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Officer Training Program (OTP), Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) & Operational Training, and Electronics and Informatics Technical Training

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The Canadian Coast Guard College (CCGC) is a national maritime training facility located on Canada's East Coast, on scenic Cape Breton Island. It provides training and services in both official languages. Opened in 1965, the CCGC built a solid reputation on a foundation of quality service and expert maritime training. As a residential facility that provides training in both official languages, the CCGC remains unique in the world.

CCGC is dedicated to delivering high quality, up-to-date maritime training and services in a progressive, bilingual and client oriented facility. The College's programs emphasize both professional development and educational initiatives. The College provides training and support on sites across Canada and has a partnership and Memorandum of Understanding with Cape Breton University (CBU) for shared services.


CCGC has hosted numerous international events, including: Tall Ships; International Associations of Marine Aids and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA); International Maritime Lecturers Association Conference; International Association of Maritime Search and Rescue Conference; NATO Search and Rescue Conferences and more.

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Training Programs




Officer Training Program (OTP)

  • Marine Navigation (4 years): Marine navigation officers are responsible for the safety of their vessel, their crew and the environment. They pilot and follow routes from charts while taking depth, weather conditions and traffic into account. They are also responsible for radio communications. This program prepares you for a career as a marine navigation officer aboard a Canadian Coast Guard vessel. Officer cadets studying marine navigation learn about ship behavior due to internal and external factors such as weather and ice conditions. The program is divided into 5 phases - 11 months at the college, 7 months at sea, 8 months at the college, 7 months at sea, and 10 months at the college.
  • Marine Engineering (4 years): Marine engineering officers are responsible for the safe operation and maintenance of all equipment and structures aboard Canadian Coast Guard vessels. They keep the main engines and auxiliary systems of the ship in good working order under the supervision of the vessel’s chief engineer. This program prepares you for a career as a marine engineering officer. You’ll learn to operate numerous engineering systems aboard a vessel and develop your leadership abilities. Training for officer cadets in marine engineering is divided into 5 phases - 11 months at the college, 4 months at sea, 14 months at the college, 4 months at sea, and 10 months at the college.

Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS)

  • MCTS Training Program: Phase I of the training program is a 23-week program where you’ll learn the basics of performing officer duties. During Phase II you’ll learn local geography and regional procedures, while applying the national standards covered in Phase I. On-the-job training can vary between 3 to 12 months, after which you’ll become a fully-certified MCTS officer.

Operational Training

Search and Rescue

  • Mobile Facilities - On-Scene Coordinator (2.5 weeks): This course teaches the skills needed to conduct search and rescue operations and perform the role of on-scene coordinator in the marine environment.
  • Maritime Search Planning (2 weeks): This course prepares personnel for the demands of maritime search planning at a Joint Rescue Coordination Centre.
  • Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator (3 weeks): This course is designed for personnel involved in planning, coordinating and controlling the response to maritime and aeronautical search and rescue incidents.
  • Assistant Search Master (2 weeks): This course teaches aeronautical search planning. It is administered with 14 Wing Winnipeg.

Environmental Response

  • Introduction to Oil Spills (1 day): This course teaches participants how to assess oil spills.
  • First Response to Oil Spills Training (2 days): This course teaches participants how to initially respond to an oil spill and deploy booms.
  • Marine Oil Spill Response and Recovery (3 days): This course teaches necessary procedures for oil recovery operations.
  • Essentials of Marine Oil Spills Training (4 days): This course offers the highest level of certification for this series of tactical training.
  • Pollution Response Officer (3 days): This course examines - the powers of a pollution response officer; specific procedures related to vessel directions and detentions; and the legal framework and implications surrounding the execution of those powers under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
  • Marine Spill Response Operations (5 days): This course teaches all aspects of spill response management. It prepares personnel to respond to marine oil spill incidents, including operation direction, coordination and supervision under the overall direction of the incident commander.

Electronics and Informatics Technical Training

  • Maintenance training for land systems
  • Maintenance training for vessel systems
  • Ship radio inspector training
  • Radar principles and maintenance training
  • Installation Fundamentals and Techniques
  • Communication Control System Maintenance
  • Electronic Chart Display and Information System Maintenance

LAST UPDATED ON Oct 8, 2021