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Towards a New UN Police: Revised Procedures

for Assessment of Individual Police Officers
In order to assist United Nations Member States to meet the challenge of seconding individual
police officers who have the required skills to implement the increasingly complex mandates of
UN missions effectively, the Police Division has developed a new Standard Operating Procedure:
Assessment of Individual Police Officers for Service in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations
and Special Political Missions.
It was developed following a review of the UN Selection Assistance Team (SAT) Pre-Deployment
Assessment Procedures: Guidelines for Police Contributing Countries from 2005.
This document does not apply to the selection of formed police units (FPUs), or police officers
on UN contracts (Staff Members), for which separate assessment and selection procedures exist

Why did we change it?

As stated in the Introduction to this Kit: The deployment of UN Police has increased dramatically
over the last 15 years. In 1994 the total number of UN Police was 1,677, by the end of 2011 there
were 14,333 UN Police deployed, an eightfold increase.
Not only has the scale of UN police expanded but the mandated tasks have become more complex. In the early missions UN police deployed primarily as observers, but after 1989 peacekeeping operations gained increased importance as a tool for international peace and security and UN
Police mandates grew.
Not only were more police deployed, but the Security Council assigned more complex tasks to
UN police.
These included:
Support the reform, restructuring and rebuilding of national police and other law enforcement institutions.
United Nations Police were first tasked with institutional development in the 1990s, including in
the missions in Cambodia, Haiti, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since 2003, almost all new mandates have included reform, restructuring and rebuilding tasks. Typically, these missions start
with an assessment, which may include a census of police personnel, security sector mapping,
and other efforts to evaluate the capacity of the national police service. Using this information,
deficiencies can be identified and plans to address them formulated. Reform efforts may include
support for the vetting, training andcertification of police and other law enforcement officials as
well as changes to the policy and legal framework, administrative procedures, and personnel
management systems. These tasks require strong political support and commitment from the
host-state Government. In brief, such tasks require UN Police to support complex change management processes that necessitate a high level of technical expertise in this area.
Provide operational support to the host-state police.



UN Police are mandated to provide operational support to host-state police, in the areas of investigations, election security and security for camps for refugees and internally displaced persons
(IDPs). All missions with a mandate to provide operational support also have a mandate to protect
civilians under imminent threat of physical violence. These measures include preventative patrols
in IDP camps, joint operations with United Nations military components, and capacity building
of host-state police in these respective areas. The UN has long recognized that the nature of security challenges confronting the international community is evolving. Today intra-state conflicts
are compounded by emerging threats form organized crimes, including trafficking, terrorism and
financial fraud. UN Police need to support global security by providing the appropriate expertise
to host-states in dealing with these new threats.
Carry out executive policing functions as an interim measure until the local police are able
to perform such functions effectively.
United Nations Police have been asked to assume full responsibility for policing and other law
enforcement activities in missions where national police services were initially absent, most recently in Kosovo and Timor-Leste. The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo
(UNMIK) was entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining civil law and order including establishing local police forces and meanwhile
through the deployment of international police personnel to serve in Kosovo. After gradually
transferring responsibility to the Kosovo Police Service, UNMIKs police component was drastically reduced and ceased to exercise the majority of its remaining executive responsibilities when
the European Union Rule of Law Mission, EULEX Kosovo, was established in 2008. Similarly, the
police component of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and
its successor missions were mandated to provide interim law enforcement and public security

The New Assessment Approach

Today a majority of individual UN police officers carry out tasks falling under the first category of
reform, restructuring and rebuilding mandates. Amongst its efforts enabling UN police in the field
to carry out these complex policing mandates effectively, DPKO has developed a Standard Operating Procedure called the Assessment of Individual Police Officers for Service in United Nations
Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions (AMS). It was developed after a review
of the Selection Assistance Team (SAT) guidelines from 2005. In this process extensive consultations were held with experts from UN field missions and Member States. The AMS is used to
assess police officers by UN teams in Member States and in the mission area. The harmonization
of the processes makes the assessment more consistent and fair, increases mobility and reduces the number of assessments. The name of the UN teams that conduct the assessments in
Member States has been changed from Selection Assistance Team (SAT) to Selection Assistance
and Assessment Team (SAAT) to better reflect the assessment nature of the work of the team.

