Camp Directors

Camp Marine Module Boating Course

The Government Relations Committee is proud and relieved to finally share this very important update regarding the newly approved Camp Marine Module boating course, which we have successfully created and designed over the last few years. We are very pleased with the result, albeit a bit later than we had hoped, but certainly in time for this summer for camps across Canada.

Camp Marine Module Boating CourseThe new course has been created to replace the Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP) and Marine Emergency Duties A3 (MED A3) requirement for many camp boats that qualify through a certain set of conditions set by Transport Canada. Other factors, including location and vessel size, may limit certain camp vessels from the use of this course. This certification will allow camp boat operators to carry 7-12 passengers plus crew (as opposed to just 6 passengers) as long as they also hold a valid Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) and a minimum of Standard First Aid, among a few other requirements. The new course is 1.5 days in length including some practical hands-on components. Some camps may be required to add an additional half-day to complete Chapter 17 entitled “Navigation”, should Transport Canada deem this a requirement based on a camp’s location and waterways travelled.

A Quality Management Manual (QMM) has been developed to explain the details surrounding course specifics, course participants, instructors, the use of this new certification, the likely conditions required by Transport Canada to be met thru the Marine Technical Review Board (MTRB) process and all the details regarding the examinations.

Thanks to the financial involvement of the Canadian Camping Association (CCA) and of a number of Provincial Associations, there is no fee associated with this new course, unless camps need to hire someone to instruct the course. Details regarding the Instructor approval process (for camp staff or otherwise with the required experience and qualifications) are part of the QMM but camps may also hire instructors already approved by Transport Canada by visiting the appropriate CCA and Ontario Camps Association (OCA) web pages for their contact information. The OCA office will play an important role in documenting and tracking approved instructors and certified boat operators; these details are also included in the QMM.

In concert with getting boat operators certified with this new course, camps will be required to follow the Transport Canada procedures to apply for the appropriate MTRB decisions for their camp vessels.

These decisions will officially exempt camps from the SVOP and MED-A3 requirement for 7-12 passengers by allowing the use of this new certification to be used instead.

Instructor Information

In summary, if a camp would like their boats to carry 7-12 passengers without having boat operators with the SVOP and MED-A3 certifications, assuming boats are already Commercially registered vessels, then they need to do the following:

  1. Contact Transport Canada to begin the process to apply for an MTRB exemption using this new Camp Marine Module. An MTRB decision is made for each vessel not for each camp, so more than one MTRB will be required depending on how many boats camps will carry 7-12 passengers.
  2. Schedule a Course by:
    1. having an in-house staff member approved by Transport Canada to instruct the course
    2. hire an already approved instructor listed on the CCA and OCA website to instruct the course
    3. send boat operators to another course already being offered by another camp

Please direct any inquiries to and answers will be provided as quickly as possible. Also, pertinent information will be added to the webpage devoted to this new course as we’re sure there will be some important information to share during the first year of this new certification process.

Too many Transport Canada officials and politicians to mention were instrumental in seeing this project through, but we offer them a huge thank you. Kudos also to Course Manual developer Ray Krick and Instructor Manual/Presentation creator Jamie Gordon.

Thank you for your patience through the last few years, but we are very fortunate to be able to offer this type of course across Canada to camps and vessels that qualify to use this certification.

Craig Perlmutter
Government Relations Committee
OCA Vice-President