Leading in Complexity: National Security Senior Executive Development Program

National Security College | Executive program
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The National Security College’s premium program provides exceptional depth of insight across the full spectrum of Australia’s national security challenges and opportunities.

Course date: 
5–30 November 2018
National Security College, Level 3, Crawford Building #132, 1 Lennox Crossing, ANU

The fee for this program is $28,350 (GST ex) for Commonwealth participating agencies and NSC Partners. The open rate is $34,000 (GST ex). Additional places will be considered on a fee-for-service basis.

Course overview

The National Security College’s premium program provides exceptional depth of insight across the full spectrum of Australia’s national security challenges and opportunities. It is an immersive four week course that focuses on trusted exchanges of insights with around 100 of Australia’s foremost policy practitioners and experts including serving and former heads of government departments and agencies. You will also engage with private sector leaders and international perspectives, including heads of foreign missions in Canberra.

The program includes an international visit for high level insights into how other governments manage security challenges; in 2018, this visit is expected to be to Tokyo. Participants will form and deepen high level professional contacts. We are confident that you will build trusted networks with other leaders, which the College will help sustain through its alumni program.

“The month long National Security Senior Executive Development Program is the best professional development course I have undertaken and has fundamentally changed my approach to my work and career more broadly. I have and will continue to recommend this course to my senior executive peers and look forward to a continued association with the National Security College.”

Scope and content

The program provides a contemporary perspective on the evolution of the national security community and the intersection between domestic and international issues. It examines the concept of the Indo-Pacific as the key source region for strategic demands and opportunities. It incorporates sessions focused on strategic assessment of key regional countries and current security hot-spots, and examines Australia’s management of these challenges. Other sessions cover key thematic issues influencing national security policy-making and strategy planning across the spectrum of traditional and non-traditional national security issues.

Key areas of attention include fostering whole-of-government and whole-of-nation responses to contemporary and future security problems with an emphasis on the vital role of leadership. The program will challenge you to identify and address, strategically and collaboratively, the emerging challenges in Australian national security policy. There is in-depth analysis of contemporary events, along with hypothetical scenarios and sensitive case studies.

Participants engage with senior officers from policy and operational agencies who provide perspectives on the development and implementation of policy to address national security challenges.

“The best development program I have attended. Why? The quality of the program, the scope for self development, and the level of situational awareness of Australia’s strategic national security issues is incomparable.”

Learning outcomes

The program will improve participants’ understanding of, and ability to harness and contribute to, the broader national security community. In particular, participants will be better able to:

• locate their responsibilities within a comprehensive overview of Australia’s national security challenges
• use a rich understanding of the Indo-Pacific region to contest the importance of trends for Australia’s current and future national security decision-making
• establish and deepen relationships across different elements of Australia’s national security architecture
• critically evaluate themselves against the characteristics of adaptive leadership required in order to perform strongly in a national security role
• consider how to shape influential advice that assists government to seize opportunity and effectively manage national security risk.

Who should attend?

This course is designed to focus and accelerate the development of national security leaders.

Senior Executive Service Band 1 (or equivalent) officers from the broad national security community who are involved, or may be involved, in developing and implementing strategic policy frameworks and/or managing practical responses to national security issues will benefit from this program. State and territory officials, as well as executives from the private sector involved in the security field, are encouraged to nominate. A minimum SECRET (NV1) security clearance is required for this program.

Program information

• Four week, full time, non-residential program (with an interstate and international component)

• Fully-catered

• ANU electronic parking permit supplied

• There is a requirement for each participant to hold a valid passport.


Nominations must be submitted through your Learning and Development Manager. Please contact us at nsc.epdnominations@anu.edu.au for further details.

“The opportunity to discuss national security issues in an open and honest learning environment without departmental biases is unique, and the networking opportunities are invaluable.”

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‘The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and The Australian National University’

Updated:  21 June 2017/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator