Who we are and what we do

The National Institute of Public Administration (in Spanish: "Instituto Nacional de Administración Pública - INAP") is an autonomous body within the national government of Spain, attached to the Department of Territorial Policy and Civil Service. It has a long-standing tradition of more than seventy years in the public interest, as its origins date back to 1940. The National Institute of Public Administration is the leading government’s Civil Service training school in Spain. It started as a simple "Centre" in 1958, but over the following decades its size and responsibilities have grown in a substantial manner. Namely, in 1987, it was merged with the pre-existing Institute for Studies on Local Government (Instituto de Estudios de Administración Local), a body founded in 1940. The legal framework of INAP is the Royal Decree 769/2017, of 28 July, which lays down the basic organic structure of the Ministry of Territorial Policy and the Civil Service, amending the Statute of INAP (Royal Decree 464/2011), reorganizing and simplifying the designation of departments.

While the main tasks of the INAP have traditionally been the training and improvement of the Civil Service, nowadays it performs a wide array of activities that may be classified in the following areas: (a) the recruitment into the Civil Service; (b) training and professional improvement of public employees; (c) research and publishing and (d) promote innovation within the public administration. In addition, the Institute carries out a wide variety of educational and academic activities, intergovernmental cooperation and the analysis of public policies through conferences, meetings and seminars.

A broad overview of such activities in herein provided.

The institute is headed by a Director, responsible for strategic management, supervision and coordination of the different activities and services of the Institute. He also represents the organization in its external relations. On the other hand, the Management department is in charge of the financial administration of the Institute´s own budget (in 2017, roughly 21, 3 million€). It also administers the INAP´s personnel and training facilities. In this respect, the INAP has seventeen training classrooms (three for computer-training), one conference hall and three meeting rooms in its premises in Madrid city centre. In Alcalá de Henares, our facilities include seven classrooms, a computer room, and a conference hall. The total capacity of both offices combined amounts to 700 places for students.

The activity of the Institute is based upon the daily effort of its staff, currently composed of 162 employees.

Link to the INAP General Strategic Plan 2017-2020 (English version).


Training and professional improvement for public employees still lays at the heart of the INAP´s activities, and this is the function for which the Institute is mostly recognised. The training activity carried out by the Institute is structured around six major training programmes:

  • Training for managers
  • General training
  • Training in electronic administration
  • Language training (co-official and foreign languages)
  • Training for local administration staff
  • Inception courses for new public servants
  • Courses through the EIAPP (CLAD) Virtual Campus 
  • Virtual training plans

The INAP endeavours to improve permanently its quality training standards and holds cooperation with other prestigious international schools and institutes, such as the French ENA, the National School of Government (UK) and the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA). During the year 2016, the Institute provided 52.532 training hours, which were addressed to almost 68.000 public employees from all levels of governments, as well as to international civil servants.


Recruitment into the Civil Service is one of the major tasks of the INAP. Every year, the Institute runs, in a centralised way, several fair and open competitions for different grades and ranks of the State Civil Service, from clerical staff to managers. This is made through the Permanent Selection Committee ("Comisión permanente de selección"), or through specific, ad hoc recruitment boards (for the upper ranks of the Civil Service). In 2017, and in accordance with the annual national announcement of civil service vacancies, the Institute managed seventeen recruitment processes with an overall figure of more than 66,000 candidates, for a total of 3051 vacancies.

Studies, Research and Publications

Besides recruitment and training in the civil service, the INAP promotes research and studies regarding government and the different levels on public administration, from an interdisciplinary perspective. Recently, the Institute has reformulated the unit renaming it as Centre for Studies and Knowledge Management.

Since its inception, the Institute has carried out an important publishing activity in its areas of reference, and has produced more than 900 books. All of them have been digitalized and are available to the public. In addition, the Institute currently publishes three periodicals, with a legal and public management perspective on government, public administration and public policies:

  • "Documentación Administrativa"
  • "Revista de Estudios de la Administración local y autonómica"
  • "Gestión y análisis de políticas públicas"

The new editorial lines are: Innap Investiga, Innap Innova and Innap Inserta.

Furthermore, the research activity of the Institute is carried out by establishing working groups and committees (experts, researchers and professionals), financing of research projects (37) in areas such as: Impact of technology on the Public Administrations, Social, administrative and training innovation, Territorial studies, Social and corporate social responsibility; as well as managing fellowships (namely the INAP-Fulbright program), and organizing conferences and seminars.

The Institute is provided with a magnificent library, specialised in Public Administration, Government and Public Law, with more than 204.560 catalogue records for book, serials and electronic resources. The library also holds an Antique Books Collection, which comprises more than 9,000 volumes written between the XVIth and the XIXth centuries.

Public Innovation

This new department is in charge of facing the current and future challenges of the Institute and the Public Administration. It pursues activity in the domain of:

  • 2030 Agenda
  • Digital era
  • Social change and new realities
  • New skills for civil service (OECD)

The main projects the department is currently working on are:

  • Establishing a common methodology for the detection of training needs.
  • Preparation of skills models for different professional profiles
  • Promotion of an approval and certification model for qualifications valid for all administrations (national and regional)
  • Development and application of evaluation methodologies acquired formally and informally 

Institutional Relations and International Cooperation

Since its establishment in the fifties, the INAP has maintained an extensive international cooperation activity with counterpart organisations, both national and international, especially with Latin American countries. In this domain, the Institute:

  • Develops training programmes for civil servants from Latin American countries
  • Holds bilateral relations with foreign training schools and institutes as well as with public and private sector and civil society organisations
  • Signs Memoranda of Understanding with Public Administration Schools and Administrations in other countries
  • Receives institutional and study visits of foreign delegations
  • Takes part in international organisations specialising in Public Administration such as the International Institute for Administrative Sciences (IIAS), the Administrative Council of EIPA (European Institute of Public Administration), DISPA (Network of Directors of Public Administration Schools and Institutes) and OECD Network of Schools of Government, as well as the Latin American Centre of Administration for the Development (CLAD)
  • Develops cooperation projects in Latin America, Africa or Europe (in relation with AECID, CLAD or the EU institutions)