Coast Guard Functions Training Recommendations

*DISCLAIMER: This information is related to the implementation of the project between January 2015 and February 2016

Here are presented a set of recommendations on European Coast Guard Functions (CGF) related development of training programmes and provision of training in the EU and third countries. These recommendations were developed within the framework of the ECGFA NET -project under the Work Package 2. Recommendations are based on the answers of a "Questionnaire on Training Recommendations", where the project received replies from a total of 18 agencies or educational institutions from ten countries. Moreover, draft versions of these recommendations were consulted with the project contributors.

CGF training recommendations are divided into two main categories: to general recommendations on the development of CGF related training in the EU, and secondly to recommendations on CGF related training cooperation with EU’s third countries. The focus is in recommendations on areas where the future ECGF Training Network could play an assisting role, and on the development of CGF cooperation and development of foundations of CGF training and education.

The implementation of the recommendations by the Network will be up to the consideration and decision of the ECGF Training Network and its future Governing Board.

Recommendations on the CGF related training in the EU

In terms of the development of CGF related training activities (programmes, courses, workshops, seminars), it is recommended to:
  • Develop as a pilot activity a cross-sectoral three week long "ECGF training course on CGF cooperation" for mid-management / management level personnel from different CGF authorities. Amongst the main objectives of the course would be to provide the participants with knowledge and tools on the enhancement of cooperation between different coast guard functions and related authorities. Course would cover either all CGFs or a selected number of CGFs, for instance, with an emphasis to 3-4 functions. The course would consist of distance learning studies as well as of "contact days" when the students would be required to physically attend the training in a training centre / location. Contact days would be organised in 2-3 countries. Training methods would be participatory, including also simulation exercises. Such an "ECGF training course" could be regarded as the Networks and ECGFF’s flagship training course.
  • Organise cross-sectoral training activities (courses, workshops, seminars) between different CGF authorities and ECGFF countries working in different CGF sectors in order to promote inter-agency, cross-border and regional cooperation and improved operational results, as well as in order to share knowledge on best practices and experiences on the challenges and situation in other MS. Regional training activities could be organised in particular for those ECGFF countries that share same interests related to a concrete sea area
In terms of the development of CGF related training and education structures and methods, it is recommended to:
  • As a follow-up and on the basis of the up-coming CGFSQF - develop a Common Core Curricula (CCC) for CGF (namely for EQF levels 4 and 5) to provide measurable, common standards for CGF training. Having implemented CGF CCC into national curricula, students’ learning processes should be guided so that they gain professional knowledge, relevant skills and appropriate attitudes required for the CGF studies. The CCC for Border Guard training developed by Frontex should be used as the main reference document, especially from pedagogical and theoretical point of view. Curricula developed by other EU agencies for specific Coast Guard Functions (e.g. European Fisheries Control Agency / EFCA Core Curricula) should also be taken into consideration in order to avoid duplication of efforts and resources.
  • Develop common lesson plans (including e.g. guideline materials for the teacher as well as handout materials for the student) and course modules for CGF sector to be used in national or other training activities.
  • Organise Training for Trainers as well as expert assistance in the delivery of training which is based on the use of the CCC and / or common lesson plans.
  • Facilitate and organise the use of different distance learning methods in all future ECGF Training Network supported activities (e.g. internet-based training packages). The ECGF Training Portal should be used as the main tool and platform.
  • Set-up an electronic CGF library on the ECGF Training Portal with relevant CGF related publications, such as reports by national and international organisations, relevant international laws, agreements, etc. and already existing CGF related training materials (e.g. lesson plans, trainers’ manuals, course modules, case studies, etc.)
  • Establish an ECGF Trainer Roster or a pool of experienced trainers in different CGF sectors, who could be used to deliver trainings and provide assistance in other ECGFF countries as well as in third countries.
  • Establish ECGF Training Network "Mobile Training Teams" composed of experts of different CGF services. Teams could be used and deployed to national training centres as well as to third countries to deliver specific trainings in the area of CGF.
In terms of the development of CGF related coordination and promotion of training cooperation, it is recommended to:
  • Facilitate the use of training facilities and attendance at courses of other ECGFF and Training Network where this is most effective. The ECGF Training Portal is used as the main tool to reach this objective.
  • Coordinate with other assistance and training providers working in the CGF sector (e.g. Frontex, EMSA, IOM, WCO, EFCA etc.) already at the initial planning phase in order to avoid duplication of efforts and resources.
  • Apply for external funding (EU) to support Network’s training activities.

Recommendations on CGF Related Cooperation with the Third Countries

In terms of ideas and needs for cooperation with the third countries, it is recommended to:
  • Launch CGF related training cooperation with those third countries which share a common sea border with the EU, and in particular with those that are either EU’s Candidate Countries or EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Countries (those Eastern and Southern ones with Coast Guard Functions). Training cooperation should be considered also with countries which function as source countries of significant illegal activity affecting EU and its MS, and also with countries with recognised expertise in areas of interest for the EU and its MS. The overarching principle in all cooperation is that it is mutually beneficial and voluntary.
  • Initiatives on cooperation implemented with the assistance of the Network shall be assessed on an ad hoc basis and decisions will be reached by consensus among all members of ECGF Training Network.
  • Expand training related cooperation activities to third countries only once the Network is well established and experienced in cooperation amongst the members of ECGF Training Network.
  • Look for the possibilities of having training related cooperation agreements with Third Countries in order to achieve sustainability and long term results.
  • Look for the possibilities of including third countries into the Training Network for example with an observer status.
  • Prior to the launching of activities with the third countries, coordinate with the MS and different assistance and training providers to map planned or existing activities in order to avoid duplication of efforts and resources and overlapping of activities.
  • Look for the possibilities of providing representatives of third countries with opportunities to take part in the planned ECGF Exchange Programme after the programme’s pilot phase.
  • Organize regional and cross-border CGF workshops and seminars in order to acquire knowledge on best practices, to exchange and compare experiences and information on the challenges and situation in other MS.
  • Look for the possibilities of enabling and promoting the use of the ECGF Training Portal also for the representatives of the third countries.
  • Assist in conducting a comprehensive country-specific training needs analysis on a given CGF sector to identify where there are weaknesses in a delivery of a function and what training and education would be required to address the weaknesses.
  • Assist and encourage those ECGFF and Training Network countries with capabilities and facilities to assist those 3rd countries which have difficulties in providing the required training or facilities.
  • Apply for external funding (EU) to support Network’s training activities with the third countries.