2021 – 2022 Certifying Form
The mission of the South Dakota Association of County Officials is to promote efficient and effective county government for the citizens of South Dakota. In keeping with that mission, the goals of the Continuing Education Program are:
- To promote a standard of excellence in the performance of elected county officials through a continuing education program providing instruction to maintain knowledgeable, skillful, and professional public servants, who are highly qualified to perform their duties and worthy of the public’s trust.
- To enhance the quality of services which the local official provides to the public.
- To increase the official’s professional competency as a local leader and public manager.
- To encourage the official’s personal growth.
- To provide the official with professional recognition.
The Continuing Education Program was developed at the request of SDACO members seeking continuing educational opportunities. The SDACO Executive Board reserves the right, at its discretion, to change, modify, add, or remove portions of this policy at any time due to factors beyond reasonable control.
The following policies shall govern the Continuing Education Program:
- CONTINUING EDUCATION COMMITTEE
- The Continuing Education Committee shall be the policy making body of the Continuing Education Program. The committee shall consist of three registers of deeds, three auditors, and three treasurers.
- Each year the vice chair shall advance to the position of chair. The position of vice chair, who shall come from those committee members completing their first year of service on the committee, shall be elected at the annual convention by the committee membership.
- Current members of the Continuing Education Committee will serve through their term ending during close of convention. Committee members shall be elected to the committee by their individual groups, serving for three-year terms.
- PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS
- Any member of the South Dakota Association of County Officials may participate in the Continuing Education Program. In order to gain continuing education credits, the participant’s current-year dues to the SDACO must be paid. It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Director to provide the Committee with the list of participants whose current year dues have been paid.
- In order to be certified under the South Dakota Association of County Officials Certified County Officials Program, officials must first complete initial certification and thereafter must annually meet the continuing education requirements set forth in this policy.
Ill. CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
- SDACO Credits and Electives are awarded in the following manner. 1 hour of class time = 1 credit.
- Video credits are worth 60% of regular in-class credits.
- District meetings shall count for 1 elective credit hour each. Classes held separate of the business meeting and office roundtable sessions at district meetings shall be credited as a normal elective.
- Elective Courses
- Elective credit classes must be beneficial to the ongoing duties of an elected county official. The Continuing Education Committee (CEC) has the authority to determine if a class qualifies for credit under the SDACO Certified County Official Program. Elective courses administered by the SDACO or SD Bureau of Human Resources will be offered at Spring Workshop and at convention.
- Officials may also choose to submit other coursework relevant to their duties as a county official completed outside the SDACO to the CEC for approval. Classes completed independent of SDACO workshops, Bureau of Human Resources classes, or other pre-approved elective courses require a report on the benefits the class has to the duties of a county official.
- Pre-approved elective courses include sessions at workshops administered by the SD Secretary of State, SD Department of Legislative Audit, SD Department of Revenue and Regulation, SD Department of Health, SD Association of County Commissioners, SD Association of County Welfare Officials, Software User Meetings, SD Professional Land Surveyors’ Association, International Right of Way Association, the National Association of Counties (NACo), the National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials, and Clerks (NACRC), the National Association of County Collectors, Treasurers and Finance Officers (NACCTFO).
- Providing public testimony at the State Legislature will be worth 2 elective credits
- Participating on one or more SDACO Committee will be worth 1 elective credit.
- Special Circumstances
- The Continuing Education Committee may, for extraordinary circumstances, approve waivers for continuing education requirements. Officials applying for a waiver must submit an application to the CEC.
- Certificates of completion will be printed and distributed during the Annual County Convention.
- Record Keeping
- Members will be responsible for tracking personal credits, and submitting a SDACO Certifying Form with credits earned to the SDACO office by August 15 of that year.
**Credits must be obtained by August 1, of that year**
- SDACO New Officials Workshop
- The New Officials Workshop will include sessions determined essential to newly elected officials by the CEC. Attendance at the New Officials Workshop is open to all officials. Course credits for officials who have already earned certification will be awarded as elective credits.
- SDACO Spring Workshop
- Spring Workshop shall consist of educational sessions planned by the CEC.
- Each spring workshop will include opportunities to obtain elective course credits.
- SDACO / SDACC Annual SD Counties Convention
- Convention shall consist of educational sessions planned by the CEC.
- Each convention will include opportunities to obtain elective course credits.
- Other workshops may be added at the discretion of the CEC.
- INITIAL CERTIFICATION
Newly certifying officials shall meet the following requirements prior to certification:
- New Officials Workshop
- Newly certifying officials will be required to attend New Officials Workshop prior to initial certification.
- SDACO Spring Workshop/Annual SD Counties Convention
- Newly certifying Officials are required to obtain a minimum total of 10 credits each year while obtaining initial certification through the non-elective classes at the SDACO Spring Workshop and Annual SD Counties Convention.
- Elective Courses
- New officials shall receive a minimum of 10 elective credits prior to initial certification.
- In addition to the options described in section III, new officials may receive elective credits by visiting another county/or another county’s official visiting the county of the new official for a specified number of hours.
- Office Specified Requirements
- The auditors/treasurers/registers of deeds members of the CEC may recommend additional requirements for the newly certifying officials to the respective office to be approved by a majority vote of their respective office’s membership at an Association workshop or convention.
- Any requirements approved will be effective at the conclusion of the annual convention. Officials will complete the initial certification requirements of the program they enrolled in.
- Certified Officials Continuing Education Requirements
- SDACO Sponsored Workshops
- Officials are required to fulfill a minimum of 10 credits of SDACO workshops annually. Officials are required to attend either Spring Workshop or Convention in person to certify.
- Elective Course Credit
- Officials shall complete a minimum of 10 continuing education elective credit hours in approved continuing education programs
- Office Specific Requirements
- The auditors/treasurers/registers of deeds members of the CEC may recommend additional requirements for their respective office to be approved by a majority vote of the office’s membership at an Association workshop or convention.
- Any requirements approved will be effective at the conclusion of the annual convention.
Supervisory Certification Requirements
Officials may also certify as a SD Association of County Officials Certified Supervisor.
- Officials must complete 8 Professional Development classes available with the SD Bureau of Human Resources to achieve SDACO Supervisor certification.
- Credits earned through the SDACO Supervisor Certification Program also fulfill the Certified County Official elective requirements.
(Updated September 15, 2020)