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Good Practices in Basic Police Training – Curricula Aspects


This guide provides police educators with a core curriculum for basic police training for recruits aiming to become uniformed police personnel in democratic societies. This is the Volume 5 in the OSCE Publication Series.


Uniformed police are predominantly responsible for maintaining order and safety in public places and at public events.

Drawn from best practices across the OSCE region, the Basic Police Training – Curricula Aspects guide outlines the core components of a basic police training programme, to be used to compare with national basic police training models and improve them. It employs a modular approach, with each learning component laid out in easy-to-view blocks. The guide elaborates on the goal, objective and points to be addressed within each of the topics and, if appropriate, provides references to relevant sources. These references are not exhaustive, but focus on key organisations or documents.

The guide recognizes that uniformed police personnel’s day-to-day decision-making and actions are based on underlying values, sound judgment and a set of learned skills and knowledge.


The guide is therefore divided into three sections. The first examines the values and ethics at the heart of democratic policing. The second explores how police personnel might exercise judgment in different practical settings based on these values and ethics. The third focuses on policing skills and encompasses baseline requirements, patrolling, basic investigation and procedure and field training.

I – Values and Ethics

Uniformed police members are given the responsibility by a democratic government to protect the rights of citizens and enforce the law of the state. Their daily policing should be based on democratic values. Those values ensure fair and impartial treatment of all individuals, sensitivity to racial, ethnic, sexual, gender and religious factors, with an awareness of cultural diversity and discrimination. They reflect a respect for fundamental human rights, integrity and police codes of conduct.

II – Values and Ethics in Action

The police are the most visible manifestation of government authority responsible for public security, with front-line personnel – such as the patrol service, traffic, community or protection police service – in day-to-day contact with citizens. The skill with which they perform their duties will determine the public perception – positive or negative – of the national police service. Their on-the-job decision-making and actions should reflect sound judgment guided by the values and ethics already discussed. This section explores how ethical and value-based decision-making should look in practice in different, and often sensitive, settings, such as in working with juveniles, victims or in cases of civil disturbance.

III – Policing Skills

Basic police training must include practical skills. Developed professional skills equip uniformed police members to meet and respond more automatically to typical challenges and situations by consistently using proven techniques. These skills also prepare them to follow a reasonable course of action in emergencies and under non-standard conditions.