Training and Outreach: Ethics Training for Public Officials

Many public officials are required to take an ethics training course to educate them on the ethical standards required of any individual who works in state or local government. Public officials may utilize free online courses available to satisfy this requirement. Please note that the state officials ethics course will not satisfy the local officials ethics course requirement and vice versa.

For State Officials

California law requires state officials to complete an ethics training course within six months of being hired. If your service is ongoing, you must complete the course once during each two-year period. The two-year period begins with an odd-numbered year, for example, 2017-18, 2019-20, etc. To help state officials meet this requirement, the Attorney General's Office and the Fair Political Practices Commission have developed an online training course. State officials who wish to use this course to satisfy their mandatory ethics training requirement should check with their agency to ensure additional training is not required.

State Officials Ethics Training

For Local Officials

Cities, counties and special districts in California are required by law (AB 1234, Chapter 700, Stats. of 2005) to provide ethics training to their local officials.

The law also provides that if an entity develops criteria for the ethics training required by AB 1234, the Fair Political Practices Commission and the Attorney General must be consulted regarding any proposed course content.

Several training options are available to your agency, including training conducted by commercial organizations, nonprofits, or an agency's own legal counsel. In addition, an online training program has been established that allows local officials to satisfy the requirements of AB 1234 at no cost. The course can be accessed via the link below. When the training is finished, you must print the Certification of Completion provided at the end.

Local Officials Ethics Training Course

The FPPC cannot advise on the legal requirements of AB 1234 because the FPPC does not have jurisdiction to do so. For questions pertaining to legal interpretation and application of AB 1234, please consult your local agency counsel.

If you have questions, concerns, or technical issues related to the online training program offered on our website only, please contact us at 

How to Request Advice

If you have questions about your obligations under the Act you can request advice directly from FPPC staff

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