FAQ

 

About this website

Who can see which learning activities on this website?
On the website you can see the learning activities that are accessible to all employees of the central government, the diplomatic learning activities. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) staff can access a wider range of activities, once logged in.

 

About the Academy

You can find general information on the Academy for International Relations and our vision of learning and development on the new public part of our website.

 

Curriculum/Learning activities

You can find information about our curriculum on the new public part of our website.

 

Target group

Who are the AIB’s learning activities for?

  • Some of the Academy’s learning activities are also available to central government staff outside BZ. These activities are called Public courses (under Course type).
  • Activities marked Corporate under Course type are only for Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff.

The specific target group of the learning activity is generally specified under About this course.

Who are the AIB’s learning activities not for?
The learning activities are not intended for interns, agency staff or externally contracted staff such as advisers, nor of course for random visitors to the website. Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff can access the full range of learning activities, but diplomatic learning activities are also open to central government staff.

 

Learning activities

What exactly are learning activities?
A learning activity can mean training, a course, online training course (in a group or for individuals), a workshop, webinar, lecture, coaching, mentoring or blended training. The complete range of learning activities can be found on the website once you have logged in.

What is blended training?
Blended training is a combination of different learning methods, e.g. classroom-based training combined with online training.

How can I search for a learning activity in the Catalogue?  
To search for a learning activity, go to Catalogue via the main menu. Fill in the name of the activity in the search box (or if you don’t know the exact name, enter relevant search terms). You can use the filter options to the left of the page to narrow down the search results. Alternatively, you can browse all activities by selecting Course method, Course type etc.

I’ve found a learning activity I’d like to follow, but am not yet sure I can. What should I do?
Don’t apply unless you’re sure about being able to and wanting to take part. This will save you cancellation fees and gives another candidate a chance to take part.

What is ‘My learning’?
This website offers BZ staff a complete overview of learning activities for personal development. A record is kept of the learning activities you’ve followed in the My learning section of the site.

What should I do if there’s a learning activity I’m interested in, but the times are inconvenient?
You can put your name on the interest list or waiting list:

  • If your name is on the interest list for a learning activity, you will be kept up to date of any new dates for the activity. Once you have registered your interest in an activity, the activity will appear in the My learning section under Interest registrations. When you click Register interest list (at the bottom of the page with information on the activity), you can set the period in which you’d like to be kept informed of new dates.
  • There are also waiting lists for specific courses on specific dates. If the activity is fully booked, you can put yourself on a waiting list by clicking Waiting list. We will send you an email if a place becomes free, for example because someone has had to drop out.

Where can I find an overview of my learning activities?
You can find an overview of your current learning activities in My learning. Go to Courses and then click Current. Under History you’ll see your completed and cancelled learning activities. History is also where you will find your Proof of Participation (if issued).

How can I see who is running the learning activity?
Click Select (to the right of the learning activity you’re interested in). This will bring you to the information page for the learning activity. You’ll find the name of the person or organisation running the learning activity directly under the title of the learning activity.

 

Account

Do I need an account?
Central government staff can view all the learning activities available to them without an account. However, you will need an account if you want to register for a learning activity. This will also allow you to use the My learning section of the site. Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff always need an account in order to view learning activities that are intended solely for BZ staff (i.e. general corporate programmes).

How do I create an account?

  • Click Log in.
  • Click Create an account.
  • Fill in your details and click Send.
  • You will receive a confirmation email.

How do I change my password?
Once you are logged in you can change your password yourself by clicking Settings in My learning.

  • Go to My learning.
  • Click Settings.
  • Click Change password.
  • Enter your new password and click Save.

I’ve forgotten my password. What should I do?
If you’ve forgotten your password, you can ask for a new one.

  • On the login page, click Request a new password.
  • Enter your email address and click Request a new password.

Can I create an account using my private email address?
No, you can only use a central government email address to create an account.

 

Registering

How can I register for a learning activity?
If you’ve found a learning activity you would like to follow, you can apply.

  • click Apply on the right side or Select location and date on the bottom side.
  • You can enter any comments in the Comments field in the registration form.
  • Complete the form, then click Send application.
  • Your application will be confirmed by email.
  • Your manager will receive an email asking them to approve your application.
  • You will be informed by email when your manager has responded.
  • If your manager has approved your application, your details will be automatically passed on to the person or organisation responsible for the learning activity. You are now registered for the course.

Can someone else apply on my behalf?
No. You can only apply for learning activities yourself, using your personal login details.

I haven’t received an email confirming my application. What should I do?
You should receive an email confirming your application within a few hours of registering. If you do not receive an email within 24 hours of applying, please contact the Academy by emailing academie@minbuza.nl or calling +31 (0)70 348 7500. We’ll look into it for you and process your application manually.

Do I need to take action if I don’t receive an invitation to the learning activity?
If you’ve applied for a learning activity and your manager has approved your application, you will receive an invitation to attend two weeks before the activity starts. If you do not hear anything, and you have checked in My learning that the activity has been approved, please contact the Academy by emailing academie@minbuza.nl or calling +31 (0)70 348 7500.

Can I request a learning activity that’s not currently in the Catalogue?
If you would like to request a tailored learning activity, contact the Academy by emailing academie@minbuza.nl or calling +31 (0)70 348 7500.

