Effective Writing for Ministers

Recommend course:


Well written Ministerial briefings will help to get your message across and enable the development of robust policy. This course will cover drafting effective briefings to Ministers, so the recommendations for action are clear. It will also cover writing on behalf of Ministers through Cabinet papers.

Who should attend:

This course benefits anyone in the state sector who is required to write Ministerial briefings as part of their day-to-day job especially those in policy, operational policy and advisory roles.

Learning objectives:

  • Identify the common and distinct features of good writing for Ministers for different purposes
  • Review and understand Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) Cabinet paper requirements and the ‘Quality Standards for written policy advice’
  • Understand the skills required to write effectively for Ministers and which you need to develop
  • Apply those skills to Ministerial briefings and Cabinet papers.

Course outline:


  • What does good writing for Ministers look like for different purposes?
  • Review examples - dos and don’ts
  • Overview of ‘The Policy Quality Framework: Quality Standards for written policy’ (The Policy Project)
  • Overview of DPMC requirements and process for writing Cabinet papers


  • Commonalities and differences between the process and features of Cabinet papers and Ministerial briefings
  • Understanding and mastering the writing skills that generate effective writing
  • Worked example with feedback (either a Cabinet paper or a Ministerial briefing)

Course format:

Maximum 12 participants.

All of the activities will be delivered in a workshop format, full participation is required to achieve the best possible outcomes from this course.

Course materials that will be supplied to take away:

  • Process checklist for Cabinet papers
  • Worked example with feedback
  • Collateral and outputs from all of the workshop exercises


Emily Mason

Further details:
If you would like more information about this programme, please contact us on:
Ph: 64 4 463 6556 Email: profdev@vuw.ac.nz

Customised workshops:
Victoria Professional and Executive Development are able to customise many of our workshops to meet specific individual or organisational requirements. Please contact us for further information.

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