Bogota NCB sets standard for world-wide INTERPOL online training
Appointed as the new Head of INTERPOL Bogota in December 2010, Teniente Coronel Juliette Giomar Kure Parra has one principal ambition for her NCB and country: maximize on capacity and knowledge building to boost policing results and help make Colombia safer.
One of her first moves as NCB Head was to make sure all her staff had in-depth police knowledge and skills by providing them with hand-on access to INTERPOL's Global Learning Centre (IGLC), the on-line e-learning facility providing a wide range of training services.
“We are committed to finding and implementing the best policing innovations for NCB staff and also for our police colleagues across Colombia,” commented Giomar Kure Parra during a telephone interview held shortly after IGLC was made accessible, and in parts mandatory, at INTERPOL Bogota. “As law enforcement managers, our job is to constantly raise the capabilities of our staff and help them master the policing tools we make available to them. That is precisely what IGLC does,” she added.
INTERPOL Bogota is actively working on making the IGLC system available nationwide, with the technical support of the General Secretariat.
Reinforcing system security
Mirroring General Secretariat policy for security standards, INTERPOL Bogota made it mandatory for all NCB staff to follow the “Information Security Awareness” online course.
“This IGLC training is a necessary step for staff to get access to the I-24/7 network,” commented the Head of NCB. “Every single NCB staff member has taken and passed this course, and newcomers will have to do so too. This makes sure that all of us at the NCB have a firm grasp of the basic principles of system security and how to keep INTERPOL's global network safe,” she added.
“Protection of the integrity of INTERPOL's databases and systems – that’s where INTERPOL Bogota is a pioneer leader,” commented INTERPOL Training Director Dale Sheehan. “The Information Security Awareness e-learning module helps students to become familiar with information security terminology, components and principles. It lists out information security policies and procedures, helps staff to instinctively identify information security risks and ensures all users know how to protect information systems and networks” he added.
Tutorials tailored to NCB needs
“As staff members of the world’s largest police organization, we want our NCB staff to have a solid knowledge of what INTERPOL is about. The on-line tutorial system provides them with a unique opportunity to do this comprehensively – the tutorials cover such a wide range of topics,” commented the Bogota NCB Head.
“For example, many INTERPOL Bogota staff members have followed the INTERPOL Stolen Vehicle FORMATRAIN Course which has significantly helped in their understanding of the crime field and how INTERPOL provides the tools to tackle it.”
The Interpol Global Learning Centre (IGLC) provides access to 20 on-line tutorials. Users have a wide choice of institutional and policing subject matters to choose from. Courses range from the application of Article three of INTERPOL's constitution to bioterrorism awareness and body language and signs of lying in a police interrogation.
Prior to launching the IGLC e-learning modules, a questionnaire was sent to member countries asking them what kind of training tool they wanted. This feasibility study enabled the General Secretariat to truly tailor its on-line training tool to the real needs and expectations of its membership.
A multilingual tool
Concerned that all member countries should be able to find the tutorials useful, the General Secretariat training department had the tutorials translated from English into French and Spanish in early 2011. It was once the tutorials were translated into Spanish that the Americas region was able to fully benefit from the wealth of knowledge the tutorials contain.
“Few of us at the NCB ever consulted the e-learning modules before they were translated,” commented a member of INTERPOL Bogota staff in the post-training evaluation form which is sent to the General Secretariat each time a course is finalized. “Now that I can follow them in Spanish, I have done almost all of them, as have many of my NCB colleagues, and I have found them really useful for much of the work I have to do as an investigator at the NCB,” added the trainee.
“Since we launched the multi-lingual modules, requests for access have sky-rocketed!” commented Dale Sheehan, INTERPOL's Training Director at the General Secretariat headquarters. “We are currently looking into funding options available to permit the translation of the tutorials into the Arabic language too,” he added.
Statistics which speak for themselves
Almost 400 NCB IGLC accounts have been opened by NCBs since the e-learning modules were launched in 2009, the majority of them in Columbia, Russia and Venezuela. Consultations have increased almost five-fold since the modules went multilingual.
“Knowledge is the key to successful policing,” stated the Colombia NCB Head during her interview. “Making sure everyone has ample opportunity to learn is a key feature of the Colombian authorities’ strategic priorities. Knowledge - and continually improving knowledge - is what makes a policeperson a true professional, and the reason why we insisted on making INTERPOL e-learning modules accessible to all our law enforcement officers, not just a select few. We all need to benefit from the expert policing knowledge INTERPOL provides us with,” she added.
“Online learning can be used in so many ways to boost knowledge,” commented INTEROL Training Director Dale Sheehan. “It provides blended learning opportunities, so students can learn the basics prior to in-depth training sessions or even prior to operations themselves,” he added.
“What INTERPOL Bogota has done with INTERPOL's on-line training tutorials is a stepping stone to advanced class room learning through a blended learning platform,” continued Sheehan.
“Valuable time can be saved by having trainees do on-line courses prior to more formal training sessions in situ. Not only does it save on precious time but it frees up managers to focus on the higher level of training from a strategic and content point of view whilst staff self-train on the basics,” he added.
Blended learning does not replace but instead supplements and enhances classroom training, and boosts manager’s budget management and planning possibilities.
Economizing on resources
“Not only are the e-learning modules a solid source of knowledge, but they are cost-effective, an important factor for the budget” commented Bogota NCB Head. No more travel expenses to attend courses: instead, staff get solid training sitting at their desks and at no extra cost to the institution.
“What’s more, technically, anyone in the country can do it: all they have to do is have access to Internet or I-24/7,” she concluded. “Very shortly, all Colombian police will have this powerful learning tool at their fingertips – a huge achievement, as it enables us to level policing capacities across the country and thus help us stay a step ahead of criminals,” she added.
The way forward
“Not only does INTERPOL Bogota have access to these tutorials now, but so does the whole of DIJIN– that’s about 1,500 police officers who work in the national and international policing field here in Colombia,’ stated the Bogota NCB Head. “Ultimately, we plan to make sure that all police officers across the country can access these tutorials so that they can improve their policing knowledge. We have also linked the 22 police training schools across the country by making the platform accessible nationwide, taking into account that knowledge is the key to effective and sustainable policing.”
“The success of the e-learning modules world-wide ties in with the INTERPOL Secretary General’s vision for training and development at the INTERPOL Global Centre for Innovation,” commented Dale Sheehan. “I commend the leadership of Colombian authorities and in particular their NCB Head. They are setting an international best practice, one we hope other NCBs will benefit from and follow.”
INTERPOL wishes to thank the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) for their funding allowing the translation of the INTERPOL Global Learning Centre (IGLC) in Spanish and French in the frame of their Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP).
INTERPOL Global Learning Centre
IGLC is an Internet learning portal that brings together:
- e-Learning modules
- Online resources
- Police training websites
- Research publications