Module 1: Overview of the Swiss Federal Act on Private Security Services Abroad (PSSA), human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL)

As a requirement by the Swiss Government, private security service providers and other entities engaged in connected services, and their personnel must comply with and be trained on the provisions of the Federal Act on Private Security Services Abroad (PSSA).

Excel Security Training has designed a well-researched course to help security service providers and their employees comply with these obligations.

Private actors, especially those with activities in complex environments should make themselves and their employees aware of the implications of their activities abroad. Some of them are unaware of the legality of their activities in such contexts, and the legal obligations they have including the need to comply with international and domestic laws in the countries in which they operate.

This Module is particularly addressed to companies with activities abroad and their personnel, including security guards, team leaders, technicians/ engineers, management involved in authorising activities, senior management and compliance officers.

By the end of this course the learner should be able to:

Understand the key human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL) standards of relevance to security personnel;

Understand the link between security management and human rights;

Be aware of the responsibility to implement human rights in security management;

Be aware of the responsibility of the PSSA’s impact on the provision of security services, especially prohibited ones; and

Apply this knowledge at work.

*The course does not require prior knowledge of law, international humanitarian law or human rights.

Course Content


The Overview of the PSSA, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is a 1-hour course targeting personnel of private security service providers and companies providing connected services, particularly those with activities abroad.

In this course, the learner will gain knowledge on the requirements and prohibited activities under the PSSA, as well as obligations arising out of human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL).

The course is divided into 4 parts, broken down to digestible content and real-life examples for easy learning. After each part, the learner will complete an evaluation to assess their knowledge of the content before moving on to the next part.

A certificate will be issued after successful completion of the course.

* The course can be taken online or offered in a class-room setting.

Overview of the PSSA



This part of the Course offers the learner a brief yet practical overview of the content of the Swiss Federal Act on Private Security Services Abroad (PSSA). The PSSA contains provisions on what constitutes prohibited activities and imposes penalties for violations of the Act. The Act targets Swiss security service providers and their personnel, Swiss residents and federal authorities.

Human Rights



Human rights apply both in peace time and during an armed conflict. For security service providers and their personnel, compliance with human rights is a requirement both at the national and international levels. This part of the course provides the learner with basic understanding of human rights, especially the standards that apply in respect of use of force, which has an impact on the right to life. This part also covers the issue of accountability for human rights violations, including reporting requirements.


International Humanitarian Law

International humanitarian law (IHL) is the law applicable in armed conflict situations. In this part of the Course, the leaner will be able to differentiate between international and non-international armed conflict. The learner will also gain an understanding of key concepts under IHL, including the definition of a civilian, the concept of direct participation in hostilities, and the potential risks that come with civilian participation in hostilities.


The Interplay Between IHL and Human Rights

International humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights are distinct bodies of law but they complement each other in some ways. This part of the module explains this relationship and how to apply each body in the context of an armed conflict.

The Curriculum


  1.0. Overview of the PSSA
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  2.0. Human Rights
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  3.0. International Humanitarian Law
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  4.0. Interplay between IHL & Human Rights
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Choose a Pricing Option

CHF180

Overview of the PSSA, Human Rights, and International Humanitarian Law (IHL)