The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) conducted the first batch of the Basic Foreign Service Staff Officers’ Course (BFSSOC) for 2022 from 06 to 24 June. BFSSOC is a rank-based course designed for the Foreign Service Staff Officers (FSSOs) of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). It provides them with the basic knowledge and skills required in the performance of Foreign Service duties, and some specialized responsibilities.
Twenty-five (25) personnel participated in BFSSOC Batch 1-2022, which was delivered through synchronous sessions via Zoom. Fourteen (14) participants were from the Home Office, 10 from the Foreign Service Posts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Guangzhou, Los Angeles, Nairobi, and Tokyo, and one (1) from the Department’s Consular Office in Cagayan de Oro City.
FSSOs perform substantive, technical, or specialized functions at Posts, and handle supervisory, coordination, or organizational tasks in the Home Office. Considering the demands and the array of tasks of an FSSO, from doing simple technical work to the more complex task of assisting the top management, the Institute deems BFSSOC as a basic requirement for all FSSOs.
BFSSOC Batch 1-2022 highlighted the theoretical and practical aspects of the FSSOs’ job, both in the Home Office and at Posts. It covered discussions on the evolution of the Philippine Foreign Policy and its pillars, introduced the participants to the structure of the DFA, and explained the various duties and responsibilities of FSSOs in property and records management, financial management, and consular services.
Workshops were utilized to enhance the participants’ skills in writing effective memoranda, letters, and political and economic reports. It also showcased Philippine heritage and culture through video presentations and virtual tours to deepen the participants’ love for the country.
The Course allotted time for Q&A and interactive online activities through polls, Google Workspace, and Canva. Breakout sessions and group presentations were also conducted to maximize learning for all participants.