Our international work

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Supporting professional and accountable policing throughout the world by delivering effective learning and training for operational policing and police leadership.

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Written by College of Policing

What we do 

The College works nationally and internationally with UK government agencies, the commercial sector, inter-governmental organisations, international law enforcement agencies and foreign governments.

We offer specialist operational policing advice, police leadership guidance and training and development expertise, in line with the UK Government's priorities. Bespoke training programmes, designed to suit local needs, are delivered both here in the UK and overseas.

Policing areas covered

​The College provides policing assistance across a range of subjects including:

  • leadership development
  • professional investigation
  • digital investigation 
  • intelligence
  • command
  • public protection

The Code of Ethics and international policing

​All services delivered by the College are consistent with the British model of policing by consent. Respect for human rights and dignity is interwoven into each programme.

The Code of Ethics for policing sets out the principles and standards of behaviour that promote, reinforce and support the highest standards from everyone who works in policing in England and Wales. This includes the College and its employees.

UK objectives

The UK invests in supporting improvements to policing internationally for many important reasons. In an increasingly interconnected world, the UK's security, prosperity and freedom is linked to that of others. Professional police forces that have the trust and confidence of people and respond to the needs of all sections of society can provide a platform for security, prosperity and freedom. 

The College works closely with government departments, particularly the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Home Office, to ensure that any assistance provided is consistent with the UK's national objectives.

Policing assistance and human rights

Decisions about UK policing assistance overseas must reconcile the difficulties of working with countries whose standards of human rights may be at odds with our own with the opportunity to address national security concerns, reduce harm to individuals, help to protect UK citizens overseas and contribute to reform in those countries.

Joint international policing hub (JIPH)

Before international work is undertaken, the College of Policing submits international police assistance board forms to the JIPH. It was formally launched in March 2017 to help meet national security objectives and brings greater coherence and coordination to the UK's approach for international policing assistance.

JIPH has introduced an approvals process called international police assistance brief (IPAB), by which all foreign assistance proposals from the UK are processed in order to ensure multi-agency coordination and compliance with government policy. Oversight and governance of the JIPH is provided directly by the Home Office.

Consideration of Human Rights and the College Code of Ethics will inform the final decision made by the College to proceed or decline a request for international assistance.

The FCO publishes Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) guidance, which can help the College and JIPH assess the human rights risks of UK overseas security and justice assistance work and identify measures to mitigate such risks.

All courses delivered either at home or abroad have both an IPAB and OSJA assessment in place prior to commencement. The College consults with the JIPH and the relevant British High Commission or British Embassy based in each country for their views.

The documents then go for final approval by the relevant authorising person. This may be the head of the department or the appropriate minister, depending on the human rights' assessment grading.

Disclosing details of international assistance

​There are a number of reasons why the College may not disclose specific details of all overseas assistance including where:

  • to do so could expose vulnerabilities in the capability of overseas police forces that could be exploited by criminals
  • British citizens deployed overseas could be put at risk by such disclosure
  • we have a duty to the organisations we work with to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality on both technical and commercial details
  • our work may have links to counter-terrorism or protecting UK citizens both here and abroad

Financial transparency

​As beneficiaries of the College's services, the costs of any training or consultancy are borne by the overseas bodies that receive assistance. In some instances, these costs may be subsidised by other UK government departments.

The College operates in a landscape with similar services being offered by other international police services and the private sector and we have a duty to protect public funds by remaining competitive. Publishing exact figures paid by individual countries could significantly undermine our ability to carry out that duty.

Countries assisted since 2017 

Countries and geographical regions 

Afghanistan ​Albania ​Algeria
Bahrain ​Bermuda Canada
China ​Colombia Cyprus
​Egypt Ethiopia Falkland Islands
​Fiji​ Ghana Hong Kong
Indonesia Kenya Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Kuwait Libya ​Morocco
Nigeria Occupied Palestinian Territories Oman
Pakistan Papua New Guinea Peru
Qatar ​Republic of Cabo Verde Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Mali Republic of Senegal Republic of South Africa
Republic of The Sudan Rwanda Seychelles
Sierra Leone Thailand The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
​​​Ukraine United Republic of Tanzania​ ​United States of America

Contact us

Get in touch for more information about how we can help with your training: