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Red and green people stand in front of a crowd. Two opponents. Conflict of interest. Dispu


The training in summary:

This training integrates the theory and practice of international negotiation and international trade. It combines the best of online and in-classroom learning, culminating in a live trade negotiation simulation. The training includes technical area expertise on the process and substance of international trade and investment negotiations with the key "at the table" and preparatory skills required for effective diplomacy.

Since 2010, over 250 participants have taken part in 20 editions of this training programme in Norway and various other countries.  

Who is the training for?

Public sector professionals working in the field of international negotiation, (economic) diplomacy, international relations, trade and investment policy, or with an interest to move into these fields in the future. We have run this training programme "in-company" for ministries of Trade and Industry, Economic Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister's Office.

In addition, civil society and business sector professionals with an interest in negotiation theory, negotiation practice and international relations may apply to our open subscription edition. The course language is English.

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2022 brochure 

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2022 brochure 

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What is the impact?

At the end of the programme participants:

  • have gained enhanced knowledge of negotiation theory;

  • have advanced their personal negotiation skills;

  • are aware of the dynamics of international negotiations, including its key challenges;

  • have practiced with tools and techniques to manage these challenges; and

  • have gained a thorough understanding of key substantive issues in international trade and investment agreements.

What can participants expect from the training?

The programme is designed around online knowledge and skills training sessions plus an on-site interactive multi-party simulation. This offers the participants a realistic negotiation setting where preparation, tactics, strategies and personal behaviour directly influence the outcome. The simulation is based on a real-world trade negotiation featuring various European and non-European countries. It addresses the complexity of trade negotiations as well as the challenges of negotiating across cultures, sectors, and hierarchy levels. Participants are provided with individual coaching and support throughout the simulation and with an individual feedback session afterwards.

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Training elements

Specifically, participants will be introduced to and learn about:


  • What are negotiations and the different stages of the negotiation cycle  


  • The nature of international bilateral/bi-regional vs multilateral trade negotiations


  • The basic substantive background to 5 key chapters in trade agreements: NAMA (industrial goods and fisheries), Agriculture, Services, Investment and Technical Assistance.


  • English for negotiations, important terms, and expressions, being diplomatic in English, speaking through the chair, formal vs informal, and the art of persuasion


  • Strategy and tactics: familiarity with with tools to systematically prepare for trade negotiations


  • The difference between integrative versus distributive elements of the negotiation and key principles behind constructive negotiation practices (the “Harvard method”)


  • “At the table” issues for the negotiator: behavioural traits of excellent versus average negotiators; key skills and what TO DO and NEVER TO DO in international negotiations

Duration and Training Versions

The open subscription version of the training consists of:

  • 1,5 days of live online sessions (3 x half a day)

  • 3 days of live on-site training 

  • 8 hours in flexible preparatory work through the NPS Learning Platform

  • Individual feedback and coaching

The in-company version is tailor-made to the needs of the client and can combine online with on-site (classroom) elements. The minimum total duration is 2,5 days and approximately 4 hours of total preparation time for each participant. 

Classroom version


In the classroom version, participants attend the live sessions of the training at a location organised by the hosting institution. The live sessions take place over several consecutive days with a minimum of 2,5 days and a maximum of 4 days. We recommend an off-site location (away from office premises) for this version in order to immerse participants as fully as possible in the simulation exercise.

Online version


In the online version the live sessions, the instruction, simulation and feedback elements of the training, take place through a high-quality interactive videoconferencing platform. Individual live sessions are approximately 3-4 hours each with enough breaks and off-screen exercise time to avoid so-called Zoom fatigue. The total number of sessions required is between 4 (minimum) and 7. Depending on participant/client needs, the live sessions are spread out over 2-3 weeks or take place consecutively (for example: 5 mornings in a row). NPS is very experienced in the design and facilitation of training online.

The Team


Negotiation & Public Service (NPS) is a network of expertise on international negotiation. NPS brings together high-level professional field experience "at the table" with the most senior expertise in negotiation training and coaching.


NPS experts Stefan Szepesi, Lars Erik Nordgaard and Jorild Skrefsrud form the core instructor team for this training. In addition, visiting experts from the NPS network provide guest lectures. All participants have access to the NPS Learning Platform, an online tool that optimizes learning, preparation and interaction.

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