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Course Catalogue


Strategic Operations Planning Course (SOPC)

Conducted by JPOD


The aim of this course is to prepare NATO and partner officers to serve within a strategic level headquarters as operations planners, applying the Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive (COPD) within the framework of a Comprehensive Approach.


Duration: 1 Week
Course Structure: Resident (1)
Language: English 3223 IAW STANAG 6001
Classification: NATO Restricted Rel to EUMS
Discipline: JPL - Operational Planning, Assessment and AltA
Area: OP - Operational Planning
Depth of Knowledge: 3 - Apply
ePrime No.: ACT.173
ETOC Code: JPL-OP-31378

Course Iterations

Code Course Dates Open Seats
S5-45-A-19 18 - 22 Nov 19 Selection

If no seats are available, you may have your agency POC send a seat waiting list request. Please click on the POC Finder to obtain the contact information of your agency POC.

Learning Objectives

NATO Operations Planning Process (OPP): Describe the main characteristics of NATO’s Operations Planning Process (OPP) in accordance with the NATO Crisis Response System (NCRS) manual.

Strategic Level Problem Analysis: Apply the principles of operational art to understand the strategic level problem and the conditions to be achieved.

Instruments of Power: Identify the potential contribution to crisis resolution that military, political, economic and civil instruments of power (comprehensive approach).

Create and Evaluate Courses of Action (COA): Design and compare multiple courses of action in order to justify a final recommendation to the NATO political/military level

Interactions with the Operational Level of Command: Describe the main characteristics of phase 4 of the operations planning process and the applicable interactions with the operational level of command.

Course Participants

OF-3 to OF-5 or civilian equivalent working primarily in the Strategic NATO Headquarters or more generally in an assignment related to strategic level planning.

Language Proficiency: English 3223 IAW STANAG 6001
Rank Requirements: NCO: Not eligible
Officer: OF-3 thru OF-5


This one week course is comprised of modules which complement each other in the understanding of NATO’s strategic planning environment. Within each module, discrete subject topics may vary depending on NATO guidance. Each lecture ends with an interactive Q & A to enable students to develop and consolidate their understanding of the subject topic. Syndicate work and panel discussions are used to enable in-depth discussions, develop assessment techniques and generate formal back briefs for subsequent syndicate discussion. Course material (lecture notes) will be available through the NATO School portal on completion for reference.

Further Information

This course requires approval by the OPR and Course Director for participation. Please submit a Joining report if interested. If approved, you will be contacted via a confirmation letter.