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PA Training

NATO Public Affairs Joint Education and Training

The ability to conduct public affairs effectively in today’s fast paced and highly complex communications environment is critical to NATO mission success.

Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) must be trained and knowledgeable of NATO Public Affairs policies and procedures before assuming their duties, in particular those assigned to the following:

  • NATO Crisis Establishment (CE) positions, i.e. PAOs deployed on NATO Operations
  • NATO Peacetime Establishment (PE) positions, i.e. posts in the NATO Command Structure
  • National PA positions on NATO-led operations.

NATO has provided NATO-specific PA training since 2002. However, while basic PA Training primarily is a national responsibility, not all nations currently have the resources and capabilities to be able to offer such training, which is obligatory before attending the final step of the NATO PA training – the PA in Operations course.

To assist nations in meeting this challenge, ACT is actively working with NATO Member and Partnership for Peace (PfP) nations with mature PA education and training programs and resources, and that teach in English, to make their courses available to students from nations that do not yet have this capability. On several occasions in the past we have successfully negotiated seats for students coming from other nations than the host nations running these courses. Some nations also have established courses for NATO specifically for the purpose of qualifying students to complete the NATO PA training as described above.

We are, together with the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany, working hard to ensure that the NATO PA courses continue to provide high-quality and operationally relevant training to PAOs (both officers and non-commissioned officers) assigned to NATO PA positions.

If you are:

  • Serving at a national HQ responsible for nominating PAOs for NATO CE or PE positions or for national posts at a NATO-led mission;
  • An individual assigned to a NATO PA position or a national PA position on a NATO-led mission; or
  • A member or partner nation looking to establish a PA education and training program; 

Call, write or e-mail us. Our Public Affairs Training Section is NATO’s lead agency for promoting excellence in military Public Affairs training. We are here to help, and it is our goal to respond to any queries on PA training within 24 hours, and to keep this portal current on all relevant training opportunities. So, please keep checking back. You can also sign up to receive our newsletter, announcing upcoming training opportunities.

NATO Public Affairs Career Progression

basic training150Basic PA Training

While basic PA training is a national responsibility, ACT recognises that not all nations currently have this capability, particularly in English. ACT has therefore observed a number of basic-level PA courses that we recommend, and that we are working to gain access to for students from other NATO and partner countries. Some nations also have established courses for NATO specifically to increase capacity of this basic PA training, which is a prerequisite for completing the NATO PA training.

nato pa trng150NATO PA Training

Since November 2010, two separate one-week PA courses are offered, each course available three times a year. These courses, called NATO Public Affairs Policy Indoctrination Course and NATO Public Affairs in Operations Course replaced the former two-week NATO Public Affairs Course, which had been running since 2002.

advanced pa trng150Advanced PA Training

In addition to the NATO School PA courses, which are considered intermediate, advanced PA training may be offered at the following national schools:

The command for Management, Information and Communication Training in the Swiss Armed Forces (MICA), United Kingdom’s Defence Media Operations Centre (DMOC), United States’ Defense Information School (DINFOS).


Available PA Courses

  • International Public Affairs Course (serial B) +

    Location : Multi-National Peace Support Training Centre, Kilkis, Greece

    Date : 7 September - 18 September 2015

    For more information please go to

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