Education - Frequently Asked Questions
- Who must attend an ethics and lobbying education training?
- Public servants, legislators, legislative employees, and ethics liaisons.
- Is there a deadline for completing?
- Yes. Public servants and ethics liaisons must attend a basic ethics and lobbying education training within six (6) months of election, appointment, or employment to/in their position, and must complete refresher ethics education training at least every two (2) years thereafter.
- Is completing an ethics and lobbying education training mandatory?
- Yes. The State Government Ethics Act requires public servants, legislators, legislative employees, and ethics liaisons to complete ethics education. (See question 2 for deadlines.) Failure to attend complete training is a violation of the Ethics Act and may be cause for removal from your public position or disciplinary action in your job, up to and including dismissal.
- Do “direct reports” have to complete ethics and lobbying education training?
- No. “Direct reports” – those individuals who report directly to a public servant – are not required to complete ethics and lobbying training. However, the State Ethics Commission strongly encourages anyone who reports directly to a public servant or a covered board to complete the ethics education training. These individuals include legal counsel, executive directors to covered boards and commissions, and assistants to public servants.
- Do “judicial officers”(justices, judges, district attorneys, and clerks of court) have to complete ethics and lobbying education training?
- Generally, no. Judicial officers are not required to complete ethics education training. However, if the judicial officer also serves in another position covered by the State Government Ethics Act, he or she must complete the training. For example, if a judge is a member of the Governor´s Crime Commission, the judge is also a public servant and must complete the ethics education training.
- Can anyone complete the ethics and lobbying education training?
- Yes. Anyone may attend a live presentation or view the online presentation.
- How often do I have to complete “refresher” training?
- Public servants and ethics liaisons must complete ethics education “refresher” training at least every two (2) years. The two-year time period commences from the date the individual last completed the training.
- Do I have to attend a live education presentation and complete an online course?
- No. Either attendance at a live presentation or completion of the online presentation satisfies the mandatory education requirements.
- Are there consequences for not completing the ethics and lobbying training on or before the deadline?
- Yes. Failure to timely complete ethics and lobbying education training is a violation of the State Government Ethics Act and may subject you to disciplinary action in your job, up to and including being dismissed, or removal from your public position.
- How is completion verified?
For the Online Training Program. After you complete the last module of online training, you will see a link to "Complete Program." That link will take you to an online certification form where you will need to enter your name, check a box to indicate whether you are an ethics liaison, and check boxes for all boards or agencies that you are employed by or serve on. Once you verify and submit that form, the State Ethics Commission will be electronically notified of your training completion. Simultaneously you will be emailed a Certification Form for your records only. Please retain that form for future reference. For the Online Training Program you do not need to submit a hard copy of the certification form to the Commission.
For Live/Distance Presentations. You must sign in at the presentation and then, after attending the training, you complete, sign and file an Ethics Education Certification form with the State Ethics Commission. You will need to print an Education Certification form from the website. To file the Certification form with the Commission you must scan and email, fax, hand deliver or mail the form to the Commission. If you fail to sign in and file a signed complete Education Certification form with the State Ethics Commission, you will not receive credit for attending that live/distance education presentation.
- How do I get a record of my attendance?
- Contact the Ethics Commission at (919) 814-3600 and ask for the Education Unit.