National Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Program
The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations require all 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 indicates the boater has a basic level of boating safety knowledge required for safe recreational boating. In the past, anyone of any age could operate a recreational boat without any minimum boating safety knowledge, experience or training. These requirements were introduced in 1999 in response to boating deaths and injuries, with the goal of improving safety on Canadian waterways through education and training.
Proof of competency can be any of the following:
- A Pleasure Craft Operator Card - this is the most common proof, obtained after passing an accredited boating safety test
- Proof of having passed a boating safety course in Canada before April 1, 1999
- A specified marine certificate from the List of Certificates of Competency, Training Certificates and other Equivalencies accepted as Proof of Competency when Operating a Pleasure Craft
- A completed rental-boat safety checklist – good only for the rental period
- For Foreign Visitors, an operator card or equivalent which meets the requirements of their own state or country.
* Proof of Competency is not required in the waters of Nunavut and Northwest Territories at this time.
Access a complete listing of private sector providers authorized to provide boating safety courses and tests, and issue Pleasure Craft Operator Cards. Find a course provider with services in your area.
Here is where you will find answers to the most common questions about the proof of competency requirements, for example, how to find specific course and testing services, and how to replace a lost Pleasure Craft Operator Card.
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