On 10-13 November 2009, CEPOL Secretariat organised course 80/2009 ‘Managing and Organising CEPOL Activities and Meetings’ at Bramshill, attracting 19 participants from 15 Member States and one Associated country.
The main focus of the course was to highlight the recent changes to Governing Board decision 30/2006/GB (Laying down administrative rules, commitments and guidelines for its courses and seminars) and train participants in the use of the Course Managers’ Tool which was developed and launched earlier this year to assist those organising CEPOL courses and seminars.
A highly interactive computer-based course, participants learned from Joanne Barnett (Course Manager) and Sandro Frank (Course Coordinator) how to apply the changes to the decision by using the Course Managers’ Tool (CMT) and Timeline.
The Course Managers’ Tool can be easily downloaded from the restricted part of CEPOL’s website. Participants on the course learned about the nine different steps when organising CEPOL courses and seminars: Getting Started, Budget, Planning, Participants, Trainers and Experts, Preparation, Implementation, Evaluation and Reporting.
Each ‘stage’ is grouped in the Course Managers’ Tool and links directly to the latest versions of forms, documents or templates that need to be amended by course organisers and disseminated to the various stakeholders.
The other key focus of the course was to highlight the recent changes to Governing Board decision 08/2007/GB (Laying down rules governing the organisation of meetings and the reimbursements of expenditure for attending and organising meetings of the Governing Board, Committees, Working Groups, Project Groups Ad Hoc Working Groups, Subgroups and Handover Meetings).
Organising CEPOL meetings differs to organising courses and seminars, as meeting organisers work together with the Chairs and are supported by a designated Secretary from CEPOL Secretariat.
Organisers of CEPOL Meetings concentrate mainly on the logistics (booking accommodation, meeting rooms, registrations, organising meals and local transport) while the Secretaries, in conjunction with the Chairs, concentrate on finalising meeting dates, developing the budget and agreement, issuing invitations and registration documents, preparing and drafting documents, sending out papers and writing the Outcomes of Proceedings.
During the course Janet Meli, Learning and Training Support Officer, presented why CEPOL carries out evaluation, how it is done and what happens to the results and Julian ter Huurne, Seconded National Expert, provided participants with an overview of how the Learning Management System (LMS) can be utilised by Course Managers when implementing CEPOL courses.
During the week, participants also met with Mark Hall (Finance and Budget Support Officer), Stefan Manescu (Finance Assistant), Detlef Schroeder (Head of Programmes) and Brenda Scott (Senior Secretary).
Jerome Lachevre, France, said: “It was a really interesting course. Even though I have been in the CEPOL network for years it is important to ensure you are updated about the current way of working. I will take a clear message away with me – that this course is an asset for those working within national CEPOL teams to attend.”
Maria Orsos Propkop, Hungary, stated: “I feel this course was very good for me. The CMT is very helpful for us – thank you. I also feel that most of my questions have been answered and when I get back to Hungary, I will share all the information I have learned with my colleagues.”
Kleanthis Papagiannopoulos, Greece, added: “I found the course really useful and I learned many things. Although I attended a similar course 3 years ago, I have been inspired to work in a better way. I will present the most important parts to my colleagues on my return to the office and will recommend a participant from Greece attends this course each year.”
Tiina Maripuu, Estonia, stated: “The course was really useful as previously I have had to study everything myself. Now I know how to avoid mistakes and I have many thoughts about how I can raise awareness of CEPOL in Estonia. I will start by having a meeting with my team on Monday and I hope this is a ‘new wind’ for Estonia.”
Jose Alberto Ramirez, Spain, said: “Cascading for me will begin on Monday when I will start to discuss with my colleagues the meetings and events we will hold during our Presidency. Although I am not directly involved in organising CEPOL courses, the knowledge I have gained will help me understand the problems my colleagues may encounter and I will now be able to assist them.”
Alain Ruelle, Belgium, added: “It is really important for people at the national CEPOL level to attend this course as evolution in the network is so fast. The course also highlighted the necessity to ensure that all the players nationally – National e-Net Managers, Research and Science Correspondents, Course Managers, etc., - work together as a team.”
Joanne Barnett, Course Manager, said: “I feel that the course was a success, mainly due to the enthusiasm and interaction of the course participants. We have already noticed improvements since the first course in June and I am confident that the whole network will benefit if all course managers follow the deadlines in the CMT and Timeline.”
Two similar courses are planned for 2010 (dates to be confirmed). For further information about this or the upcoming courses, please contact Joanne Barnett, email: