Certified County Commissioner Program

Launched in 1996, the Certified County Commissioner Program is a voluntary program of study designed for county commissioners to learn information and enhance skills relevant to their duties and responsibilities. Courses are taught by a team of experts, which includes university faculty, government officials, professional speakers, FAC members and FAC staff.

CCC courses are offered year round at FAC conferences and may now be completed in 6-12 months. CCC participants must complete a total of 45 hours of course work. This includes 30 hours of core, 9 hours of elective and 6 hours of continuing education courses. Completion of the course requirements results in the designation of Certified County Commissioner.

CORE COURSES

The program content for each core course is designed to cover fundamental information necessary to effectively serve as a county commissioner. To be certified, commissioners must earn a minimum of 30 credit hours of core curriculum. Each core course is equivalent to 6 hours of credit. The majority of these programs are offered once a calendar year.
Core Courses
New Commissioner Workshop
This in-depth course is designed to help officials transition into their new governing roles. Participants will gain an understanding of the wide range of topics that are important for their job including legal requirements, nature of county organization, finance and budget, and strategies for success in this role.

Ethics, Public Records & Sunshine Laws (Mandatory)
This course is designed to give commissioners an understanding of Florida’s stringent laws. Participants will broaden their knowledge of ethics requirements for elected officials, understand the Sunshine Law and Public Records Law, learn about reporting requirements, and become familiar with the process of an ethics complaint.

Financial Management
This course provides guidance for commissioners to better manage their county’s fiscal affairs. Participants will gain a basic understanding of the state’s fiscal trends, budgeting process, revenue sources available to their counties and the what, when and how to issue debt.

Growth Management & Land Use Decisions
This course is designed to give commissioners an understanding of the history of land use planning in Florida and how we got where we are today. Participants will learn the realities of implementing comprehensive plans including how amendments, development approvals, and exceptions should be handled.

County Government Structure & Authority
This course looks at the authority that has been granted to counties by all sources, including the citizens. Participants will broaden their knowledge of county government form and function, of state government and how it relates to federal government, and of mandates and the impact they have on counties.

County Government Roles & Responsibilities
This course looks at the functions of county government. Participants will better understand state mandated county government services including public safety, transportation and health and human services.

The Sunshine, Public Records & Ethics Laws Course is mandatory. Commissioners may substitute the 12-hour on-line course, Florida Code of Ethics, Sunshine Law & Public Records Act, offered by the Florida Institute of Government. The on-line course will count as 6 hours of CCC credit. FAC staff will provide information on this program upon request.

ELECTIVES

The program content for each Elective/Specialty course is designed to cover fundamental information necessary to effectively serve as a County Commissioner. To be certified, Commissioners must earn a minimum of 9 credit hours of Elective/Specialty Courses. Each course within the specializations is equivalent to 1.5-3 hours of credit.

Electives
Affordable Housing
The housing specialization includes three courses designed to give participants an understanding on various topics within affordable housing. Participants will gain knowledge on frameworks, county roles, and even overcoming the ‘Not in my Backyard’ opposition.

Communications
Elected officials are often evaluated by how they communicate county issues to the public. With the widespread use of social media and other virtual communication media, what is said can often be distorted. This specialization examines how county officials can use various media effectively so their message is not distorted.

County Operations & Efficiencies
Florida’s counties are often asked to do more with less and, sometimes, deliver the same services during disruptive times. This series surveys how some counties are implementing creative solutions to meet the unique challenges of their communities.

County Structure
This elective series looks at the different forms of county government in Florida, including charter counties, and introduces participants to regional planning bodies, including Regional Planning Councils (RPCs), Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), and Water Management Districts (WMDs).

Economic Development
Counties can play an important role in promoting job creation and boosting the local economy. This elective series is designed to help county commissioners better understand today’s economy, the state’s economic development strategies, and how to strengthen their county’s economic development efforts.

Emergency Management
It is imperative for County Commissioners to understand the role and policies granted to the county before, during, and after disasters. This specialization includes six courses designed to cover the broad field of Emergency Management.

Human Resources
A county’s greatest resource is the employees who make it run 24/7/365 days a year. This elective series explores some of the basic functions and responsibilities of human resource management and examines issues that have emerged with social media and COVID-19.

Planning and Growth Management
In this specialization, participants will explore deeper the dynamics of land use planning and comprehensive plan development at the county level. There are four courses within this specialization.

Resiliency
This specialization covers the importance of mitigation planning and counties’ responsibilities to ensure their communities are resilient to any hazard. There are two courses offered within this specialization.

Technology
Emerging technologies can transform how counties manage themselves, deliver services, and meet the expanding needs of its community. This elective series introduces participants to some of the latest technologies that are being deployed by counties across Florida.

Transportation & Infrastructure
With transportation becoming an incredibly major component of county safety and planning, this specialization offers four courses for participants to learn the basics of transportation.

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