Education and training

The Border and Coast Guard Academy provides students with a basic education that serves as the foundation for their future tasks as border guards and officers. Along with rapidly changing situations, further education and training is continuously required, with broad contents that are adapted as necessary to meet the current needs. Training offered at the units also plays a significant role. The uniformity of training is ensured by means of the instructor training arranged by the Border and Coast Guard Academy. The wide range of online training courses supports multiform learning.

From practical training to real action 

In 2023, a larger than normal basic course of border guards graduated from the Border and Coast Guard Academy. Because of the changed border situation, their final practical training was partly carried out in actual real-life situations. Cadets and officers – future bachelors and masters in military science – also contributed to the Border Guard Districts’ efforts to manage the intensified situation.

In the training and exercises related to activities carried out by public authorities, the key areas include not only knowledge of legislation and safety at work but also matters of human rights, equality and non-discrimination as well as responsibility and sustainability. 

As the eastern border traffic decreased drastically, the units have had more time available for training, refreshing and exercising. Many of the skills trained during the year were actually needed in practice when the border crossing points along the eastern border were closed. 

Online training courses provided an excellent additional element for, among other things, learning about new devices and equipment as well as reviewing previously acquired skills, thus creating a uniform foundation for practical exercises.

Special troops play a key role

The Special Border Jaeger Company under the Border and Coast Guard Academy provides special troop training of high quality for both conscripts and the staff members of the Finnish Border Guard. During the year, the unit’s staff members participated in several refresher training exercises, thereby sharing their professional skills and competence within the Finnish Border Guard. Toward the end of the year, the conscripts serving in the unit successfully supported the personnel of the Southeast Finland Border Guard District in securing the borders in the rapidly evolving situation. 

Accredited provider of maritime training

In 2023, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom accredited the Border and Coast Guard Academy as a provider of maritime education and training, and also approved the relevant study programmes. Based on the Act on Transport Services and the regulations of the Finnish National Agency for Education, the assessment for accreditation evaluates compliance with the national requirements and the requirements of the international STCW Convention and Code on the standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers.

The Border and Coast Guard Academy plays a significant role in terms of building the maritime safety culture within the Finnish Border Guard. With an emphasis on safe practices and good seamanship, the maritime safety culture is reflected in the daily activities of the Border and Coast Guard Academy. During 2023, the Border and Coast Guard Academy arranged a total of 66 weeks of training at sea. Especially in the training of those at the early stages of their career, it is essential to stress the importance of navigation, seamanship and consideration for other traffic at sea. In addition to ensuring a proper maritime safety culture, the training involves risk assessments as required by the occupational health and safety legislation.

Added value through collaboration

At the national level, collaboration with other authorities is part of everyday work in education and training. The officials of the Finnish Border Guard have increasingly taken part in training provided by other authorities. The main collaborative parties are the Defence Forces, the Police and Customs. Internationally, collaboration in the field of education and training has continued to practically the same extent as before with the Baltic States, Poland and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex. Learning from other countries’ experiences of border management at their eastern borders has enriched the training of Finnish border guards. The involvement of the Finnish Border Guard in international border management operations and the practical experiences of those participating are of benefit for the development of education and training. 

The basic course for border guards in 2023

In 2023, over 100 border guards, of whom 16% were female, graduated from the basic course for border guards. In 2023, the Border and Coast Guard Academy had some 250 students in the basic courses and further education and a total of 1,850 participants in continuing education.