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Options for Ethics Training Compliance


There are numerous training options for complying with State requirements for mandated ethics training, including training conducted by commercial organizations, non-profits, Santa Clara County Counsel, as well as cost-free and low-cost online training. The entity providing the training must have consulted the California State Attorney General and the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) regarding the content and must provide a certificate (or certificates) verifying completion of at least two hours training, the date, your name, and the name of the agency providing the training.

Once you receive proof of participation in the required ethics training, please provide a copy of the certificate to the Office of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors. The copies will be retained as public records for at least five years.

Following are some available options:

County Training

  • The Office of the County Counsel provides ethics training sessions bi-annually. The training is free for County officials and Boards and Commissions appointees. The next training sessions will be held in 2014.

Free Online Training

  • The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) offers free online training at​/login.aspx. This option requires you to log onto the FPPC's Web site, review various screens of materials, take periodic tests to assure retention of the information and then print out a certificate. (This course has been approved by the Attorney General's Office and the Fair Political Practices Commission. However, if the training time on your certificate is less than two hours, you will need additional training and certificates to meet the minimum ethics training requirements.)
  • Requires Internet access, a Web browser, and preferably 1024 x 768 resolution on your monitor.
  • Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to print out the certificate of completion.
  • The first page of the online training provides a link to additional educational resources to learn more about ethics as a public official beyond that provided in the online training course.


  • Self-study materials developed by the Institute for Local Government (ILG) are available at The ILG program requires that you read materials on Financial Interests and Perks, and Transparency and Fairness, take a self-assessment test, and then submit it to the ILG with a $25 processing fee for each test. The ILG will review your test(s), provide you the correct answers and explanations, and a proof of participation certificate(s).

Advanced Self-Study:

  • Two one-hour segments
  • $25 per one-hour training session
  • For those who completed the basic ethics training two years ago or would like to expand their knowledge and also comply with the State mandate.
  • Also for those who took the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) online course or another course and need extra time to meet the two-hour total requirement.

Additional Options

The State legislation requiring ethics training creates a minimum for ethics education—not a maximum. We encourage you to take advantage of additional training in ethics-related topics and document those efforts as well.


For More Information Please Contact:

Office of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors
70 West Hedding Street
10th Floor, East Wing
San Jose, CA 95110
Phone: (408) 299-5001
Fax: (408) 938-4525