8. Staff training

Introductory remarks

In light of the diversity of national reception system, the tasks, qualifications and training needs of staff working with applicants in the reception context differ among EU Member States. With regards to the guidance included in this section, reference will be made to the term ‘reception officer’, which can be defined as practitioners who are in direct contact with applicants for international protection in a reception context, irrespective of their employer (the state, a non-governmental organisation, a private contractor, a municipality, etc.). These practitioners may include social workers, education and health care staff, registration officers, interpreters, facility managers, administration/coordination staff, etc. The RCD recognises the importance of adequate and ongoing training, as well as the relevance of a mechanism to monitor the quality of the work carried out by reception officers. Specifically, Member States are requested to ‘take appropriate measures to ensure that authorities and other organisations implementing this Directive have received the necessary basic training’.

In this framework, the guidance included in this section should be understood as applying to all levels of staff (i.e. including middle and top management) falling within the definition of the term ‘reception officer’. Moreover, without prejudice to the need to provide specific training to reception officers working with applicants with special reception needs, all training should be aligned to the broader framework of a code of conduct specifying the key concepts and principles underlying the work in the reception context.

   Legal references — staff training
   Article 18(7) RCD: modalities for reception conditions
   Article 24(4) RCD: unaccompanied minors
   Article 25(2) RCD: victims of torture and violence
   Article 29(1) RCD: staff and resources

Standards and indicators

STANDARD 37: Ensure that reception officers are sufficiently qualified.

Indicator 37.1: Each reception officer has clear terms of reference (job description).

Indicator 37.2: Each reception officer is qualified in accordance with national law and regulations concerning his/her particular terms of reference (job description).

  • Additional remark: The process of assessing the qualifications of the reception officer should involve a verification of the criminal records with regard to child-related crimes or offenses in cases where this reception officer will be working in direct contact with children.

STANDARD 38: Ensure reception officers are provided with the necessary and appropriate training.

Indicator 38.1: Each reception officer has a thorough and timely introduction to his/her role, including on the applicable code of conduct.

  • Additional remarks: Induction training should take place as soon as possible, and no later than immediately after the reception officer has been employed. Depending on the role assigned to the reception officer, the induction should include the standards of the applicable reception law and/or regulations, available national and relevant EASO tools.

Indicator 38.2: A clear training syllabus including the training requirements for each functional group exists.

  • Additional remarks: Core training for reception officers can be provided through the EASO training curriculum module on reception. Additionally, the modules included in the national curriculum can range from computer skills and foreign languages to a course on infectious diseases or the identification of victims of human trafficking.

Indicator 38.3: Training is provided in a regular manner and depending on the need.

  • Additional remarks: A long-term training programme should be developed, envisaging regular refresher training. Training should also be provided if there are any substantial changes in applicable law and practice.

Indicator 38.4: A minimum of training provided includes gender and age-specific concerns and the situation of applicants with special needs, in particular with regard to child protection and safeguarding standards for children, including unaccompanied children and the identification of victims of torture and violence.

   Good practice with regards to staff training

   It is considered good practice for reception managers:

  • to identify training opportunities for reception officers; and/or
  • to organise training through agreements with relevant actors (universities, lawyers, psychologists, etc.).

    STANDARD 39: Promote the awareness of other stakeholders who are in regular contact with applicants.

    Indicator 39.1: Regular awareness- raising sessions and/or alternative arrangements are in place for persons who are not considered ‘reception officers’, but are nevertheless in contact with applicants due to their profession/function.

    • Additional remarks: Awareness-raising sessions could focus on migration-related aspects in general and cultural aspects in particular. These could be organised, for example, for education personnel, external health services, security personnel in the facilities or cleaning personnel.

    STANDARD 40: Promote process-oriented support for reception officers.

    Indicator 40.1: Different measures are available to help deal with difficult situations encountered during the reception work.

    • Additional remark: these measures can take the form of intervision (exchange with peers), crisis teams or external supervision.
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