The Joint Services Command and Staff College, as part of the UK’s Defence Academy, delivers a first class professional military education to UK as well as international armed forces. The Advanced Command and Staff Course (ACSC) is the JSCSC’s flagship course; it is forty-four weeks long and is structured around ‘core’ and ‘optional’ modules which focus on ‘Ends’, ‘Ways’ and ‘Means’. The ACSC draws together armed forces from over fifty nations. In addition, it welcomes non-military participants from the Civil Service and industry.
The ‘Ends’ module of the ACSC looks specifically at strategy and higher level policy formulation. It concludes with a week-long decision-making exercise, designed to reinforce all the skills and experience gained throughout the module.
For the past three years this exercise has been designed, developed and delivered by members of the Strategy Team within the Training Support Group. The 2017 ‘Ends Module Capstone Exercise’ will take place 3rd – 7thJuly. This year’s training support team are Principal Consultants; Dr Virginia Bohdan and Mr James Cunliffe, as well as Junior Consultant Ms Ruth Crilly.
This type of decision-making exercise provides a vehicle by which participants can examine national strategies and policies from a wide range of perspectives, including defence and security, international relations and the economy. It offers them the opportunity to use decision-making and policy formulation tools to solve complex problems, in a pan-Government context, and to practise applicable skills at this level - including production of ministerial submissions, press briefings and response to parliamentary questions.
The exercise educates participants in crisis management at the national level and fosters pan-Government negotiation and cooperation. It is set in both a national and global context, offering participants the opportunity to examine the challenges of strategic decision-making in an environment of competing departmental agendas, international treaty and legal obligations, and a complex global situation in which national interests are directly threatened.
It invites participants to draw on and deepen their strategic analysis, communication and consensus-building skills as well as their knowledge of governmental processes and contemporary issues, both national and international.