CEPOL publishes Training Needs Analysis on digital skills and the use of new technologies

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CEPOL publishes training needs analysis on digital skills and the use of new technologies
29 July 2022

CEPOL has just released the Operational Training Needs Analysis on Digital Skills and the use of New Technologies for 2023-2025, responding to the need to continue equipping law enforcement professionals with advanced digital skills to meet the requirements of digitalisation of modern societies and the digital transformation of the law enforcement environment in the European Union.

Digital skills and the use of new technologies was identified as the top core capability gap for law enforcement in the EU-Strategic Training Needs Assessment 2022-2025 report. Following up on this strategic training priority, CEPOL launched this OTNA in 2021, aiming to use the outcomes of the research to define the agency’s training portfolio addressing digitalisation of law enforcement for 2023-2025. Within the scope of this particular OTNA, CEPOL received 45 individual responses from representatives of different law enforcement agencies from 21 Member States and 2 EU institutions.

The OTNA identified the following most relevant main topics for law enforcement training: digital investigations, use of new technologies, digital forensics, cybersecurity fundamentals and financial investigations. Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic that led Europe to an unprecedented ‘infodemic’, disinformation and fake news was also included in the analysis as an additional topic. In the meantime, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine has necessitated the further intensification of EU efforts in countering the spread of false or misleading information. Based on the OTNA results, disinformation and fake news was prioritised as the sixth most relevant topic. Furthermore, since the data for this study were collected before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the topic of victims’ protection has seemingly increased in importance and should also be addressed as part of the CEPOL fundamental rights and data protection training portfolio.

Based on the OTNA findings, the need for advanced digital skills is spread across the different professions in the field, while overall more than 9 600 law enforcement officials in the EU Member States would require specialised training in 2023. The full OTNA report can be downloaded here.


What is behind the OTNA approach?

The CEPOL Regulation mandates the Agency to incorporate training needs assessments and analyses in its planning. CEPOL completed the second EU Strategic Training Needs Assessment (EU-STNA) in 2021, identifying strategic level training priorities for law enforcement officials across Europe for the next 4-year cycle 2022-2025 of the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT). In order to analyse the particular training needs in more details, CEPOL is conducting the OTNAs.

The OTNA methodology is a structured training needs analysis procedure, which takes into consideration the deliverables of the EU-STNA process. CEPOL designs its multiannual training portfolio building on the outcomes of the OTNAs, which provide a detailed understanding of the number and profile of officials to be trained, as well as on the proficiency and urgency level of training to be delivered.

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European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
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Ó utca 27
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European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
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