Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Program

All Commercial Vessels, regardless of length, are required to carry a Certified Master.  For Certain Small Commercial Vessels, an operator with a Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP) Training Certificate or a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) (see below) will be accepted in place of a Master’s Certificate.

A PCOC is acceptable for:

  1. Vessels less than 8 metres in length operating in Sheltered Waters; and
  2. Fishing Vessels less than 15 Gross Tonnage operating in Sheltered Waters.

Essentially, a Sheltered Waters Voyage is a voyage that is in Canada on a Lake or a River above Tidal Waters – where a Vessel can never be further than one nautical mile from the closest shore.

Master/Operator Requirements:

  1. Passenger Carrying Vessels (Less than 12 Passengers):
    1. Near Coastal 1; All vessels less than 150 Gross Tonnage – Master 150 Gross Tonnage, Domestic Certificate if endorsed for limited,
      continuous waters.
    2. Near Coastal 2 and Sheltered Waters;
      1. Vessels greater than 5 Gross Tonnage – Limited Master, less than 60 Gross Tonnage;
      2. Vessels less than or equal to 5 Gross Tonnage – Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Training Certificate..
  2. Workboats:
    1. Near Coastal 1; All vessels less than 150 Gross Tonnage – Master 150 Gross Tonnage, Domestic Certificate if endorsed for limited,
      continuous waters.
    2. Near Coastal 2 and Sheltered Waters;
      1. Vessels greater than 5 Gross Tonnage and All TUGS – Limited Master, less than 60 Gross Tonnage;
      2. Vessels less than or equal to 5 Gross Tonnage (except Tugs) – Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Training Certificate..
  3. Fishing Vessels:
    1. Near Coastal 1; All Fishing Vessels – Fishing Master, Fourth Class Certificate or Certificate of Service less than 60 Gross
      Tonnage.
    2. Near Coastal 2 and Sheltered Waters;
      1. Fishing Vessels greater than 15 Gross Tonnage - Fishing Master, Fourth Class Certificate or Certificate of Service less than 60 Gross Tonnage;
      2. Fishing Vessels less than or equal to 15 Gross Tonnage – Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Training Certificate..

NOTE: Persons who need a Canadian Maritime Document (CMD) or other Transport Canada Marine Safety (TCMS) documents, or who provided identity information (names, date of birth or other) that is not consistent with the information already recorded in the TCMS databank system, must complete an Application for a Candidate Document Number (CDN). This form must be presented in person to the closest TCMS office, together with documents that will clearly identify the candidate, before a CMD or other TCMS documents may be issued by or on behalf of the Minister.

This means that a Candidate Document Number (CDN) is mandatory for a Marine Training School to issue a Transport Canada Training Certificate.