Welcome to Ethical Foundations for Public Service!

Ethical Foundations for Public Service

About This Training

There are 3 parts to this online training program:

  1. Philosophy and Principles;
  2. Practical Applications at OSU; and
  3. Case Studies and Scenarios

Reference Materials

Each module offers a printable reference handbook. Part 3 includes a workbook only with scenrios for you to work through.

A Certificate of Completion is provided at the end of the series.


Ethics is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is concepts of right versus wrong, good versus bad, and noble versus ignoble, etc. As managers and supervisors, you’ll be faced with situations where you'll ask yourself, “What is the right thing to do?”

As a state entity, OSU’s work lies in providing public service and upholding public trust. With OSU's broad constituency, you may be faced with the need to resolve competing interests, and the manner in which you uphold the ethical values of OSU can impact areas beyond your work place.

There are numerous, written ground rules to be aware of depending on your specific responsibilities. As a manager or supervisor, it is your obligation to become familiar with the laws, policies, procedures, professional standards, and other guidelines and protocols to help you make consistent, effective and ethical decisions.

Though this series provides an overview of written ground rules, practical applications, and scenarios around the topic of ethics,
ultimately that which is is written is carried out through your behaviors and practices in the workplace. In the end, what you do and how you do it defines the ethical foundation and practices of an organization.

To Start

Close the browser window to continue with Part 1: Philosophy and Principles.