Frequently asked questions for public employees
How do I access the new online learning platform?
The new online training platform launched in January 2023. If this is your first time accessing the new online learning platform, you will first need to create an account at https://MassEthicsTraining.SkillBurst.com and clicking on the 'Create Your Account' button.
Next, enter the following information:
- Email address: Enter your work email address if you have one. Otherwise, enter a personal email address. A valid email address is required as the system sends notifications, reminders, and password reset requests to the email address.
- Name: Enter your first and last name in the appropriate fields.
- Organization: Select your organization from the list. If you work for multiple public agencies, you can add them to your user profile. After selecting your primary public agency, you can add additional public agencies by holding the Ctrl key on your keyboard and clicking the public agencies from the list.
- Department/Agency/Board: Enter the Department, Agency, or Board that employs you. Do not enter your position or title.
When all required information is entered, click on the 'Get Access' button. A message will then be sent to the email address used to create the login account with instructions to create your password.
Your password must contain 8-15 characters and include at least one upper case letter, one lowercase letter, and one number. Please do not include special characters ($, %, &, @, #, etc.). When entered, click the 'Save Password' button. You will then be prompted to log into the system.
Do I need an email address to access the new system?
Yes, you must have a valid email address to access the system. A work or personal email address can be used. Your email address will become your username to sign into your user account. Most internet providers can provide you with an email address of your own. You may contact your internet provider or use a free email provider, such as Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo.
Note: The information about providers is provided as a convenience for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by the State Ethics Commission of any of their products, services, or opinions.
How do I complete the conflict of interest law education requirements?
When you log into the system, you will see two courses: State Ethics Commission Conflict of Interest Law Training and Acknowledge Receipt of the Summary of the Conflict of Interest Law. You must complete both courses to fulfill the conflict of interest education requirements. You will see a course due date, a course progress indicator, and two buttons. The progress indicator will read 'Not Started,' 'In Progress,' or 'Complete' depending on how much of the course you have completed. You can click on the the 'i' button to read a brief description of the course or the 'Launch' button to begin the course. Upon launch, the course will open in a new window.
If you work for different levels of government, such as for a state or county agency and a municipality, you will only need to complete the training course once, but you will need to acknowledge receipt of the summary of the conflict of interest law for each level of government. For example, a state employee who is also a municipal employee will need to acknowledge receipt of the State Employee Edition and the Municipal Employee Edition of the summary of the conflict of interest law.
If I cannot complete the education requirements in one session, can I resume the program at a later time from where I left off?
Yes, the system will remember which chapters have been completed if you exit the training course prior to completion. You can exit the course at any time and pick up at the beginning of the chapter that is in progress the next time you log in. Therefore, it is recommended that you complete the chapter in progress before exiting.
You can start the course using one device (such as a desktop) and resume the course using another device (such as a smartphone or tablet). You should click on the 'Resume' button upon launching the course again. Please note that clicking the ‘Restart’ button will resume the course at the beginning.
How does my organization know that I have completed the courses?
When you have successfully completed one or both courses, the system will email you a Certificate of Completion. The certificates will also be available when you click on the 'Your Certificates' button on the top right corner of your user dashboard when you are logged into the system. Your completion status, completion date, and completion certificates are automatically recorded in the system and can be viewed by your organization. Unless directed otherwise, you will not need to provide your completion certificates to your organization.
What if I lose my internet connection while taking the course?
If you lose your internet connection while taking the course, the course may continue to play even after the connection is lost. Though you may be able to interact with the course, any progress you make while an internet connection is down may be lost. If you suspect that your internet connection has been interrupted, it is best to close the course and browser and then resume the course when you are back online.
Is your personal information protected?
In compliance with the Commonwealth’s Enterprise Information Security Policies and Standards, all safeguards reasonably needed to ensure the security, confidentiality, and integrity of electronic personal data and personal information are being observed to prevent unauthorized access to electronic personal data or personal information from any public or private network. The Commission redacts personally identifiable information from public records requests, including personal email addresses.
I am having trouble logging in.
