Welcome to the County Development Institute of Washington

Leadership. Growth. Collaboration.


The County Development Institute of Washington is a collaboration between the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) and the Washington Counties Risk Pool (WCRP). The County Development Institute provides county leaders in Washington state with in-depth training on subjects like budget & finance, effective meeting management, ethics in public service, risk management, and more. After completing ten core courses, leaders can receive their Certified Public Official (CPO) certificate.

Upon receiving their CPO certificate, leaders will need to complete ten continuing education credits every two years for their certification to remain in good standing. There is no cost to participate in this program as long as you are currently employed by a county within Washington state.

Course Listing

The following make up the ten core courses leaders must complete to receive their Certified Public Official (CPO) certificate:

  • County Government 101
  • Public Records and Open Public Meetings
  • Effective Meeting Management
  • Budgeting for Counties
  • Constituent Relations
  • Appearance of Fairness
  • Risk Management
  • Employment Law
  • Media Relations & Communications
  • Authentic Leadership

On-Demand Trainings

CDIWA is now offering on-demand trainings that are publicly available for county professionals on various topics with more to be added in the future. Available Courses:

  • Water 101, 102 and 103
  • Timber 101, 102 and 103
  • Housing Policy & Resources 101
  • Planning 101 and 102


At this time, the program is limited to only newly elected county officials that took office in January 2021 and 2023. Additional opportunities to enroll for those who are already in office will be available in 2023.

There is no cost to enroll in the Certified Public Official certificate program for those employed by a county in Washington state.

Yes, we are hard at work developing additional on-demand training and certification opportunities.

Leaders will be placed in learning cohorts of up to 30 individuals. Together you will embark on an eight-month immersive experience with online, hybrid, and in-person learning opportunities. All courses will be recorded and available on our online learning platform.

Leaders will take online assessments for each of the ten core courses. You will be required to score 80% or higher on each assessment to proceed to the next course segment.

Unfortunately, current work experience or attendance at recent trainings cannot be used to offset required learning credits for initial certification.


For additional information please contact us at info@cdiwa.org or use the form below.

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