Leadership Academy


The VML Leadership Academy, formerly Virginia Elected Officials Leadership Academy (VEOLA), is a continuing education program designed for both elected and appointed officials. Appointed officials must be employed by a locality in Virginia to participate in the Academy. The program offers courses located in cities across the state.

The purpose of the Academy is to provide an interactive curriculum of specialized instruction that will develop the knowledge and enhance the leadership abilities of those who serve the localities of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

There are three levels of achievement in the Leadership Academy. Level 1 is the Local Government Basics level and focuses on attendance at various training events offered by the League and other organizations. Level 2 is the Advanced Training level and focuses on continuing education as well as participation in various government-related activities, such as serving on a regional board or task force. Level 3 is the Leadership level focusing on leadership activities and leadership positions held in various organizations.


Level 1: Local Government Basics

Level 1 focuses on education and the basics of local government. Courses are designed to develop and enrich expertise in fundamental areas of local governance.

Level 1 of the Leadership Academy requires 40 credits. Participants must complete 25 credits of core courses and 15 credits in elective courses.

Core Courses (25 credits needed)

  • Institute for Local Government (ILO) - all-day instructional conference, offered yearly, that provides the necessary basics for Virginia local government officials (10 credits).
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 credits)
  • Conflict of Interests Act (COIA) (5 credits)
  • Paying for municipal services: Revenue & Budgeting (5 credits)

Elective Courses (15 credits needed)

Each year, the VML Leadership Academy will offer a variety of elective courses. Credit for each course will be granted based upon the subject matter and the number of hours of training offered. Typical subject matter is not limited to, but will include the following:

  • Comprehensive Planning, Capital Improvement Programs, and Zoning
  • Community Image/Reputation
  • Public Engagement/Purpose


Level 2: Advance Training

Participants must complete Level 1 before entering Level 2. This level of the VLA focuses on continuing education and enhancing the participation of local officials in League and other government-related where you represent the locality on a regional basis.

After achieving the 40 credits required for Level 1, participants must complete 40 additional credits to complete Level 2. Level 2 includes 15 credits of required participation and 25 credits of elective courses.

Required Courses / Participation (15 credits needed, choose three)

  • Transportation (mobility)
  • Education
  • Economic Development
  • Workforce Development
  • Aging Infrastructure
  • Sustainability/Resiliency

Elective Courses (25 credits needed)

Each year, the VML Leadership Academy offers a variety of elective courses. Credit for each course will be granted based upon the subject matter and the number of hours of training offered. Also, attendance at League events such as VML Day at the Capitol, Finance Forum, Regional Suppers will offer an opportunity for elective credit.


Level 3: Leadership

Level 3 of the VLA focuses on developing effective partnerships and serving as a leader in the local government professionals’ community.

In addition to the 80 credits required to achieve Level 1 and Level 2, participants must complete 30 additional leadership credits to complete Level 3.

Leadership Positions (30 credits required)

  • Officer of a League Affiliated Association
  • Mayors Institute
  • Testimony Before the Virginia General Assembly
  • Published Article on a Local Government Issue
  • Attendance at NLC National Conference
  • NLC Policy/Steering Committee
  • Exchange Program with Other Local Government
  • Presentation to Local School Children
  • Facilitate Joint Meeting Between City & County or School
  • Conducting Training/Workshop

Upon request, credit may be accepted for prior League participation on a case-by-case basis. Also fees will be charged for each of these various training opportunities to assist with the costs associated to provide this much needed training for all member localities.


2017 Training Calendar

January 4  Finance Forum – Richmond
January 25 VML Day at the Capitol – Richmond
March 3 - 4 Institute for Local Officials – Richmond 
March 29 Legislative Review Webinar

Spring Regional Suppers - Register now >

  • April 5 – Marion
  • April 6 – Appomattox
  • May 3 – Culpeper
  • May 4 – Onancock
  • May 10 – Emporia
  • May 11 - Williamsburg
June 14 FOIA/COIA – Richmond - Register now >
June 15  FOIA/COIA – Roanoke - Register now >
July 12 Ask the Lawyer Webinar
August 3 Budgeting – Newport News
August 4 Budgeting – Richmond
September 13 Public/Private Partnerships – Webinar
Sept. 30 – Oct. 3 Virginia Mayors Institute & VML Annual Conference – Williamsburg

Fall Regional Suppers

Dates and locations to be announced

December 13 Transportation Webinar


For more information about the VML Leadership Academy, contact:

Michael Polychrones
VML Director of Member Services
(804) 523-8530