The Client Centricity for Common Back Offices (CBOs) online training is a self-paced learning path developed by the UN System Staff College (UNSSC) in partnership with the United Nations Development Coordination Office (UNDCO). This learning offering seeks to support the implementation of the Efficiency Reform and increase knowledge on the purpose and benefits of CBOs.


An important instrument of the Secretary General's Efficiency Agenda, common back offices (CBOs) reflect a new way of operating at country level. CBOs encourage the consolidation of services to foster greater efficiency and effectiveness. They are an extension of the Business Operations Strategy (BOS); they consolidate and integrate BOS common service solutions into a platform structured for service delivery. CBOs provide a range of location-dependent services to UN agencies at country level. This approach will allow UN agencies to concentrate on operational support mandates that are critical for their team while outsourcing non-strategic operations to their CBO. 


The objective of the programme is to train staff on common back office elements, processes, procedures and activities. The ultimate objective is for trainees, upon completion of the training, to successfully support the development of common back offices at the country level.  

At the end of this learning path, participants are able to:  

  • Define the main goals as well as identify the core principles and enablers of the Efficiency Reform 
  • Explain the purposes of establishing a common back office
  • Explain what excellent client service means and how to deliver it as a team, articulating each team member's roles and contributions  
Course methodology

The Client Centricity for Common Back Offices (CBOs) is a structured learning path. The learning is based on micro-learning modules with videos, storytelling and scenario-based learning. Course participants will be able to consolidate takeaways through reflective practices and interaction with other participants via discussion forums, and other activities.

Each module is estimated to require approximately one to two hours of study and reflection time to complete at your own pace.

Course contents

The Client Centricity for Common Back Offices (CBOs) training is hosted on the UNSSC Blue Line platform. The learning path currently consists of the following three modules:

  1. Introduction to CBOs, an initiative under the Efficiency Reform
  2. Client centricity Fundamentals
  3. Client centricity Advanced

Participants will receive a first certificate upon successful completion of the first two modules: Introduction and Client Centricity Fundamentals and a second (advanced) certificate upon successful completion of all the three modules. 

Target audience

The primary target audience of this learning path is current and future common-back-office practitioners in each country.

Cost of participation

Free for UN staff and personnel.