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Licensed search officer (LSO)

Systematic search procedures and techniques applied to all aspects of counter terrorism and crime search.

This course includes:

  • 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

This course is held within police forces and partner organisations. 

Key details


One week

Course contact
Police National Search Centre, College of Policing
Additional information

Our Police National Search Centre (PNSC) is the sole authorised provider of police counter terrorism 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 (NPCC), 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.

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.


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

Other PNSC courses

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