Professional Development and Training

COL contributes to professional development and training in open and distance learning (ODL) and technology-based approaches, knowledge and skills by providing individuals with experience outside their normal working environment — at COL, an attachment in another institution or through conference participation. COL may also support conference organisers if the conference objectives are consistent with COL’s mandate and Strategic Plan. 

Executive Secondment Programme

  • Offers secondment/sabbatical opportunities for senior officials/academics/civil society representatives in Commonwealth governments, institutions or organisations to stay in Vancouver, Canada, for up to one month and work on specific projects related to COL’s mandate. 

Attachments Programme

  • Provides financial support for ODL professionals and COL partners who are at an early stage or mid-point in their careers and would benefit from a short-term attachment to another institution/organisation. 

Conference Organisation

  • COL may support conference organisers within the Commonwealth where the aims and objectives of the conference are consonant with COL’s mission and values and the objectives of its Strategic Plan. 

Conference Attendance

  • Provides resources to enable individuals to attend ODL conferences. This will usually include (but not necessarily always) conference registration, lowest-fare travel and/or accommodation. 

Visiting ODL professionals to COL headquarters

  • Provides use of COL’s Information Resource Centre and other resources for international and local ODL academics and professionals. 


For more information and how to apply, see COL's policy on its Professional Development and Training.