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    ITC’s Certified Trade Advisers Programme (CTAP) is designed to improve the availability, quality and sustainability of national export advisory services. The goal of the programme is to create or mobilize an existing network of national advisors that can both:

    • Engage directly with small businesses to accelerate their export readiness, or
    • Serve as a virtual network of export consultants for local trade support institutions, NGOs and international donors.

    Participants in the programme can become ITC’s Export Management Development (EMD) Certified Advisers and Trainers


    To access resources related to CTAP, please expand this section.

    The following tools are available on CD. To find out more, please contact us.

    • Compass Software Tool - To design and plan competitive business strategies 
    • Snapshot Software Tool - To conduct business diagnostics in order to determine SMEs’ strengths and weaknesses in the areas of strategy, production, marketing, export transactions, and information & communication technologies.

    The EMD section of this website covers the whole CTAP offer.

    Advisory Services

    CTAP offers a comprehensive programme including export management training, powerful diagnostic tools and a strategy development framework that addresses key aspects of a company’s export activities. Local consultants are trained in a highly effective business methodology, ITC’s proprietary Business Management System, and coached to develop rapid enterprise needs assessments.
     How it Works 
    CTAP’s approach is learning by doing. Participants follow a rigorous six-month programme combining in-class workshops with fieldwork, where trainees put their newly gained knowledge and skills into practice under the supervision of an international expert. CTAP training materials are used to transfer knowledge and develop skills on relevant topics such as export competitiveness, strategy design and planning, and business diagnostics.

    Participants in the programme follow a step-certification process that can lead to professional recognition as an EMD Certified or Adviser or Trainer. This recognizes their ability to provide value-added export advisory services to small businesses.

    Upon successful completion of the programme, certification is provided and valid for a two-year period, after which advisers may re-apply for certification. They must provide evidence that they have continued a high level of involvement in supporting small business exporters and been active in maintaining and developing their professional skills and knowledge.


    Participants train using ITC’s proprietary “Business Management System” which provides a integrated framework for strategy design and planning, and diagnosing business performance. CTAP’s practical workshops cover competitiveness concepts, production activities as well as marketing strategies and solutions. 

    Programme Structure
    The programme is run in two phases: CTAP I and CTAP II.

    CTAP I
    The goal of CTAP I is to train advisers on export competitiveness, strategy design, planning and business diagnostics. Training is structured in four components adapted to the partner institution’s requirements:

    • Component 1: Managing for Competitiveness and Designing Strategies - Fundamentals of business export competitiveness and how to design and plan successful business strategies. (Workshop + Fieldwork) 
    • Component 2: Export Transactions - Practical skills on how to export using simulations and real cases. (Workshop) 
    • Component 3: Business Diagnostics - How to conduct effective and efficient diagnostics of enterprises business diagnostics (Workshop + Fieldwork) 
    • Component 4: Consulting Skills - Practical skills on how to become effective advisers. This component is delivered with the workshops in Components 1, 2, and 3.


    Participants undertake practical fieldwork as part of Components 1 and 3, where they apply their new skills by working with a business.

    The goal of CTAP II is to provide a subset of CTAP I graduates with the skills to train new export advisers locally. At the end of CTAP II the partner institution is granted a franchise to replicate CTAP I.

    Benefits of the CTAP Programme
    For Participants: ability to

    • Master ITC tools to conduct rigorous and efficient diagnostics of SMEs
    • Design competitive international business strategies for SMEs
    • Put in practice the skills learned to advise enterprises on export management issues
    • Get an internationally recognized certification


    Possibility to

    • Work with ITC partner institutions at the national or international level
    • Be recruited by ITC to multiply capacities within  ITC projects
    • Join the CTAP international network and benefit from latest materials, tools and business opportunities
    • Receive online technical support from ITC

    For Enterprises:
    Businesses receive reliable and quality service on strategy design and diagnostics towards improved competitiveness.

    For Donors and Institutions:
    A network of certified advisors available for further private sector development assignments.

    For ITC:
    A network of qualified advisors to extend advisory reach and development impact.

    Training  Modules: 

    • The Business Management System: Guide on Business Competitiveness [Complete publication + Abridged version]
    • Handbook for Trainers and Consultants
    • Tasks of the Business Management System
    • Activities of the Business Management System
    • Strategy Cycle

    Click here for description of modules.


    ITC recognizes and qualifies active participation in its programmes and offers alumni the opportunity to become part of a growing network of international export professionals. The agency places high value in this network and actively manages members to participate in private sector development activities.
     Once they enter the ITC CTAP network, Export Advisers become eligible to participate in a variety of national and international development programs. These can vary from training-of-trainer programmes to direct assistance to export businesses.

    CTAP effectively extends the ability of trade support institutions to provide quality support services to exporting companies, thereby extending the reach and impact of development interventions.

    Advisers must actively participate in export promotion activities on a regular basis and maintain regular contact with ITC.

    Selection of participants
    It is important that CTAP participants are committed to providing professional advisory services that promote Export Impact for Good. Selection is competency-based taking into account professional qualifications, experience, knowledge, skills and attitudes.


    Sorry. This section of the site will be developed in due course.