ECGF Training Portal for the European coast guard functions has been opened. This portal disseminates information on available courses, training opportunities, student and expert exchange, and on various events and news related to coast guard functions related training. The portal is also an important information channel for the European Coast Guard Functions Training Network, which was founded in early 2016. The portal can be accessed at www.ecgff-trainingportal.eu and is available to the members of the Training Network.
This Training Network can be joined by those training institutes that offer training in coast guard functions and operate in the member countries of the European Coast Guard Functions Forum. The Training Network will increase the visibility of the various coast guard functions related agencies and educational institutions, contributing positively to the exchange of information and best practices via networking. This Network will create a solid foundation for maritime collaboration in the sphere of European training and security.
The Training Network and Portal were founded as a result of a year-long EU-funded (European Coast Guard Functions Academy Network project, ECGFA NET), which was completed in February of 2016. Within the scope of this project, work was also begun to harmonise the training of the coast guard functions sector through the defining of grounds for the Sectoral Qualification Framework for Coast Guard Functions, CGFSQF.
The Finnish Border Guard was responsible for the overall management of the project and for the establishment of the Training Network, while SASEMAR, the Spanish Marine Safety Agency, assumed responsibility for establishing the Portal and the Italian Coast Guard for the CGFSQF development. A total of fourteen CGF authorities, representing eleven EU member states, participated in the project. The project included also seven observers, including a number of EU agencies.
Collaboration was founded on the work conducted by the European Coast Guard Functions Forum, an association of European coast guard functions authorities. This forum seeks to provide a structure for collaboration on maritime issues. The development of training will strengthen operative functions and contribute to the creation of common standards. The Coast Guard Functions include the following responsibilities that require special expertise: maritime safety; maritime search and rescue; maritime monitoring and surveillance; maritime border control; maritime environmental protection and response (including oil spill clean-up); maritime custom activities; fisheries inspection and control; the prevention and suppression of trafficking and smuggling and connected maritime law enforcement.