Making Education More Accessible: The LGC Academy Expands Online Offerings

By Lynn Sperl

The LGC Academy offers a variety of courses in the following areas of study: Finance and Taxation; Governance; Health, Safety and Facilities; Human Resources and Schools. The following new online courses are now open for registration:

Ethics and Conflicts in Local Government
Reviews and explains the law regarding conflicts of interest for all officials and disqualification for members of land use boards and other quasi-judicial agencies. Addresses the authority of municipalities to pass ordinances regulating conflicts of interest and cover certain statutes that create criminal liability for specific types of unethical behavior. In addition, it deals with the related topics of removal from office for misbehavior and the prohibition on holding incompatible offices. Recommended for: All municipal officials, managers and administrators

Giving Back, Looking Forward:
Best Practices and Guidance for the Use of Public Sector Volunteers

Review various aspects related to use of volunteers in the public sector. Topics include the following: definition of a volunteer; federal/state statutes that provide liability protections to either the governmental entity or volunteer; the need for background checks; and ongoing documentation, training, supervision and laws that apply to services provided by volunteers. Controlling the risk of liability for the volunteer and municipality is also addressed. Recommended for: All municipal board members, officials and staff involved with appointing, supervising and directing volunteers

Joint Loss Management Committees:
Juggling Leadership, Management and Communications

Reviews the history of workers' compensation reforms, details requirements that must be met by both employers/employees and provides both guidance and materials for creating effective and sustained Joint Loss Management Committees (JLMC). Also provides leadership guidance for committee members on organizing and conducting meetings plus a discussion of Temporary Alternative Work and how to prepare for New Hampshire Department of Labor inspections. Recommended for: All JLMC members plus municipal, school and county officials and administrators

Lessons in Successful Grant Writing
Covers skills necessary to write a successful grant. Participants will learn where to find grants to meet their needs, how to size up a grant and how to put the writing pieces together. Recommended for: All local governments/school system management personnel and staff seeking the skills necessary to write a successful grant

Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls
Addresses the most common causes of slips, trips and falls and presents simple, practical steps that can be taken to reduce them. Recommended for: Everyone

Smart Hiring
Provides guidance and assistance in developing skills, techniques and requirements of a successful hiring process. Offers tips on conducting a high-quality process and the importance of communication skills used by the interviewer. Guidance on legal aspects, the significance of documentation, reference checks and avoiding discrimination are covered. Recommended for: Boards of Selectmen, Town Managers/Administrators, Human Resource Directors, department heads and those involved in hiring/selection process

Special Events Risk Management
Designed to assist public entities with the process of planning and implementing safe and successful special events. Participants learn to identify potential risks associated with municipal/non-municipal special events and to reduce and manage those risks. Recommended for: Parks and Recreation Directors, Recreation Commissions, Athletic Directors, Town Managers/Administrators, School Administrators, Boards of Selectmen, Police and Fire Chiefs, Public Works Personnel

In addition, the LGC Academy ongoing hybrid courses (live instruction with e-learning component) include the following finance-related offerings:

  • Basic Government Accounting
  • Financial Account Reconciliation
  • Financial Reporting and Accountability
  • Internal Controls and Fraud Prevention

Positive Participant Response
More than 300 LGC Academy online courses have been completed so far this year by LGC member group representatives, including the Town of Greenfield's Administrative Assistant Debra Davidson, who just completed Best Practices for Beaches and Pools.

"I loved it-very informative," says Debra, who is anxious to sign up for several more LGC Academy courses in the coming months. "It's a great opportunity for those of us who find it difficult to get to Concord for trainings," she adds.

More than 200 students have also completed the LGC Academy hybrid courses since they launched in 2008. "Each course is designed to enhance your job performance so you can bring greater value to the workplace," notes LGC's Risk and Health Manager Scott Weden, who coordinates the LGC Academy.

Getting Started
To watch a video about the LGC Academy, learn about its instructors or sign up for current course offerings, please visit You can also download syllabi from the site to learn which job positions a particular course is recommended for and what, if any, course materials are required.

We encourage you to sign up for hybrid courses early since they fill up fast and sometimes have a waiting list. To suggest future LGC Academy courses, please e-mail your ideas to Your LGC Academy feedback is always welcome.

Lynn Sperl is a communications specialist at the LGC. She can be reached at 800.852.3358, ext. 206, or For more LGC Academy course information, visit

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