What We Do

Advancing Parliamentary Democracy from the Heart of Westminster

CPA UK supports and strengthens parliamentary democracy throughout the Commonwealth. It focuses on key priority themes including women in parliament, modern slavery, financial oversight, security and trade. 

Peer to peer learning is central to the way CPA UK works. CPA UK brings together UK and Commonwealth parliamentarians and officials to share knowledge and learn from each other. It aims to improve parliamentary oversight, scrutiny and representation and is located in and funded by the UK Parliament. 

Building Stronger Parliaments and Advancing Democracy

CPA UK's core work is to build relationships with parliaments across the Commonwealth. This is achieved through a programme of parliamentary strengthening and diplomatic based activities. CPA UK undertakes work at the request of other parliaments around the Commonwealth, and our tailored programmes include individual country programmes, and large scale projects and activities that bring together Commonwealth parliamentarians and clerks.


As part of its commitment to strengthening democracy and good governance, CPA UK regularly carries out and supports election missions across the Commonwealth in its role as secretariat for CPA's British Islands and Mediterranean Region.

Election observance expresses the Commonwealth's interest and concern in promoting democratic elections within its wider policy of support for democracy, the rule of law and human rights. CPA UK is committed to ensuring a professional approach based on observation of all aspects of the electoral process.

Westminster Seminar Series

The Westminster Seminar on Effective Parliaments is our flagship capacity building programme, designed for first term and early career parliamentarians and clerks. It is held every year in March over the course of a week, and focuses on peer-to-peer learning between participants.

The Seminar provides a unique platform for participants from across the Commonwealth to network and engage with counterparts, exploring approaches to parliamentary democracy, practice and procedure in the context of the Westminster System and drawing comparisons between Commonwealth legislatures.

UK Overseas Territories Project

The UK Overseas Territories Project (UKOPT) is a coherent programme of transformational activities that are focused on enhancing good governance and oversight of public finances in the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs). The Project works with parliamentarians, parliamentary and electoral officials, external auditors, and internal auditors from across the UKOTs to share good practice and exchange ideas. 

The Project is organised as a consortium and is led by CPA UK in collaboration with the National Audit Office (NAO) and the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA). The Project is funded through the Overseas Territories and Polar Directorate of the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO).

Priority Themes

The shape and focus of CPA UK’s work is guided by five priority themes. We work to promote these themes across all of our parliamentary strengthening programmes and activities: