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Performance management handbook (recognition) - chapter 14

Chapter 14. Certificates, Medals, Emblems and Forms


The Department has standardized award certificates, medals, emblems and forms for a number of award and recognition programs. With the exception of the Gold and Silver Medals and Emblems and Certificates, the servicing human resources office is responsible for ordering and distributing other recognition items. 

Honor Awards Certificates

  • Gold and Silver Medal Awards certificates are granted by the Secretary and presented at the Annual Honor Awards Ceremony. Gold and Silver Medal Awards Certificates may not be duplicated or replicated. 
  • Bronze Medal Award Certificates are presented by a Secretarial Officer or equivalent at an appropriate ceremony. Bronze Medal Certificates may not be duplicated or replicated.

Certificates of Appreciation

  • Certificates of Appreciation may be granted to both employees and non-employees in recognition of outstanding contributions or in appreciation of their services for the Department. 
  • Depending on the nature and significance of the contribution, the certificate may be signed by the Secretary, Secretarial Officer, Head of the Operating Unit, or other appropriate official. 

Certificates of Recognition

  • Certificates of Recognition are granted to employees who receive Performance Awards, Quality and Meritorious Step Increases, or Special Act Awards. 
  • They may also be granted to an employee who has received a Level 5 performance rating, if the employee did not receive a performance award. 

Length of Service Certificates

  • Length of Service Certificates are granted to employees to recognize milestones in career service. 
  • Certificates are typically presented to the employee by the supervisor or other appropriate official within the operating unit. 
  • The 50-year certificate is signed by the Secretary. 

How to Establish a New Certificate 

A new certificate may be established in conjunction with a special operating unit award program, or in rare circumstances, to recognize a unique, one-time event or accomplishment.

Content of Certificate

All certificates must include the following information:

  • U.S. Department of Commerce,
  • Name of Bureau,
  • Seal of Department or Operating Unit, and
  • Signature line and/or Name/Title of Signature Authority. 

Approval Procedures

  • All requests must be forwarded through the appropriate Secretarial Officer, or equivalent, to the Director for Human Resources Management. 
  • The request must include a graphic representation of the certificate. 
  • The Office of Human Resources Management will consult with the Visual Design Branch on appropriateness of the certificate design and format. 

Where to Order Certificates and Forms

The Office of Administrative Operations has decentralized the forms inventory and closed its storeroom. Paper only (hard copy) forms can be obtained by submitting a Standard Form 1 (SF-1) (SF-1 Instructions), Printing and Binding Requisition, to the appropriate Bureau Printing Service Office.

Certificate and Form Numbers
Certificates Form Number Package Amount
Certificate of Recognition CD-184 100
Certificate of Appreciation (8 1/2 x 11) CD-521 50
Certificate of Appreciation (11 X 14) CD-522 50
Bronze Medal Certificate (Individual) CD-523 50
Bronze Medal Certificate (Group) CD-524 50
Length of Service Certificate (10 year) CD-530 50
Length of Service Certificate (15 year) CD-530A 50
Length of Service Certificate (20 year) CD-531 50
Length of Service Certificate (25 year) CD-531A 50
Length of Service Certificate (30 year) CD-532 50
Length of Service Certificate (35 year) CD-532A 50
Length of Service Certificate (40 year) CD-533 25
Length of Service Certificate (45 year) CD-533A 20
Length of Service Certificate (50 year) CD-534 10
Form Form Number Package Amount
Recommendation for Recognition CD-326 100

NOTE: Length of Service pins may be obtained from GSA. 

Bronze Medals 

It is the responsibility of the servicing human resources office to order Bronze Medals.


Regal Emblem Company, Inc.
250 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
Contact: Mike Bottino
Telephone: (212) 925-8833