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Principles of Policy Advice: Submissions & Briefing Masterclass

Date: 20th June 2024
Venue: “Virtual” platform delivery

Registration form (Word)

Registration form (PDF)

Course Overview

This one-day masterclass is specifically designed for civil servants and individuals working closely with the public sector who seek to enhance their skills in policy analysis, development, and communication. This intensive course aims to provide participants with a thorough understanding of the principles and practices of policy advice while offering practical tools and techniques to help them excel in their roles. By focusing on real-world applications and drawing on the expertise of seasoned professionals, this masterclass seeks to empower participants to navigate the complexities of the policy environment, improve the quality of their advice, and contribute to the development of more effective policies.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the principles of policy advice and differentiate it from political advice.
  • Recognise the role of officials in policy advice and the various paradigms that guide its practice.
  • Conduct policy analysis by identifying policy problems, following the policy analysis process, and utilising evidence-based methodologies.
  • Comprehend the dynamics of the official-ministerial relationship in policy advice and the roles of various stakeholders, including officials, ministers, political advisors, and external experts.
  • Craft a policy brief that effectively communicates the nature, objectives, and potential impact of proposed policy solutions.
  • Develop a persuasive written submission tailored to its intended audience, emphasising the nature and potential impact of the proposed policy recommendations.
  • Deliver oral policy advice and evidence, considering the nuances of policy presentations and the best practices for providing oral evidence.
  • Utilise the principles of effective communication, persuasion, and rhetoric to turn policy advice into actionable policy messages.
  • Apply the skills and knowledge acquired throughout the course in a practical session, working in groups to tackle a real-world policy problem and present a brief to a simulated minister.
  • This comprehensive course will provide participants with a solid foundation in the principles and practice of policy advice, preparing them to effectively analyse policy issues, develop evidence-based recommendations, and communicate their advice persuasively to decision- makers.


Policy Advice and Policy Analysis
  • The Principles of Policy Advice
  • What is policy advice? How does it differ from political advice?
  • Speaking truth to power: the role of officials in policy advice.
  • The paradigms of policy advice.

  • How to conduct policy analysis
  • Identifying policy problems
  • Policy analysis process
  • Evidence-based policy
Ministers, Policy Advice and a Policy Brief
  • What is the official - ministerial relationship in policy advice?
  • What is the role of the official?
  • What do Ministers want?
  • What do political advisors and civil servants do differently?
  • What is the role of external advice and the role of advisory committees?

  • Writing a policy brief
  • Nature of a policy brief
  • Objectives of a policy brief
  • Style and content
  • Impact of policy briefings
12.15 - 13.30
13.30 - 14.30
Oral and Written submissions
  • Writing a submission
  • Audience of submissions
  • Nature of written submission
  • Impact of submissions

  • Oral advice and evidence
  • Giving policy presentations - what to consider
  • Giving oral evidence
  • How to provide oral evidence
  • Its nature and impact
14.30 - 15.00
Practical Session
  • Break out groups spend half an hour writing a policy briefing
  • Groups to pick a policy problem
  • Consider options
  • Write a short brief for a Minister.
15.15 - 15.30
Feedback on briefings and communicating policy advice


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Comments & Views

"Very comprehensive course material and delivery. I believe the facilitator was very great at bringing the theory to practical context and there really was no need to ask questions at the end. Objectives: To gain full understanding of the approach to developing, communicating and implementing policy. Specifically preparing and delivering briefs in this regard to higher ranking officials. "

Integrity Commission Jamaica

"The section on how to write different types of briefing notes was very interesting."

Knowsley Council