Inspectorate Division

The Inspectorate Division is responsible for the efficient and effective deployment of inspection teams to both military and commercial facilities around the world, as required by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The Division maintains readiness to conduct Challenge Inspections and Investigations of Alleged Use upon requests from Member States in the event of a chemical incident.

Capacity Building and Contingency Planning Cell

The Capacity Building and Contingency Planning Cell (CBCP) is comprised a small team of inspectors with the goal of strengthening the Technical Secretariat’s preparedness and ability to provide assistance and protection against the use of chemical weapons as well as support the States Parties in their national preparedness programmes.

The CBCP cell is responsible for:

  • Supporting the capacity building programmes and delivering external training as part of the Secretariat’s’ international cooperation and assistance activities;
  • Preparation for Technical Assistance Visit (TAV) operations;
  • Preparation for Challenge Inspection (CI) and Investigation of Alleged Use (IAU), or other non-routine operation;
  • Planning, coordinating and providing the training programme for inspectors and support staff; and
  • Preparing, planning and exercising with other relevant Divisions and offices of the Secretariat for contingency operations.

Chemical Demilitarisation Inspections Cell

The Chemical Demilitarisation Inspections Cell (CDC) conducts routine inspections of Chemical Weapons Destruction Facilities, Chemical Weapons Storage Facilities, Chemical Weapons Production Facilities and their conversions, Old Chemical Weapon Facilities, and Abandoned Chemical Weapons Facilities, as mandated under Article IV and V of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

The CDC also supports other Cells and Divisions in areas related to chemical weapons, munitions, chemical protection, detection, and demilitarisation.

Industry Inspections Cell

The core work of the Inspectorate Industry Inspections Cell (IIC) is to perform field inspections at chemical facilities declared by State Parties under the Article VI of the Chemical Weapons Convention, in order to verify that activities carried out on these facilities involving Scheduled chemicals and unscheduled discrete organic chemicals (DOCs) are in accordance with activities not prohibited by the Convention. The IIC also provides technical advice and support for inspections under Articles IV and V of the Convention and contingency operations.

The IIC vision is to prevent the re-emergence and proliferation of chemical weapons by conducting inspections with a high level of proficiency in the most resource-efficient way, fitting entirely into one of the Organisation’s Core Objectives.

The IIC team aspires to:

  • Promote a learning culture within the Inspectorate Division by developing, updating and continuously improving technical capabilities in order to guarantee the appropriate level of expertise for the performance of industrial inspections;
  • Liaise with the Industry Verification Branch of the Verification Division for identifying and implementing improvement actions regarding the verification procedures and practices;
  • Work in full cooperation with other teams in the Organisation and representatives of Member States to find opportunities and novel manners of performing field work more efficiently, and accommodating conflicting requirements within our financial constraints. 

Operations and Planning Branch

The Operations and Planning Branch plans, coordinates, and monitors all OPCW missions. It acts as the focal point within the Technical Secretariat for the conduct of inspections and, in this regard, establishes its communication link with National Authorities and the inspection teams in the field.

The Operations and Planning Branch provides administrative, technical and logistical support for inspections and missions in accordance with the quality assurance regime, and ensures timely and efficient procurement and maintenance of inspection equipment.

The Branch’s Situation Centre provides 24-hour support, develops and maintains a comprehensive operating picture, ensures secure and reliable communications and provides information analysis to facilitate crisis management operations. The Situation Centre also provides situation briefings to the OPCW’s leadership to facilitate decision making.

Safety and Analytical Chemistry Cell

The Safety and Analytical Chemistry Cell is a multi-disciplinary cell comprised of engineers, analytical chemists, synthetic chemists, health and safety professionals, and emergency medicine practitioners.

The Cell provides scientific and technical support, advice and expertise to routine inspections and non-routine contingency missions. It also develops and maintains scientific and technical training programmes for the division.