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We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please refer to the French version of our website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Basic Instructor Certification

Who is the basic instructor certification for ?

First of all, be sure to be familiar with the Sail Canada path to cruising certifications.

The Basic cruising instructor initiates students to cruising, and brings them from their first session on water to their first experiences as skippers.

At the heart of this project are the passion for sailing and the desire to teach and pass on your passion. Once certified, you will be able to join one of our homologated schools whose need for instructor is real.

To be succesfully certified, the instructor candidate must have a consistent and solid knowledge in navigation and sailing. It is very important to note that the certification is not a training but an evaluation of the candidate's abilities. It is therefore essential to be well prepared before you apply, and the best way to be ready is by being mentored by either a sailing school or a certified instructor.

For complete details about the content of the certification, read the document on the Basic cruising instructor certification on the Sail Canada website.

Overview of the prices and calendar

Registration Until January 20th 2020 298$
Examinations February 20th 2020
Pedagogic Workshop April 3rd to 5th 2020
On water session June 13th to 14th 2020 644$
Examination retake to be confirmed 90$
On water session retake to be confirmed 438$

Payement for the first part of the certification (298$) is due for January 20th.
Payement for the on water session is due for June 1st.
Prices include taxes.


  • To be 18 or older;
  • To have a basic cruising Sail Canada certificate;
  • To have a basic coastal navigation Sail Canada certificate;
  • To have at least a two-year experience as a skipper (with a mnimum of 15 days on water or 150 hours);
  • To have a valid General First Aid + CPR level A from a Nationally recongnized organization;
  • To have the PCOC
  • To have the ROC with ASN certificate;
  • To be recommanded by an homologated sailing school;
  • To submit your sailing résumé (please download and use our template).

These prerequisites must have been obtained and transmitted to the FVQ before January 20th.

Certification steps and process

Part 1 : application and registration

The registration deadline is January 20th.

Following the examination of your application, at the condition that your prerequisites are all submitted, we will inform you by February 1st if you have been selected to join the certification process.

You may first send us your Résumé so that we can inform you if your application can be accepted. Be aware that this does not change the deadline for submitting the complete application.

To register, use the registration form.

Part 2 : Examinations

Candidates knowledge is tested through the examination process. Note that passing mark for canidates instructor is higher than for student for the same exam (as an example, passing mark for Basic cruising for students is 70% while for insrtructor candidates it is 90%).

If you have passed one of the exams during the last 12 months and have obtained the required mark you may be allowed not to retake it, at the condition that the examination paper can be provided.

Examination details :

ExamDurationPassing markMinimal mark to apply for a retake
Basic cruising 2 hours 90% 70%
Intermediate cruising 2 hours 70% 60%
Sail Canada Rules and Buoyage Exam 2 hours 90% 70%
7 Working Papers Outboard motor To do at home 90% n/a
Inboard motors To do at home 90% n/a
Marine toilets To do at home 90% n/a
Sail Canada policies To do at home 90% n/a
Local knowledge To do at home 90% n/a
Safety equipment To do at home 90% n/a
Man at sea procedure To do at home 90% n/a

Part 3 : Pedagogic workshop

The workshop takes place on a weekend.

During the worhsop, candidates learn the basics of pedagogy in the context of sport and sailing. Thanks to ressources provided by Voile Québec, each candidate prepare a lesson on a subject he was given two weeks in advance. The candidate gives his lesson as if teaching to students.

This weekend is a precious moment to gain knowledge about the missions and challenges of any instructor. It also is the moment when candidates do their PCOC and ROC exams. These exams when successful will allow the future instructors to conduct the PCOC and ROC courses for their future students.

Part 4: On water session

The on water session takes place on a weekend.

On this step of the process, candidates will be evaluated on their abilities to sail with a crew and alone. The evaluation covers a number of manoeuvers and elements including safety manoeuvers (man at sea, etc.). The candidate is informed in advance about the elements which will be evaluated.

At the end of this step, there are three possible outcomes:

  • You have passed the on water evaluation and the exams : you are certified;
  • You have passed the on water evaluation but still have to retake some exams : you will be cecrtified when all exams are passed
  • You have not passed the on water evaluation : you will have to do a retake within a year.

All certifications are valid for a period of three years until the 31st of December of the third year.

Keeping your certification up to date

Following your registration, we created your Sail Canada profile and have added all your prerequisites and certifications to it. As soon as you are certified as a Basic cruising instructor, we add this certification to your profile.

Sail Canada annual membership

In order to work as a sailing instructor, to give Sail Canada certification, and to benefit fromSkipper's Plan Instructor liability Insurrance, you need to pay yearly your Sail Canada Membership. Being a Sail Canada instructor is therefore conditionned by your membership, which can only be paid if all your requisites and certification are up to date.

Staying active, which includes paying your annual membership, has also consequences when it comes to updating your certifcations.
Every three years, at the end of your certification validity period, if you have been active every year you will have the opportunity to recertify for the next three years byu attending seminars at the FVQ annual Conference. For instructors who have not kept an active profile, the recertification process is both more time taking and more expensive. They will need to attend the Pedagogy workshop and to pass one exam.
Note that after ten years, if not updated, certifications will be lost.

Instructor Physical Competency and Medical

Every instructor has to proove that his physical condition allows him to skip and manoeuver the boat alone.Physical condition is verified by Transport Canada doctors who will deliver Marine Medical to the instructors(list of doctors accredited by Transport Canada).

For basic cruising instructors who do not give any courses with life on board, Marine medical can be replaced by an Instructor Physical Competency Evaluation. To pass the evaluation, the instructor must show that he is able to do all the elements of the basic cruising instructor on water session alone. New instructors can therefore use their succesful on water session as a Physical Competency Evaluation in order to complete their Sail Canada instructor profile without having to pass their Marine Medical, at the very condition that they will not give any course with live aboard.

The Marine Medical or the Physical Competency Evaluation must be renewed for each recertification, which means every three years.


With you Sailing Résumé (to dowload our template click here) and pictures of your prerequisites at hand, click here to access the registration form.

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