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Our goal is to provide our participants with a challenging program that leans into the edges of their comfort zone and pushes their personal boundaries but we also want to ensure that we are maintaining personal safety.  


The following strategies support a positive and safe participant experience:

  • All participants are provided with high quality safety equipment including rain gear, sleeping bags and personal clothing items.

  • Participants can access bursaries, transportation support and connection to services prior to and after courses.

  • Instructors foster a positive team environment that encourages healthy risk taking and peer support

  • During programs time is allotted for reflection, debriefing and sharing as well as one on one mentorship

  • Program fosters group decision making and conflict resolution

  • Direct supervision by an adult is provided at all times

  • Self care is encouraged in terms of hydration, nutrition, staying warm / cool and getting adequate sleep while on course.

  • Program itinerary is flexible to adapt to changing weather and group conditions

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We have a varied crew of staff who bring their unique expertise to our programs.  All of our administrative and instructional staff must meet standards relevant to the scope of their role at Sea School.
These include:  

  • Internal Training programs - including NSSS Risk Management training and NSSS Instructor Standards for Assistant and Head Instructors

  • External Certifications - Wilderness First Aid, Marine Emergency Duties, Small Vessel Operator Permits, Marine Radio Operators, Mental Health First Aid

  • Criminal record check / Vulnerable Sector checks and Child Abuse Registry checks


We go the extra mile to make sure we are meeting current standards for our sailing and wilderness programs which includes adhering to Transport Canada’s regulations for coastal sailing voyages and maintaining high quality equipment, vessels and facilities for our expeditions.


Our standards include:

  • Sailing vessels are registered and compliant with Transport Canada’s Small Vessel Compliance Program for commercial passenger vessels

  • Annual fleet inspections and maintenance schedule

  • Ongoing monitoring of facilities and access to remote areas

  • Ongoing checks on equipment and upgrading / replacing as necessary.



NSSS has an organization wide risk evaluation and response procedure in place to identify risk ongoing with the intention to prevent incidents and where necessary to provide appropriate response.  


Initiatives include:

  • A third party reviewed Emergency Action Response Plan that instructors, admin staff, board members and volunteers are trained through scenario based learning.

  • Multiple communication devices on course including VHF Radios, Satellite Phones, Cellular Phones, Personal / Vessel  Locating Devices(EPIRB), GPS Devices and SPOT Messenger locators.

  • NSSS has direct lines of communication and Emergency Action response review with Joint Rescue Coordination Centre and Canadian Coast Guard

  • Logistical support pre arranged with over 50 volunteer community partners that are familiar with our response plan

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