NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

NATO's Training System: Global Programming

Global Programming is how NATO manages the training needs of personnel from member and partner nations to provide tailored training solutions to satisfy all NATO requirements.

A NATO training requirement is identified when skills, competence, or technical ability are necessary to accomplish the mission within the NATO Command Structure or NATO Force Structure. A NATO requirement’s scope is outside the national training responsibility and serves a need to ensure interoperability among nations.

With 31 member nations and 39 partners, military members and civilians joining NATO have diverse backgrounds. Global Programming provides the common education and training required for the particular needs of individuals assigned to NATO. It delivers the right training to the right people at the right time.

Global programing matches NATO requirements to training solutions through the execution of a governance process. This process oversees the selection and approval of courses that provide a training solution to a known gap identified as a requirement. Training is categorized into disciplines which organize the support structure available to the training. Each discipline has a requirements authority and a department head.

The management of requirements by the requirement authority and the solutions identified by the department head are facilitated by the Education Training Plans and Programs branch of Joint Force Development at Supreme Allied Command Transformation, NATO’s headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, United States.

Global Programming manages Education and Training for:

  • more than 800 Courses
  • more than 5,000 Students Annually
  • 8 NATO Education and Training Facilities
  • 28 Centres of Excellence
  • 33 Partnership Education and Training Facilities

Contact us if you would like us to brief your team on Global Programming. E-mail: [email protected]

Partner Training and Education Centres

On March 12th 2021, ACT organised the first virtual conference for Partner Training and Education Centres.

After more than one year of suspension of the activities of the conferences and working groups, almost all of them were able to participate virtually. Initially launched in 1999, the concept of PTEC was created in order to develop training and education activities among NATO nations, Partners for Peace and other partner nations. More than 40 attendees of this very diversified community used this unique opportunity to share knowledge and experience related to military training and force development.

The agenda was focused on the management of the adaptation to the pandemic. From the latest member, the Colombian International Demining Centre, to the most eastern, the Five Hills Peace support Operations Training Centre in Mongolia, all PTEC have been dramatically disrupted by the COVID19 crisis.

Unique Missions

Regardless of the unique missions of each centre, there are three common conclusions that could be drawn. First, the non-residential training solutions have a promising future after the pandemic. Second, the switch from residential to virtual is not easy and requires specific agile methodology and quality management (on these topics, PTECs have high expectations for HQ SACT). Third, there will always be a need for residential training because force development also means community and team building.

Not everyone easily learns remotely, we will blend learning methods to achieve gains in both areas.


On February 3rd 2021, ACT organised the first virtual forum for NATO Requirement Authorities, under the patronage of the chief of staff.

Requirement authorities are the authorities (OF6/OF7) who decide what are the needs of the NATO Command structure in terms of Education, Training, Exercise and Evaluation (ETEE).

Once the Requirement Authorities validate the requirements, the collective part of the training is managed by SHAPE and the individual part by HQ SACT. For this reason, the Requirement Authorities can be considered the strategic articulations between ACO and ACT when it comes to ETEE.

The primary aim of this venue was to explore the best options to “capture” the training requirements attached to the priorities of the strategic commanders (DDA, NWCC, ….) and how to better organise for that. After the conference for general officers, a forum for the staff officers involved in the process detailed the ongoing challenges. The day before, a training event for those new to the function was organised too.

The importance of the subject and the possibilities offered by VTC permitted an excellent level of attendance, never obtained in the past.

Education Training, Plans and Programs branch

On December 1st and 2nd, 2021, Education Training, Plans and Programs branch conducted the Department Head Forum webinar for Global Programming hosted by Joint Force Development at SACT, Norfolk, VA.

The webinar included over 50 participants to discuss current policy, best practices, and strengthen the international dialogue on how NATO supports training.

Several subject matter experts provided briefs and facilitated question and answer segments. This provided an opportunity for department heads for each discipline to have open dialogue with one another and break-out sessions to focus on resolving issues and creating solutions.

This resulted in increased understanding regarding the process to enable NATO course certification and training discipline best practices.

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