The PDT is a final-cut briefing, providing participants with the latest information, instruments and policies to enable them to effectively contribute to the implementation of the mission mandate. The PDT does not substitute national training efforts, which remain the responsibility of Member States, as clearly indicated in the ‘EU Policy on Training for CSDP’ from April 2017. The PDT course aims to increase the effectiveness of CSDP missions and operations and is designed to streamline the CSDP management culture to ensure that deploying personnel are equipped with the relevant knowledge and necessary skills. The course also aims to enhance participants’ common understanding of EU values, CSDP mission functioning principles and the environment in which they will be placed, while instilling in them a sense of a common European identity and shared purpose for the civilian crisis management mission. The PDT is run nine times a year in Brussels. It provides a unique opportunity for future mission staff to meet their mission/operation points of contact (PoCs) and to familiarise themselves with Brussels headquarters.
ESDC introduces virtual pre-deployment training (PDT) in response to the corona-virus crisis
In view of the uncertainties currently facing the world as a result of the corona-virus, the ESDC, in close consultation with the CPCC, has decided to develop a virtual version of the monthly PDT course to fulfill its duty of care in the preparation of future mission/operation staff. To adapt the programme to the new format, the course has been extended from four to seven days, the sequence has been reshuffled and some more AKUs (Autonomous Knowledge Units) have been added. The course structure on the ILIAS learning platform has also been reorganised. There is now a folder for each day containing the AKUs, specific preparatory readings, pre-recorded video clips and presentations relevant for the day’s sessions. The first ever virtual PDT course, conducted in cooperation with the Romanian National College of Home Affairs (CNAI), had 33 participants (12 military representatives, 11 civilian experts and 10 police officers) from 18 EU Member States deploying to 13 CSDP missions and operations. Despite a considerable number of technical challenges and the lack of direct contact between participants and lecturers, the virtual PDT course proved a great success. Lessons learnt will be integrated into the upcoming PDT course due to be held from 6 to 14 July 2020 in cooperation with the German Centre for International Peace Operations (ZIF), which will also be conducted virtually.