19 Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) coming from 11 different countries began their LET4CAP training at Castle Jable today. The event is organized by the Centre for European Perspective and is the first of three sessions that have been dedicated towards solidifying the development of a common law enforcement capacity building culture.
The first day started with an ice breaker session where participants introduced themselves and shared their personal/professional backgrounds. The participants involved have varying degrees of experience in the field of training, some with over 20 years of know-how and some with basic experience. In addition, the trainees come from different fields such as the: civil administrative sector, military, police, civilian police, criminal investigation (forensics); creating an interesting learning dynamic.
The second part of the session was dedicated towards familiarizing participants with teaching and learning theories as well as tools and techniques needed to become a ‘good’ trainer. The topic was introduced with a lecture delivered by Annalisa Creta, Professor of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, that discussed how the sharing of knowledge involves good andragogy, deriving above all from listening skills and cultural awareness. Thus, being an effective trainer requires creating a common ground with the trainee in order to level seniority (breaking boundaries) and establish oneself as a resource.
The trainers were introduced to the training cycle approach, that involves the:
- Identification of Needs
- Planning and Design Phase
A learner-centered approach remains the key to all these steps, as it sees the trainee not as a unilateral element towards which information is to be communicated but rather as an element of conversation and interaction through which easier connection, assessment (reactivity of inputted knowledge) and evaluation (upgrading of knowledge and skills) can be made by the trainer. In this light, the first activity involved a Social Experimental Learning experiment where participants were asked to share their skills, first in groups and then collectively.
The importance of the physical environment (in terms of comfort and security) also should not be disregarded. The large conference room with a warm décor and “cafè styled” organization of seats created an overall relaxed and enjoyable environment as to make interaction and approachability towards participants more feasible and fruitful. This was also a useful demonstration of how creating adequate environments for knowledge transfer during trainings is important.
The course is part of a framework of the Internal Security Fund of the European Union, where the Italian Carabinieri are leading a training initiative called “Law Enforcement Training for Capacity Building project” – LET4CAP”. Members of the consortium are: the Centre for European Perspective (CEP), founded by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies of Pisa, the Polish police force “Policja” and the in-house agency of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance “Studiare Sviluppo”. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to a more consistent and efficient assistance in law enforcement capacity building towards third countries, which will be achieved through the harmonization of a training package for Law Enforcement Organisations and with the development of a common, law enforcement capacity building culture.