"If you're considering a peace operation – do it! It's so rewarding!"
Join Canadian police in building a more secure world
The International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations (IPP) Program supports Canada's commitment to build a more secure world through police participation in international peace operations.
In international peace operations, Canada's policing goal is to support national and international efforts to reform and build a country's capacity to provide effective police services. Police officers from municipal, provincial, regional police forces as well as the RCMP train and mentor their counterparts in troubled states around the world. The goal is to improve safety and security in communities experiencing poverty, conflict and upheaval.
Currently, 29 police services take part in the program. Participating members bring experience that enriches Canada's police contribution to international peace operations.
A rewarding opportunity
Serving on a mission is an opportunity to make a tangible difference for people who live in poverty and chaos. It can be a time of great personal and professional growth, and as such, is also an excellent development opportunity for police officers.
Canadian police are respected and sought-after in mission. They are often assigned to positions with greater responsibilities than those afforded by their rank in Canada, including command positions. And they can apply these skills to managerial positions back in Canada.
An international peace mission enables police officers to build leadership, problem-solving and organizational skills in ways they might never in Canada. Deployed police officers gain new insight on how to deal with different environments, adversity and change. They learn to be more aware and understanding. They are also more appreciative of the importance of communicating effectively.
It is not just the individual who benefits from mission experience. Police agencies have the unique opportunity to represent Canada on the international stage and provide development opportunities to their members.
Want to know more? Here are resources for before the mission, during and after.
Are you or your partner considering a mission? Read Before the Mission, to help guide you and your partner in making a joint decision. Email RCMP.Health-SanteIntl.GRC@rcmp-grc.gc.ca to obtain a copy.
Police selection criteria and process
Serving on a mission is an exciting opportunity to travel and work internationally in support of peace and security. Canadian police deployments to international peace operations are administered through the Canadian Police Arrangement (CPA), a partnership between Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Public Safety and the RCMP. On behalf of the Government of Canada, the RCMP's International Liaison and Deployment Centre (ILDC) manages the deployment of Canadian police personnel to countries experiencing or threatened by conflict, as well as post conflict.
The following is an overview of the selection criteria and processes* that a candidate will go through when applying to participate in an international peace operation.
Recruiting and selection
- Candidates must meet selection criteria set by the United Nations (UN) or other participating multilateral organizations, as well as by the RCMP and their own police service.
- The RCMP's HR advisors and participating police services are responsible for recruiting candidates and making the initial selection based on the criteria provided.
- The International Recruitment, Screening and Selection (IRSS) team is responsible for making the final recommendations for selection of candidates based on the entire process.
- The IRSS team can assist and advise participating services throughout the process.
General selection criteria
- Have a minimum of five years of operational service as a civilian police officer
- Have strong interpersonal, organizational, leadership, coaching and team skills
- Demonstrate flexibility and innovation
- Be computer literate, with knowledge of Microsoft Office
- Have excellent oral and written communications skills
- Have experience with standard shift 4x4 motor vehicles for some missions
- Be prepared to work and live in a difficult environment
- Meet medical and psychological requirements as determined by the International Health Protection and Wellness Unit (IHPW)
- Possess current certification in First Aid/CPR
- Possess current qualifications for mandatory police training (firearms, baton, pepper spray, etc.)
- Successfully complete the RCMP's Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation (PARE) and/ or the 20 Meter Shuttle Run test (specific requirements are listed in each posting for mission).
Depending on the mission, the selection criteria and processes may be different than above. Consult the specific bulletin to confirm your eligibility.
- Determination of medical fitness for mission duty is based on the completion of medical assessments involving:
- laboratory and other specialized tests
- a full psychological evaluation.
- Candidates must have no ailment or condition that would require medical/psychological consultation or monitoring while in mission.
- Potential applicants taking medications may not be eligible for missions.
- Candidates who think they may not be deemed fit should consult the International Health Protection and Wellness (IHPW) before applying.
- The IHPW maintains relationships with its counterparts in RCMP Divisions and within partner police services to keep them informed of a candidate's pre- and post-mission medical requirements.
On-line training (mainly UN missions)
- All candidates selected to go on a UN mission must complete online training modules as well as a short research assignment on the mission country prior to attending pre-deployment training in Ottawa.
- The modules and assignment are intended to better prepare the candidate for working and living in the mission country.
- Candidates must achieve an 80% minimum mark as a prerequisite to attending training in Ottawa.
- Participants will receive a certificate for each module, which will then be included in their mission application package. RCMP members will receive a HRMIS credit for the course.
Preliminary and joining instructions
Before pre-deployment training, candidates who have passed the initial selection process will receive the "Preliminary Instructions" package. This contains forms to complete and information on the health evaluation process.
At a later time, candidates will receive the "Joining Instructions" package, with extra instructions on preparations for mission. It will also include training dates and location, insurance, travel, mission-related expense claims and benefits, etc.
Before leaving for their mission, candidates attend pre-deployment training (PDT) in Ottawa to prepare for working and living in an international mission. Training lasts one to two weeks. Candidates usually deploy from Ottawa shortly after training but may return home to await their departure for mission.
