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We partner with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG), Georgia's County Association to provide certificate programs for newly elected commissioners and a large range of leader-development programs for incumbent commissioners.


Lifelong Learning Academy

The Institute of Government, in partnership with ACCG, offers courses through the Lifelong Learning Academy for county commissioners to develop and enhance their leadership and governing skills. They also develop their foundational knowledge in key topics of county governance while providing the opportunity for sustained development in a variety of specialized subjects. Academy courses are offered at least once every other year during training programs. These programs are held in conjunction with regularly scheduled ACCG meetings or as stand-alone sessions. In order to receive credit, a person must attend the entire course.

The Academy centers around three levels of professional development:

To achieve Core Certification, the foundation for your education as a commissioner, commissioners participate in eight courses that examine fundamental topics important to county government. Commissioners must also successfully complete the ACCG Leadership Institute. Upon completion, officials achieve the status of "Certified County Commissioner" and are eligible for a $100 monthly stipend from their county. Courses cover subjects such as law, finance, human resources, and economic development. 

Once commissioners satisfy the requirements for Core Certification, they can improve their knowledge in particular subjects of interest through Specialty Level Certification. The ability for commissioners to focus on improving their skills and deepen their expertise in a specific area is what really sets this program apart. A powerful and innovative feature of the Lifelong Learning Academy, the Specialty Track Certification has eight unique specialty tracks with courses designed to engage you at a much deeper level. The eight tracks include topics like: 

  • revenue & finance

  • county operations and management

  • economic and community development

  • intergovernmental relations

  • citizen engagement

  • public safety

  • leadership development

  • quality of life and social issues

Each of these specializations require completion of eight courses from a list of core and elective offerings. Commissioners can continue to advance their range of proficiency over the course of their careers by pursuing multiple Specialty Level Certifications.

Find out more information on the Lifelong Learning Academy.

View the course schedule.

Newly Elected Commissioners Conference

New commissioners are introduced to county government and prepared to meet the variety of challenges they face upon taking office through the three-and-one-half-days Newly Elected Commissioners Conference. This training—required by Georgia law for county commissioners—is coordinated by the Institute of Government and ACCG. Commissioners receive reference materials to aid them in making decisions and carrying out their responsibilities.