Simplifying, systematizing and bolstering the assessment process:

1. The AMS harmonizes the process for assessment by UN teams in Police Contributing
Countries by the Selection Assistance and Assessment Team (SAAT) and the tests conducted upon arrival in the missions. Candidates that have been AMS cleared by a SAAT
will only have to take a driving test upon arrival in the mission to obtain a UN drivers
2. The validity of the clearance is extended from 18 month to two years. A UN police of2



ficer that has served for more than six month in a UN PKO or SPM can be re-deployed
to any mission with the same mission language within two years of leaving the first
mission. This reduces the need for a candidate to be reassessed before re-deployed to
another mission within this timeframe, and increases the ability of UN police to retain
skilled experts and utilize them in successive missions.
3. The new language tests and scoring matrix have been developed by the Police Division
with the support of language experts. This makes the testing more consistent and reduces the risks for unfair competition.
4. A longer interview will capture not only oral communication skills, but also professional
skills, knowledge of the UN core values and other integrity issues (including gender sensitivity). This will allow for direct face-to-face interviews with the candidates instead of
phone interviews at a later stage in the process. It will increase the accuracy and reduce
the time required for selection.
5. The new driving test has been strengthened and harmonized with the UN Surface Manual used for assessments in the field to increase their quality.
6. The new weapons-handling and shooting test requiring higher accuracy is designed to
lead to increased safety in the field.
7. Another novelty is that the assessment will include a computer test. During the interview the candidate will be asked to do a practical basic test on a computer. Failure to
perform this test will not disqualify for service, however, candidates that pass the test
will be prioritized.
8. There should be no retesting during a SAAT or in the field except two re-tests within one
month in the mission for driving.
9. An encouragement to Member States to nominate a minimum of twenty (20) per cent
female candidates for each SAAT visit.
10. The new assessment process will be supported by a computerized date collection system. All the test results will be kept in a database in the Police Division. The same
database will monitor pre-deployment medical clearance. This database will allow for
cross-checking of UN records on conduct and discipline, including sexual exploitation
and abuse, with the Police Contributing Country and individual police officers own certification that the candidate has no history of conduct and discipline issues.

Responsibilities of Member States

Early planning of the SAAT visits is crucial to their success. The Police Division will provide a list of
required skills twice a year to the Police Contributing Countries to allow them to better pre-select
candidates. PCCs should make sure to undertake pre-SAT preparations and exercises to increase
the number of candidates that pass the SAAT. Currently the pass level is on average 30 per cent.
The Police Contributing Countries are also encouraged to facilitate womens participation through
specially tailored pre-selection training and other measures.
According to the 2012 AMS SOP police contributing countries are expected to undertake five actions before a SAAT to facilitate its implementation:



1. Request a visit by the UN Selection Assistance and Assessment Team (SAAT) in writing
to the UN Police Advisor at least three months in advance.
2. Carry out pre-selection of candidates based on the requirements in the 2007 Guidelines.
3. One month prior to the SAATvisit, submit information on pre-selected candidates, including name, gender, date of birth, valid ID numbers and date of entry into the police
services for each candidate. Once the Police Contributing Country has submitted the
list, no additions or substitutions can be made to it.
4. One month before the start of the SAAT visit, nominate a Liaison Officer for the visit and
inform the UN Police Division of the name and contact details of this person.
5. Before the start of the SAAT-visit, certify in writing that pre-selected candidates have
not been convicted of, are not under investigation or being prosecuted for any criminal,
human rights or disciplinary offence.
The following table was designed to help those well acquainted with the 2005 UN SAT procedures to quickly note the differences with the new procedure.

