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Planning and Zoning Officials Must Take Training Courses

South Carolina law requires every board, committee and commission appointee involved with local planning and zoning to complete mandatory training sessions. The requirement applies to all planning-related staff members as well.

Officials who do not fulfill this requirement can face removal from their position. Boards or commissions with untrained members can also open the city or town to legal challenges of their decisions.

For several years now, the Municipal Association has offered an online version of the six-hour orientation course to help officials fulfill the training requirement. There is no charge for the training, and no need for in-person proctors or facilitators. 

Planning and Zoning Officials Must Take Training Courses

The South Carolina Planning Education Advisory Committee approved this curriculum, which teaches the tools necessary for officials and staff to perform their duties responsibly and effectively. The online training comes in the form of six, one-hour sessions. It includes video exercises to complete using the Comprehensive Planning Guide for Local Governments, knowledge-check quizzes and other reinforcement activities. 

Each of the sessions provides its own completion certification. After participants complete all six one-hour sessions, they can view and print a certified transcript to submit to the municipal clerk, verifying their completion of the entire course. 

State law also requires officials to complete three hours of continuing education training each year to remain compliant. The SCPEAC approved several of the Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government courses to count toward this requirement, including "Forms of Municipal Government," "Municipal Economic Development" and "Freedom of Information Act in SC." The SC Association of Counties developed videos that can count toward the requirement as well.

Learn more about available planning and zoning training, as well as other resources online