Stephan Coute joined the ICoCA Secretariat in January 2019 in a newly created position as Project Officer responsible for Training and Capacity Building. Stephan brings over 20 years of experience as a police officer for the French Ministry of Internal Affairs. We sat down with Stephan to learn more about his new role at ICoCA, and how training fits in with ICoCA’s mission.
Can you tell us a bit about your background, what did you do before joining ICoCA?
I graduated from the National Police Academy in France and for the last 20 years have worked in different parts of the world as a police officer for the French Ministry of Internal Affairs. In New York I contributed to the delivery of more than 10 United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping courses with a sub-contractor of the US Department of State (Camber Corp), certifying over 300 senior military personnel in Asia. I also worked for the UN in Chad and in Haiti. In Haiti I acted as a Security Advisor to the Haitian President, the Haitian Prime Minister and the Haitian Head of Police. I also served as the Chief of the UN Police VIP Close Protection Unit, managing more than 40 UN Police Officers (UNPOL) from all over the world and the training and operation of over 800 Haitian National Police Officers and local security personnel. While working at the Prime Minister’s Office, I created and developed the Close Protection Department of the Haitian National Police. I’m excited to leverage this experience in assisting members of the International Code of Conduct Association to ensuring the training they provide on human rights and the Code is of the highest standard.
As a Project Officer at ICoCA you’ll be responsible for training. This is a newly created position at ICoCA, can you tell us about what you will be doing?
The training of private security providers is essential for developing the skills, knowledge and capacities they need to be able to quickly analyse different situations they may face during their duties and the appropriate action they should take. It is very important that they receive proper training in terms of Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, the Use of Force and the Rules of Engagement. In some contexts people are afraid to speak up about human rights violations that may have taken place involving security companies. People working in these organisations are often simply not aware that what they are doing is not compliant with human rights and humanitarian law. Our role is to establish the parameters of acceptable and proper conduct and behaviour that is compliant with the Code of Conduct. To help raise their standards of operation, I am developing a training curriculum that we will provide to our member companies. They will have access to online training tools and we will be delivering on-site training in person for trainers and managers.
Why is training an important element of ICoCA’s operation and how will ICoCA members benefit?
In its first five years, ICoCA established the core functions of its operation, certification, monitoring and a complaints mechanism. ICoCA is now complementing these three core functions by developing a robust training function which will be available to our members only, as a service to them to help them raise their standards in their daily routine operations. While a limited amount of basic training material will be made available publically on the website, which any interested company will be able to access, more in-depth and tailored training materials, in-person on-site trainings, and virtual training through e-learning modules, will only be available to our members.
What should ICoCA members who are interested in learning more about our training resources do?
As I mentioned, ICoCA members will receive regular trainings on-site delivered to their local security trainers. I will be reaching out to member companies to discuss these training needs and meeting with member managers to develop appropriate training schedule on the Code for their employees. In the meantime, any member company, or even companies who are not yet members of ICoCA but who might be interested in joining and would like to learn more about the training services we are developing for our members, should feel free to reach out to me personally to discuss how we can work together. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +41 22 757 07 58 to discuss further. I’m looking forward to working with our members to help provide effective training on the Code to raise standards and ensure the provision of responsible security around the world.