Annex 1: Key Differences between 2005 UN SAT and 2012 AMS


Guidance document
title & date

Main purpose


Assessment teams

2012 AMS
Standard Operating Procedure:
Assessment of Individual Police
Officers for Service in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and
Special Political Missions, effective
1 February 2012 (supersedes January 2005 guidelines)
To assess if individual police officers from UN Member States
fulfill the requirements for service
in UN peacekeeping operations
(PKO) and special political missions

2005 UN SAT
UN Selection Assistance
Team Pre-Deployment
Assessment Procedures:
Guidelines for Police-Contributing Countries, (January

To assist PCCs in ensuring that their police officers

meet the minimum requirements for UN civilian police
officers by administering
assessments prior to deployment.
To further contribute to increased
To increase the overall effiefficiency and effectiveness of se- ciency and operational effeclection and deployment of UNPOL. tiveness of the missions by
For example through harmonizing
reducing the period required
UN assessments conducted in
for induction and re-tests as
PCC and upon arrival in missions
well as reducing the number
and reducing the need for phone
of repatriations.
interviews after the assessment in
UN Selection Assistance and AsUN Selection Assistance
sessment Team (SAAT)
Team (SAT)




2012 AMS
Minimum requireClearly reiterated in the SOP.
ments regarding age,
medical fitness and
years of active service for service as a
UNPOL in the field (as
specified in the 2007
Guidelines for United
Nations Police Officers on Assignment
with Peacekeeping

2005 UN SAT
Not reiterated in the Guidelines. However, the same
rules were applied before

i. Previous mission

Clearly states that satisfactory

Not mentioned in the Guideperformance rating during previous lines. However, same rules
UN assignment/s is a requirement were applied.
for new deployment.

ii.Professional integrity

Both the PCC and each candidate

must certify before deployment
that the candidate has not been
convicted of, and is not under investigation or is being prosecuted
for, any criminal, human rights or
disciplinary offence.

Language proficiency

Test and scoring boards developed

in the Police Division with professional language expert support


20 min; Pass mark: 70%

Reading: 15 min; Pass mark:

60%Listening: 15 mins;
Pass mark: 60%

ii. Report-writing

30 min: Pass mark xx% (new scoring matrix developed by language


30 min; Pass mark 60%


Language assessment re-test is no Candidates scoring 50-60%

longer allowed.
in listening comprehension
and report-writing are given
the chance to be re-tested
during the same SAT

Only the PCC certified before deployment that their

candidates did not had not
been convicted of, and was
not under investigation or
was being prosecuted for,
any criminal, human rights
or disciplinary offence.
Tests developed in missions




Driving skills assessment


2012 AMS
Minimum 20 min Assesses:
i) oral communication skills in mission language;
ii) professional experience, mission-specific skills, and general
understanding of UN core values
(incl. gender-related issues);
iii) basic level of computer proficiency
Harmonized with the DFS Surface
Transport Manual.

2005 UN SAT
10 min; Assesses candidates understanding and
verbal communication in
mission language

The candidate must have a

valid national driving license.

The candidate must carry a valid

national driving license and an official translation of it if it is not in
the Latin alphabet, at the time of
the assessment.
Before the handling exercise the
candidate has to show that s/he
can read a license plate from a
20.5 meters distance.
i. Handling

With a manual gear fourwheel drive vehicle, drive

forward and reverse while
With a manual gear four-wheel
avoiding an obstacle, and redrive vehicle, drive forward and
verse into parking a parking
reverse into parallel parking into a
space and drive back to start
4x2 meters parking space, then within 3 min on a standarddrive forward and reverse park into ized 94x5.5 meters driving
a 4x2 meters parking space and range. The engine can only
drive back to start on a standard
stall twice. The candidates
36.5x9 meters driving range within are only allowed to adjust
5 min. The engine can only stall
the position of the vehicle
twice times. No limit to times of
three times from the time s/
adjustment of the position of the
he starts reversing.
A candidate who fails the handling
exercise will immediately be given
a second chance.




