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Transport Canada Approved Marine Certificate Programs & Nautical Courses and DTCW Training in Ladysmith, BC

western maritime institute wmi

Founded in 2000, Western Maritime Institute (WMI) was established to provide marine training in urban and rural locations throughout British Columbia and Canada to meet the accreditation training standards established by Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard and Industry Canada for the fishing, commercial and recreational marine industry.

With campuses located in Ladysmith and Richmond, B.C., as well as the ability to bring the classroom to communities all over Canada, WMI is greatly accessible to seafarers. The fully-equipped Ladysmith campus includes fire-fighting and survival craft training simulators, making it one of only two campuses in Western Canada to include these facilities.


All instructors are a mix of foreign-going Masters and Masters with B.C. coastal experience all with years of industry experience. They are individually accredited by Transport Canada for the courses they teach and hold approved Provincial teaching credentials.

wmi ladysmith campus

Training Programs




Marine Certificate Programs

  • Marine Emergency Duties (Domestic and STCW): Training for the crews of small domestic vessels and applicants for Certificates of Competency not subject to the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW 2010) Convention, and training that is fully compliant with the STCW 2010 Convention, intended for the crews of large vessels and applicants for Certificates of Competency subject to the STCW 2010 Convention.
  • Bridge Watch Rating Program (12 weeks): The Transport Canada accredited Bridge Watch Rating program at Western Maritime Institute provides excellent entry level training for those who have little or no marine experience but would like to work as deckhands in the marine industry.
  • Master Limited 60GT or Less: After successfully completing the courses at WMI and Transport Canada oral exam, you can act as Master on any vessel less than 60 gross tonnage of a type, tonnage, area and period of operation specified on the certificate and engaging on Near Coastal, Class 2 or Sheltered Waters voyage(s).
  • Chief Mate 150GT, Domestic: After successfully completing the courses at WMI and Transport Canada oral exam, you can act as - Chief Mate on board a vessel of 150 gross tonnage or less engaged on a near coastal voyage, Class 2; Chief Mate on board a vessel of 500 gross tonnage or less engaged on a sheltered waters voyage; and Chief Mate on board a vessel of 150 gross tonnage or less engaged on a limited voyage, contiguous waters, if endorsed as such.
  • Master 150GT, Domestic: After successfully completing the courses at WMI and Transport Canada oral exam, you can act as Master on board a vessel of not more than 150GT engaged on voyages in Canadian domestic waters up to 25 miles off shore and adjoining United States waters; Master on board a vessel of not more than 500GT engaged on a coastal voyage not more than one mile off shore; and Master on board a vessel of not more than 150GT engaged on a limited voyage, contiguous waters, if endorsed as such.
  • Chief Mate 500GT, Domestic: After successfully completing the courses at WMI and Transport Canada oral exam, you can act as Chief Mate of a vessel 500 gross tonnage or less engaged on a Near Coastal Voyage, Class 2; Officer in charge of the watch of a vessel 3000 gross tonnage or less engaged on a Near Coastal Voyage, Class 2; Chief Mate of a vessel of 3000 gross tonnage or less engaged on a sheltered-waters voyage; and Chief Mate on a vessel of 500 gross tonnage or less engaged on a limited voyage, contiguous waters (adjoining US waters), if endorsed as such.
  • Master 500GT, Domestic: After successfully completing the courses at WMI and Transport Canada oral exam, you can act as Master on board a vessel that is 500 gross tonnage or less engaged on a Near Coastal Voyage, Class 2 (or class 1 if certificate is endorsed for a limited, contiguous waters, voyage); Chief Mate on board a vessel of 3000 gross tonnage or less engaged on a Near Coastal Voyage, Class 2 (or class 1 if certificate is endorsed for a limited, contiguous waters, voyage), or Master on board a vessel of 3000 gross tonnage or less engaged on a Sheltered Waters Voyage.
  • Watchkeeping Mate, Near Coastal: Students who have successfully complete this certificate may act as Chief Mate on board a vessel of not more than 3,000 gross tonnage on a near coastal voyage, and Chief Mate on board a vessel of any tonnage engaged on a sheltered waters voyage.
  • Watchkeeping Mate of a Fishing Vessel: The holder of a Watchkeeping Mate of a Fishing Vessel may act as Officer in Charge of the Watch of a Fishing Vessel not more than 150 gross tonnage or 24 metres in overall length engaged on a - Limited Contiguous Waters Voyage; or Near Coastal, Class 2; or Sheltered Waters Voyage.
  • Fishing Master 4: The holder of the Fishing Master 4 Certificate of Competency may act as Master on board a Fishing Vessel of not more than 100 gross tonnage engaged on a Near Coastal or Sheltered Waters voyage and as Officer in Charge of the Watch of a Fishing Vessel of any tonnage engaged on Near Coastal and Sheltered Waters Voyages.
  • Fishing Master 3: The Fishing Master Third Class Certificate of Competency holder may act as Master of a Fishing Vessel of any tonnage engaged on a Near Coastal or Sheltered Waters Voyage and as Officer in Charge of a Watch of a Fishing Vessel of any tonnage engaged on an Unlimited Voyage.
  • Small Vessel Machinery Operator Certificate (SVMO): The holder of a Small Vessel Machinery Operator Certificate may act as Chief Engineer or Watchkeeping Engineer on a motor vessel. The certificate is valid on small passenger vessels and workboats with various restrictions based on the vessel’s propulsive power engine size as well as area and duration of operations.
  • Small Vessel Operator Proficiency: The SVOP provides basic theoretic knowledge to those with specified practical skills and experience in small commercial power-driven vessels less than 5 gross tonnage or fishing vessels less than 15 gross tonnage.

