At the very core of ICMA is the mission to promote an ethical culture in local government.

Promoting an Ethical Culture

At the very core of ICMA is the mission to promote an ethical culture in local government. Since the development of the ICMA Code of Ethics in 1924, the organization has built an extensive collection of advice on ethics issues, case studies, and model local government documents. This knowledge base has been translated into training courses, consulting services, ethics textbooks, and other educational publications designed to further the organization’s mission throughout the world.

Learn About the ICMA Code of Ethics

Promoting an ethical culture is a key leadership responsibility.  Equity, transparency, honor, integrity, commitment, and stewardship are standards for excellence in democratic local governance. ICMA promotes ethical conduct through its Code of Ethics, training for local governments, publications on ethics issues, technical assistance, and advice to members. For more information about ICMA’s Code of Ethics, its guidelines and enforcement process, and current issues and advice facing local government professionals, visit the Ethics Program section.


Workshops on such topics as "Ethics at Work!" “Promoting an Ethical Culture,” “The Leader's Role in Building an Ethical Culture," and "Elected Officials and the Public Trust" are available for staff, leadership, elected officials, boards, and commissions. For information about local government ethics workshops and technical assistance services contact Martha Perego, Director of Member Services and Ethics at 202-962-3668.

Ethics 101 - Online ethics training for local government staff

With ICMA’s Ethics 101 e-course, you can strengthen your jurisdiction’s ethical culture by making sure that your staff has a proper grounding in your organization’s values and can deal with ethics issues that arise on the job. Ethical conduct by all employees is essential for an organization to succeed and prosper.

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