Study visits

The general need of study visits

International cooperations, exchange of information and experience have increased significantly. Political and social changes have influenced national and regional traditions. The police education systems of the AEPC Police Colleges are very different and multifaceted. There are differences in legislations, in the principles of law and in their interpretations. In every state the police have a distinctive national tradition. The definition of police is tied up with the own point of view. The perspectives of international exchange and cooperation have to come from current state of knowledge and official national descriptions.

Study visits support the European sense of community that exists beside national and regional solidarity. The awareness of European identity in police matters creates a basis of harmonisation in different systems and more active international cooperations in operational and analytical measures. Main aims of the AEPC, the exchange of information, maintaining contact on appropriate areas of training and development; the sharing of best practice and research could be deepened due to professional study visits.

Current situation

The number of police training institutions that are sending their students on study visits have increased during the last decade. Most of them are on the level of senior police officers.

Especially the Bologna process is able to have an additional major impact on the mobility and movement of police trainees and the outcome of this is an increasing number of study visits within Europe. Based on the Bologna process a lot of European police training systems already have evaluated or are on the way to evaluate their education systems. Particularly senior police officers are affected by this transformation. In this context, study visit programmes or international practise modules are the best way to get detailed information. Moreover, in addition to the understanding about different police systems as well as drafting of comparisons/differences for their scientific paper have become an essential element within national curricula.

Most of these study visits are based on bilateral cooperations between different police training institutions. Individual study visits are requested as well as group study visits.

Study visits from a general point of view

A study visit is a short stay for some days or even weeks in a host country for an individual person or a group. Study visits usually include presentations and local visits to special departments, so for example to NGO’s, educational/training institutions, ministries or to other European and/or national facilities. A forum for discussions, exchanges and learning about topics of common interest just as on European and national priorities can be done.

Therefore study visits are an excellent opportunity to support and engross the mind about education and to train law enforcement agencies in other countries and improving European cooperations. Working together and reflecting on various job-related issues, sharing different point of views, discovering and accepting other ways of seeing things and many other positive aspects make both organisers and participants feel more like members of a common European space.

To deepen this enormous opportunity, it is necessary to organise study visits professionally so that everyone receives maximum benefits from it. Another important point is that contacts and networks can be established. This could probably be useful for common future projects and future cooperations.

For a productive study visit all participants should respect the common approach. Requirements and application procedures vary from different police training institutions, so several steps ought to be taken to guarantee a successful stay abroad.

First workshop in Vienna 2009

It was necessary to bring all people together who are responsible for the organisation to handle the increasing numbers of requests and to plan procedures of study visits in al AEPC police training institutions. Based on these considerations the AEPC was organising a workshop in cooperation within the Austrian Sicherheitsakademie (.SIAK) from 9th to 10th of February in Vienna. The participants of this workshop exchanged information and discussed about to find a way to harmonise the structure – and most of all the quality – of study visits between the AEPC police training institutions.

After a fruitful and open discussion about the needs of organising study visits a special template has been created. All AEPC member police training institutions should fill the template out to get short information about the general procedures of study visits from every AEPC police training institution.

You can find the completed template under the category “Members”. Every member police training institution is responsible for its own template. Concerning the fact that the AEPC is an association that is established on a voluntary base, there is no obligation to fill out the template.

Download: Study Visits Template