Since 1989, the Ottawa-based Centre for Trade Policy and Law (CTPL) has been helping governments achieve their international trade policy and law objectives. We do this through customized training, policy research, and advisory programs. These programs are based on the practical experience of former trade negotiators and other trade professionals from Canada and the countries in which we work and the policy-oriented expertise of our faculty at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University and the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. CTPL has 28 years of direct experience working in more than 30 countries in all regions of the world.

CTPL offers a suite of applied training and advisory services customized to meet the needs of its clients as they advance through the various stages of the negotiations process. These services range from foundational courses, to ongoing accelerated training, and establishing long term Learning & Professional Development programs.

Please consult the following page to find information about scheduled certificate courses

Below you will find a sample of courses that have been offered over the years.

Certificate in Trade Negotiations Skills

This is an executive-level, skills development course on how to implement the international trade negotiations component of a government’s national trade strategy. The course is highlyinteractive, using a simulation of a prospective trade negotiation to provide hands-on experience in how to prepare, conduct, and finalize a modern and forward-looking trade agreement. The course is based on the experience of former trade negotiators and diplomats from Canada, the United States, Europe, Russia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and China.

The simulation is tailored to the specific interests of the negotiating partners to provide a reallife experience to all participants. The course is designed to develop further the negotiation and advocacy strengths of teams preparing for, and participating in, trade negotiations. The simulation approach tests scenarios to inform strategies for upcoming negotiations. Individual participant assessments at the end of the course can be used to identify areas for further training development of negotiating team members.

CTPL successfully delivered this simulation model to more than 400 trade professionals over the last five years. The target audience for this CTPL Certificate is new and existing staff of trade and trade-related ministries.

Customized training courses

CTPL works with senior managers of trade departments and their officials to develop customized training for both CTPL Certificate graduates and trade professionals with some negotiations, policy or trade law experience. These more advanced courses focus on the technical and strategic dimensions of particular negotiating issues in more detail than the Certificate Program.

The courses are designed based on individual training needs assessments of the expected participants and the training priorities of their respective departments. Each course adopts an experiential learning approach, combining lectures and discussions with case exercises, simulations, and individual presentations. To maximize its impact on the negotiation process, course content and timing of delivery should complement preparations for, and participation in, the issues being dealt with at the negotiating table. Read more here.

Customized strategic and technical advice and support to negotiations

“Learning-by-doing” is the most common way that trade officials develop their skills as negotiators. The challenge that trade ministries across the globe increasingly face, however, is how to move up the experiential curve more quickly to respond when their respective governments launch ambitious trade negotiations strategies.

CTPL in-house staff and its network of trade professionals help address this challenge. We develop coaching and mentoring strategies based on individual needs assessments, in the context of departmental trade negotiation priorities. Our coaching and mentoring can be provided both online and in-person. Individuals are assigned to experts that work directly with them on particular issues as they prepare for negotiations and are on-call during and after negotiations. At the end of the support, CTPL works with senior managers to integrate the content developed and lessons learned into their internal human resource development strategies.

Certificate in Trade and Development

This is a 5-10 day (depending on the audience) program involving modules on policy analysis and strategic planning; trade negotiation skills development, and meeting trade and development challenges in developing countries. The most recent international delivery of this course was in 2012 in cooperation with the University of Central Asia (UCA). This was a 10 day course for trade officials from Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. The highlight of the course was a four-day trade negotiation simulation of a proposed free trade agreement between these four countries and China.

Certificate Program in Trade Policy and Commercial Diplomacy

This is 4-6 week program on the fundamentals of international trade agreements, trade policy formulation and implementation, trade negotiation skills development, a policy advocacy. This successful program at Carleton University has been used as a model for the train-the-trainers capacity building programs at universities across the globe, including in Cuba, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, and Barbados.

Trade Diplomacy @ Work

These two-day courses provide up-to-date training and advice on Canada’s trade policy agenda and emerging issues. The course is targeted at junior- to mid-level trade professionals in government, business associations, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector. It is usually delivered in Ottawa but can also be modified and delivered in other locations for specific audiences (e.g., provincial trade professionals).