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Course CatalogCatalog: Ohio Sunshine Laws Certification Training

This training is an in-depth review of Ohio’s Public Records and Open Meetings Acts, collectively known as the “Sunshine Laws.” These laws govern access to records that document the work of public offices and access to the meetings of public bodies, both of which are essential to knowing what our government is doing in our name and with our money. This training is free and open to any member of the public who wishes to learn about Ohio’s Sunshine Laws.

In accordance with Ohio Revised Code 109.43, all elected officials in Ohio, or an appropriate designee of the elected official’s choosing, are required to complete three hours of Sunshine Laws training once during each term in office. Completion of the full three-hour series satisfies this requirement. Completion of the series is also certified for three hours of Continuing Legal Education for Ohio attorneys.  (When registering for an account, attorneys should include their Ohio Supreme Court bar number to obtain CLE credit.)

The three-hour training is divided into five parts. 

  • Part 1: Includes a required Designee Form.  If you are the designee taking the training on behalf of one or more elected officials, please complete the Designee Form to let us know.  On the form, please indicate the names of the elected officials on whose behalf you are taking the training.
  • Part 5: Includes a required Training Evaluation Form you must submit to complete the training.

All five parts must be marked "complete" in the system to constitute training completion.   After completing all five parts of the training - including the forms listed above - the system will generate a completion certificate (found under “My Account”. )

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  • Courses (5)

SLT001 - Sunshine Laws Training - Part 1 Public Records Act Fundamentals

Part 1 explains the fundamental concepts of Ohio’s Public Records Act and the important terms and definitions under the Act, including what is a “public record,” what is a “public office,” and when is a record “kept by” a public office.You must submit the Designee Form to indicate whether or not you are the designee taking the training on behalf of one or more elected officials.

SLT002 - Sunshine Laws Training - Part 2 Making and Responding to Public Records Requests

Part 2 looks at what makes a request a proper and enforceable request, as well as the obligations of a public office when responding to a request, including whether and when an office can charge a requester for responding, when an office should respond to a request, and what an office must do if it believes a request is overly broad or ambiguous.

SLT003 - Sunshine Laws Training - Part 3 Exemptions to Public Records Requests

Part 3 examines exemptions to public records disclosure and when a record, or information in a record, can be withheld or redacted. This module does not discuss every possible exemption to public records disclosure, but looks at a few exemptions in-depth that public offices encounter frequently.

SLT004 - Sunshine Laws Training - Part 4 Redactions, Litigation, Records Management, and Resources

Part 4 builds on the topic of exemptions and discusses how a public office can redact or withhold information if an exemption applies and the office’s obligations when doing so.

SLT005 - Sunshine Laws Training - Part 5 The Open Meetings Act

Part 5 examines Ohio’s Open Meetings Act, beginning with the important terms and definitions under the Act, such as what is a “public body” and what is a “meeting.” The module also discusses the obligations of public bodies that are subject to the Open Meeting Act, as well as when a public body is allowed to convene in executive session. Last, the module explains the consequences of not complying with the Open Meetings Act, including litigation and legal remedies.
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