Boat Operator Accredited Training™ (BOAT)

The Lifesaving Society is a Transport Canada approved testing organization and course provider as part of the Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Program. The Boat Operator Accredited Training (BOAT)™ program is designed to prepare candidates to write and pass a standardized Transport Canada Exam to earn their Pleasure Craft Operator (PCO) Card. Candidates learn about many aspects of safe boating, including:

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

BOAT Test Centres have the option to offer the BOAT course and may facilitate challenge exams where individuals who have prior training or boating knowledge challenge a Transport Canada Boating Safety Test to earn their Pleasure Craft Operator (PCO) Card.

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

Evaluation: Candidates must achieve 75% on a current Transport Canada Boating Safety Tees. They may re-write the exam at any official exam-writing session.

Prerequisite(s): None

Who Needs The Pleasure Craft Operator (PCO) Card?

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.

Age & Horsepower Restrictions:


Horsepower Restrictions

Under 12 years of age, and not directly supervised

Can operate a vessel with no more than 10 hp (7.5 KW)

Between 12 and 16 years of age, and not directly supervised

Can operate a vessel with no more than 40 hp (30 kW)

Under 16 years of age

Not allowed to operate a PWC (i.e. seadoos, jetskis)

16 years of age and older

No power restrictions

How to get a PCO Card

Federal regulations require all operators of motorized boats and personal watercraft to carry proof of competency such as a Pleasure Craft Operator (PCO) card in accordance with the standards and guidelines established by Transport Canada.

The Boating Safety Test:

  • Consists of 50 questions
  • Is designed to be suitable for any age group
  • Multiple-choice with a pass mark of 38/50 or 75%

Several Options are Available

The Society has several options for anyone interested in obtaining their Pleasure Craft Operators card through us.

Option 1 -- Write the Test

If you are an experienced boater, or have formal training as a boat operator, this may be the option for you. Simply call any Lifesaving Society BOAT Test Center and arrange to write the Transport Canada Boating Safety Test. Check our list of Lifesaving Society BOAT Test Centers below to find the one closest to you.

Option 2 -- Study at Home

Read the BOAT Study Guide, brush up on your boating knowledge, then drop in to your local BOAT Test Center and write the Transport Canada Boating Safety Test.

The BOAT Study Guide is available from all our BOAT Test Centers or can be ordered directly from the Lifesaving Society by visiting THE SHOP.

Option 3 -- Boat Operator Accredited Training (BOAT) Course

Many of our BOAT Test Centers will offer the 4 hour BOAT course which will teach the basics in safe boating. Course providers include the option to write the Transport Canada Boating Safety Test to obtain your PCO card immediately following the 4 hour BOAT course.

PCO Card Replacement

Cards issued by the Lifesaving Society

The Lifesaving Society maintains a database of all individuals who have obtained a Pleasure Craft Operator Card from the Society. Individuals can request a replacement card and will charged an administrative replacement fee. Contact the Lifesaving Society at 780-415-1755 or

Cards issued by other Organizations

Transport Canada has authorized the Lifesaving Society to issue replacement Pleasure Craft Operator (PCO) Cards to individuals who obtained their PCO card from another organization.

Individuals must demonstrate to the Lifesaving Society that they had previously had a PCO card. This can be done in three ways:

  1. Provide a photocopy of the original PCO card;
  2. Provide a copy of the letter that accompanied the PCO card when it was originally issued (must feature the card number, candidate name, address and date of birth); or
  3. Provide a verification letter issued by Transport Canada.

Individuals who require a replacement PCO card from an organization that is no longer in business or that has been suspended will need to contact Transport Canada.


Contacting Transport Canada

Transport Canada can issue a verification letter (valid for 60 days). 

Contact information: or 1-800-267-6687

BOAT Study Guide

There are about 10 million "boaters" in Canada. Over 40% of all Canadians 16 years of age and over get into a boat annually. But not all consider themselves boaters. The vast majority use boats to go fishing or camping, to water-ski, or as transportation.

Every time you go out on the water, there is a risk that you are in for more adventure than you expect. And the outcome may well depend on how prepared you are.

The Boat Study Guide contains everything you need to know to pass the Transport Canada Boating Safety Test for a Pleasure Craft Operator (PCO) Card.

The Boat Study Guide is available on-line through THE SHOP.

BOAT Test Centers

Lifesaving Society BOAT Test Centers are authorized to offer the BOAT Course, sell the BOAT Study Guide, and administer the Transport Canada Boating Safety Test (for the PCO card). Contact the BOAT Test Center nearest to you to explore any of these options.

