New blood for the Working Group of Learning

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01 July 2010

Will new blood dramatically change the Working Group on Learning? Chaired by the the newly elected Chair, Marek Link, the whole group carried out an internal surgery to agree the new way forward.

During the 19th Working Group on Learning meeting held in Templemore, Ireland on the premises of “An Garda” college, the ten members present, supported by the Secretary, elected a new Deputy Chair: Dr. Zsolt Molnár. Dr. Zsolt Molnár, legal advisor for the Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement in Hungary, has been a member of the Hungarian Police Force for more than sixteen years.

The group also welcomed new member Piet de Brouwer to his first meeting. Piet de Brouwer is a police officer from the Belgian Police and is responsible for the training of senior police officers in his country.

The group focused on the preferred future methods of working for the group. In a workshop moderated by the newly elected Deputy Chair, new ideas and polishing CEPOL activities were initiated.

“The Working Group on Learning should concentrate on opportunities, heritage, main values and outcomes, with a short retrospection. History can explain the current situation and help to set future action,” explained Zsolt.

The Chair recommended: “Every member should participate in the discussions and express [clearly] their views”.

A “tour de table” was chosen so everyone could contribute to the brainstorming session.

Sandra Wijkhuijs, former Chair of the group, reported on her experiences, stressing that “a lot had already been achieved”.

According to the Training and Research Committee Action Plan, the Working Group on Learning took on board all the topics they were tasked with (Q13, Train the trainers, Bologna, Evaluation, Learning Strategy, development of e-learning and LMS). The respective roles of the group and CEPOL Secretariat were complementary and did not overlap with each other. The major contribution of Theo Brekelmans was stressed by the group, an analysis shared by Joao Cabaço and Wolfgang Kokoska (trainers on the Train the Trainer’s course).

David I’anson stressed the necessary improvements to timely delivery and work processes. He reiterated that not everyone should necessarily be involved in the work of the group, but experts on the topics should be designated and report back to the group as a whole.

As David will be the next Training and Research Committee Chair, he sees a conflict of interest between these two responsibilities and will resign form the Working Group on Learning at the end of year. He recommended that the group should focus on their core tasks and leave discussions that are not always relevant to this group to the other Committees and Working Groups.

Joe Carton (Ireland) presented a possible accreditation process for CEPOL training activities. Marek and Joe will work together on the issue.

Also discussed were the relevant outcomes of last Training and Research Committee meeting; the “revised” questionnaire for line managers issued by the Secretariat which were mandated by the Annual Programme Committee. It was agreed that three of the members (Sandra, Walentyna and Joao) will work on it and revise the proposal to the Training and Research Committee. The group will also reconsider the glossary issue once CEPOL Secretariat provides with more details.

A “new group” emerged from the surgery session and each member within the new configuration seemed happy with the philosophy of working together as a way forward.

A first outcome was reached and the debate will continue during the next 20th Working Group on Learning meeting which takes place n Reading, UK on 28-29 October 2010.


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