The first contact, which is initiated by candidates often by e-mail, opens a recruitment procedure.
Print version The progress of a deployment
The task of the FDFA is to evaluate on the basis of the documents provided whether the candidates meet the minimum conditions to be deployed. Professional experience and their level of English are particularly important factors.
In the weeks that follow, an interview takes place between a representative of the FDFA and the candidate. The conditions of the deployment are explained and various wishes are expressed. At the end of this interview and after a final evaluation within the FDFA, the candidate is considered as selected.
Depending on the number of places available, candidates attend the police training Institute in Brühl/NRW in Germany. The training course lasts two weeks. Once they have passed the course, candidates are deemed to be deployable.
The expert’s skills, their technical profile and their availability are compared with the Mission calendar and with Switzerland's thematic and geographical priorities. This phase may last several months and will depend on the opening and completion of missions and on calls for contributions.
After identification of the mission, the experts, with the support of the FDFA, submit their applications. Whether this is a UN deployment or a particular position within European missions, the large number of applications means that this process takes an average of two months. The decision of the international organisation is announced to the FDFA by diplomatic channels and the FDFA then informs the experts.
The departure includes a briefing on what is involved in the deployment and is organised in Bern by the FDFA together with the Federal Customs Administration. This phase includes the distribution of material and of uniforms. Ideally departure for the country in which the mission operates will take place in the following week.
On the ground, experts are looked after by the mission and whenever possible by members of the Swiss contingent on the spot. Before being deployed, the experts are briefed about the nature of the mission, its structure and its goals. The expert is then integrated into the mission, which is punctuated at various times by breaks for leave.
The internal regulations of the mission include provisions for a phase known as check-out. Before their mission actually ends, they make administrative preparations for their return to the country. They also organise the transition and the transfer of responsibilities for their replacements.
Experts are entitled to "compensation leave". As a rule, the internal procedures of international organisations are less generous in terms of leave than those of the Swiss system. In the following weeks, the return of material and a debriefing will be organised in Berne.
The experts rejoin their police or border police corps in Switzerland.