An e-learning partnership with Québec’s police academy will act as a springboard for ZAQ Inc.’s foray into the security arena, according to the company’s chief executive.

The Montreal-based provider of Internet-based

software solutions recently announced an agreement with the École nationale de police du Québec that will assist the school’s expansion of existing e-learning initiatives to large businesses and the public safety sector.

The partnership is especially timely for ZAQ since the company has bid on a contract tendered by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA). The contract, which will be announced in mid-March, involves the provision of e-learning services for 4,000 of CATSA’s security personnel, explained ZAQ CEO Ronald Brisebois.

“”The contract is to train (these) people to be better at their job,”” he said. “”Teaming up with the police academy will also provide us . . . the learning tool to train CATSA employees and certify them. They will able to have some credits to go toward some police program in Quebec if they want to be policemen later on.””

Currently, the École nationale de police du Québec offers online training courses to existing police officers who need to be kept up to date on any changes in their occupational duties, said Jacques Pelletier, the school’s research and development director.

“”These are short courses necessitated by changes in the law, new techniques, practices, or investigation on specific cases,”” he said. “”This is to ensure someone can continue to work in their field. It brings them up to date.””

E-learning initiatives, which Brisebois identified as a rapidly growing market, are extremely useful for members of rural police detachments, added Pelletier.

Online training for remote detachments is among the best alternatives to having a client travel long distances and pay for accommodation at the school, said Sophie Levesque, spokeswoman for the École nationale de police du Québec. The same model would likely be applied to clients within the private security sector, allowing for significant cost-savings.

Levesque emphasized that the partnership with ZAQ is “”just beginning.””

“”We haven’t selected a company yet to do e-learning officially. The partnership with ZAQ is only for development, a global partnership. And we have yet to ask them for specific (products).””

However, as part of the partnership, ZAQ plans to provide its advanced training management platform. Advanced training courses for police officers include topics such as undercover work and references to police-related laws.

While portions of advanced training for existing officers can be covered through e-learning, Levesque said there are no plans to offer basic training through the Internet. This training regime will always take place on the school’s site, she said.

In return for ZAQ’s advanced training platform, the school will provide its expertise on things such as patrolling, traffic safety, use of force and investigation. Together, the two parties will develop e-learning products for the commercial sector.


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