EPTA membership: another achievement of the Bila Tserkva Center in international cooperation

"To improve means to change, to be perfect means to change often." Even after many decades, these words of Sir Winston Churchill - a British statesman, writer and Prime Minister of this country during the Second World War - do not lose their relevance. And this is understandable: rapid development of the world requires a person to be highly educated and constant improvement in all areas of his activities.

This principle is an integral part of the educational process organization at the Bila Tserkva Penitentiary Staff Training Center of the Ukraine State Penitentiary Service (hereinafter - the Bila Tserkva Center). For many years, its teaching staff has being worked closely with a number of international organizations in the framework of joint projects. This makes it possible to enjoy the world's best achievements in the field of penitentiary staff training today, without spending years to invent what already exists and has results.
The gained international experience, including modern principles, approaches and practical methods of work of foreign colleagues, is actively used by the center teachers during the training of all Ukrainian penitentiary staff categories. The result of this many years hard work was that at the end of January this year, the Bila Tserkva Center received a membership certificate in the European Community of Penitentiary Educational Institutions (EPTA - European Penitentiary Training Academies).

The European Penitentiary Training Academies (EPTA) is a network for experience exchange in the field of penitentiary training. It was founded in 2010 and has expanded to 25 members from all over Europe. The main goal of the community is to develop communication between partners, mutual exchange of knowledge, programs, best practices, as well as professionals and trainers. EPTA holds a conference every year as part of its activities.Thus, in 2019 in the city of Tyrgu-Ocna (Romania), there was held a conference "Staff Motivation and Retention". It was attended by the Head of the Bila Tserkva Penitentiary Staff Training Center of the Ukraine State Penitentiary Service Oleg Duka. The event was a great opportunity to share positive experiences of training for penitentiary agencies and institutions, as well as to identify effective methods of staff work. This conference was the first step towards the accession of the Bila Tserkva Center to the European Community of Penitentiary Institutions.

Last year the conference took place online in Bratislava. Its topic was "Tackling gaps in cross-border cooperation for penitentiary training academies". Participants learned from the experience of training process organization during the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular, using a distance learning platform, as well as shared innovative methods and approaches. The event was important for the Bila Tserkva Center not only due to the opportunity to gain new knowledge and share own experiences. During the conference, the Center Head, Oleg Duka, presented the main activity principles and development strategy of the educational institution.

Currently, cooperation of the Bila Tserkva Center with EPTA is reaching a new level. Educators will have the opportunity to participate in joint lectures, seminars, workshops, publish their own experiences and results, share knowledge with foreign experts and trainers. This will certainly have a positive impact on the effective training of Ukrainian penitentiary staff and will be a significant achievement in the future.

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