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Adventure Tourism Program with Marine & Sailing Courses and Transport Canada Certification in Sooke, BC, Canada

westcoast adventure college wac

Located in Sooke on Vancouver Island BC, the Westcoast Adventure College (WAC) is the place for people interested in careers in Adventure Tourism. Many of the Grads now have leading jobs in the industry and students gain the knowledge, skills, confidence and experience to succeed, working in the Adventure Tourism industry in both Land and Marine based operations.

Students also get to meet the leaders of the tourism industry through visits to companies, projects, Work Experience and as volunteers at the Tourism Industry Conference. In providing students with the learning opportunities in Adventure Tourism which allows and encourages students to achieve a standard of excellence in their coursework


Westcoast Adventure College meet the provincial curriculum for the Adventure Tourism Level 2 and the program consists of 12 Courses. In addition to these courses, students will be able to receive 7 industry related certifications. The college is steps away from the ocean and from a career perspective, is immersed in one of the world’s most profitable and successful tourism industries.

wac marine certification

Training Programs




Marine Courses

  • Marine Foundations (52 hours): In this course, students gain foundational knowledge, skills and certifications to plan and execute safe commercial marine trips. Marine foundations includes Transport Canada and Canadian Coast Guard approved and accredited certificates including Small Vessel Operators Proficiency, Domestic Vessel Safety (previously Marine Emergency Duties A1 & A2), Marine Radio Operator Certificate (ROC -M), and Pleasure Craft Operator Certificate (PCOC).  Students will receive practical training in rigid hull small vessels as well as observational tours on local whale watching vessels and BC Ferries.

Sailing & Kayaking Courses

  • Sailing (54 hours): This course includes theory and practical sailing to ensure students can be skilled and qualified as Crew or Day Skippers on sailing vessels. Students also go on a three-day sailing trip.
  • Sea Kayaking (117 hours): This class introduces students to the world of sea kayaking and guiding. Students will start off in the calm bay at the college, learning basics, and then will progress to rougher waters as the skills required to be safe in varying conditions become consolidated.

Marine Certifications

  • Marine First Aid (15 hours): This course provides comprehensive basic first aid and CPR techniques with scenarios taken from the marine and fishing industry.
  • Domestic Vessel Safety (28 hours): Recognized by Transport Canada, students completing this course receive their DVS certification. This four-day course is designed to provide safety related skills associated with commercial boat operation and ensuring the safety of passengers.
  • Small Vessel Operators Proficiency (27 hours): This course fills the requirement for Small Passenger Vessel Operations on non-pleasure vessels operating within 20 miles of shore. Topics include maritime hazards and emergencies, emergency response, firefighting, lifesaving equipment, abandonment, passenger safety, signalling devices and rescue response.
  • ROC-M - Canadian Marine VHF Restricted Radio Operator License: This maritime radio course teaches emergency radio procedures, as well as everyday operating techniques. The course ties in with the Marine Foundations course and prepares students for the Restricted Radio Operator Certificate (Maritime) exam.

Sailing & Kayaking certifications

  • ISPA Competent Crew: Successful graduates of this course are certified as being competent to crew aboard a sailing vessel in tidal waters, and in an emergency to substitute as skipper. The certificate holder is certified as competent to sail a vessel under 30 ft, where no navigational hazards exist, within 5 miles of safe harbor (during daylight hours, in light to moderate wind conditions).
  • SKGABC Day Guide: Successful graduates of this course will be Sea Kayak day guides with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC. This certification ties in with the Sea Kayaking course, teaching students paddle strokes, rescue techniques, route planning, group management and leadership skills.

Other Courses in Adventure Tourism Program

  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Adventure Tourism Business
  • Heritage Interpretation
  • Leadership And Communication
  • Adventure Foundations
  • Survival Skills
  • Practical First Aid
  • Camp Skills
  • Entrepreneurship

Last Updated: June 23, 2021