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International short term training opportunities

We administer international training opportunities provided by the Governments of China, Japan,  Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, received through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration. Training offers are available to eligible public sector employees and must be endorsed by respective heads of agencies.  Training offers can also extended to individuals from private sector and non government organisations when these are available.

Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration (PICPA) also offer training: https://picpa.usp.ac.fj/


International Scholarship Opportunities

Japanese Government

Pacific Leaders’ Educational Assistance for Development of State (Pacific – LEADs Long-Term Programme)

3rd Batch intake starting August 2018-March 2021

The Japanese government has announced the launch of a scholarship programme entitled the Pacific Leaders’ Educational Assistance for Development of State (Pacific-LEADS) emphasizing the importance of fostering upcoming generations, who will play key roles in the further of Pacific Island Countries. This programme aims to provide opportunities of study for government officials and other key personnel who have the expertise necessary to solve the development challenges faced by Pacific Island Countries, as well as to foster pro-Japanese and Japan experts who can contribute to improving the relationships between our country and Japan.

All applications must be typewritten – no handwritten applications will be accepted.

The successful participants will study in Japan for a period of 2 and half years:

  • 6 months as a research student
  • 1 or 2 years as a Master’s student
  • About 2 weeks internship to a public or private entities in Japan during summer break

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Citizen of the Cook Islands
  • Between 22 and 39 years (as of April 1st, 2018) – applicants up to 43 years will be considered
  • Bachelor’s Degree

If you require any further information regarding Pacific-LEADS this can be obtained from the website: http://www.jica.go.jp/english/countries/oceania/Pacific-LEADS.html

General Information

Annex 1 – Guidelines of Application

Annex 2 – Application Form_3rdBatch

Annex 3 – List of Universities

Annex 4 – Checklist

Annex 5 – List of Eligible Disciplines

All applications are due in to OPSC by Friday 20th October, 2017




Please see attached information received from the Embassy of Switzerland regarding opening of applications for scholarships available to New Zealand students and researchers for the 2018-19 academic year through the Swiss Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students from 1 August 2017.

The types of scholarships on offer are:

  • PhD Scholarships
  • Postdoctoral Scholarships
  • Research Scholarships

Further information on the scholarships can be found online at www.sbfi.admin.ch/cholarships_eng

Application packages can be requested from the Swiss Embassy with completed applications to be submitted by 6 November 2017.

Click here for Swiss Scholarship Details

Short Term International Training (July 2015 – June 2016)

During the year, the Office of the Public Service Commissioner and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration committed to streamlining short term international training opportunities received through our Wellington embassy.  These training opportunities provide the chance to strengthen our in-country capacity through the up skilling of our workforce. Participants benefit from their exposure to international systems and best practice. These opportunities allow participants to apply their new learning when they return to their workplace. 

A total of 92 international training opportunities were offered with 29 successful placements.  It is not always possible to take full advantage of the offers presented to us as some do not address essential training areas nor do they always occur at an appropriate time. Late notification from sponsors also sometimes restricts participation, especially where visas are required or planned work commitments prevent participation.
As we continue implementing the first phase of the Public Sector Strategy, we will introduce a graduate recruitment, talent management and leadership development programmes. We will ensure that we have mechanisms to attract qualified Cook Islanders to work for the sector and support talent and leaders through structured training programmes linked to performance. All employees must be encouraged to perform and trained to improve performance or for career progression. We intend to support talent develop in their relevant career pathways, some of which will include a leadership pathway.

NoMinistry/AgencyTraining programmeFunder:
2JusticeTreatment of Offenders (Prison, Probation & Parole)Japan
1Private sectorScholarship 2016China
3Business Trade and InvestmentYoung Leaders’ Programme: Local GovernanceJapan
Emergency Management National
Youth Council
1Office of the Prime MinisterRisk Reduction Systems (PIC)Korea
1Internal AffairsTreaty Body Reporting for Government OfficialsUN-Samoa
1Private sectorYoung Leaders’ Programme – 2015Japan
1Finance and Economic ManagementOfficial Development Assistance (ODA) EvaluationJapan
2HealthMedical Officers from Pacific Island CountriesChina
4Education, Foreign Affairs, Student, Finance and Economic ManagementJENESYS Programmes 2016 – March tourJapan
1HealthLife-style Disease PreventionJapan
1HealthHealth Security SystemsThailand
1JusticeCase management, challenges, solutions and innovationSingapore
2TourismPromotion and MarketingJapan
1HealthDisaster Risk Management & Community ResilienceThailand
1EducationTransforming Education in the 21st CenturySingapore
1Business Trade and InvestmentPrivate sector growth and attracting foreign investmentSingapore
2Finance and Economic Management Internal AffairsLeading and Managing Public Sector changeSingapore
2Marine ResourcesFishery Resource ManagementJapan
1Private sectorYoung Leaders from Pacific Island CountriesChina
Energy3Law and Order6
Resilience3*From China, Japan and Netherlands




Short Term International Training (July 2014 – June 2015)

OPSC facilitates short term international training opportunities in collaboration with MFAI. Predominantly, these opportunities come from countries with whom the Cook Islands has bilateral and international relationships including China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Thailand. Scholarship offers are also regularly available from China, Cuba and Switzerland.

