completion issued for attending previous Institutes and the new certificates?
The certificate of completion issued for Institutes before 2017 documented that the student attended the Institute. The new certificate issued in 2017 and thereafter documents that the student attended the Institute and passed the tests, demonstrating that the student learned what was taught.

Will students who attend the Institute in 2017 and thereafter but do not take or do not pass the tests receive a certificate of completion?
No, the new certificate indicates that the student learned the Institute's learning outcomes and it replaces the old certificate of completion. To avoid confusion with the new assessment-based certificate, AWI will no longer issue a certificate of completion as it previously did for Institutes before 2017.

Will students who attend the Institute be required to take the tests?
No. However, the Institute and the tests are an integrated program so students who do not take the tests will not receive the full value of the Institute, and will not have the opportunity to receive a certificate or any other documentation of their attendance from AWI. Therefore AWI highly recommends that students take the tests.

Will students who attended the Institute in the past be able to take the certificate tests without attending the Institute again?
No. The tests are tied to the Institute so this will not be possible. However students who have attended a previous Institute may contact the AWI office for a 25% tuition discount code, valid for the 2018 Institutes only.

Now that tests will be part of the Institute, will the program materials be provided before the Institute so students can study ahead of time?
No. The Institute is designed to be self-contained, and the tests are designed to assess whether the student has learned what has been taught at the Institute. Institute students are busy hard-working professionals. AWI wants students to approach the Institute eagerly anticipating spending a week acquiring knowledge and skills at the core of their professional success, and building lasting relationships with their colleagues. AWI does not want students to approach the Institute as yet another obligation for which to prepare.

Are there rules governing the Certificate Program?
Yes. Students will be required to follow the rules when taking the tests and when using the certificate program designation and acronym.

Will the certificate help the student obtain a professional license to practice workplace investigations?
No. There is no relationship whatsoever between the certificate, which shows that the student attended the Institute and learned what was taught there, and any professional license.

How much does the certificate cost?
For students who take the certificate tests as part of their participation in the Institute, the cost of the certificate program is included in their Institute tuition, so there is no additional cost for the certificate program.

What time does the AWI Training Institute start and end?
The AWI Training Institute begins at 8:30 am on Monday. All testing will end on Friday by 2:00 pm. 


What if I have further questions about the Certificate Program?
Email your questions to AWI Program Manager Julia Renner at