Chief of Staff Executive Certification Programme.

Achieving certification by The Chief of Staff Association sets you apart as a professional in your field.

Join the growing community of CSA-certified Chiefs of Staff today.

Why you should consider this course

Operating under the auspices of The Chief of Staff Association, the certification programme provides structured insight, expert guidance, best practice and networking.

Chiefs of Staff are gatekeepers to the world’s leaders. The role demands exceptional talent – and knowledge. Chiefs of Staff are expected to be highly analytical, deftly diplomatic, extremely organized, aware and empathetic, and able to work swiftly and simultaneously across multiple portfolios and agendas. Yet, despite the strategic nature of the role, there exists little in the way of structured professional development delivered to global best standards – until now.

Our programme features insights from invited political, diplomatic and business leaders. These speakers share views on the core responsibilities of the role, and on emerging new challenges and responsibilities. Students participate in shared discussion and debate, enriching their perspectives and capability.

Finally, fostering professional interdependence between members of each cohort is a key objective of the programme. Participants are encouraged – formally and informally – to share best practice and learnings gained in their careers and current roles. At the end of the programme, students not only form strong friendships but also a network of competent peers who can act as ongoing sources of advice and professional support.

World-Class University

Saïd Business School

Since 1996, Saïd Business School has been at the forefront of executive education. Today it is recognised as a prominent and respected research institution embedded within Oxford University; the world’s number #1 ranked University.

For centuries, the University of Oxford has produced some of the most influential and respected people in business and Oxford graduates are represented in every Fortune 500 Company, country and government in the world.

World-Class Faculty

Programme Director – Rupert Younger

Rupert Younger is the founder and director of Oxford University’s Centre for Corporate Reputation and co-founder of The Finsbury Group. He is a recognised expert on how reputations are created, sustained, destroyed and rebuilt and has advised some of the world’s largest organisations over the past 30 years.

He is the co-author of the best-selling book, The Reputation Game (published in October 2017 and now available in six languages), and co-author of The Activist Manifesto, published in 2018.

Mr Younger’s work and views are regularly featured in major news outlets including the BBC, CNN, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and The Times of London. In addition, he chaired The University of Oxford’s Socially Responsible Investment Committee of Council (2012-2017) and is a member of the Senior Common Rooms at Worcester College, Oxford and St Antony’s College, Oxford.

Mr Younger is a Trustee of the international mine clearance and humanitarian charity, The HALO Trust, and was appointed by HM Queen Elizabeth II as her High Sheriff of Hampshire for 2013-14. He is also a member of the Royal Company of Archers, the Queen’s Bodyguard in Scotland.

Academic Curriculum

Pre-Oxford Preparation

  • Preparation and pre-readings
  • Facilitated pre-discussion groups
  • Questionnaire and cohort insights research
  • Curate and shared biographical information

Day 1 – Governance

  • Build ethical frames, and governance anchors
  • Analysis of ‘air traffic control’ function and best practices
  • Debate and discussion on key organisational expectations
  • Navigating reporting lines – soft and hard
  • Conflict management and resolution strategies
  • Project team structures, the role of COS in deep-dive projects

Day 2 – Insights

  • Key concepts of reputation, perceptions and influence
  • The CEO Report and ‘the power of doubt’
  • Information sources – how to trust, prioritise and decode
  • Stakeholder insights, context and trade-offs
  • ‘Buying Time’ – diplomacy and creation of decision space
  • Emerging opportunities and threats

Day 3 – Engagement

  • Understanding networks and the benefits of ‘brokerage’
  • Engagement strategies to build ‘coalitions of the willing’
  • Personal resilience, managing multiple demands
  • Information flow structures, how to best brief the ‘principal’

Day 4 – Scenarios

  • Scenario planning and strategic innovation
  • Adrenaline shots on key themes
  • Complexity and prioritisation, management of fast-moving uncertainty
  • Future forecasting techniques and methods

Post Oxford

  • Continued engagement and influence within the CSA
  • Ongoing contact and sharing of expertise and insights
  • Oxford Business Alumni Network

What you will achieve


The class represents a breadth of diversity, a multiplicity of perspectives and expertise, along with a willingness to exchange ideas and concepts. We seek participants from a range of sectors and industries: from diplomacy, government and uniformed services to the private sector.

Fundamental Skills

  • Develop your ability to think logically, laterally and independently
  • Build fundamental skills through the core courses
  • Shape and define your career goals through industry-specific electives
  • Empower yourself to become a global leader

Real-world skills

  • Learn to facilitate flawless teamwork
  • Create your own courageous leadership style
  • Master your diplomatic skills
  • Become confident with conflict management
  • Refine your negotiation techniques
  • Understand the power of strategic thinking

Programme Particulars

GBP 4,895

4 Days/3 nights

Maximum 40 participants

April 11-14, 2022

Meals and accommodation at Oxford

The Oxford University Chief of Staff Executive Certification Programme is exclusively available to CSA members.

Become a Member Today