As a part of its activities related to assisting the Mediterranean countries in the upgrading of their national skills, each year RAC/SPA devotes a part of its budget to training programmes. These programmes are generally organised in collaboration with NGOs and/or national organisations, which contribute at both the "pedagogical" and financial levels.
RAC/SPA has made use of the following four separate formulae to implement its training programmes:
- Training courses
The training courses organised by RAC/SPA generally last one week and include a series of lectures, complemented, if necessary, by sessions of supervised work (workshops), laboratory practical work or field trips. The programme which is established according to the subject is often reworked during the course taking into account the profile of the participants.
The number of each training session participants is around fifteen. The finance available often does not allow more than one participant per country, however the hosting country is usually allowed to designate several participants.
- Practical five-to-ten-day courses
This formula has been used by RAC/SPA for courses concerning the management of marine turtle nesting beaches organized jointly with the Cyprus Department of Fisheries and the Cyprus Wildlife Society.
To strengthen the national capabilities of the Mediterranean countries in the field of inventorying and mapping benthic biocenoses, RAC/SPA usually includes a training component in each of the field surveys organised around the Mediterranean. This enables the national experts involved to be trained in techniques of mapping plant formations and benthic biocenoses.
- Sponsoring the participation of Mediterranean candidates in programmes not organised by RAC/SPA
RAC/SPA has on several occasions provided support to allow trainees nominated by Focal Points to take part in courses organised by universities or NGOs.
- National training sessions
As recommended by the National Focal Points, RAC/SPA has worked to organise courses for individual countries.
It is clear that developing this type of training to the exclusion of other is likely to discourage contact between Mediterranean specialists. While courses involving participants from several Mediterranean countries offer highly useful opportunities for shared reflection and exchange of experience.
However, the national courses approach has the advantage of allowing several participants from the country to take part in the training, whose content and working language are adapted to the context of that country.