SDV-BS Victoria and Vancouver Island


SDV-BS (Small Domestic Vessel – Basic Safety,  formerly known as MED-A3) is designed for the Master and crew members of small commercial vessels. The purpose of the course is to comply with Transport Canada requirements for safety and emergency protocols, firefighting and vessel and passenger safety relevant to:

  • Small passenger vessels with no more than 12 passengers.
  • Fishing vessels no more than 15 gross tons.
  • Small commercial work boats not more than 15 gross tons.

Map to FMI / Course PDF

The SDV-BS course is held on site at FMI in North Saanich near Victoria, BC. The course PDF will be emailed to you once you’ve purchased the course. So that our emails don’t go to your spam folder, we recommend whitelisting or adding our email address ( ) to a safe senders list in your email app, or check your spam/junk folders if you do not receive the notification email after purchasing the course.  A hard copy of the course manual will be provided for in-class use.

Address & Google Map:

10875 Inwood Road, North Saanich BC, V8L 5H9.

What You’ll Learn

The SDV-BS course will provide the student with:

  • A basic understanding of the hazards related to the marine environment and their own vessel, and of how to prevent shipboard incidents, including fire;
  • The knowledge a seafarer will need to raise and react to alarms and deal with emergencies;
  • The ability to provide assistance in fire and abandonment situations; and
  • The knowledge and skills to help them in their own survival and rescue.

SDV-BS Course Manual Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction and course safety

Chapter 2: Hazards and emergencies

Chapter 3: Emergency response

View more chapters

Chapter 4: Marine firefighting

Chapter 5: Lifesaving devices and abandonment

Chapter 6: Survival

Chapter 7: Distress signalling

Chapter 8: Rescue

Chapter 9: Assessment

SDV-BS Course Delivery

  • Classroom sessions include demonstrations, visual and hands-on instruction with safety equipment, videos, whiteboards, and work sheets.
  • Students have opportunities to handle equipment and are expected to demonstrate identified competencies to the instructor.
  • A manual is provided to each student in advance of the course in an electronic format. (Hard copies can be provided if required.)
  • Students are expected to read the manuals in advance of the course.


  • 8 hours

Reviews & SDV-BS Certification Exam

  • Students will be assessed on SDV-BS course material through practical demonstrations of required competencies and an exam compromised of 25 multiple-choice questions. The pass mark for the exam is 70 percent.

Facility & Amenities

Designed to accommodate 8 students, the facility includes amenities and instructional aids, including:

  • Full washroom facilities and kitchen for coffee and lunches
  • Garden outdoor area, first-aid station, and ample parking
  • Food stores and restaurants in Sidney (10 minutes away)
  • Up-to-date marine safety publications and charts
  • Safety and other equipment for demonstrations

Get in Touch

Questions about SDV-BS (MED-A3) or other courses? Give us a call!