Bridge Watch Rating Program

The Bridge Watch Rating program for women and Indigenous peoples gets you the skills to start a nautical career aboard commercial vessels.

Students learning rigging fall arrest

Program at a glance



Work experience


Study options


Open to International


Other nautical training courses

Camosun's Department of Professional Studies and Industry Training offers industry-approved Marine Training Certification taught by industry professionals.
Marine training

Begin your career at sea!

Indigenous people and women who are Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents are invited to participate in the fully-funded Bridge Watch Rating program to learn and enhance seamanship skills, earn nationally-recognized certifications, and embark upon an exciting, entry-level career in the Marine industry.

Transport Canada OPP BCIT logos

Supported by Transport Canada and OPP (Oceans Protection Plan), and via a partnership with BCIT,  Camosun’s Bridge Watch Rating program provides a pathway for you to enter into rewarding marine sector careers. You’ll learn the essential knowledge and skills related to the practice of seamanship, navigation, standards of safe working procedures, and the hazards associated with the marine environment.

Learn from experienced sailors, take field trips, practice hands-on techniques, undertake a practicum at sea, and earn nationally recognized Transport Canada marine certifications.  Marine-based employers are excited to hire our graduates!

A Camosun success story

Richard Watts, a recent graduate from the Bridge Watch Rating program, talks about his experience with the program.

Train on a variety of marine vessels

The program is designed to provide entry-level personnel with base-level knowledge of seamanship to prepare for a career at sea with:

  • BC Ferries
  • Canadian Coast Guard
  • local tug operators
  • cruise ships
  • deep-sea vessels, and more.

In addition to working on commercial vessels, career opportunities exist for:

  • water-based ecotourism
  • commercial fishing
  • sport fishing
  • travel
  • other recreational marine guiding roles
Richard Watts, a recent graduate from the Bridge Watch Rating program, steers the "Adventure" out of dock in Prince Rupert.

“Yesterday I was able to check off one of my lifelong goals. I took the helm for the first time and steered the "Adventure" out of dock in Prince Rupert as we made way to Klemtu.”

Get the skills you need to begin a career on the water

Training covers the hands-on skills and coursework required by Transport Canada for employment. Over 17 weeks (depending on electives) this full-time program is based on three modular courses designed to prepare you for a career in the marine industry.

Gain hands-on skills and knowledge in:

  • Keeping a lookout
  • Steering the vessel
  • Operating communication systems
  • Anchoring and mooring
  • Responding to emergencies
  • Basic environmental protection procedures
  • Assisting in cargo operations
  • Handling ropes and chains

Earn nationally recognized training certificates

  • Transport Canada Bridge Watch Rating Training Certificate
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS 2015)
  • Restricted Operator’s Certificate – Maritime Commercial (ROC – MC) 
  • Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP)
  • Marine Basic First Aid Certificate (MBFA)
  • STCW Basic Safety Training (BST)
  • STCW Proficiency in Survival Craft (PSC)

Program cost

  • All tuition, books, and course materials are provided.
  • Lunch or lunch funds are provided for all students for each day a student is on campus
  • Bus passes for travel within the greater Victoria area are provided
  • Students who must relocate to attend training may be eligible to receive accommodations and meals for the time that they are away from home.

Costs not covered:

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Vehicle payments and insurance
  • Groceries
  • Child/elder/pet care
  • Phone and internet
  • Extended health care

Curriculum & courses

Program start

Multiple start dates are available throughout the year. The course is offered at Camosun College in Victoria with supplementary training at BCIT in North Vancouver. Contact for more details on dates, location, entrance requirements, and prerequisites, or to apply for the Bridge Watch Rating program.

Apply today

Contact for more details.

Class hours: 8:30 am-4 pm, Monday - Friday excluding statutory holidays and College closures.

Contact us

If you have questions about what you can expect to learn in your Trades classes contact

Faculty/staff profile

Captain Morteza Peivast

Capt. Morteza Peivast

Program Lead

Faculty/staff profile

Captain Rick Worral

Capt. Rick Worrall


Faculty/staff profile


Capt. Michael Toevs


Faculty/staff profile

Cindy Drover-Davidson

Cindy Drover-Davidson

Bridge Watch Rating Coordinator

Born and raised on Newfoundland's West Coast, Cindy gradually made her way across the country to Victoria. At every stop through the country, Cindy ta ...

Read more

Student learning on a nautical simulator

A career at sea!

Get the skills to start a nautical career aboard commercial vessels.

Contact information

Bridge Watch Rating Program