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Role of the Special Emphasis Program Manager

A three-day training session

Background: Working with management to identify potential EEO problems and develop workable solutions is a main objective for each of the special emphasis program areas.

In order to do this effectively, the Special Emphasis Program Manager (SEPM) must have an understanding of anti-discrimination laws, possess good problem solving skills to identify if discrimination exists and be able to present alternatives to management and employees in a positive manner. This course is designed to help the SEPM develop the skills necessary to do this.

Training Special: A copy of the Special Emphasis Program Manager's Handbook, revised June 2011 which retails for $174.95 is included in the course tuition.

The Handbook is the most complete desk reference available for SEPMs. It contains information on the technical aspects of federal special emphasis programs and a wealth of information on related civil rights materials.

Training Objectives:

  • Identify individual roles as Special Emphasis Program Managers
  • Understand the overall EEO and AAP process and laws
  • Outline the roles and responsibilities of EEO officials
  • Evaluate management policies and practices for SEP ramifications
  • Work with management and employees to overcome employment barriers

Note: This is a basic course. Individuals with extensive EEO experience or background should consider attending Advanced Implementation Techniques for Special Emphasis Programs.

Course Content: Learn about your special emphasis program from square one.

The session will include the following topics:

  • Individual SEPM roles - similarities and differences
  • SEP goals and objectives
  • EEO Officials and their roles
  • Difficulties in implementing EEO programs
  • The language of civil rights
  • Differences between EEO, Affirmative Employment & Diversity
  • Disparate treatment and disparate impact
  • Systemic discrimination
  • The discrimination complaints process and the SEPM's role
  • Upward Mobility: What it is and how it works
  • Sexual harassment and the SEPM's role
  • Analyzing workforce data
  • Participation/Underrepresentation issues
  • Operating with a budget
  • Potential areas to review for EEO purposes
  • Affirmative action items, what they are, how to write them
  • Gaining the support of and working with management officials
  • Developing your individual work plans and action items

Who should attend: Individuals responsible for required and optional special emphasis programs, such as: Hispanic Employment Program, Federal Women's Program, Disability Employment Program, Black/ African American Program, Asian American/Pacific Islander Program, Native American Program, Veterans Employment Program, Older Worker Program, LGBT program, and others with equal opportunity responsibilities. This session is also recommended for new supervisors and human resource practitioners.

Participant comments

  • This is a wonderful program. Every government agency should send their representatives.
  • The entire program was excellent. I would recommend it to every Special Emphasis Program Manager.
  • I think the SEPM Handbook will be a valuable resource that I will refer to often.
  • This has been one of the best and most beneficial courses I've attended.
  • A great investment - not only money, but time!

About the instructor:

This course is taught by either Carrolle Rushford or John Jones (see calendar for your instructor)

Carrolle A. Rushford is a trainer, consultant, and author in Denver, Colorado. She has taught courses in equal employment opportunity, sexual harassment and special emphasis programs since 1975, first as a trainer for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, then as an Equal Opportunity Specialist for the Federal Highway Administration.

She is the author of the Special Emphasis Program Manager Handbook, the only manual of its kind designed to guide SEPMs through their roles and responsibilities.

Carrolle's innovative, energetic presentations and down-to-earth style have become her speaking trademarks. She is well known for her personal enthusiasm, and her skill in presenting material in an informative and interesting manner.

John Jones completed a 30 year career in Federal service, retiring as the Director of Equal Opportunity for the Bureau of Reclamation. His experience includes Regional Personnel Officer with GSA and EPA. John has a unique ability to evaluate personnel regulations in context with equal opportunity issues. John was a recipient of Interior's Meritorious Service Award for his leadership and contributions in equal employment opportunity and affirmative employment. John's experience as a senior manager in both equal opportunity and human resources provides him with a unique perspective on how these disciplines interface.

Nomination procedures: You may register for this class in one of 3 ways: 

1. Call our office at 303-989-3796 and provide credit card information - no forms necessary. 

2. Complete the registration form available on our website at and email to or fax to 303-985-4996

3. Complete an agency SF-182, DD-1556 or other ageny training form and email to or fax to 303-985-4996

NOTE: If emailing, do not include credit card info - please call the office to provide the number

Confirmation emails will be sent to the participant. Credit cards are usually charged following the class unless requested to be charged earlier. Invoicing will be done in accordance to payment type indicated on the form below or the agency training form.

Tuition: $945 per person (Includes SEPM Handbook)

Call for list of hotels close to training site

Cancellation policy:
Nominations cancelled 30 days prior to class date, no charge.
Cancellations from 30 to 15 days prior to class, 50% fee charged.
Cancellations 14 days or less, full fee charged.
Registration deadline: Two weeks prior to the start of class
Substitutions accepted until the first day of class

Space is limited; Please register early Your training expensesincluding tuition, traavel, meals and lodging are tax deductible according to Treasury Reg. 1.162-5 CCoughlin vs. Commissioner, 203F 2d307.

For more information contact Rushford & Associates on 303-989-3796 or fax 303-985-4996 or email us at

Rushford & Associates
303-989-3796 (voice) ~ 303-985-4996 (fax)
Email Us
615 South Xenon Court ~ Lakewood, CO 80228

Copyright 1999 - 2019 Rushford & Associates