Specialized Training Materials on Formed Police Unit (FPU)

Specialized Training Materials for Formed Police Units


The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has been increasingly deploying Formed Police Units (FPU’s) in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations. Their core tasks are:

  • Protection of United Nations personnel and facilities;
  • Public order management;
  • Supporting police operations that require a formed response and may involve a higher risk (above the general capability of individual United Nations Police);
  • Protection of Civilians.

FPU’s should undertake their duties in accordance with the Policy on Formed Police Units in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (2010), the Guidelines for Formed Police Units on Assignment with Peace Operations and the mission specific Directives on detention, searches and use of force for members of Formed Police Units, as well as adhering to internationally recognized criminal justice standards and human rights norms and standards and upholding the highest levels of democratic principles of policing.

Insurance of appropriate skills and competencies, normally provided or supplemented during pre-deployment training, is a national responsibility. However, based on the identified training gaps and on operational experience this standardized pre-deployment curriculum for FPU shall facilitate the implementation of training standards for those Police Contributing Countries deploying FPUs (currently 21) to UN Peacekeeping Operations.


A temporary training curriculum for pre-deployment training of UN Police (individual) and FPU’s was distributed to all Police Contributing Countries (PCC) in February 2008.

The Specialized Training Material (STM) for UN Police in combination with the Core Peacekeeping Training Material (CPTM), formulate the minimum UN standards for pre-deployment training of UN Police (Individual) and also formulate parts of the minimum UN standards for pre-deployment of FPU’s. This STM builds on the previous temporary training curriculum, on the outcome of various validation workshops, training experience from recent T0T-courses, and current operational needs.

Course Content

The training is composed of the Core Peacekeeping Training Modules for all peacekeepers (CPTM), relevant Specialized Training Modules (STM) for UN Police, Training Modules on Protection issues, and particular FPU topics: Firearms Training, Police Tactics & Techniques, Public Order Management, Command Staff Training. These modules cover the entire range of FPU-tasks and can be seen as the basis and guideline for any FPU-Training. The indicated duration of the lessons shall be understood as the minimum required time; the sequence of the six modules is just a recommendation based on good didactic practice. Curriculum developers, trainers and all other users are encouraged to tailor this STM to their particular training needs, the given target group and their context.

Module 1: Generic Police Topics (5 days)

CPTM-Unit 1: A Strategic Level Overview of United Nations Peacekeeping

  • Introduction to UN Peacekeeping
  • Fundamental Principles of UN Peacekeeping

CPTM-Unit 2: The Establishment and Functioning of UN Peacekeeping Operations

  • Establishment and Operationalization of Security Council Mandates in Peacekeeping Operations
  • How United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Function

CPTM-Unit 3: Effective Mandate Implementation

  • International Law Relevant to Peacekeeping Operations
  • Human Rights Protection in UN Peacekeeping Operations
  • Women, Peace and Security: The Role of UN Peacekeeping Operations
  • Protection of Children: The Role of UN Peacekeeping Operations
  • Working With Mission Partners

CPTM-Unit 4: Standards, Values and Safety of UN Peacekeeping Personnel

  • Conduct and Discipline
  • Introduction to Conduct and Discipline
  • Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
  • The Consequences of Misconduct
  • HIV/AIDS and UN Peacekeeping Operations
  • Respect for Diversity
  • Safety and Security

STM-UN Police

  • Core business of United Nations Police
  • United Nations Police and different legal systems
  • Human Rights standards in arrest and detention
  • Human Rights standards in use of force
  • Land Navigation
  • Radio communication
  • Road safety and 4x4 driving

Module 2: Protection Issues (2 days)

  • Protection of Civilians (POC-Tactical Level)
  • Child Protection
  • Conflict related Sexual Violence (CRSV)

Module 3: Firearms training (7 days)

  • Security procedures
  • Weapons handling; safety mechanism, loading/unloading
  • Basic shooting theory and practice; stand, aiming, pulling trigger
  • Basic firearms practice
  • Intermediate firearms practice
  • Advanced firearms practice

Module 4: Police Tactics & Techniques (9 days)

  • Checkpoints
  • Convoy Escorts
  • Approaching & Searching Suspects
  • Handcuffing suspects
  • Use of Baton & Unarmed Defense Techniques
  • Patrols
  • Vehicle Control
  • Tactical Progression
  • First Aid

Module 5: Public Order Management (16 days)

  • Foot Tactics
  • Interventions in prison
  • Less Lethal Weapons
  • Operational Crowd Control Orders
  • Organisation of the United Nations
  • Sit-ins
  • Support to Close Protection Units
  • Tactical Use of Canisters
  • Vehicle Tactics
  • Air Support Awareness
  • Arrest methods
  • Attach with Firearms and Explosives
  • Barricades
  • Breaking contact
  • Crowd Behaviour & Dynamics
  • Eviction of Occupied Premises
  • Firefighting Techniques

Module 6: Command Staff Training (1 day)

  • Introduction to FPUs/FPU Familiarization
  • FPU Training & Maintenance
  • Contingent Owned Equipment
  • Decision Making Process
  • Security of UN Personnel & Facilities
  • Stress Management

Duration of the course:

The duration of the course will be approx. 8 weeks. The duration of the lessons above indicates the minimum required time, based on average developed trainees’ skills and knowledge.

Training Methodology:

The particular methods of training will be decided by the training staff. It is, however, recommended that due attention is paid to principles of adult learning, guided by the following:

  • Adults are autonomous and self-directed;
  • Adults have accumulated a foundation of life experiences and knowledge;
  • Adults are goal-oriented;
  • Adults are relevancy oriented;
  • Adults are practical.

The training sessions should therefore reflect these factors and be interactive; case studies based and make use of the trainees’ experiences.

Human Rights:

International human rights and humanitarian law have particular implications on the roles and responsibilities of FPUs in UN Peace Operations and accordingly to their training:

  • UN Police personnel’s compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law is not only an obligation, but the foundation of their credibility and legitimacy;
  • a good way for peacekeepers to promote and protect human rights is by providing a positive role model for the host country’s police and upholding them during operations;
  • it is important to establish direct operational channels at field level between FPUs and human rights officers to facilitate making them more responsive to threats or ongoing human rights violations;
  • Relevant references are:
  • United Nations Policy on Human Rights Due Diligence on UN Support to non-UN Security Forces (2011);
  • OHCHR/DPKO/DPA/DFS Policy on Human Rights in UN Peace Operations and Political Missions (2011);
  • OHCHR workshop report on integrating human rights in UN Police Components, with a suggested required reading of the section on “the role of FPUs in protecting human rights including by using force in compliance with international human rights and international humanitarian law” (pp. 29-32);
  • OHCHR publication “Human Rights and Law Enforcement” training package for which an updated version is forthcoming in 2016 (with an expanded pocket-book a practical format tool that could be available in hard copy to participants taking the training).


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