On 15-19 June 2009, CEPOL Secretariat with support from Austria organised course 79/2009 ‘Managing and Organising CEPOL Activities and Meetings’ attracting 19 participants from 16 Member States.
The main focus of the course was the recent changes to Governing Board decision 30/2006/GB (Laying Down Administrative Rules, Commitments and Guidelines for its Courses and Seminars) and the Course Managers’ Tool which has been developed to assist course organisers when organising CEPOL courses and seminars.
A highly interactive computer-based course, participants learned how to apply the changes to the decision by using the Course Managers’ Tool, which incorporates a timeline and links to the different forms course organisers are requested to use when organising CEPOL activities. The feedback from the participants about the course was very positive.
The Course Managers’ Tool is available to download from the restricted part of CEPOL’s website and through practical training sessions, participants 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 right form, document or template that needs to be amended by course organisers and disseminated.
The majority of participants were new to CEPOL and were therefore given an overview of the organisation’s aims, objectives, mission, vision, governance and main activities.
Joanne Barnett, Communications Officer, highlighted the need to raise awareness of CEPOL by providing news items for the website about CEPOL activities carried out in the Member States. She stated it was important for many reasons, not least to encourage more participants to attend CEPOL courses and also to strengthen CEPOL’s reputation. Joanne also highlighted what course organisers should amend on the forms in order to present CEPOL in a consistent and professional manner.
Janet Meli, Learning and Training Support Officer, presented why CEPOL carries out evaluation, how it is done and what happens to the results.
Participants also learned from Brenda Scott about implementing CEPOL meetings and were informed that the Governing Board decision would be amended later this year and a similar tool developed to assist Member States.
Jayne Grant, Secretary Programmes, presented the decision about Free Air Tickets and reminded course organisers to utilise the free air tickets for sending participants to courses and seminars. A template is provided in the template section of CEPOL’s restricted website.
Sandro Frank, Course Coordinator, said: “The feedback has been very positive. What is clear is that if the Course Managers’ Tool is used properly – Timeline, Tool, Templates - it actually assists course organisers as it is logical and easy to follow. The participants were also able to see the importance of following the deadlines in the timeline, not least to allow Member States to source the right participants for activities.”
Suguna Suriyanarayanan, France, said: “The course was a wonderful experience for me. I learned a lot and now I will find out how best to implement all I have learned with my colleagues in the office.”
Margit Sas, Hungary, added: “It was a very useful course I have learned a lot. The Course Managers’ Tool will be very useful as I am responsible for organising CEPOL courses and seminars back home.”
Erling Melkjorsen, Denmark, stated: “The course met my expectations. My first introduction to CEPOL was the organisation of a CEPOL meeting last year in Denmark. I will now understand exactly what my colleague is doing when he uses the Course Managers’ Tool.”
Ulf Göransson, Director of CEPOL, said: “I am confident that if the participants cascade the information they learned during last week back to their CEPOL colleagues that improvements will be felt all round. The process has been streamlined, templates and forms made available and the Course Managers’ Tool created to make each step understandable and to a certain degree self explanatory. I am optimistic that more Member States will come to these courses which offer a valuable insight into how CEPOL’s activities need to be administered, as well as an opportunity to network with colleagues from other Member States and put faces to names at the Secretariat.”
The next course 80/2009 Administering and Organising CEPOL Activities and Meetings is scheduled to take place at Bramshill, UK, on 9-13 November 2009.