AALEP Public Policy Advocacy Executive Certificate Programme

To succeed in Brussels complex political environment, a Public Policy Advocate must have not only an in-depth knowledge of the EU decision-making process, but an understanding of the rules and procedures.  

It should be made clear that having signed into the Joint Transparency Register (of Interest Representatives) of the European Commission and the European Parliament does not imply that an individual has the competence to carry out public policy advocacy activities. To be accredited competence would have to be backed up by recognized competence-based qualifications which is not the case  under the Transparency Register. This is an important consideration as “Accreditation” or ‘having one’s name in the Transparency Register may be perceived on the market as having increased credibility, when in fact it does NOT. As a matter of fact, some organisations and individuals are not embarrassed about publicizing that they are “Accredited” to the European Union as if such accreditation or entry was a recognition of their competence. It may not be a straight case of misrepresentation since arguably they may well be registered in the Transparency Register, but nevertheless the public might be misled by implication i.e. that the individual has indeed recognised competence.         

As defined in the Bologna Declaration, accreditation serves to assure quality when implementing new (ex ante steering) degree programmes and also to monitor existing ones (ex post steering). Accreditation, i. e. certification of a degree programme, does take place after review of the minimum standards for content and specialisation, the vocational relevance of the degree to be awarded and the coherence and consistency of the general conception of the degree programme. It is awarded for a limited period of time within the frame of a transparent, formal and external peer review. Thus, the degree programme has to be reviewed after a certain time. The process of a peer review is steered by agencies which are also reviewed through regular external evaluation.  

We have to do better and we will do better. We need standards to guide our profession and the work we do. Working in cooperation with some of Brussels’ premier Public Policy Advocates and leading political scientists, AALEP has developed a comprehensive Public Policy Advocacy Executive Certificate Programme  designed to provide  professional Public Policy Advocates with the knowledge and skills to work more effectively in the EU policy-making arena, namely at the European level. 

The Public Policy Advocacy Executive Certificate Program sets a new standard of professionalism for Public Policy Advocates. In addition, it represents a distinctive qualification that will serve as an indicator of professional training for potential employers seeking qualified government relations employees. The programme is designed for practicing Public Policy Advocates looking to enhance their skills or aspiring Public Policy Advocates seeking a high level of professional responsibility. This training is not be just for Public Policy Advocates but is also be available for MEP’s staff as well. We need a change of attitudes by making this education and training available to everyone.

The Public Policy Advocacy Executive Certificate Programme is designed to help Public Policy Advocates continue their education and training. It delivers the body of knowledge and skills Public Policy Advocates need to work more effectively in the European or national policy-making arena.

Certificate Program Content

The Public Policy Advocacy Executive Certificate Program covers all the critical issues of public policy advocacy, elements of public policy advocacy planning and strategies for action. Participants will gain basic skills and knowledge in visioning, contextual analysis, problem/issue identification, analysis and prioritisation, power mapping, goal/objective setting, analysis of the Brussels advocacy arenas, message development, reports and media, public outreach and mobilisation, public policy advocacy negotiation, advocacy leadership and coalition building and assessment of success. The Public Policy Advocacy Executive Certificate Program includes 5 Modules representing a total of 144 hours and can be completed in six months. Government relations staff not seeking full certification can attend individual sessions as needed to enhance their skills and update their knowledge in specific areas of public policy advocacy. 

The Certificate Programme is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on peer-to-peer learning. Participants will also need to complete a number of written assignments as part of the Programme, usually including a Final Project on a topic of their choice.

Download AALEP Catalogue of Courses 2011/2012