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Required orientation training for planning and zoning officials

  • The municipal council must inform each planning/zoning official and employee annually of the training requirements and provide access to approved education programs to obtain the required training. (Read about this requirement.)
  • All members of the planning commission, boards of zoning appeals and architectural review board, as well as staff who directly or indirectly work with them, unless exempt, must complete of six hours of state approved orientation training within a period of six months before and no later than one year after the initial date of appointment/employment.
  • Individuals with an AICP designation from the American Planning Association, a master’s degree or doctorate in planning or a related field or law degree are exempt from the training requirement. 
  • Municipal Association of SC and the South Carolina Association of Counties offers the only approved training program for municipal/county officials and employees.
  • The Municipal Association’s orientation training program is provided in one-hour segments on DVD.
  • Training must be led by an approved facilitator. (List of approved facilitators and Information for facilitators)
  • To be eligible for approval as a facilitator, the individual must possess an AICP designation from the American Planning Association, a master’s degree or doctorate in planning or a related field or law degree. (Facilitator application)
  • Orientation training materials must be ordered by an approved training facilitator in advance of each training session. Cost $25 per participant. (Reservation card)
  • The facilitator is responsible for conducting the training using materials provided by the Association and sending certification of completed training to the Association. (Checklist for orientation training)
  • The Association sends a transcript to each participant and a copy to the municipal clerk.
  • Each year no later than their appointment/employment anniversary date, individuals under this requirement must file a certification of compliance with the municipal clerk who is responsible for maintaining certifications as outlined by the law. (Clerk's responsibilities)
  • Falsified reporting will make the individual ineligible for future appointments or employment if a professional employee.