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Course Catalogue


Strategic Operations Planning Course (SOPC)

Conducted by JPOD


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 3333 IAW STANAG 6001
Classification: NATO Restricted Rel EUMS
Discipline: JPL - Operations Planning, Assessment and AltA
Area: OP - Operational Planning
Depth of Knowledge: 3 - Advance
ePrime No.: ACT.173
ETOC Code: JPL-OP-31378

Course Iterations

Code Course Dates Open Seats
S5-45-A-23 13 - 17 Nov 23
S5-45-A-24 10 - 14 Jun 24 Contact POC
S5-45-B-24 11 - 15 Nov 24 Contact POC

If you wish to join a resident course you may have your agency POC send a seat request. Please click on the POC Finder to obtain the contact information of your agency POC.

ADL courses can be accessed without the need for enrolment but students are required to register through the JADL portal using a military/government email address otherwise they will not be accepted.

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 3333 IAW STANAG 6001
Rank Requirements: NCO: Not eligible
Officer: OF-3 thru OF-5

Prerequisite Courses

Code Name
M5-32 NATO Orientation Course


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 NSO eLearning Platform on completion for reference.

Further Information

Under the leadership of the lead instructor and supported by a group of component planners and subject matter experts, this demanding and dynamic course simulates a joint strategic-level planning group. The curriculum is comprised of multiple short lectures, followed by practical exercises in planning teams and back-briefs within planning teams (25% - 75%). All phases of the planning process culminate in formal briefs to the 4* Lead Senior Mentor. 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.