Current BOAT Test Center Listings, updated December 6, 2018. 




Facility Name

Phone Number



Town of Taber

Aquafun Centre

(403) 223-5544

Medicine Hat

Medicine Hat Family YMCA

Medicine Hat Family YMCA

(403) 527-4426

Pincher Creek

Town of Pincher Creek

Pincher Creek Pool

(403) 627-2565



City of Calgary

Acadia Pool & Fitness Centre

(403) 253-5999


City of Calgary

Foothills Pool

(403) 282-7309


City of Calgary

Glenmore Pool

(403) 243-2815


Calgary Winter Club

Calgary Winter Club

(403) 289-5511


Evan Poisson

Evan Poisson

(403) 279-4779


Glencoe Club

Glencoe Club

(403) 287-4114


Stanley Szumlas

Stanley Szumlas

(403) 272-4623


Town of Clareholms

Clareholm Aquatic Centre

(403) 625-2172


Town of Canmore

Elevation Place

(403) 678-8930

High River

Robert Giles

Robert Giles

(403) 652-1799



City of Lloydminster

Bioclean Aquatic Centre

(780) 875-4497


Border Driver Education

Border Driver Education

(780) 875-0179


Town of Drumheller

Drumheller Aquaplex

(403) 823-1322


Town of Killam

Flagstaff Regional Aquatic Centre

(403) 385-3080

Sylvan Lake

H. J. Cody High School

H. J. Cody High School

(403) 887-2412


Town of Hanna

Hanna Pool

(403) 854-3983


Western Financial Group

Western Financial Group

(780) 853-6272


Lakeland College School of Ag & Enviro Sciences

Lakeland College School

(780) 853-8735

Drayton Valley

Town of Drayton Valley

Park Valley Pool

(780) 514-2225


Town of Ponoka

Ponoka Aquaplex

(403) 783-0110


Reg Kozoway

Reg Kozoway

(780) 632-7169


City of Lacombe

Kinsmen Aquatic Centre

(403) 782-1251

Rocky Mountain House

Town of Rocky Mountain House

Credit Union Co-op Aquatic Centre

(403) 845-6977

Three Hills

Town of Three Hills

Three Hills Aquatic Centre

(403) 443-2166


Town of Vegreville

Vegreville Aquatic Centre

(780) 623-6403

Drayton Valley

Vital Safety Training

Vital Safety Training

(780) 542-2016










Lifesaving Society Alberta and Northwest Territories

Lifesaving Society Alberta and Northwest Territories

(780) 415-1755


Derrick Club

Derrick Club

(780) 437-1833


City of Edmonton

Millwoods Pool

(780) 496-2931


Robert Campbell

Robert Campbell

(780) 463-3033


Summerside Residents Association

Summerside Residents Association

(780) 497- 7558


University of Alberta

U of A Pool

(780) 492-1008

St. Albert

City of St. Albert

Fountain Park Recreation Centre

(780) 459-1553


Samantha Menzel

Samantha Menzel

(780) 967-4339


Cold Lake

CFB Cold Lake

CFB Cold Lake

(780) 840 – 8000 Ext. 7111

Cold Lake

Jean Marc Michaud

Jean Marc Michaud

(780) 639-2377

Lac La Biche

Lac La Biche County

Portage Pool

(780) 623-6778

Fox Creek

Mitch Carter

Mitch Carter

(780) 622-3896

Cold Lake

Nancy Perry

Boreal Forest Guides

(780) 826-0837

Slave Lake

Northern Lakes College

Northern Lakes College

(780) 849-8600

Peace River

Town of Peace River

Peace Regional Pool

(780) 624-3720


Municipal District of Opportunity No 17

Wabasca Water World and Fitness Centre

(780) 891-3900


Town of Westlock

Westlock Recreation Centre

(780) 349-3103


D.R. Harris Training and Safety Ltd

D.R. Harris Training and Safety Ltd

(780) 832-5009

Northwest Territories

Fort Smith

Kevin Antoniak

Kevin Antoniak

(867) 872-3143


City of Yellowknife

Ruth Inch Memorial Pool

(867) 920-5683

Hay River

Town of Hay River

Don Stewart Recreation Centre

(867) 874-6500

Out of Province

Port Hardy, BC

District of Port Hardy

Port Hardy Recreation

(250) 949-6686


Whitehorse, YT

Anne Morgan

Anne Morgan

(867) 668-2389

Winnipeg, MB

Manitoba Branch

Manitoba Branch

(204) 956-2124