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Briefing Notes Training: Government of Canada
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Training in Writing Effectgive Briefing Notes

              About the Instructor of the Briefing Notes Course        

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"An informative, innovative, well paced course useful for beginners and experts alike."

M.A., Manager, Corporate Planning and Reporting

"This workshop provides invaluable information on the process of synthesizing vast disparate information into one easy-to-follow briefing note."

M.-C.R., Research Coordination Officer

More Testimonials


What You Will Learn

A Briefing Note Is Just a Series of Manageable Tasks

Some people write to put their thoughts on paper. Others write to discover what their thoughts are. Most of us do some of each. Whatever your approach, this workshop is designed to equip you with the skills, knowledge and tools you need to prepare effective briefing notes.

In an era of severe information overload, it is vital to use the written word effectively and efficiently to influence decision-makers. This course will:

  • demystify the writing process for you

  • give you the thinking and planning skills you need to achieve results and avoid pitfalls in writing briefing notes

This workshop teaches how to write clear, crisp and compelling briefing notes. Over the course of two dynamic days, you will learn:

  • how to use a step-by-step model that enables you to prepare briefing notes systematically, efficiently and effectively

  • how to give yourself a frame of reference that will provide sound guidance throughout the writing process

  • how to write strategically

  • how to manage your time effectively

  • how to understand your audience's needs

  • how to develop compelling content that targets your audience and your objective

  • how to vary the degree of detail you use to suit audience needs

  • how to use facts, opinions and arguments

  • how to summarize

  • how to organize your briefing notes in a way that fosters ease of understanding

  • how to use the appropriate format for your briefing notes

  • how to write briefing notes in a clear and crisp style

  • how to apply the finishing touches needed to avoid problems

You will find details on how the program works here.

Who Should Attend

These training workshops are designed for those who write, edit and approve briefing notes in the Government of Canada, including:

  • policy and program advisors

  • technical and scientific specialists
  • administrators
  • managers

The course focuses on briefing notes prepared for senior management and Cabinet ministers. However, the techniques taught apply equally to briefing notes prepared for supervisors, colleagues or middle management.


About the Course Leader

Rob Parkinson -- Briefing Notes Workshops

Rob Parkinson has over 40 years
of experience in management communications — gained as a
consultant, an instructor, a
manager, an editor and a writer in
both government and the private sector.

He has specialized in briefings for senior executives for over 20
years, including six years as the editor for the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, Government of Canada. While there, he designed the department's standards for briefing notes — bringing about substantial improvements in the quality of material prepared for the Minister and the Deputy Minister.

Rob has led successful workshops for managers, lawyers, policy analysts, technical specialists and administrative staff in diverse government and industry environments.

Rob has a B.A. from Trent University and an M.B.A. from the University of Ottawa.


Revised April 6, 2016

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