SCAC Planning and Zoning Online Orientation for 2020

Planning and zoning officials are tasked with making sound decisions that impact the quality of life of their communities. New commissioners and board members and county planning and zoning professionals are required to complete six hours of orientation training and three hours of continuing education each year thereafter. As prescribed in S.C. Code of Laws 6-29-1330, the orientation and continuing education training must be from an approved sponsor of the South Carolina Planning Education Advisory Committee (SCPEAC).

Since becoming an SCPEAC approved sponsor in 2005, SCAC has hosted planning and zoning webcasts free-of-charge to help county officials and employees meet their annual training requirements. When the Association offers orientation training, it does not host a continuing education webcast that year. The Association is planning to launch online orientation training this year for new planning and zoning officials and employees. Therefore, SCAC will not host a continuing education webcast in 2020. Your county is encouraged to identify how it will provide continuing education training this year for your planning and zoning officials and employees.

Where can I find continuing education resources?

  •  SCPEAC maintains a list of approved sponsors of continuing education training. The following topics when offered by an approved sponsor are preapproved for continuing education: land use planning, zoning, floodplains, transportation, community facilities, ethics, public utilities, wireless telecommunication facilities, parliamentary procedure, public hearing procedure, administrative law, economic development, housing, public buildings, building construction, land subdivision, and powers and duties of the planning commission, board of zoning appeals or board of architectural review.

  • If your county has not participated in all of SCAC’s continuing education webcasts, the recorded webcasts are available as streaming videos in the Association’s online educational library available at SCAC does not issue certificates of attendance for viewing pre-recorded webcasts.
  • The National Association of Counties (NACo) is an approved sponsor and hosts webinars free-of-charge on some of the approved topics listed above. To view a list of these resources, visit Please contact NACo directly with any questions.
  • The American Planning Association (APA) is also an approved sponsor and has identified its programs that are most relevant for continuing education needs of planning staff and planning/land use commission members. The member and non-member cost and length of the training videos vary. You are encouraged to check with your county staff to determine if they are APA members. If county staff are not APA members, you can create a guest account by selecting the “I am not an APA member and hove not created an APA web account” option. Once your account is created, you’ll select APA Learn from the Events and Education drop-down menu and then select the Commissioner Education option. Please contact APA directly if you have any questions regarding a guest account or the APA training.

Is there other important information I need to know?

  • State law requires you to have a live coordinator to facilitate discussion when viewing recorded continuing education programs from approved sponsors. The coordinator must meet the following requirements:
    • Be in a position of authority
    • Have a working knowledge of the subject material as it pertains to the jurisdiction
    • Have knowledge of the jurisdiction(s) attending the presentation
    • Be able to facilitate discussion
    • Be able to confirm attendance of participants
    • Coordinators need not meet the exemption requirements as prescribed in state law

Please visit SCAC’s website at for additional information. If you have any questions regarding planning and zoning training requirements or SCAC training resources, please contact Ryan Tooley either via e-mail at or by phone at 803-252-7255.