Defence Public Affairs Learning Centre - Courses

Basic Public Affairs Officer Course (BPAOC)

Duration: 6 months

Location: In house

Frequency: 1/year (bilingual)

Prerequisite: This course is open to Regular Force Officers who have been accepted to the Public Affairs trade through Personnel Selection Officer referral. Candidates must have a BBB language profile in their second language.

Description: The BPAOC is an intense and broad course with the aim of providing candidates with the necessary knowledge and skills required of an entry-level Public Affairs Officer. Successful completion of the BPAOC and achieving a BBB second language profile is required to be fully qualified as a Public Affairs Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

The course was designed and established to meet the need to train CAF Public Affairs Officers in a relevant Canadian context and recently re-vamped and modernized its content to cover the latest in communications tools and practices. The course produces highly skilled public affairs practitioners who, upon graduation, are ready to operate at the tactical and operational level in strategic and multinational contexts.

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An instructor delivers a lesson to Canadian Armed Forces imagery technicians in the main classroom during the DPALC’s Public Affairs Non-Commissioned Members Course.

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DPALC staff and students work together on a video production in the television studio during the Public Affairs Non-Commissioned Members Course.

Reserve Force Basic Public Affairs Officer Course (RBPAOC)

Duration: 10 months

Location: Distance learning with 5 in house residencies

Frequency: 1/year (bilingual)

Prerequisite: Application to the Reserve Public Affairs Officer trade is done through the member’s unit Personnel Selection Office or a local recruiting centre. Candidates must be serving in or designated for a Reserve Public Affairs position before the course. If space permits, members of the Cadet Instructor Cadre serving in a Public Affairs role will be accepted.

Description: Graduation from the RBPAOC results in the same qualification as the Regular Force BPAOC (see above) with both courses participating in a joint exercise and graduation each year.

Students are expected to dedicate the equivalent of two days a week to the distance learning segments and attendance at all residencies is mandatory. Assignments are due on a weekly basis, online participation in discussions and case studies is mandatory, and all Performance Objectives must be met in order to successfully complete the course.

Public Affairs Imagery and Digital Media Course (PAIDMC)

In development.

Unit Public Affairs Representative Course (UPAR)

Duration: 1 week

Location: In house and throughout Canada

Frequency: 5/year (French and English serials)

Prerequisite: This course is open to those from the rank of Sergeant/Petty officer 2nd Class to Captain/Lieutenant(Navy), who are serving as their unit’s public affairs representative either as a secondary duty or full-time. It is also open to civilian employees working in a PA environment.

Commands and L1s must each develop a priority list of personnel requiring training with a brief substantiation. Every Canadian Armed Forces unit is expected to have a trained UPAR so demand for this course is very high, with the Defence Public Affairs Learning Centre holding a waiting list.

Description: The UPAR course is an intense training program that prepares the UPAR (officers or non-commissioned members) who perform public affairs as a secondary duty) to perform the tasks associated with this function.

It meets a national military need at the unit level by offering the learners the basics of communication theory; instruction in the preparation and use of unit level communication tools, products and public affairs plans in support of unit operations and exercises; and an understanding of basic media relations including interview techniques.

Designated Spokesperson Training (DST)

Duration: 1-2 days

Location: In house and Reserve-supported sessions throughout Canada

Frequency: As required (bilingual)

Prerequisite: Liaise with Defence Public Affairs Learning Centre staff to determine if this training we’ll meet your organization’s needs.

The DST is a tailored workshop that provides senior Departments of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces spokespersons with an opportunity to prepare for successful media events and interviews (testimony before committees, specific news conferences, town hall preparation, etc.) in a variety of settings. DPALC has a television studio, radio studio and other facilities available for this training, which consists of:

  • Introduction to the media
  • Media scenarios
  • The roles and responsibilities of the spokesperson
  • A review and discussion of the candidate’s role, interview topics and messages
  • Practice on-camera interviews, evaluation and feedback
Social Media Primer (SMP)

Duration: 7.5 hours

Location: Distance learning

Frequency: Ongoing

Prerequisite: The Social Media Primer is open to all military and civilian public affairs practitioners.

Description: The SMP provides an opportunity for all social media practitioners and communicators to share a baseline level of knowledge and fundamental skills in social technologies to communicate effectively.

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