Helping Canadians get back to work.

Canadian Coast Guard College

1190 Westmount Rd, Sydney NS

Possible funding to those who qualify*

  • Nova Scotia Student Loan
  • Loans
  • Grants
  • Bursaries
  • Scholarships


Programs offered at each campus may vary, so be sure to check other campus offerings for the course you are most interested in.

Legal, Policing Programs

  • The Canadian Coast Guard Officer Training Program is an exciting opportunity to serve your country while making a difference on Canada’s waters. The 4-year Officer Training Program is one of the best marine training programs in the world, producing both Marine Engineering and Marine Navigation Officers. The program teaches through:
    • in-class learning
    • hands-on training at the college
    • highly modernized marine simulators
    • practical experience aboard Coast Guard vessels at sea
    Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as officer cadets. Our program focuses on marine safety and environmental protection, and prepares officer cadets to lead and succeed. We train officer cadets to help protect:
    • individuals at sea
    • our ocean resources
    • Canada’s 243,000 kilometre coastline

Skilled Trades, Auto, Fire Programs

  • Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) officers are important stewards of Canadian marine traffic. They work on behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard to provide one of the first responses to vessels in distress.

    Officers oversee the safety of Canada’s waterways by:

    • listening for distress and safety calls
    • monitoring marine traffic to prevent accidents
    • making sure that vessels comply with Canadian laws
    • broadcasting maritime safety information, such as weather and navigational warnings

    They provide services that help to:

    • protect human lives at sea
    • conserve the marine environment
    • ensure that vessels move safely and efficiently


    The MCTS training program is taught at the Canadian Coast Guard College in Sydney, Nova Scotia. We offer the course in English and French.

    Phase I of the training program is a 23-week program where you’ll learn the basics of performing officer duties. You’ll live at the college during your training and attend class from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. Your classes will consist of:

    • theory
    • simulator exercises
    • practical applications

    During Phase I of training, we’ll provide you with accommodations and meals in the college galley. In this stage you are considered an MCTS officer trainee. Students are not considered federal public service employees until they begin Phase II of the program.

    After successfully completing Phase I, you’ll begin on-the-job training at one of the following centres:

    • Western Region:
      • MCTS Victoria
      • MCTS Prince Rupert
    • Atlantic Region:
      • MCTS Halifax
      • MCTS Sydney
      • MCTS Labrador
      • MCTS Placentia
      • MCTS Port aux Basques
    • Central and Arctic Region:
      • MCTS Sarnia
      • MCTS Iqaluit
      • MCTS Quebec
      • MCTS Prescott
      • MCTS Les Escoumins

    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.

  • This course teaches the skills needed to conduct search and rescue operations and perform the role of on-scene coordinator in the marine environment.

    This course is required for Coast Guard personnel working onboard Coast Guard ships and in Joint Rescue Coordination Centres.

    This course includes classroom work and navigation simulations.

  • This course prepares personnel for the demands of maritime search planning at a Joint Rescue Coordination Centre.

    This course includes manual and computer based search planning using the Canadian Search And Rescue Program (CANSARP).

  • This course is designed for personnel involved in planning, coordinating and controlling the response to maritime and aeronautical search and rescue incidents.

    This course is taught in classrooms and through simulations.

  • This course teaches aeronautical search planning. It is administered with 14 Wing Winnipeg.
  • This course teaches participants how to assess oil spills.
  • This course teaches participants how to initially respond to an oil spill and deploy booms. Participants learn:

    • the safe way to approach and report marine pollution
    • how to plan and perform boom deployment in the field

    This course includes practices on the water.

  • This course teaches necessary procedures for oil recovery operations. After successfully containing pollutants, learners will recover the product. This course is designed to offer practical experience outside the classroom.
  • This course offers the highest level of certification for this series of tactical training.
  • This course examines:
    • the powers of a pollution response officer
    • specific procedures related to vessel directions and detentions
    • the legal framework and implications surrounding the execution of those powers under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001
    Course participants also learn sampling procedures while gaining an understanding of the role of other government agencies involved in marine pollution incidents.
  • 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.

    This course also prepares participants to coordinate and direct an overall response to small marine pollution incidents.

Technology, Networking Programs

  • Our department offers technical training in the field of electronics and informatics specific to Canadian Coast Guard equipment and systems. Courses focus on maintenance and installation at our ship and shore-based sites and centres. This training is only available to:
    • electronics engineers
    • Canadian Coast Guard electronic systems technologists (classification EL)

Sydney Campus


The Canadian Coast Guard College is a national maritime training facility located on scenic Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. It’s a national college that provides training and services in French and English. It delivers programs to support the College’s mission and mandate in marine safety, security and environmental protection.

The college’s unique and specialized training is sought after by organizations around the world. Each year, highly trained graduates join their colleagues as Coast Guard officers to provide services that are critical to Canadians.


On May 5, 1964, Minister of Transport J.W. Pickersgill announced the government’s plan to establish an officer training college for the Canadian Coast Guard. The Canadian Coast Guard College was officially opened on September 7, 1965 with programs in Marine Engineering and Navigation Officer Training. The campus was established on the former Point Edward Naval Base and was moved to the modern Westmount complex in 1981.

*All student funding, whether made available privately or through various government branches, is only approved to those who qualify, by the original source of funding. There are many criteria that each candidate must meet to be approved. Schools can only inform you of what may be available.