The session is divided into sections, with content tailored to the requirements of each mission:
- Operations (mandatory skills training, e.g. firearms, self-defence, use of force);
- Health briefing (health hazards and medication required for a given mission);
- Administrative briefings (travel allowances, Canada Labour Code, Global Affairs Canada briefings);
- Cultural awareness briefings (social and cultural norms of the country of posting, how to work with various international partners);
- Specialized training (specific to each mission; can include human rights and international law, the structure of the UN, the role of UN Police, mine awareness, map reading, etc.);
- Any other relevant training.
Things to consider before applying
Here are some of the elements you, your partner and your family should consider in your discussions around mission participation.
Family support is critical
You may have made career decisions individually in the past. Service on a mission requires family commitment and support.
The first thing to consider is that a mission participant will be living in a fragile state, a great distance away, in most cases for a whole year. It is important to ensure that the family is prepared to cope with extra burdens and that the partner who stays behind has a strong support structure to help out (family, friends, caregiver, etc.).
Time-consuming and uncertain process
The selection process is competitive and can be time-consuming, with extensive paperwork as well as in-depth medical, physical and psychological testing. This process adds demands to already busy lives. Plus there are no guarantees that you will be selected.
Most of the missions are located in countries with different living conditions than what we are used to in Canada. Participants must be prepared to live and work in harsh and difficult conditions.
A typical peace operation takes place in a failed or fragile state, so serving on a mission entails risks to the policer officer's health and safety. While the International Liaison and Deployment Center and the host agencies take precautions to mitigate these risks for deployed officers, the very nature of an international peace mission means that they are exposed to higher (or at least very different) risks than here at home. Special allowances are provided because of exposure to these risks. Participants and their families have to be prepared to deal with that increased risk – and the worry this might cause.
Serving on a peace operation is completely voluntary. Unlike soldiers, police officers are under no obligation to be deployed and can choose to end their mission early if required.
Is this a good time in the police officer's career to be away from his/her current job for a year? Would it carry with it the risk that he or she could be passed up for a promotion or a job for which he or she has been hoping? For some organizations, the returning police officer may not be assigned to the same position as before.
Do you have health conditions that could flare-up in mission? What emotions are tied to these health concerns?
Do you have small children? For many, your children's age can be the biggest factor in deciding if this is the time for a year-long absence.
Have there been recent disruptions in the family's life, such as a move or a separation? Are the children functioning well or are they showing signs of behavioral problems? Expect that a long family separation will likely add more stress and could make pre-existing problems worse.
Are you hoping that the mission will pull you out of a financial predicament? Of course, there are financial benefits to mission service and it would be naïve to think that they do not play a role in the decision. However, we know from experience that when financial motives are primary, the sacrifices demanded of families and deployed officers are much harder to bear.
Is this a good time to make this commitment? Are your relationships strong enough to withstand such a separation without undue stress? Mission veterans will tell you: whatever problem was there before you departed will be worse when you return – count on it. Our study also found the reverse to be true: if your relationships were strong at the outset, they will be stronger when you return, particularly if the police officer was good at managing stress while in mission.
Starting the discussion: what's in it for the family?
If your family can talk openly about the pros and cons of mission participation and about everyone's reactions and emotions to the idea – excitement, fear, anxiety, relief, whatever – this will enhance coping more than you know. It may be the most meaningful thing you can all do to prepare for the mission.
Once you have explored all these questions and the possible answers, you and your family should be in a better position to make an informed decision, and be better able to manage your family's expectations.
Resources and services are available to those deploying or returning from mission. The RCMP provides:
Recruitment, screening and selection
Plans and manages the recruitment, selection and screening required to facilitate the deployment of skilled police personnel to international peacekeeping and training missions.
Provides personnel who are selected to deploy internationally with the information, skills and tools required to facilitate their personal and professional integration into demanding environments.
Critical incident management
Manages and maintains critical incident planning when responding to critical incidents in international missions.
Specialized equipment deployment support
Provides a variety of services to ensure that all internationally deployed personnel receive the level of logistical support and equipment that is both essential and specific to the length and region of deployment, the respective operations, and standard-of-care requirements.
Health and wellness
The highest level of care is offered to all employees throughout the deployment cycle, including the reintegration phase. This includes providing:
- Pre-deployment medical and psychological assessments
- Recommendations/non-recommendations for deployment candidates, assessing physical and psychological health threat and risks of the operational environments
- Support related to health and psychological wellness during mission,
- Post-mission follow-ups and information on reintegration for personnel and their families.
Finance and benefits
The RCMP provides assistance to deploying officers, by calculating the in-mission allowances and pre-deployment expenses. Advice, training, quality assurance and research support are also provided.
Mission Reintegration Guide
The Mission Reintegration Guide outlines different areas that your return may impact upon, such as your homecoming, intimacy, and communicating about your experiences, stress management, among several other areas. Email RCMP.Health-SanteIntl.GRC@rcmp-grc.gc.ca to obtain a copy.
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