The RDF considers education and training programmes as the primary means of ensuring in-service development and maintaining a high level of professionalism. Central to professional development of its members, is how the RDF views the defence of the nation and a variety of ways threats to national security may materialise. Besides, the RDF recognises the trends in regional and international security as well as the whole range contingences that may require employment of the defence force. To ensure readiness, education and training in the RDF is governed by the following doctrinal approaches and precepts:
• Preparing for the primary mission i.e. defence of sovereignty and just-in-time training for contingences that are secondary in nature.
• The need to offer appropriate ETD that complies with international standards of competency.
• Specific training programmes to prepare the force to conduct operations in special environments.
• Fostering interoperability within the RDF components and between the RDF and sister military organisations to enable the force to operate under collective security arrangements and/or peace support operations.
• Offering portable knowledge and skill sets that flexibly respond to the open labour market requirements via partnerships with tertiary institutions.
• Whereas the defence force is an apolitical organisation, civic education programmes are essential to the RDF but are integrated into all aspect of education and training rather than being treated as stand alone subject. They are designed to instil core democratic values amongst military personnel; respect for human rights; the rights and duties of soldiers; non partisanship; the significance of Constitution as supreme law; principles of democratic control; the obligations enshrined in international humanitarian law; respect for gender equality; normative ethical dimensions of military professionalism; and others.
The RDF, together with the international Committee of the Red Cross have developed a comprehensive curriculum on international humanitarian law and is at the phase of integrating IHL into the various doctrinal precepts.
The RDF has three main ETD provider institutions that present different programmes. They are Rwanda Military Academy, School of Infantry, Nasho Training School.