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SWP3.1 | European IWT educational network


The supply of IWT education and training is poorly coordinated and varies strongly from country to country. Each educational institution is urged to keep its training and education modules up-to-date and basically develops them independently. At the same time, some of these institutions have difficulties in attracting a sufficient number of students. The way out of this dilemma is a stronger cooperation and coordination between the existing educational institutions.


This Sub-Work Package supports the implementation of harmonised training curricula via a bottom up approach. To achieve this objective, PLATINA provides technical and organisational support to EDINNA (EDucation in Inland Navigation), a network of IWT education and training institutions founded in February 2009.

Description of work

Based on the existing informal network of inland navigation educational institutions, missing institutions are identified and invited to complete the new European IWT educational network EDINNA. The educational network acts as a platform where institute representatives can find a forum to communicate and exchange their needs in order to foster the harmonization of education and training profiles.

Based on the inventory work done by the educational network a comparative analysis identifies differences and gaps in the current European training content, as well as harmonisation and cooperation potential. Using the comparative analysis as a basis, the educational network develops a strategy on IWT education and training standards. This strategy shall contain a definition of common learning objectives and provides recommendations on how to implement and achieve them.

Achievements January-May 2011

EDINNA representing 25 IWT education and training institutes from 14 countries with 8 additional associated members has, with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Transport, moved to its own office in Dordrecht and employed staff in order to participate in the PLATINA tasks.

The EDINNA network has continued its activities in the past months. Under the existing Leonardo da Vinci Partnership group consisting of five schools in Belgium, France and Poland, two core working topics were identified: 1. Riverspeak and 2. Exchange Programmes. The current and possible Leonardo da Vinci projects form an important element of the work of EDINNA, but its activities are clearly separated from the tasks in PLATINA. The Leonardo working group met in February 2011 at the Polish partner school in Naklo nad Notecia, during the General Assembly of EDINNA.

During the General Assembly, the PLATINA team presented the progress made in WP 3 and informed the EDINNA members on the developments within the PLATINA Joint Working Group on professional competencies and the STCIN strategy delivered to the European Commission.In addition, the elements of a strategy on how to better integrate IWT contents into general logistics education were presented as well as the outcomes of the recruitment surveys. The EDINNA members were asked to contribute their ideas to the development of a web-database of common IWT learning materials.

The WP 3 team has submitted a draft strategy on how to develop “Standards of Training and Certification in Inland Navigation (STCIN)” (D 3.8). This approach has been discussed with the core WP 3 partners as well as within the PLATINA Joint Working Group (EBU, ESO, ETF, EDINNA, CCNR, DC and PLATINA) and the EDINNA bodies at length. A discussion with representatives from the European Commission showed that the basic idea of STCIN is the way forward in the harmonisation process.

Two meetings of the PLATINA JWG took place in the reporting period: 4 February 2011 in Cologne and 11 April 2011 in Dordrecht. EDINNA is providing detailed proposals for theoretical knowledge and practical skills for the 7 different chapters of the professional competencies. A first draft for “Navigation” on operational and management level has been discussed. The next Joint Working Group is scheduled for 8 June 2011 in Brussels at the ETF-offices.

Discussions with the European Commission on the further development of such a strategy to harmonise education and training in European inland navigation are ongoing.

Sub-Work Package leader biography

Jörg Rusche (Managing Director of BDB) is a lawyer specialised in international law. He joined BDB in 1999 as an expert in legal and technical affairs and became managing director in 2001. Since 2002 he has acted as secretary of the newly established joint nautical and technical Committee of EBU and the European Skippers Organization (ESO). In 2006 he became a counsellor of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. Jorg is fluent in English and French.


3 questions to Jörg Rusche

  • What do you like most about your work?
    There is a large variety of topics addressed and there is always something new
  • If you could have one wish for inland navigation, what would it be?
    I would wish for adequate infrastructure
  • What does PLATINA do for you?
    PLATINA enlarges my horizon