TCMA Code of Ethics

On April 27, 1984, the Texas City Management Association (TCMA) adopted the code of ethics, guidelines, and rules of procedure of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Further, TCMA believed it to be in the best interests of its members to not only clarify the applicability of the code for its members, but also suggest types of behavior best conducive to truly professional relationships. Therefore, TCMA approved on June 7, 1987, the following language, which although not a part of the ICMA/TCMA Code with Guidelines, is nonetheless considered important from TCMA’s viewpoint for its members to be aware. In 1998, TCMA adopted a slightly different set of enforcement rules that apply to TCMA members only. The most recent update was January 26, 2018.

A copy of the TCMA Code of Ethics and Guidelines with Guidelines and Rules of Procedure for Enforcement is available at TCMA Code of Ethics.

Ethics Training Requirements
Current TCMA Full or Associate members must complete two hours of ethics training every two years. The requirement can be fulfilled by completing one or a combination of the following:

  • Online Ethics 101
  • Online Ethics 201
  • William “King” Cole Basics training
  • TCMA Annual Conference ethics session
  • City Management Clinic (ethics is offered every other year)
  • TCMA Regions can schedule ethics training with a Certified Ethics Trainer
  • ICMA ethics course

Certified Ethics Trainer
On April 24, 2015, the TCMA Board approved the Ethics Committee recommendation for Certified Ethics Trainers. Certified trainers must be a TCMA Full, Associate, or Life member and receive training from ICMA or another approved source prior to teaching a qualifying ethics class. Certified trainers are required to update their certification every five years.

The TCMA Board and the Ethics Committee feel that training specifically directed to city managers and the TCMA Code of Ethics is integral to the success of TCMA and its members. While other disciplines provide ethics training, the content covered by a TCMA Certified Ethics Trainer ensures that each member understands ethics in the context of TCMA and city management. In addition, this helps clarify if the ethics training qualifies, that it aligns with what TCMA advocates, and it provides more opportunities throughout the State of Texas for members to complete the requirement.

For a list of trainers, please click Certified Ethics Trainers.

New Member Applicants
Individuals wishing to join TCMA, must complete ethics training from either the William “King” Cole Basis training or the online training. Proof of completion must accompany the application.

If you have questions regarding the ethics requirement or about the Certified Ethics Trainers, please contact Ethics Chair Nick Finan at or Ethics Vice Chair Valerie Bradley at