ii. Road exercise

2012 AMS
10 min in low traffic. Five points
will be given for each capability
failure, ten points for each kind
of aggressive driving. Twenty
points amounts to failure to pass.
If the driver is a hazard to himself
and others he will be immediately


Maximum three chances to pass in Maximum three chances

mission. No re-assessment of road to pass in mission. No reexercise during SAAT.
assessment of road exercise
during SAT.
Within 1 minute Within 3 minutes Within 5 minutesWithin 5
Hit a 45x45 cm target with 4 out of minutesHit 45x45 cm target
five rounds from five meters and,
with 4 out of 5 in each round
depending on the first score, with from five meter and four out
4 or five out of five rounds from
of five from seven meters.
seven meter. The total score must The total score must be min.
be at least 9 out of 10,
8 out of 10.
See 7 iii. above
See 8.ii. above
Candidates fill out brief onepage form
See 8.ii. above
Not specified
Validity of AMS clearance is 24
Validity of SAT results is 18
months from completion of asmonths from completion of
sessment both in PCCs and in
If candidate has served in a misIf candidate has served in
sion for more than 6 months no
a mission for more than
further assessment is needed to
6 months no further asbe re-deployed if the time from
sessment needed to be
departure from previous mission
re-deployed if the time from
to induction in new mission does
departure from previous
not exceed 24 months. New mismission to induction in new
sion has to have the same official
mission does not exceed 18
language as that of the original
AMS instructors brief SAAT cleared The SAT conducts generic
candidates on the way forward to and mission specific briefpossible deployment.

Firearms handling
and shooting assessmenti. Safe cleaning
of revolver ii. Pistol
diss- and reassembly
iii. Shooting


Computer proficiency
Specific policing skills


UN core values
Validity of assessment clearance


Re-deployment assessment


briefings to successful candidates and
meetings with PCC

Relevant material about selection

and recruitment is shared with
PCC authorities.

2005 UN SAT
In non-public road or low
intensity traffic road. One
point will be given for each
capability failure. Twenty
points amounts to failure to

Relevant material will be

shared with PCC authorities.





2012 AMS
SRS should especially encourage
MSs to facilitate the participation of female candidates through
training and other appropriate
measures and strongly encourage Member States to nominate
a minimum of twenty (20) percent
female candidates for each SAAT

2005 UN SAT
Encourages PCCs to select
and train qualified female
police officers

Preference for deployment will be

given to equally qualified female
Interview asses understanding
of gender-related issues (see 8.ii


Member States Preselection and preparation for an assessment visit

At least one female instructor on

the SAAT.
Each PCC
PCC are responsible to pre-screen
candidates ensuring they meet the
minimum requirement as set forth
in the SOP.
PCCs are encouraged to conduct
pre-SAAT exercises to prepare
One month prior to the SAAT visit
a list with the number of candidates should be submitted to the
DPKO Police Adviser. The list
should specify each candidates:
Full name
Date of Birth
Number of a valid photo ID (same
ID shall be used for identification
at the SAAT)
Date of entry into service

PCC responsible to preselect candidates in accordance with each field

missions requirements,
including ensure no record
of misconduct.
A list with the number of
candidates should be sent to
DPKO in advance of the SAT.
List specifies candidates:
Date of Birth
Rank and National Police ID
Which mission the candidate will possibly be deployed to







2012 AMS
Only candidates on the list sent
one moth in advance will be assesses at the SAAT.

Max. candidates in one SAAT: 800.

Min. 50.
Member States reRequest for a UN Selection Assistquest for assessment ance and Assessment Team (SAAT)
team visit
visit must be in writing and sent to
the DPKO Police Advisor at least
three months in advance.
Member States may be granted up
to two SAATs per year.
The assessment team Only certified AMS instructors will
assess candidates.
Capture of data
All results from the SAAT will be
kept in a database specially developed for this purpose.

2005 UN SAT
Not specified.

Not specified.
Request for a Selection
Assistance Team (SAT) visit
must be in writing (no time
specified).Not specified.

No specific training or certification for SAT members.

Manual records kept on the
SAT results.