Long Life Learning
22.02.2013 / 11:58
Continual education and professional skill development are prerequisites for every Foreign Service employee seeking career advancement. Education for Czech diplomats is tailored to meet the specific needs of Czech diplomacy, foreign policy, and the rules governing state administration.
Training diplomatic personnel needs to reflect the ever changing international situation - the growing number of actors and stakeholders in international relations, new threats and risks, as well as the rapid advances in information and communication technology. All of these factors influence, and in turn the style and approach to training diplomats. To meet these challenges, the Diplomatic Academy now offers courses such as Internet security, cyber security, global terrorism, anticorruption policy in state administration and crisis management.
Soft skills are another key area of focus for continuing education. The Diplomatic Academy facilitates learning opportunities so that diplomats are able to improve and develop their presentation skills; and negotiate effectively at bilateral and multilateral levels. Other courses offered focus on communication skills, workshops about working with journalists, mass communication, social media and developing media skills.
Another focus for the Diplomatic Academy is on enabling people to adapt to change. Diplomats need to adapt to different cultures and environments when working abroad. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs via the Diplomatic Academy offers courses on effective cross cultural communication for Czechs and foreigners, cultural diversity and psychological preparation for culture shock. A Special Survival course is also run in cooperation with the Military Academy in Vyškov which is designed for junior diplomatic and other Foreign Service members requiring the training.
From 2012, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched a new training initiative focused on promoting and supporting Czech economic interests abroad under the concept of the Czech Republic’s foreign policy. The new training is aimed at broadening and deepening knowledge of economic issues for diplomats. It also strengthens economic knowledge on the macro level, while focusing on relations between national economies and their constituents, and how the state can better support the export strategies of Czech companies.
Training diplomats in economic affairs takes several dimensions. The core component is a week long course of economics, traditionally held at the beginning of the year, which is prepared for all departing diplomats, holding the position of economic counsellors and the junior diplomats. To supplement the intensive training, there are regular guest lectures on current economic issues where prominent Czech economists and senior government officials are invited.