EU supports Kostanay Academy in developing a Center of Excellence for the probation officers

EU supports Kostanay Academy in developing a Center of Excellence for the probation officers

ASTANA - The European Union  assists the Kostanay Academy under the MIA of the Republic of Kazakhstan to develop a Center of Excellence that will specifically focus on the further development of the probation service in Kazakhstan as well in the Central Asian region within its “Enhancing criminal justice in Kazakhstan” project (EUCJ). The assistance covers both intellectual and technical support. The EUCJ experts are involved into process of developing the Training Curriculum for Probation Officers and procurement of the equipment to provide modern teaching and training methods and distance learning from Europe.

The EUCJ project, funded by the EU in the amount of 5,5 mln euro,  has contributed to development of the probation service in Kazakhstan since its beginning in 2015 by providing the best European expertise, sending the national officials and experts from Kazakhstan to the UK and the Netherland to study the best European practices. This project strategy coordinated with the Penitentiary Committee under the MIA of the Republic of Kazakhstan resulted into adoption of the new law on Probation in 2016.

In order to line up with the most developed countries, the implementation of the Probation Law in Kazakhstan requires concerted and purposeful action for the education and training of probation officers.

The Kostanay Academy has the ambition to take a leading role in that process. For that the EUCJ expert Ben Zengerink consults the Academy to meet the international standards in developing a Centre of Excellence. His missions to Kostanay were aimed at discussing the Academy’s long and short term strategic vision; reviewing an organizational structure, budgetary needs, exploitation plan, tasks and responsibilities staff, in- and external communication; considering the universities that are willing to cooperate on a structural basis; sharing teaching models, experiences and organizing the subscription for CEP membership.

“The importance of the probation work finds internationally wide recognition in the society and politics. At this moment together with the Kostanay Academy we are in the process of bringing the training programmes for Probation Officers in line with the international standards and to align them with the curriculum of the European universities and training institutes. This is the first step of entering into structural international partnerships and embedding in the international probation community. At that while developing a leading Centre of excellence in the country, the regional and international ‘Probation Arena’ we consider retaining the own Kazakh identity and cultural values and norms”, noted the EUCJ international expert Ben Zengerink.

It is expected that the full Training Curriculum will reflect all of the tasks of the professional Probation Service across all four domains of probation work: 1. Pre-sentence; 2. Non-custodial Sanctions; 3. Penitentiary Probation; 4. Post-Release Probation.  It will also enable to develop a detailed description of the activities needed; distribution of responsibilities, including the methods, competencies, knowledge and skills that are set as the 21st century standard.

The project "Enhancing Criminal Justice in Kazakhstan" (EUCJ), funded by the European Union, is part of the "Support to Judicial Reform in the Republic of Kazakhstan" program. The project is implemented in cooperation with the Northern Ireland Cooperation Organization (NI-CO) in partnership with the UK Ministry of Justice, the Dutch Probation Service and the National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution of Poland.

For more information, please contact: 


Mira Beisenova, National Expert on Stakeholder Relations of the EUCJ project, +7 7172 76 90 10  +7 7172 76 90 11  +7 7172 76 90 12 or e-mail: or  Elnara Bainazarova, Press Officer of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, +7 7172 974567 45 67 or e-mail:




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