Decision Analysis Certification Program: Expert


Target Audience:  

Conservation professionals who want to develop expertise in structured decision-making, who have completed the Introduction to SDM course, and can commit to an accelerated learning schedule.

Summary and Course Objectives:  

A knowledgeable and skilled workforce will be our foundation for responding broadly to a goal of making better conservation decisions at all levels, while also using more specialized and technical applications where needed. This program is intended to provide opportunities for decision analysis practitioners to attain competency in the application of decision theory and associated analytical tools needed to bolster the Department of Interior’s ability to conduct robust and defensible decision-making.

The Expert Certification is the third and final in a series of three (Apprentice, Advanced, and Expert) certifications in the program that builds on the rigor of NCTC’s existing decision analysis curriculum (developed in partnerships with USGS) to include informal mentoring and experiential learning opportunities with more experienced members of the Structured Decision Making (SDM) community of practice. As an Expert participant, you will benefit from an accelerated and in-depth exposure to and practice with decision analytic methods, along with techniques for facilitation and elicitation to attain a desired level of competency using real-world decision problems. Individual learning plans will vary but will include core decision courses along with developmental assignments and readings, experiential learning through coaching opportunities, teaching assignments, and tool/skill development.

Participants completing the program in its entirety by obtaining an expert certification will, at minimum, be able to:

  • Diagnose when problems are ready for objective decision analysis, and when situations would benefit from efforts in conflict resolution or joint fact finding as precursors or in combination with decision analysis.
  • Discern the scope and complexity of a decision problem, including potential relationships to other decisions.
  • Identify and apply decision analytic tools that are appropriate and effective to the problem’s scope and complexity.
  • Facilitate teams of conservation managers and stakeholders to structure structure
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    a problem in a transparent fashion, such that each decision element is clearly articulated.
  • Identify and interpret the underlying risks and uncertainties that influence a decision problem and communicate those to stakeholders and managers.
  • Lead a team in the facilitation of a process to reach a recommendation that addresses major existing regulatory frameworks.
  • Effectively teach the basics of decision analysis to conservation managers and stakeholders.

Competency Addressed:

Decision Making - Advanced, Decision Support - Advanced, Strategic Thinking - Advanced, Problem Solving - Advanced, Decisiveness - Advanced, Risk Management - Intermediate, stakeholder Management - Intermediate, Self-Management - Intermediate

Course Short Name
Course Type
Course Category
Training Tuition Cost
Maximum 560 hours
Training Credit Hours
Semester Hours

Questions and Registration


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