In April 2019, the United Nations Police Training Architecture Programme was formally launched. This joint effort is undertaken by the Police Division and the Integrated Training Service of the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) in close cooperation with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
All United Nations Member States were invited to join the Programme, and as of 1 October 2020, a total of 32 police-contributing countries have joined. In addition, United Nations Agencies, Funds and Programmes as well as regional organisations, are supporting the programme, including the African Union, European Union, INTERPOL and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
The Programme aims at updating the current UN Police Pre-Deployment Training (2009) by ensuring its compliance with the Strategic Guidance Framework for International Policing (SGF) and other relevant UN guidance. To this effect, six Curriculum Development Groups (CDGs) are translating existing UN guidance into training materials for a new pre-deployment police specialized training module (STM) and job-specific training modules for UN Police. All groups started their work at a workshop in Brindisi in June 2019 and, by 31 August 2020, had submitted their respective STM modules to the Programme’s Core Team, while the development of job-specific training materials is expected to be completed before the end of 2020.
The UN Police Training Architecture Programme consists of four projects, as described below, and addresses the improvement of the current UN police training system with a view to enhancing the performance of all UNPOL officers deployed in the field.
- Project 1: New mandatory online course that introduces the SGF, its core principles and guiding documents will be developed.
- Project 2: To ensure that all UNPOL candidates have access to the mandatory e-learning courses, including the newly designed SGF course, a dedicated UNPOL portal will be created.
- Project 3: The Specialized Pre-Deployment Training (STM) for police from 2009 will be updated.
- Project 4:. For individual police officers (IPOs), 55 expert profiles were identified in accordance with four SGF functional categories and skill sets required in field missions. These 55 profiles were merged into broader priority categories, which cover most job-specific training needs. The relevant job-specific training materials will be developed both for IPOs and Formed Police Unit personnel.
Once a given SGF-compliant curriculum has been completed and formally approved, the Police Division and Integrated Training Service will invite Member States and partner organisations to send senior police instructors to undertake a specific Train-and-Certify-the-Trainer Course on that particular curriculum. Those instructors who pass the course will be certified to deliver the standardised curriculum in their host country or for other training institutions. In addition, they will issue numbered certificates on behalf of the United Nations to participants successfully completing the courses.
Piloting and delivery of STM
The projected delivery of the STM for the benefit of instructors from the Member States (MS) will be organised in 2021 as follows:
- English Training and Certification of MS Trainers, 10 days I, Europe, 24 participants
- English Training and Certification of MS Trainers, 10 days II, Europe, 24 participants
- English Training and Certification of MS Trainers, 10 days III, Africa, 24 participants
- English Training and Certification of MS Trainers, 10 days IV, Asia, 24 participants
- French Training and Certification of MS Trainers, 10 days I, Africa, 24 participants
- French Training and Certification of MS Trainers, 10 days II, Africa, 24 participants
Development and delivery of job-specific training courses
Unlike the STM, which is already developed and integrated into the police pre-deployment training course, the job-specific materials need to be finalized and then blended into training courses for the particular target audience, in accordance with the latest skill sets required in UN field missions.
Selected newly developed UN-certified instructors’ job-specific courses, including the first priority, the community-oriented policing advisers’ course, will be piloted in 2021. The Police Division and Integrated Training Service will adjust and finalise the curricula with the feedback provided in the pilot courses and initiate the approval process by the Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Peace Operations.
Member States’ engagement
Once a given SGF-compliant curriculum has been completed and formally approved, the Police Division and Integrated Training Service will invite Member States to nominate senior police instructors to undertake a specific UN-certified instructors’ course for a particular target audience.
Over the coming months and years, vacancy notices for international policing assignments will increasingly feature language where the possession of a numbered UN certificate in a given specialism will be listed as “Highly Desirable”.
The Police Division and Integrated Training Service propose to work with the police training centres of Member States to form a Virtual Police Academy – a network whereby the use of existing facilities, personnel and other resources could be further rationalised to better meet the training needs of peace operations in the field either at or very close to zero cost.
It is envisaged that the Police Division and its international counterparts (AU, EU etc.) could provide the network with details of the projected numbers and types of personnel for the coming years and work closely with them to ensure that the right persons are trained on the right topic in the required quantities at the right time.
Professional Development Virtual Workshop
A team of six Police Division staff from the Standing Police Capacity and one from the Strategic Policy and Development Section developed, coordinated and facilitated two virtual workshops on professional development for United Nations Police serving with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA, from 24 to 28 August 2020) and United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS, from 14 to 18 September 2020). The course was attended by over 80 UN police officers from both missions, with 70 per cent women.
The overall objective of the workshop was to equip police officers with the appropriate knowledge, skills and aptitudes relevant to effective leadership and management opportunities within the UN System, as well as within their national agencies, and contribute to enhancing gender-sensitive policing as a fundamental practice.
The specific objectives of the workshop included an understanding of broader perspectives on policing; an introduction to the Strategic Guidance Framework for International Policing (SGF) and its role in mission mandates and police concepts of operations; an understanding of gender-sensitive policing and the system-wide Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy; stress management in law enforcement; effective team building; and career development and United Nations job application procedures.
Based on the positive feedback received from the participants, the Police Division aims to provide similar training support to other missions in accordance with their needs.