The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations require all
Canadian operators of pleasure craft fitted with any type of motor and used for
recreational purposes to carry proof of competency on board.

Proof of competency is not required in the waters of Nunavut and Northwest
Territories at this time.

The most common form of proof of competency is a Pleasure Craft Operator
(PCO) card obtained after passing an accredited boating safety test.

The PCO card does not expire and cannot be revoked or suspended.

Boat operators caught without proof of competency on board are subject to fines.

The Society’s Boat Operator Accredited Training (BOAT)™ program offers boaters an opportunity to learn about many aspects of safe boating, including:

  • Navigation regulations and “rules of the road”
  • How to respond to emergencies
  • Knowledge about operating pleasure craft (for example, about safety equipment, loading limits, buoys, beacons, weather, and fueling procedures)

All candidates are required to pass a standardized written exam to receive their PCO card. A special “exam-writing” option is also available for those boaters with previous experience and knowledge.

Prerequisites: None.

Instruction: BOAT instructors teach this course. A proctor is required for the “exam-writing” option.

Evaluation: Candidates must achieve 75% on the official exam. They may re-write the exam at any official exam-writing session.