Marine Courses

  • Cargo Level 2
  • Chartwork & Pilotage Level 1
  • Chartwork & Pilotage Level 2
  • Communications (Former Comm 1)
  • Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS)
  • Engineering Knowledge Level 1
  • General Ship Knowledge Level 1
  • General Ship Knowledge Level 3
  • Leadership and Teamwork
  • Leadership & Managerial Skills
  • Marine Advanced First Aid (STCW)
  • Marine Basic First Aid (STCW)
  • MED Domestic Vessel Safety (Former MED A1/A2)
  • MED Small Domestic Vessel Basic Safety (Former MED A3)
  • MED STCW Advanced Firefighting (Former MED B2 + C)
  • MED STCW Basic Safety Training (Former MED A1 + B2)
  • MED STCW Basic Safety Training Refresher
  • MED STCW Survival Craft (Former MED B1)
  • MED STCW Basic Safety Training + Survival Craft Refresher
  • MED STCW Refresher (Basic Safety Training + Survival Craft+ Advanced Firefighting)
  • Meteorology Level 1
  • Navigation Safety Level 1
  • Navigation Safety Level 1 & Orals Prep
  • Restricted Operator Certificate - Marine (ROC-M)
  • Restricted Operator Certificate - Marine Commercial (ROC-MC)
  • Ship Construction and Stability Level 1
  • Ship Construction and Stability Level 2
  • Ship Construction and Stability Level 3
  • Ship Construction and Stability Level 4
  • Ship Management Level 2
  • Simulated Electronic Navigation - Limited (SEN-L)
  • SEN - Electronic Positioning Systems (Former SEN 1A)
  • SEN - Operational (Former SEN 1B)
  • SEN - Management

MEA-WMI Facts

  • Campus Location: Ladysmith/Nanaimo, B.C. & Richmond, B.C. (Steveston Port Authority)
  • Legal Recognition / Accreditation: Transport Canada; Private Career Training Institutions Agency of British Columbia (PCTIA), registration number 3662; British Columbia Education Quality Assurance; and, Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Standard for Certification of Maritime Academies No. 3.403, Nov. 2004

LAST UPDATED ON Oct 20, 2021