Comprehensive Operational Planning Course

The Comprehensive Operational Planning Course (COPC) is based on the Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive (COPD). It aims to prepare course participants to contribute to the operational level planning process as operational level planners or functional area specialists while serving within a joint operational level headquarters, applying the Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive principles.

Useful Information



LTC (ret) Vilmantas Norvaisas

[email protected]


The Comprehensive Operational Planning Course is primarily designed for Military officers (OF-3/OF-4) and civil servants of equivalent rank from NATO and PfP nations.

This course will deal with the following key themes:

  • Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive

  • Joint Level Planning Process

  • Operational Design

  • Centre of Gravity

  • War Gaming

  • Course of Action Development

  • Course of Action Comparison


The course includes multiple short lectures followed by practical exercises conducted in syndicates under the leadership of a facilitator. There will be several individual assignments and formative tests throughout the two-week course.

Course participants are expected to complete an online course before their arrival.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the main characteristics and phases of NATO's operational-level planning process.
  • Conduct a Comprehensive Understanding of the Operational Environment to analyse the operational environment and determine critical factors contributing to the crisis.
  • Apply operational estimate methods, notably Centre of Gravity analysis and Operational Design, to define the operational-level problem and determine the necessary operational conditions to be achieved.
  • Apply operational-level planning methods, particularly Course of Action development and War Gaming, to design, analyse and compare Courses of Action.


  • Security Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

  • Costs: There is no Course Fee, but participants are to bear the cost of their travel, meals and lodging.

  • Dress Code: Military personnel—Field Uniforms; Civilians—Casual

  • The certificate will be provided to each participant upon completion of the course.