Our international work

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

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.

Why we provide international support

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.

International Policing Assistance Service (IPAS)

The International Policing Assistance Service (IPAS) replaces the Joint International Policing Hub (JIPH). It works under the authority of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and the Home Office.

The IPAS is the primary gateway for international policing assistance, working with partners to ensure consistency and alignment to strategic objectives.

The role of the IPAS

The IPAS offers a central coordination and delivery function that provides bespoke policing capability to partner countries, bringing transformation and lasting impact.

It tailors advice and services depending on the requirements, culture and context of each country. All programmes are prioritised according to the Home Secretary’s international priorities and potential harm to the UK and are supported by the NPCC international coordination lead. 

The IPAS is designed to work in partnership across UK Policing, government and arm’s-lengths bodies to deliver evidence-based support and interventions − including training, advice and skills – to global partners.

The IPAS is a team comprising serving officers, civil servants and commercial staff providing:

  • strategic oversight
  • coordination
  • alignment of non-operational policing support and assistance

The IPAS is not directly involved in the investigation or prosecution of any UK crime or of any UK-focused police operation.

Key IPAS functions

The main functions of the IPAS are to:

  • provide a primary gateway for domestic and global partners to access the best of UK police assistance
  • collaborate with and draw on the expertise of a wide range of UK and global government, police, law enforcement and industry experts
  • offer a one-stop-shop for all international policing assistance enquiries
  • build strategic relationships with countries and organisations
  • coordinate the UK approach to international policing assistance
  • identify opportunities for the UK to develop individual and organisational capability
  • use an evidence-based approach with a clear focus on UK government strategic priorities and potential harm to the UK and UK forces
  • contribute to overseas and domestic safety and security

Authorising international work

Before international work is undertaken, the College of Policing is required to submit an engagement notification on the IPAS platform. All courses delivered by the College of Policing, either in the UK, virtually or internationally, must have an engagement notification and Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) assessment in place prior to commencement.

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 Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) publishes OSJA guidance which can help the College and IPAS assess the human rights risks of UK overseas security and justice assistance work and identify measures to mitigate such risks.

The IPAS review engagement notifications and OSJAs to ensure multi-agency coordination and compliance with government international strategy. All engagement notifications are stored for record keeping purposes.

Contact the IPAS

If you have any questions or wish to request assistance, please contact [email protected].

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​ Germany Ghana
Hong Kong Indonesia Kenya
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Kuwait Libya
Malta Morocco ​Nigeria
Occupied Palestinian Territories Oman Pakistan
Papua New Guinea Peru Qatar
Republic of Cabo Verde ​Republic of Macedonia Republic of Maldives
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: 

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