If you are having trouble logging in, please check your internet connection first. If you attempt to log in but receive an “Invalid Login” error message, you may be using an incorrect password. Click the 'Forgot your password' link on the login page to create a new password. You will be prompted to enter the email address you used to create your user account. Once entered, click the 'Reset Password' button. You should receive an email with the subject line, "Massachusetts Conflict of Interest Law Training - Password Reset". Click on the link to create a new password and then log into the system using your new password. Your password must contain 8-15 characters and include at least one upper case letter, one lowercase letter, and one number. Please do not include special characters ($, %, &, @, #, etc.). Please note that you will not receive a “Reset Password” email if you do not already have a user account on the new online training platform.
I am having trouble launching the course.
When you are logged into the system, you will see two courses you must complete by clicking a ‘Launch’ button. When you click the ‘Launch’ button, a new tab opens in your browser and the course loads into the new tab. If a new browser window does not open when you click the ‘Launch’ button, your browser may be blocking pop-up windows. You will then need to adjust your browser settings to disable the pop-up blocker. Please note that Apple device users may find that the pop-up blocker in the Safari or Chrome for Apple browsers are enabled by default and must be disabled. After disabling the pop-up blocker, refresh your browser.
If a new browser window opens but the course does not load into it, refresh your browser until the course loads. The courses should launch in any of the following browsers: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari, either on a desktop or mobile device. If a course does not launch on any of those browsers, please restart your device and try again. You should also check your internet connection if you are unable to launch a course.
The online training program is not resuming where I left off.
If you exit the training program prior to completing it, you will be able to resume where you left off if you completed the chapter you were working on. If you exit the training program prior to completing a chapter, you will resume at the beginning of that chapter. Please be sure to select the ‘Resume’ button and not the ‘Restart’ button. Selecting the ‘Restart’ button will start the course from the beginning.
If you selected ’Resume’ but the course does not resume in the chapter where you left off, it is possible that your internet connection was lost, and the system was unable to save your progress during that period.
I have completed the online training program course, but the system does not show the course as 'Complete.'
The training course is divided into multiple chapters, each of which needs to be completed in its entirety before the system will mark the course as 'Complete.' If the course is not showing as 'Complete,' please review the course menu and ensure that all chapters have a checkmark icon, which indicates that the chapter was reviewed completely. If a chapter(s) does not include a checkmark, please click on the chapter and review it in its entirety. If a checkmark does not appear beside the chapter title after you have completed the chapter, please contact EthicsTraining@mass.gov to report the issue.
Why do I continue to receive notifications asking me to complete the training after I already have?
You may have completed only one of the two training requirements. Please log into your user account to make sure you have completed both the training course and the acknowledgement of receipt of the summary of the conflict of interest law.
Frequently asked questions for local administrators
How do I access the Admin Control Panel?
An administrative Control Panel has been created specifically for your organization. The designated Local Administrator can access it at https://MassEthicsTraining.SkillBurst.com/ControlPanel by entering the e-mail address and the administrative password provided by the Commission. When logged in, you can view the Admin Control Panel dashboard. You will see an organizational snapshot that displays how many of your agency employees have created user accounts and accessed their courses, how many courses have been completed in total, how many completion certificates have been issued, and more. You can also view an instructional video that explains the various dashboard features. The menu along the left side of the page will allow you to navigate the features within the Admin Control Panel dashboard.
Can my agency have more than one local administrator to access the Admin Control Panel?
No, due to the high number of public agencies registered to use the new system, the Commission can only allow one local administrator account per public agency. Local administrators can share their login credentials with others who may need to access the dashboard.
How do I run reports?
To run a report, click the ‘Report’ link in the left-hand menu, and you will be directed to the Reports page. You can select your reporting filters to narrow the report data by course and/or completion status, or by specific users. When you have selected your filters, click the 'Go' button to run your report. You can also download the report and export the data to either an Excel spreadsheet or PDF document.
How do I automate report generation?
You can create a report to run automatically at a desired interval. After creating the report, you can click the 'Automate' button after running the report. You will then be prompted to create a name for the report and enter the email addresses to send the report to. Finally, you can specify if the report should run once per week, once every two weeks, or once per month. Automated reports can be paused or canceled at any time, and there is no limit to the number of automated reports you can create.
How will users be able to access the system?
If this is the first time that users are accessing the new online learning platform, they will need to create an account at https://MassEthicsTraining.SkillBurst.com, where they will be prompted to enter their first name, last name, work or personal email address and then select their public agency from a list. Users who work for multiple public agencies can add additional public agencies to their user account by holding the Ctrl key on their keyboard and clicking on the public agency in the agency list. They will also enter the department or agency that employs them or the board on which they serve. After confirming their email address via an email link, they will be asked to create a password and then be able to login to the system. Passwords must contain 8-15 characters and include at least one upper case letter, one lowercase letter, and one number. Users should not include special characters ($, %, &, @, #, etc.).
You do not need to manually add your users to the system to provide access to the training. However, local administrators have the option to manually add users to the system in lieu of having employees create login accounts by clicking on the ‘User’ link in the Admin Control Panel and entering the user's full name, email address, the department or agency that employs them or the board or committee on which they serve, and then creating a password. Then, check the box next to ‘Assign courses to this user?’ and select the Conflict of Interest Law training course as well as the appropriate Annual Summary Acknowledgment.
Can users be added to the system via bulk import?
Yes, the Admin Control Panel allows public agencies to create a spreadsheet of users and import them as new users. Click the ‘User Import’ link in the left-hand menu of the Admin Control Panel dashboard and then click the link to download the Excel spreadsheet template. Follow the instructions to populate the spreadsheet:
Open the spreadsheet and enter one user record per line as follows:
Dept/Board/Agency. Enter “N/A” if not applicable.
Course(s). Use the appropriate course codes or leave blank to assign the courses later. For multiple course assignments to the same user, separate the codes with an asterisk (*).
Welcome Message. If you would like the system to send an automated message when the user is added to the system, enter the appropriate message code or leave this field blank. Please consult the User Import page in your Admin Control Panel for the code values.
Due Date. Enter the due date for completing the assigned course(s) (if applicable in YYYY-MM-DD format or leave blank).
When the information has been added to the spreadsheet for all users, save the file as a CSV file and then upload it to the system using the box in the ‘Import Users’ section.
Can I remove a user who is no longer employed by my agency or who has incorrectly selected my public agency as their employer?
If a user is no longer employed by your agency, you can access their user profile via the ‘User’ link in the dashboard, then go to the ‘Edit Users’ section to locate the user profile and then select ‘Archive User.’ They will no longer appear in your list of employees. For users who have incorrectly selected your agency, you can either archive them, or notify them of the error and ask them to login to their user account, select the ‘Profile’ tab, and change their public agency. You may also contact the Ethics Commission to edit a user profile. If one of your agency’s employees selected the wrong public agency when creating their user account such that they are not appearing in your dashboard, the employee should be instructed to log into their account, select the ‘Profile’ tab, and change their public agency. You may also contact the Commission for assistance.
What if a public employee does not have a computer?
Public agencies are encouraged to provide reasonable accommodations and assistance so that public employees can complete mandatory conflict of interest law education requirements. If a public employee does not have a computer, the employer can provide access to a computer, or the employee can visit their local library to use a computer. Public employees can also access the system using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, to complete the training.
How will I know when users have completed the courses?
When a user completes a course, they will automatically receive a Certificate of Completion by email. These certificates can also be viewed in the Admin Control Panel by clicking the ‘Certificates’ tab in the left-hand menu and then, under ‘View an Individual Certificate of Completion’ heading, select the first letter of the user’s last name, scroll down the list to locate the user, and click ‘Get Certificate.’ If the user has been issued one or more certificates of completion, links to the certificates will appear on the right side of the page. You can click on a link to view or print or save the certificate.
What if an employee works for another public agency and has completed the conflict of interest law education requirements as an employee of the other agency?
Public employees who have more than one public employer can add the additional agencies to their user account by clicking the ‘Profile’ tab, selecting “Need to change your organization?”, then holding the Ctrl key on their keyboard while clicking the additional agency in the list and then clicking the ‘Save’ button to save the changes. The user, along with their completion status, can then be viewed in each of the agency dashboards included in the user profile.
Is group training available using the new system?
