How to Apply Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP)

The Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program in Depth (CPDEP) is a live-in training program specifically tailored for domestic workers who intend to work as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in foreign countries. This program spans from three (3) to six (6) days and aims to equip participants with essential skills and knowledge needed to thrive in their host countries. The CPDEP curriculum primarily focuses on language training, cultural familiarization, and stress management, enabling participants to better adapt to their new environment.How to Apply Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP)

To apply for the CPDEP program, please follow the step-by-step process outlined below:

  1. Gather the required documents: Before applying, ensure that you have the necessary documents. These may include a valid passport, proof of employment or job offer abroad, identification documents, and any other supporting papers that may be specified by the program administrators.
  2. Visit the designated application center: Proceed to the designated application center, typically located in major cities or OFW-related government offices. These centers can provide you with the application form and guide you through the application process.
  3. Complete the application form: Fill out the application form accurately and provide all the required information. Make sure to double-check the form for any errors or missing details before submitting it.
  4. Submit the application form and supporting documents: Once you have completed the application form, submit it along with the necessary supporting documents. The program administrators will review your application for eligibility and completeness.
  5. Attend the CPDEP program: If your application is approved, you will receive a notification regarding the schedule and location of the CPDEP program. Make necessary arrangements to attend the program, as it is a mandatory requirement for OFWs.

Important reminders:

  1. Compliance: Attendance at the CPDEP program is mandatory for all domestic workers planning to work as OFWs. Non-compliance may result in delays or issues with your overseas employment.
  2. Program fees: Some CPDEP programs may require payment of a fee. Be sure to inquire about any applicable fees and obtain an official receipt for any payments made.
  3. Follow instructions: Pay close attention to instructions provided by program administrators and instructors during the CPDEP program. These instructions are crucial for your successful integration into your new work environment.
  4. Keep documents safe: Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport, identification papers, and employment contracts. These documents are essential during your journey and when you arrive in your host country.

The CPDEP program aims to empower domestic workers with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate their lives as OFWs successfully. By participating in this program, you can enhance your chances of having a rewarding and fulfilling experience while working abroad.


The government is continuously enhancing its programs for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), particularly in terms of pre-departure orientations and seminars. Starting from 1983, the Philippines has been offering a Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) to OFWs, which provides them with relevant and customized information to help them adjust to the new culture and work environment of their destination country. In 2009, PDOS was expanded to include the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) specifically designed for Household Service Workers (HSWs).

CPDEP plays a crucial role in the knowledge and education policy of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). It is an integral part of the government’s comprehensive education program and ensures the safety and well-being of OFWs.

Who is CPDEP for?

“Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) is available for Household Service Workers, including domestic workers (DWs). This training program, which is conducted on a live-out basis, is open to DWs.”

What does the CPDEP program offer:

Cultural Acquaintance

“This pertains to the resolution of possible cultural obstacles that employees might face while working in a different country. It encompasses challenges such as culture shock, adapting to interactions with locals, and even acquiring a basic understanding of the language commonly spoken in the host country.”

Basic Language Training

Arabic language classes are available through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Language and Culture Familiarization Course, which began in January 2007. This basic language course was improved in March 2009.

Stress Management

The seminar is a comprehensive half-day program designed to provide participants with valuable knowledge about the causes and effects of stress, particularly in the context of working abroad. Its primary goal is to equip attendees with the necessary physical and mental preparation to tackle the challenges they may encounter in their overseas work experience.

During the seminar, participants will be educated about the various factors that contribute to stress, including the demands of working in a foreign environment, cultural differences, language barriers, and homesickness. By understanding these causes, individuals can gain insights into their own stress triggers and learn how to manage them effectively.

In addition to raising awareness about stress, the seminar aims to foster resilience and well-being by offering practical guidance on coping strategies. By sharing information on common techniques employed by household service workers, participants will be encouraged to explore and develop new coping mechanisms that suit their unique situations.

The seminar serves as a platform for participants to engage in interactive sessions, group discussions, and skill-building exercises. Through these activities, attendees can enhance their problem-solving abilities, build a support network with fellow workers, and gain valuable insights from experienced facilitators.

By the end of the program, participants will have a better understanding of stress, its causes, and its effects. They will be equipped with practical tools and techniques to manage stress effectively, enabling them to navigate the challenges of working abroad with greater confidence, resilience, and overall well-being.

In this phase, the focus is on enhancing the understanding of the causes and consequences of stress. This can be accomplished through various research and assessment methods to identify the factors that contribute to stress in the workplace and their impact on employees’ well-being. Here are some steps that can be taken in this phase:

  1. Research and Data Collection: Conduct comprehensive research to gather data on the causes of stress in the workplace. This can involve surveys, interviews, focus groups, and observation methods to capture a wide range of perspectives and experiences.
  2. Data Analysis: Analyze the collected data to identify common stressors and patterns. This can help in understanding the specific triggers of stress and their prevalence among employees. By examining the data, patterns may emerge that can inform the development of targeted interventions.
  3. Identify Stress Consequences: Investigate the consequences of stress on employees’ physical and mental well-being, job performance, and overall satisfaction. This could involve analyzing absenteeism rates, turnover rates, performance evaluations, and employee feedback.
  4. Establish Collaborations: Collaborate with experts in psychology, occupational health, and other relevant fields to gain insights and expertise in understanding stress in the workplace. This collaboration can provide a holistic approach to comprehending the causes and consequences of stress.
  5. Training and Education: Provide training and education programs for managers and employees to raise awareness about the causes and consequences of stress. This can include workshops, seminars, and resources that help individuals recognize and manage stress more effectively.

Phase: Preparing Employees for Working in a Foreign Country

This phase aims to prepare employees both physically and psychologically for the demands of working in a foreign country. Here are the key steps involved:

  1. Cultural Training: Provide comprehensive cultural training programs to employees who will be working in a foreign country. This can include language courses, cultural sensitivity workshops, and information about local customs, norms, and business practices.
  2. Country-Specific Knowledge: Educate employees about the specific country they will be working in, including its history, social structure, and political landscape. This knowledge will help employees understand the local context and adapt more easily to their new environment.
  3. Practical Preparation: Assist employees in practical matters such as visa applications, housing arrangements, healthcare, and transportation options. This will help alleviate potential stressors related to logistics and enable employees to focus on their work responsibilities.
  4. Psychological Support: Offer psychological support services, such as counseling or access to mental health resources, to help employees navigate the emotional challenges of working in a foreign country. This can include providing information on local support networks or arranging virtual counseling sessions.
  5. Peer Networks and Mentoring: Facilitate connections between employees who have already experienced working in a foreign country and those who are preparing to go. Peer networks and mentoring programs can provide valuable advice, support, and a sense of community during the transition


  • Adults between the ages of 20 to 59
  • Children aged 13 to 19 years old
  • Filipinos who are leaving the Philippines (if you have been issued an immigrant visa)

Note: Minors under the age of 13 and adults over the age of 59 are not eligible to take CPDEP


  • Original Passport (Must be valid)
  • Original Visa (Must be valid)
  • One ID Card (Must be valid and has a picture)
  • Payment- $25 (OWWA membership fee)
  • CPDEP attendance

Note: There is no registration charge for CPDEP.

Documents specific to a Country

Here are some documents needed for CPDEP specific to a country depending on where the OFW will be working:

  • Summary of immigrant data for US-bo\und emigrants (except K visa holders)
  • Nulla Osta for emigrants heading to Italy
  • Emigrants to Canada: Confirmation of Permanent Residence
  • For emigrants heading to Australia, a letter of approval for a Work to Residence visa is required.
  • For emigrants heading to New Zealand, a letter of approval for a Work to Residence visa is required.
  • Certificate of Eligibility for Japanese Emigrants

Note: All of these country-specific documents must be presented in original form. You don’t need to provide a photocopy of these documents.


The purpose of the orientation seminar is to offer OFWs country-specific information and, in certain instances, skill-specific guidance. Its primary goal is to equip OFWs with the most relevant and dependable information available. By doing so, it aims to enhance their ability to respond effectively to the health and security needs they may face as a vulnerable population.

Additionally, the orientation seminar assists OFWs in adapting to their new job and surroundings. It recognizes the challenges they might encounter in a foreign work environment and seeks to provide them with the necessary tools and knowledge to navigate these situations successfully.

Moreover, the seminar addresses the fundamental requirements of OFWs for orientation. It recognizes the importance of meeting their basic needs, such as providing essential information about their rights, responsibilities, and available resources. By fulfilling these needs, the seminar strives to empower OFWs and support their overall well-being during their employment abroad.

How to Join CPDEP Program

Please check out the steps below on how you can sign up for the CPDEP program:

1. Please refer to the public notice.

2. Visit

3. Fill out all preliminary questions to determine whether the PDOS or CPDEP is required. Enter your email address and click the submit button.

Below are the preliminary questions included in the page:

  • How do you know your petitioner/sponsor?
  • What is the name of your destination country?
  • What is the type/category/classification of your visa?

4. Look for a confirmation letter in your inbox (including the SPAM folder). Click “Confirm Email” and fill out the “personal information” tab with your information.

5. The personal information tab will then ask you to provide the following information:

  • Last Name
  • First Name
  • Middle Name
  • Suffix
  • Birthdate
  • Sex
  • Civil Status

6. Complete your online registration by clicking “Proceed to registration”

7. Upload a clear and most recent picture.

8. You can download or print your barcoded confirmation. If printed, you need to bring this along with your other requirements to the CFO on your scheduled date.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out the FAQs about the CPDEP OWWA Program below:

1. Is PDOS and CPDEP the same?

Both serve the same purpose, but CPDEP is made exclusively for Household Service Workers (HSWs).

2. Where will this program take place, in the Philippines or in my host country?

As per the program name “Pre-Departure,” it will be conducted in the Philippines before leaving the country.

3. How many days will the program last?

It is conducted for 3 to 6 days.

4. Is the CPDEP program free?

CPDEP is completely free, if there’s any fee, your agency should pay for it.

5. Can I get my CPDEP schedule online?

Yes, you can register and book your schedule online.


Adapting to a new culture, especially when moving abroad for work, can indeed be challenging. It often involves going through a period of adjustment commonly known as “Culture Shock.” This phenomenon occurs when individuals experience a sense of disorientation, frustration, and anxiety due to the unfamiliarity of the new cultural environment.

For overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), it is crucial to understand the concept of culture shock and its potential effects. By gaining sufficient knowledge about culture shock, OFWs can better prepare themselves to manage and reduce its impact. This understanding is particularly important during the initial six to twelve months after arriving in the host country, as this is when most expatriates begin to adapt to their new surroundings.

To facilitate this adjustment process, it is beneficial for OFWs to receive proper orientation and seminars before heading to their host country. A Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) can play a significant role in equipping OFWs with the necessary knowledge and skills. Such a program should go beyond generalizations and instead focus on the specific skills and needs of each participant or aspiring OFW.

By tailoring the education program to individual participants, the CPDEP ensures that OFWs receive targeted assistance and knowledge supplementation. This approach allows them to communicate more freely with locals, navigate cultural differences more effectively, and manage potential stressors more efficiently. As a result, the longer OFWs stay in the host country, the more unique and enriching their overall experience is likely to be.

In conclusion, understanding and managing culture shock is essential for OFWs relocating to a foreign country. Through a Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program that considers the specific skills and needs of individuals, OFWs can enhance their adaptability and maximize the benefits of their overseas experience.

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