Times change. This cliché has never been truer than it is today. The rate of scientific innovations has affected the foundations of society and has profoundly influenced our interpersonal relationships. Furthermore, this constant change, this ebb and flow of information and data, has infiltrated the fundamental aspects of society, both the positive and the negative.
Crime is on a rise. The use of new technologies and new modus operandi, have enabled criminal elements to abuse every kind of weakness that law enforcement agencies present them with. The E.U., through CEPOL, has identified this problem and has proposed the best answer: further and constant, innovative training; the kind of training that will push the boundaries and redefine the meaning of the term; the kind of training offered by CEPOL.
With this in mind, and the fact that seminars organised under the CEPOL flag have proven to be the best meeting point for Police Officers from Member States, the German Police University undertook the organisation of CEPOL Seminar 78/2011, “Train the Trainers” - Step 2.
The first step of this activity took place in Athens, from the 15th to the 18th of March 2011, the second on the premises of the German Police University in Muenster, from the 27th to the 30th of September 2011.
The target group focused on nationally competent trainers/experts and police officers that want to increase their competences in training, group working and understanding of diversity in a multicultural training/ working environment.
The use of CEPOL’s e-Net fully supported this activity, by broadening the social network and was greatly appreciated by both lecturers and participants.
The main objectives of this two-step activity, which were evaluated upon the completion of this step, are:
- Given CEPOL and general educational standards, the participant will organise effective European and CEPOL learning environments, especially with regards to multicultural environment.
- Given a learning situation, the participant will identify and clarify the benefits of diversity in CEPOL and in European learning communities as well as organise the learning process.
- Given a learning situation (e.g. course, lecture, simulation, discussion), the participant will facilitate and moderate learning processes by implementing appropriate learning methods and coaching, regarding the principle of personal responsibility for their own effective learning process, during and after the course.
- Given study materials, the participant makes use of opportunities for continuous quality improvement during the course (e.g.: evaluation, reflection, peer review).
- Given CEPOL's Learning Management System and knowledge bases within e-Net, the participant will judge their applicability in the learning environment and make use of them, and encourage participants to access and contribute to the European Learning Network
The seminar was led by experts from the CEPOL training environment - Mr. Theo Brekelmans, the Working Group on Learning - Mr. Joao Cabaco and Greece– Mr. Konstantinos Papazoglou, while coordinated by Mr. Wolfgang Kokoska (as course manager and expert) and Mr. Kleanthis Papagiannopoulos (Deputy Course manager).
During the Seminar’s opening, the participants were offered a refresher of the workings, results and outcomes of the first step of this activity and the expected outcomes of this step. Thereafter, an experiential session on “Loss and Trauma” was presented. This introduced, for the first time in CEPOL training, an innovative type of training that covered three days. During these sessions, participants were asked to share some of their experiences of loss and trauma from their work environment. Subsequent group discussions, guided by an opening presentation, resulted in conclusions being reached on the impact in the working environment and possible ways to deal with them. The innovations did not stop there though. The bulk of the training took place in a unique form, participants were separated into three groups, each group with a specific topic and task. The participants took part in the workings of the individual subgroup for one day and then had to rotate to a different one the following day. This resulted in a more participant-centric type of training, with more room for detail, questions and answers, which in turn led to a deeper understanding of the topics. By the end of the final day, all participants had covered all topics. The topics were:
- Peer Review
- Nonverbal Communication - Classroom Management
- Course Preparation
The last day’s workings commenced with a summary of the activity and continued with an evaluation of the Seminar, using e-Net’s LMS. Closing the seminar, the certificates to the participants were delivered.
In closing, we would like to use the words of Mr. Joao Cabaco, an expert from Portugal, who stated: “The Train the trainers CEPOL course once again proved to be fundamental in the structure of the preparation of trainers according to the quality criteria required by a European organisation. The training of trainers is a key step in acquiring new communication skills able to develop and promote the learning process. This training, in addition to bringing together the trainers of all Member States, can promote discussion on what is best made in the Member States in terms of police training. Fact granted, we can say that “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel” and in the end we all share one passion: the passion for learning.”