Defence Public Affairs Learning Centre

Defence Public Affairs Learning Centre

Defence Public Affairs Learning Centre

About The DPALC

The Defence Public Affairs Learning Centre (DPALC) provides Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces personnel with specialized military public affairs and communications training.

Despite being one of the youngest training institutions in the CAF (established in 2006), the DPALC has evolved quickly to meet the challenging environment of public communications.

2,000 training hours/year – 750 students students/year

The DPALC serves as the functional training authority for the Assistant Deputy Minister (Public Affairs) organization and executes its mandate under the authority of Military Personnel Generation (MILPERSGEN).

  • Trains Regular and Reserve Public Affairs Officers
  • Provides familiarization training and spokesperson training
  • Provides specialized training to Imagery Technicians
  • Provides tailored training packages to academic institutions both at home and abroad


The mission of the DPALC is:

  • to develop a cadre of professional Public Affairs Officers in the Canadian Armed Forces, and
  • to give defence personnel, especially Canadian Armed Forces members, the training and expertise they need to connect effectively with Canadians and provide communications advice to senior leaders of the Canadian Armed Forces.

The DPALC contributes to Defence priorities by

  • providing relevant training packages;
  • producing confident, informed graduates who are well-prepared to represent the Canadian Armed Force/Department of National Defence to the public; and
  • leveraging emerging communications practices and technologies in the continued refinement of its curriculum.

The Defence Public Affairs Learning Centre (DPALC) delivers various learning programs both in-house and through distance learning and varying in length from one day to 10 months.

The DPALC trains:

  • Regular Force Public Affairs Officers
  • Reserve Force Public Affairs Officers
  • Unit Public Affairs Representatives
  • Military and civilian executive-level spokespeople
  • Regular Force Imagery Technicians
  • Social media practitioners
  • Other external and international partners

Several of the courses come together for various projects and exercises, creating a realistic training environment in which Non-Commissioned Members, Regular Force Officers and Reserve Force Officers from the various trades and elements work together to tell the Canadian Armed Forces story.

The DPALC’s main courses are:


Canadian – Innovative – Structured – Standardized – Bilingual

The Defence Public Affairs Learning Centre is headed by a lieutenant-colonel or commander who commands a staff of about 25 military and civilian personnel, who have a broad range of experience and expertise.

  • public affairs planning
  • communications products and tools
  • journalism and media studies
  • media relations
  • crisis communications
  • public affairs in an operational setting
  • community relations
  • issues management
  • standard operating procedures
  • internal communications
  • video production
  • photojournalism
  • new media and social media
  • environmental analysis
  • public affairs policy
  • resource management
  • strategic communications
  • event planning

The Defence Public Affairs Learning Centre is located in Gatineau, Quebec in the historic National Printing Bureau building.

Facilities include:

  • 3 large classrooms
  • several breakout rooms
  • 2 television studios
  • 2 radio studios
  • editing suites
  • a control room
  • a library
  • 2 kitchens
  • offices


Department of National Defence
Assistant-Deputy Minister (Public Affairs)
Defence Public Affairs Learning Centre
45 blvd. Sacré Coeur
Gatineu, Québec
J8X 1C6

Fax: 819-994-1544

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