Police Counter Terrorist, Missing Persons Search and Security Co-ordination

The Police National Search Centre (PNSC) is the sole authorised provider of Police CT Search, Missing Persons search and Security Coordination training for the UK police service. It offers four core courses but can tailor bespoke training for UK or international clients.

The PNSC is a joint police and military unit. Authorised by the National Police Chiefs Council, it is the sole provider of training in counter-terrorism, crime and missing person search techniques to the UK police service.

With more than 30 years' experience and a unique blend of military and police trainers utilising the expertise of the Royal Engineers and the UK police service, the unit is internationally recognised as the world leader in the development and training of counter-terrorism systematic search techniques.

What does the PNSC offer the police service?

The PNSC delivers a range of specialist courses in search and security. After training, students will be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge required to plan and conduct efficient and effective searches in order to:

  • obtain evidence for prosecutions
  • gain intelligence
  • assist in countering terrorism
  • tackle criminality, by depriving criminals of their resources and opportunities
  • locate vulnerable missing people
  • protect potential targets and key events.

Training is delivered using a number of techniques; these include an e-learning modular package for standard search techniques, and instructor-led learning coupled with practical and assessed exercises.

Who can attend?

Training is available to all police forces, partner agencies and other law enforcement organisations, both nationally and internationally. The PNSC has supported a number of government-sponsored projects internationally.

What courses does the PNSC offer?

Licenced Search Officer (LSO) - a one-week training course held within police forces and partner organisations. It covers:

  • proven systematic search procedures and techniques applied to all aspects of counter-terrorism and crime search
  • awareness of forensic recovery
  • training in safety drills to be applied in the event of an explosive or non-explosive find.

Police Search Adviser (PolSA) - a three-week residential course held at the College of Policing's Ryton-on-Dunsmore site. On passing this course, a police search adviser is capable of planning, conducting and controlling counter-terrorism, crime and missing person searches. A PolSA is widely recognised as the most appropriate person to give advice and guidance in relation to search.

Counter Terrorism Security Coordinator (CT SecCo) - a two-week residential course held at the College of Policing's Ryton-on-Dunsmore site. It is designed for senior managers in police forces and other organisations, and will equip them to be responsible for the coordination of security operations and large-scale event planning.

Bespoke Search Training - delivered at the College of Policing or the client's own venue. The training is tailored to meet the customer's or organisation's needs. Topics covered may include:

  • appreciation of the current terrorist threat and methods of attack
  • vulnerability assessments of venues and events
  • systematic search procedures.

International and Partner Agency Training - the PNSC has considerable experience in designing and delivering bespoke training to international clients and partner agencies. These courses are designed to assist in capacity building. Courses can be delivered overseas and can, for example, include ‘train the trainer’ elements.


Trained search assets have:

  • motivation
  • high levels of professionalism
  • the ability to plan with confidence
  • flexibility to respond to changing circumstances
  • evidential and forensic awareness
  • increased self-assurance.

The benefits of trained search assets are:

  • consistency of the training and the trained
  • higher percentage find rate
  • preparation of court-ready documentation
  • increased public reassurance
  • increased cost-effectiveness
  • increased deterrence to terrorists and criminals.

Who should I contact if I want to know more?

For further information on the courses and guidance on all aspects of search, please contact the centre by email or telephone:

Police National Search Centre
Leamington Ro​​ad,

Email: pnsc@college.pnn.police.uk
Tel: +44(0)2476 931156

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