These training workshops and scholarships provide unique opportunities to strengthen in-country capacity through the up skilling of our work force. Participants are exposed to international systems, techniques and processes and the practical nature of many of these opportunities allows for application of learning upon the participants’ return home. The challenge is to ensure that there is rigorous follow up and sustainable support provided to enable implementation and application as appropriate within agencies.

Sixty-three short term international training opportunities were offered during this period and 40 public and private sector employees were successful with their applications to participate (Table 13). It is not always possible to take full advantage of the offers forthcoming as some do not address the training areas required nor do they always occur at an appropriate time. It is not unusual to receive late notification of these opportunities which also restricts participation, especially where visas are required or planned work commitments preclude participation.

Graph 1


Graph 2



NoParticipantsDepts. & AgenciesProgrammesGovt.
1Teumere Tairi, Wayne Mitchell, Deliza MatataPrivate SectorTropical Fruit & Vegetable Planting & ProcessingChina
2Jim NimerotaMFEM-StatisticsImproving Capacity in Producing Official Statistics relating to MDGsJapan
3Elizabeth KapiMinistry of EducationEducation Administration in Reducing Disparities in Basic EducationJapan
4Noeline Mateariki, Misepa IsamaelaCook Islands Tourism CorporationEnvironmental Planning for Sustainable TourismSingapore
5Sharyn Paio, Tere UtangaMinistry of EducationLeaders in Education Programme InternationalSingapore
6Owen LewisMinistry of EducationTechnical & Vocational Education & Training Programme for Principals and LeadersSingapore
7Danielle CochraneMinistry of EducationTransforming Education in the 21st CenturySingapore
8Tama HeatherTe Aponga Uira, OPM-EnergyRenewable & Green Energy as Alternatives: TNB's Experience towards Greener MalaysiaMalaysia
9Jamie ShortMinistry of Cook Islands InfrastructureCapacity Building for Ratification on Minamata Convention on MercuryJapan
10Maxwell ArapoitiNational Environment ServicesTowards Green Growth with Waste UtilisationThailand
11Beia Tina HoffOffice of the Prime Minister’s OfficeJapanese Government Young Leaders Training Invitation Program - Disaster ManagementJapan
12Elizabeth Hosking, Nukutau Pokura, Nicolle AmaOPM, Ministry of Health, BTIBYoung Leaders Program 2015: Local GovernanceJapan
13Daphne Ringi, Petero Okotai, Garth HendersonOPSC, OPM, MFEMFinal 4th Commonwealth Pacific Forum ProgrammeSamoa
14Anthony TuruaMinistry of EducationGovernance & Public AdministrationSingapore
15Daphne RingiOPSCInnovation and Change Management in the Public SectorSingapore
16Tiki Daniel, Sylvana Puia, Terepai ObedaPrivate SectorSeminar on Tropical Marine Industry Development for Developing CountriesChina
17Adoniah Lewis, Siena PassfieldCook Islands Tourism CorporationSustainable Tourism Development Utilising Island AreasJapan
18Eirangi Marsters, Talissa KotekaMinistry of Foreign AffairsSpecial Course for Officers of Foreign Offices of Pacific Island CountriesFiji
19Miimetua Nimerota, Mana EtchesOPMTraining Program for Young Leaders 2014: Policy on ICT CourseJapan
20Patrick TangapiriMinistry of Infrastructure Cook IslandsManagement of Water Resources and Water Supply Services for Pacific Island CountriesJapan
21Yitiri AkamaMinistry of Infrastructure Cook IslandsPublic Works Administration in Regional GovernmentJapan
22Richard PokoinaOPMImproving ICT Policy Planning Skills Utilizing StandardsJapan
22Amelia FukofukaMFAIProgram for Foreign DiplomatsSingapore
23Manea BatesMeteorological ServicesReinforcement of Meteorological ServicesJapan
24Ned HowardMinistry of TransportCivil Aviation Chief Executives ProgrammeSingapore
25Walter TangataMFEM-CustomsNarcotics Identification and Narcotics Law Enforcement for Senior Custom Officers for ASEAN and PIF countriesMalaysia
26Mana EtchesOPM-Disaster ManagementGeospatial Technologies for Coastal & Marine Disaster Management & Climate Change at IIRSIndia


Technical Assistance



Centralised HRMIS (Centralised Human Resource Management Information System)