Free Ethics Course

The video and audio presentations are free training offered by the Florida Ethics Commission:

Viewing videos such as this may be used to satisfy the annual training requirement*

Watch these three videos and listen to this one audio recording to satisfy your annual ethics training and save your district $155:

  1. Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees Video Tutorial Found at hyperlink: http://thefloridachannel.org/videos/1715-ethics-training-senators/  These presentations address the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, and the public records and public meetings laws of this state as applicable to members of the Legislature. It was originally created for members of the Senate, but can be useful to many others. (1.5 hours)
  2.  Local Public Officers – voting conflicts- found at: http://www.ethics.state.fl.us/Documents/Ethics/Images/VotingConflictsLocalOfficers.mp4    presentation addresses the voting conflicts statute as it applies to local officers. It discusses the differences in voting conflicts at the state and local level, as well as the circumstances in which a voting conflict for a local officer will not be found. Finally, it covers how a local officer should respond if a voting conflict is presented. (1 hour)
  3.  Public Records and Public Meetings- found at http://thefloridachannel.org/videos/12115-ethics-training-senators/ This  video covers document storage and retention as well as modern electronic records (1 hour)
  4.  Audio presentation on Financial Disclosure, found at - http://www.ethics.state.fl.us/Documents/Ethics/Images/FinancialDisclosureLaws.mp3 provides a brief overview of the financial disclosure process, as well as detailed instructions on how to complete a Form 6 financial disclosure. It also addresses supplemental matters such as the process for appealing a financial disclosure fine as well as recent changes to the laws concerning financial disclosure. This presentation was originally presented to members of the Florida House of Representatives, but offers insight for any public officer required to file a disclosure form. (0.5 hours)

Remember, if you think there might even be the possibility of an issue of ethics, it is always a good idea to ask your board attorney for advice and/or call the Florida Ethics Commission (850) 488-7864.

WE STRONGLY SUGGEST KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR DATES AND FILING THE RECORD WITH YOUR BOARD ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT AND/OR HUMAN RESOURCES AND RETAINING A COPY FOR YOUR OWN RECORDS

DOWNLOAD the Ethics Training Tracking Sheet provided free of charge. 

The FCSBM doesn't charge for aggregating these materials for our members, but we are a 501c3 nonprofit organization and would appreciate your donation via our membership page. We have many other free professional development materials for members on our website.  and are developing others. 

Get your certificate of completion: FCSBM MEMBER BONUS: After members review all the materials, simply email the following statement to info (at) FCSBM (dot) org : I attest that I have reviewed the suggested 2015 materials found at http://www.fcsbm.org/ethics_challenge and have therefore met the annual ethics training requirement for school board members. Be sure to include your full name as you would like it to read, and we will provide you with an email certificate which you can keep or file with your Ethics Training Tracking Sheet

FAQ: 

1. Q. Are you sure this counts?:

A. Yes!

"Since Commission on Ethics Rule 34-7.025, Florida Administrative Code, viewable at www.ethics.state.fl.us, contemplates a “menu” (“training shall include one or more of the following”) approach to satisfying the ethics portion of required training, watching/listening of the 1 hour and 38 minute (98 minute) tutorial apparently would satisfy nearly two “hours” (see Question 3 of CEO 13-15, viewable on the Commission’s website) of ethics training.  Then, if an additional 102 minutes, or more, of training were put with the 98 minutes, the 4 hour annual requirement apparently would be satisfied; and CEO 13-24 describes AN acceptable mix (course content) for the total four hours, between the ethics content and the public records/Sunshine Law content.  But, in sum, it appears that taking all four of the items mentioned in your question 1 would satisfy the requirement, if taken all within one calendar year." +Informal Opinion Nov-30-2015C. Christopher Anderson, III, General Counsel and Deputy Executive Director, Florida Commission on Ethics

2.      Q. Must a formal assessment be administered and graded at the conclusion of the educational experience? If so, what percentage of correct responses would be required for a learner to be considered proficient?

A.        "Taking the 4 hours is required; assessment and grading is not required." +

3.       Q. What type of memorialization(record keeping) of completion of training would be required or advised. Specifically, may an Elected School Board Member retain their own records or must a third party memorialize the satisfaction of these requirements via printed or electronically mailed memorandum? 

 A.        "No particular type of memorialization is required.  I suggest some sort of writing (email, certificate, etc.), reciting dates training taken, name of Board member, name of course/presentation, content of course/presentation, length of course/presentation, etc., such that the writing could be a self-authenticating document (business record, official record), should a member need to prove in the future that they took required training." +

 Note: it's not required to have a certificate, but advised should one ever need to prove they've received training. FCSBM provides certificates at no additional charge to members. (see method above). 

4.       Can the third party, in this case the FSBM, simply serve a ministerial role in recording the School Board Member’s attestation of completion of the materials outlined in section one above? 

A.       "The Coalition could facilitate documentation as described in 3, above."+ 

This is a benefit reserved for members, not one? Become one by clicking here and still save your district money! 

5.   Q. How do I get my certificate of completion?

A.   Get your certificate of completion: FCSBM MEMBER BONUS: After members review all the materials, simply email the following statement to info (at) FCSBM (dot) org : I attest that I have reviewed the suggested 2015 materials found at http://www.fcsbm.org/ethics_challenge and have therefore met the annual ethics training requirement for school board members. Be sure to include your full name as you would like it to read, and we will provide you with an email certificate which you can keep or file with your Ethics Training Tracking Sheet

+ Answers based on quoted opinions full email opinion can be seen here. Informal Opinion Nov-30-2015 : C. Christopher Anderson, III, General Counsel and Deputy Executive Director, Florida Commission on Ethics

 *The (Florida Ethics) Commission adopted CEO 13-15 at its meeting on September 13, 2013. The opinion addresses a number of questions regarding the training requirement found in Section 112.3142, F.S.