About BTSF and BTSF ACADEMY
What is BTSF?
Better Training for Safer Food (BTSF) is a European Commission training initiative to improve the knowledge and implementation of EU rules covering food safety, plant, animal, and One Health.
What are the BTSF objectives?
The main objectives are:
- Maintaining a high level of consumer protection and food safety, plant, animal and One Health
- Promoting a harmonised approach to the operation of Union and national control systems
- Creating a level playing field for all food business operators
- Enhancing trade of safe food, animals and plants, and their products
- Ensuring fair trade with third countries and in particular developing countries
How is BTSF training delivered?
The basic training principles involve the delivery of information, knowledge/experience sharing and networking, and using the train-the-trainer approach to disseminate the knowledge attained. Training delivery may be through face-to-face courses, virtual classrooms or eLearning or a combination of these.
Training is usually organised by external contractors who design and deliver the courses using subject matter experts in close cooperation with DG SANTE technical units and deliver it through:
- Workshops. A group of participants (usually not more than 30) from several countries meet in one location to receive training and take part in practical exercises and group discussions.
- Sustained training missions (STMs). A group of participants (10-15) from one, or a regional grouping of countries, receive training on a specific subject delivered by one or two subject matter experts.
- eLearning in BTSF ACADEMY. Individuals take part in self-paced on-line learning including self-assessment exercises throughout the course. Currently there are 14 eLearning courses with 3 more under development.
Who can participate in BTSF training?
Training is designed for staff of competent authorities in Member States involved in official control activities to keep them up to date with all aspects of Union law in the areas specified above and to ensure that controls are carried out in a uniform, objective and satisfactory manner.
It is also essential that non-EU countries, and in particular developing countries, are familiar with EU import requirements and, where it exists, can avail of EU support. For this purpose, appropriate training organised for Member States in the EU may also be open to participants from non-EU countries and specific training courses are also organised for non-EU participants on the spot.
BTSF non-EU courses are also aimed at food producers and farmers, as well as governmental officials. The programmes include activities on two main themes: food safety and plant health; and animal health and welfare. They address three world regions: Africa and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) countries; South and Central America and the Caribbean; and Asia and the Pacific.
What is the BTSF ACADEMY?
BTSF ACADEMY is the European Commission’s single learning and information portal on BTSF training activities for competent authority staff and stakeholders in Member States and non-EU countries. Here you can find relevant information on:
- Over 120 thematic training courses (eLearning, face-to-face courses and virtual classrooms)
- Training material (BTSF Library)
- Contact details for BTSF National Contact Points
- Published reports and calls for tender
BTSF ACADEMY Library
The BTSF ACADEMY Library consists of a collection of learning materials produced during the implementation of the training activities within the BTSF Initiative. These can be found in the individual thematic course folders accessible from the home page and typically contain video recordings of the training sessions, presentations, documents, links to external resources, etc.
The purpose of the BTSF ACADEMY Library is to assist officials to further disseminate the accumulated knowledge and learning materials developed for over 120 thematic courses in the BTSF initiative.
Since its launch in May 2022, all EU and Non-EU officials from national competent authorities worldwide, who are registered in the BTSF ACADEMY, have free access to the BTSF ACADEMY Library contents and may use them to develop additional training activities within their own services, or for personal learning.
How to access the BTSF ACADEMY Library
To get access to the BTSF ACADEMY Library you must register in the BSTF ACADEMY by sending an email to HADEA-BTSF-ACADEMY-SUPPORT@ec.europa.eu.
All registered users of the BTSF ACADEMY can also download these for the 120 thematic training courses within the ACADEMY. The dissemination kits contain all the relevant training material in one folder that can be utilised to disseminate the training. BTSF follows the "train the trainers" principle: participants are required to disseminate the knowledge they have acquired amongst their colleagues. This helps to ensure consistency in the application of controls.
Click on the images below to see some examples.
What are BTSF National Contact Points (NCPs)?
BTSF National Contact Points coordinate BTSF participation and liaise with the Commission services and contractors. They are designated for EU Member States, enlargement and neighbourhood countries, and some non-EU countries.
Who is in charge of and operates BTSF?
The European Commission sets the policy and strategy for BTSF including the BTSF ACADEMY and monitors its implementation. The European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) administers all phases of BTSF training contracts, from the launch of calls for tender, the evaluations of offers and the awarding of contracts to their conclusion. HaDEA is also responsible for BTSF ACADEMY administration.
How to apply for a course?
/ To apply for a face-to-face or virtual classroom training course listed within the BTSF ACADEMY, please contact your National Contact Point (NCP) to express an interest in participating. If there is no NCP listed for your country, please contact the relevant contractor responsible for the training course to request registration. Please see the Information Package for the course in BTSF ACADEMY to find the contractor contact details.
To apply for an eLearning course in BTSF ACADEMY, please use the BTSF eLearning application form. If you have any questions about the selection criteria, please consult with your NCP.
NOTE: From July 2023 all BTSF ACADEMY users will need to have an EU Login account. If you don't have one yet you can simply create it at this link.
If you are a staff member working in the EU Institutions and wish to participate in any of the above courses, please send an email to SANTE-TRAININGFORSAFERFOOD@ec.europa.eu
What is the legal basis for BTSF?
Article 130 of Regulation (EU) 2017/625 (PDF) empowers the Commission to develop training for Member State and non-EU competent authority staff.