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Our courses include those aimed at new practitioners (on induction programmes at entry level), experienced practitioners and team leaders who wish to acquire the skill of leading and coaching their teams in a particular field. The pace and complexity of each course is adjusted accordingly.

All our programmes share four key characteristics:

(i)          active work in small groups

(ii)         each group having its own mentor or tutor providing personal feedback and guidance

(iii)        directing staff who combine training experience and practitioner experience

(iv)        substantive content which is both real and current.

CPDS has no fixed schedule of courses to which individuals may apply.  Each programme is designed in consultation with a particular government or institution to meet specific objectives.



We continue to be asked to develop new programmes in this field for a number of governments and are conducting policy/political training currently for the foreign ministries of Afghanistan (in co-operation with the FCO), Australia, Austria (in co-operation with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna), Finland, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and Vietnam as well as for the European Commission, European External Action Service and Member State Permanent Representations to the EU.

CPDS has been responsible for programmes of training in policy and political work for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for the past fifteen years, and currently delivers their principal face-to-face training courses in International Policy Skills.

For five years prior to that, CPDS designed and conducted courses of training in political work and political negotiation for Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the twenty-seven states of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.



Courses in Political Analysis, Reporting and Briefing are conducted for members of the European External Action Service, and for officials of the European Commission and Council Secretariat.

CPDS also conducts a programme of training in Political Messags for the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.



For the past ten years, CPDS has conducted a series of courses on influencing the policy context and networking for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, for the European Commission in Brussels, for the Diplomatic School of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, and for the governments of Poland, Sweden and Lithuania in preparation for their Presidencies of the Council of the European Union.

The skills of personal impact, influencing and networking are a central element of all CPDS courses on Political Work.



CPDS has designed and conducted programmes on bilateral and multilateral negotiation were delivered to Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the twenty-seven states of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (1993-2004).

CPDS has extensive experience in negotiation training for specific multinational organisations, including:

– The United Nations (working in association with the UK Mission to the United Nations, UKMIS). CPDS has conducted courses in preparing for membership and subsequently chairmanship of the UN Security Council. CPDS has also offered a series of courses focusing on negotiating in the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council for the Security Policy and Counter-Proliferation Departments within the FCO.

The Council of the EU One- and two-day courses in effective negotiation and chairing have been a central part of each of the CPDS programmes of training for nine governments preparing for their Presidency of the Council of the European Union, including the United Kingdom, Finland, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Sweden, Spain, Hungary, Poland and, currently, Lithuania (a total of more than two hundred courses).

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe Within the Lithuanian Presidency programme, CPDS has conducted a suite of courses on negotiating in the OSCE and in the Council of Europe.



CPDS conducted the training for Chairs of Working Groups and National Delegates from all government ministries in preparation for the UK Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2005, for the Finnish Presidency in 2006, for the Slovenian Presidency in 2008, for the Czech and Swedish Presidencies in 2009, for the Hungarian Presidency in 2011, for the Polish Presidency in 2011 (in association with the College of Europe, Clingendael and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna), for the Lithuanian Presidency in 2013 and assisted the government of Spain in their preparation for the Presidency in 2010.

CPDS has also provided programmes of training for the governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Togo, Rwanda and Saudi Arabia preparing for the membership and/or the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. 


CPDS has conducted courses on speechwriting and speechmaking for senior officials from Austria, Egypt, Lithuania and Poland.

Developing communications skills is also a central element of CPDS courses on Political Work.