Local Government Training

ICMA currently offers local government ethics training.

Experienced trainers and local government experts are available to provide workshops and other services for your local government.  Workshops offer a framework, complete with practical strategies and tools, to help your organization build a more ethical workplace and culture.  Special programs are available for elected officials and other targeted groups.  Local governments may also work together to offer a multi-jurisdiction program. 

Don't Wait Until There Is a Crisis - Promote an Ethical Culture Today

Tap into ICMA's vast knowledge base to get the training and peer assistance services you need to foster an ethical workplace. 

The ICMA approach is interactive, motivational, and grounded in public service values. Using real world examples, participants will learn how to build ethical habits to deal with the difficult situations that arise.

ICMA offers onsite workshops for staff, leadership, elected officials, and boards and commissions on:

  • Ethics in the Real World
  • Promoting an Ethical Culture
  • The Role of Leaders in Building an Ethical Culture
  • Elected Officials and the Public Trust
  • And more!

For more information about local government ethics workshops and technical assistance services, click here or call the ICMA Ethics Center at 202/962-3521.


Ethics Training: Descriptions


Promoting an Ethical Culture: Designed for leadership and management teams, department directors, and first-line supervisors. 4-hour workshop (includes pre-assessment activity); Maximum 100 participants per workshop. 

Values of Public Service
Why Culture Matters

  • Culture crashes and lessons learned using real life cases
  • The importance of accountability and clear messages

Ethical Fitness Test: Using the results of the pre-assessment, identify areas of strength and potential weak spots

Ethics in the Trenches

  • Define and evaluate ethical issues
  • Tools for decision making

Strategies for Building an Ethical Organization

  • Leadership roles
  • Promoting and reinforcing ethics


Public Trust Is Our Working Capital: Designed for leadership and staff, this  2-hour workshop includes an ethics game. Maximium 200 participants.

Personal Values

  • The role of personal, professional, and public service values
  • Lessons learned from values clashes, using case examples

Building Ethical Habits

  • Excuses and pressures that get in the way
  • Why ethical approaches are easier
  • Creating the environment to encourage ethical questions

The Ethical Continuum

  • Legal compliance is the starting point
  • The benefits of high standards

Steps for Ethical Leadership

  • How to “do the right thing”
  • The power of public service values

Case Discussions


The Role of Managers in Building an Ethical Organization: Designed to help supervisors and managers learn ways to spot and deal with tough issues that arise in the workplace. Available in 2 to 4 hour sessions.  Maximum 75 participants.  

Ripped from the Headlines

  • Headlines no one wants to see

Ethics fundamentals

  • Principles turned into actions
  • Values which are the foundation of public service

Everyday ethics

  • Case scenarios:  What are the choices? What should you do?

The role of supervisors and managers

  • Strategies and tools for fostering an ethical organization


Elected Officials and the Public Trust: Interactive workshop reinforces the principles of public service, presents a framework for tackling tough ethical issues, and inspiring champions for ethical leadership. Available in 2 or 3 hour format.  

Appearances Are Everything

  • Headlines no one wants to see
  • Life in the fishbowl

The Inspiration of Democracy

  • The roots of public service values
  • Our leadership opportunities

Right, Wrong or Gray

  • Identifying and addressing common issues

Steps for Ethical Leadership

  • How to “do the right thing”
  • Advice from successful leaders




Ethics Training and Technical Assistance (pdf, 975 KB)

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