How will my manager know I’ve registered for a learning activity?
Your manager (as given in the HR system) is linked to your account. They can see in My learning which learning activities you have registered for, plus activities you have followed in the past.

How can I see whether I’m registered?
You can check your registration in My learning. Your registration is final only if the activity appears under Current.

The status of a completed learning activity is incorrect. What should I do?
The status of a learning activity is determined by the information on the attendance list. Once the attendance list has been updated, your status should be correct. If you have any questions, please email academie@minbuza.nl.

 

Cancellation

How can I cancel my registration?
You can cancel your registration for a learning activity in My learning. Go to Courses, then click the learning activity you would like to cancel.

Is there a charge if I cancel my registration? What if the Academy cancels or changes my learning activity?
If you cancel your registration, the Academy is entitled to pass on the costs as follows:

  • There is no charge if you cancel registration more than four weeks before the activity is due to start.
  • Cancellations between two and four weeks before the activity is due to start will attract a charge of 50% of the activity costs.
  • If you cancel registration less than two weeks before the activity is due to start you will be liable to pay 100% of the costs.

Registrations for a learning activity without a fixed starting date (e.g. an individual online course) can be cancelled free of charge.

What happens if the Academy cancels or changes a learning activity?
If the number of people who sign up for a paid learning activity fails to meet the minimum specified on the website, the Academy may choose to cancel the activity in question. In general, this will be done no less than seven days before the activity was due to start. You will be informed of the cancellation by email. No costs will be incurred if you cancel a learning activity within five days of the Academy changing the date and/or time. You can switch your registration to the same activity starting on a different date up to seven days before your activity was due to start (provided there are still places available).

Can I suspend a learning activity once I’ve started it?
You will not be refunded if you stop or suspend a learning activity, or otherwise fail to participate. In special cases, and at the Academy’s discretion, you may be permitted to participate in the same activity at a later date. A partial or full refund of the costs of the learning activity will only be given at the Academy’s discretion. In addition, this is only possible if the learning activity agreement is suspended or stopped as the result of a serious illness or accident, of which the Academy may first require medical proof.

 

No show or last-minute cancellation

I’ve registered for a learning activity. Can I cancel at the last minute, or decide not to take part?
Once you register for a learning activity, we expect you to take part. Participants failing to turn up for a learning activity or cancelling on the same day inconveniences the activity’s organisers. Organising a learning activity takes time, money and effort. Moreover, you’ll have taken a place that someone else may have wanted. Please take this into consideration; if you won’t be able to participate, cancel in good time.

Why does the Academy expect me to take part if I register?
We consider registrations for learning activities to be final. This means we expect to see you in the classroom or to use the online learning environment we’ve provided. Once you’ve registered, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make an activity happen.

Can I cancel at the last minute, for example if I’m ill?
You can always be unlucky and be ill on the day of your course, or have another valid reason for being unable to participate. Even so, your cancellation may still incur costs, because we will have counted on you being there. For more information, see Cancellations.

 

Learning activities: costs

How can I see what a learning activity will cost?
The cost of a learning activity available to all central government staff is given to the top right of the learning activity’s page on our website.

Why is there a charge for learning activities?
The Academy for International Relations charges for courses, just like the other academies within the Rijkscampus (e.g. the National Academy for Finance, Economics and Operational Management or the Academy for Government Communications). Webinars, seminars and lectures are free of charge for everyone.

Which learning activities do I have to pay for?
There is a charge for learning activities available to all central government staff. When you, as a member of BZ staff, participate in a learning activity for which a fee is charged you will not receive an invoice. Behind the scenes, however, the fee will be settled with the central training budget. Participants from other ministries will receive an invoice after completion of the learning activity. The cost of the learning activity can be found in the description of the activity on our site, and is stated during the registration process. Participants are also sent an email requesting information for invoicing purposes. Webinars, seminars and lectures are free of charge for everyone.

Why was a charge for learning activities introduced on 1 January 2018?
The Academy was set up in September 2015 with the aim of making knowledge and expertise on diplomacy and international affairs available to staff in international roles. These are staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, plus other central government staff whose work touches on international themes. When establishing the Academy, it was agreed that BZ would cover all costs for all participants for the first two years, i.e. up to the end of 2017. On 1 January 2018, when this period expired, the Academy introduced charges for learning activities.

How does invoicing work?
BZ sends out invoices to other ministries or organisations once a month for participants and learning activities, using the information participants have provided.

How is the cost of a learning activity determined?
Like many academies, we base course fees on a fixed rate of €250 per morning or afternoon session. Occasionally a different fee is charged to reflect higher development costs (longer course preparation time, high-tech learning methods). The Academy is a not-for-profit organisation. If our annual income exceeds annual costs, the money is invested in in the organisation to develop new courses, for example.

What does the Academy do with the income it receives?
In most cases, the Academy uses its income to pay the costs of developing learning activities. Sometimes departments make a contribution and, in exceptional cases, cover the full cost of developing an activity. It has been agreed within BZ that, even if a department does contribute or cover the costs, the Academy will receive the income since both parties form part of the same organisation.

 

Contact and information

I have another question. How can I reach you?

  • Send an email to academie@minbuza.nl.
  • Call us on +31 (0) 70 348 7500, Monday to Friday 09.00 to 17.00 (CET).

 

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