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CPA Parliamentary Academy

Online Courses

Learning and striving for excellence should be a lifelong objective. With this in mind, the CPA has designed a curriculum of online courses specifically for Parliamentarians and parliamentary officials.

These accessible courses offer an adaptive and flexible learning approach. The courses are intended to strengthen the capacity of Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to fulfil their constitutional and statutory obligations as well as to enhance knowledge and understanding of the role of Parliament in the democratic governance process.

The online courses have been designed specifically for busy Parliamentarians and clerks. These courses can be easily done over the course of a week. 

The courses have been designed to highlight the practical realities faced by sitting parliamentarians and clerks. With this in mind, the CPA has brought together over 60 experienced Parliamentarians, clerks and external experts from across the Commonwealth to offer their insight and advice on subjects ranging from gender-sensitive budgeting to codes of conduct.

The following online courses are currently available:

CPA Parliamentary Professional Development Certificate (awarded to those that complete all the courses)

  • Induction for New Parliamentarians
  • Legislative Process
  • Scrutiny, Accountability and Oversight
  • Representation, Advocacy and Education

CPA Parliamentary Service Professional Development Certificate (awarded to those that complete all the courses)

  • Basic Principles of Parliamentary Procedure
  • Committee System
  • Administration and Management of Parliaments
  • Building Relationships
  • Strategy, Business Planning and Monitoring and Evaluation

CPA Public Financial Management Certificate (awarded to those that complete the course below)

  • Public Accounts Committee Course

2022 Expansion

New online courses (both Moderate and Advanced) will be launched in 2022 aimed specifically at Speakers and Presiding Officers and Members of the CPA’s various networks. The following courses have been confirmed:

  • Climate Change and Parliamentary Action in Small Jurisdictions
  • Effective Women's Parliamentary Caucuses (WPCs) – Key Characteristics
  • Accessibility of Commonwealth Parliaments to Persons with Disabilities
  • The Sustainable Development Goals: Parliaments’ role in their implementation

Residency Courses

As part of the CPA Parliamentary Academy, the CPA will deliver two residency based courses for Parliamentarians. Both will be run annually and will be an opportunity to complement the online courses. 

The following courses are scheduled for 2022:


Advanced Parliamentary Development


The Advanced Parliamentary Development Residency Course is a five day programme for Parliamentarians to examine how to be better performing legislators, representatives and scrutineers. Based on a mentoring and coaching approach, participants will identify practical solutions to the challenges they face and hone their skills at a higher level.

The programme will involve simulations, role-play, one-to-one discussions, group activities and exercises to give time for mutual learning and information sharing. The course is only open to Members who have completed the Induction for New Members online course or its Post-Election Seminar equivalent.

Course Details

Dates: 21 - 27 May 2022

Location: Parliament of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Further information has now been sent to CPA Branch Secretaries. Applications are now open for nominations. For more information, see here


Advanced Professional Development & Skills-Building


This 4-day course will enable parliamentarians to develop skills on areas like leadership; influencing and negotiation, communication - through speeches and media interviews; managing teams; diplomacy; research skills; managing finances; coping with personal issues (managing family life and work, mental health issues, personal growth) and other skills and abilities parliamentarians need to perform at a higher level and have the knowledge and confidence to deal with any situation that arises.

This course is scheduled for Autumn/Winter 2022. Further details will be announced in due course.


Externally Delivered Courses

The CPA, in partnership with leading international universities and professional development training institutions have designed academically rigorous accredited programmes for parliamentarians and clerks to access independently. These include:

  • The Professional Development Certificate in Parliamentary Governance and the Professional Development Certificate in Parliamentary Management delivered by the McGill University's School of Continuing Studies
  • The online King’s College, University of London Advanced Parliamentary Theory and Practice module for parliamentary officials
  • Backbencher to an Effective Minister: From Campaigning to Governing delivered by the Civil Service College is aimed at newly appointed Ministers
Browse our affiliated courses ->

Register for the CPA Parliamentary Academy

To register for the CPA Parliamentary Academy, please complete the below form or email or fill out a Contact Us form

Once the relevant information has been verified, an online account will be set up. Registrants will then be able to access the course(s) via the website portal. Once on the portal, registrants should go to the All Courses panel and register for the course(s). 

Please Note: It can take between 24-36 hours to set-up the registration account.

It is strongly encouraged that applicants notify their CPA Branch Secretary when applying for the course.

Please read the CPA's Privacy Policy and Data Protection information here.

Academy Contacts

CPA Secretariat
Matthew Salik
Head of Programmes
CPA Headquarters Secretariat
Lydia Buchanan
Deputy Head of Programmes - Bilateral Engagement
CPA Headquarters Secretariat