International Military Observer & Staff Officers Course

The United Nations Training School Ireland (UNTSI) is responsible for the training and education of all Irish Defence Forces personnel preparing to take part in Peace Support Operations globally. A number of our programmes are also open to international students.

For the past fifteen years, we have offered a 20-day International Military Observer and Staff Officer Course (IMOSOC) which is designed to enable officers to function effectively and confidently within an international military observer environment. This course draws on our experience of more than fifty years of Peacekeeping and Peace Support Operations (PSO). We use a full range of instructional techniques with a strong focus on the practical skills and understanding needed to work effectively in UN mission contexts.

Our Irish and international staff are experienced and capable PSO instructors.

What We Cover

The IMOSOC course covers in detail all core areas required for UN service as an UNMO/Staff Officer. These include:

  • The Fundamentals of International Peacekeeping
  • UN mission administration
  • Human rights in the context of PSO
  • Operational Duties and the Military Observer
  • Civil-Military co-operation and working with humanitarian actors

We reference current Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) guidance throughout the programme and our course content is built around best practise and lessons-learnt from on-going and recent UN missions.

How We Teach

All IMOSOC areas are addressed through a mix of practical activity and formal instruction. We make full use of the resources and facilities of The Defence Forces Training Centre (DFTC) to provide a challenging and rewarding learning experience. This includes access to modern teaching spaces, the DFTC library, private study facilities and syndicate rooms.

The first part of the course focuses on building UN Military Observer and Staff Officer skills and on understanding how UNMOs work within PSO contexts. The second part allows you to practice these new abilities in an intensive way — much of this part is spent immersed in a realistic and intensive ‘Peace Support Opetations’ scenario.

What You Will Learn

The IMOSOC course is designed to provide the skills and understanding to operate effectively within an international military observer environment. Successful completion of the course will ensure you are competent to:

  • Serve as an International Military Observer
  • Act as OP and Sector Commander
  • Work as a senior level Staff Officer
  • Operate on an International Mission staff.

Successful completion of the course leads to UNTSI certification.

Read more about the Irish Defence Forces Overseas