No, all public employees will need to create a user account to access the new system and complete the education requirements online to fulfill the statutory conflict of interest law education requirements.
How do I create Welcome messages?
If you decide to add users to the system manually, you will have the option of sending a Welcome email automatically from the system as the user is added. You must first create your Welcome email message in the ‘Add Message’ section of the ‘Messages’ page in the system. You can click on the ‘Welcome Email Message’ button and enter the message details. If you have created one or more Welcome messages, you can send a Welcome email from the system as the user is added. Please select either ‘Yes’ to send a welcome e-mail or ‘No’ if sending a welcome email is not desired.
Can the system send reminder e-mails to users?
The system automatically sends notices to public employees when it is time for the employees to complete the education requirements again. In addition, local administrators may choose to send an email reminder to registered users who have not yet completed their courses. A reminder email will only be sent to users who have a completion status of either ‘Not Started’ or ‘In-Progress.’ Users who have completed the course will not receive a reminder email from the system. To enable reminders, you must first create at least one reminder message in the ‘Add Message’ section of the ‘Message’ page in the system. You can click the ‘Reminder Email Message’ button and enter the message details.
When the reminders are created, local administrators can send a reminder notice at any time from the ‘Send’ section at the top of the ‘Messages’ page. Local administrators can select one or both courses for reminders and select the appropriate Reminder message. By clicking the ‘Send Reminder’ button, the message will be sent to all users that are assigned to the courses and meet the status criteria outlined above. You can also set reminder messages to be sent automatically from the system, if desired.
User is having trouble logging in.
If a user is receiving an “Invalid login” message when they try to log into the system, they need to confirm that their email address and password are correct. If the user has forgotten their password, please instruct them to click on the ‘Forgot your password’ link to create a new password. They will then be prompted to enter the email address they used when they first accessed the system. When entered, they will then click the ‘Forgot your password?’ link. The user will receive an email with the subject “Massachusetts Conflict of Interest Law Training - Password Reset.” The user should click the link and follow the instructions to create a new password to log in.
If the user is still having trouble logging in, please remind them that passwords must be between 8-15 characters, include at least one upper case letter, one lowercase letter, and one number and which does not include any special characters ($, %, &, @, #, etc.). Please note that users will not receive a “Reset Password” email if they do not already have an account on the new online training platform.
User is having trouble launching the course.
The online training program and summary of the conflict of interest law courses will open in a new browser window when the courses are launched or resumed. If the user does not see the course after clicking the ‘Launch’ button, it is possible that the browser may be blocking this new tab or window from opening. When clicking the ‘Launch’ button, a new browser window will open, and the course will load in the new window. If a browser pop-up blocker is enabled, a new browser window may not open, and the course will not load into it. The user should check their browser to confirm that the pop-up blocker is disabled. Please note that the pop-up blocker may be enabled by default in Apple Safari or Chrome for Apple browsers. Please contact the Commission for assistance with disabling pop-up blockers.
The training course is not resuming where the user left off.
When resuming the training course, it will start at the beginning of the chapter that the user was reviewing when they last exited the course, not at the exact location within that chapter. If the course does not resume at the chapter where the user last left off, the user should confirm that they selected the ‘Resume’ option upon relaunching the course rather than the ‘Restart’ option. If they selected ‘Resume’ but the course does not resume in the chapter where they left off, it is possible that their internet connection was lost, and the system was unable to save their progress during that period. If a user completes a chapter but a checkmark does not appear beside the chapter title, they can email EthicsTraining@mass.gov for assistance.
User has completed the training course, but the system does not show the course as 'Complete.'
The training course is divided into multiple chapters, each of which needs to be completed in its entirety before the system will mark the course as ‘Complete.’ If the course is not showing as ‘Complete,’ please instruct the user to review the course menu and ensure that all chapters have a checkmark , which indicates that the chapter was reviewed completely. If a chapter(s) does not include a checkmark, please instruct the user to click on the chapter and review it in its entirety. As a local administrator, you can log in as a user to view their course status using their email address and the current 'Ghost' password listed in the Control Panel dashboard. Please note that ghost passwords change frequently and are only valid for a limited amount of time.
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|Last updated:||September 1, 2023|