Brian, the SVMO Study Guide is here: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/tp ... u-1313.htm
There is a sample question at the end of each section. The guide is just that, a guide as to what to study, it is not a text book. Resources, including text books and web references, are listed in section 2.3 of the Guide.
If your candidates have never worked aboard a vessel, they are not eligible to write the SVMO exams. Marine Personnel Regulations, says:
Small Vessel Machinery Operator
151. (1) An applicant for a Small Vessel Machinery Operator certificate shall meet the requirements set out in column 1 of the table to this subsection and the corresponding specifications set out in column 2.
Column 1 Column 2
Item Requirements Specifications
1. Experience Acquire at least two months of qualifying service as follows:
(a) at least 1 month of sea service as an engineer or a rating performing engine-room duties on one or more motor vessels; and
(b) any remaining time any combination of the types of service set out in item 2 of the table to subsection 147(1).
2. Certificates to be provided to the examiner
(a) MED with respect to small passenger vessel safety; and
(b) marine basic first aid.
3. Pass examinations (a) Written examination on general engineering knowledge of small vessels, after meeting the requirements of items 1 and 2; and
(b) after passing the examination referred to in paragraph (a),
(i) oral examination on general engineering knowledge of small vessels if applying for an unrestricted certificate, and
(ii) practical examination on board the vessel in respect of which the certificate is sought if applying for the restricted certificate referred to in subsection (2).
(2) Despite item 1 of the table to subsection (1), an applicant for a Small Vessel Machinery Operator certificate restricted for use on board a specified passenger-carrying vessel that has a propulsive power of less than 750 kW and is engaged on a limited near coastal voyage, Class 2 or a sheltered waters voyage may, instead of meeting the requirements of that item,
(a) successfully complete training related to the propulsion system and safety systems fitted on the vessel; or
(b) acquire at least 10 days of sea service performing engine-room duties on the vessel or a vessel of the same class. http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/SOR-2007- ... 1-gb:s_144
As you can see, the SVMO Unrestricted needs 60 days of qualifying service and the restricted needs 10 days on the vessel in question, or a sister vessel.
The holder of an SVMO CoC can act as Engineer on vessels specified in sections 219 to 221 of the MPR, provided the additional conditions enumerated in these sections are met.
The SVMO does not require a 100% mark to pass the exam, (it's 60%, same as every other Engineering Exam) nor is it targeted to any particular type of vessel. The spectrum is a broad one and affords the opportunity for anyone who has been around small vessels long enough to have a fighting chance to gain the qualification. I don't expect any SVMO candidate to score 100% on the exam, but I do expect that if a candidate has been around vessels long enough, they will pass. It's not designed as "entry level", the candidate should know his or her way around before attempting the exam.
As you can see from the above, the least of the qualifying service, that of 10 days service or training specific to the vessel in question, requires a practical examination aboard the vessel IN ADDITION to the written and oral Exams in table item 3. That neccesitates the Examiner to go aboard the vessel and administer the oral examination there, in which case, the candidate better know his way around. The old "Restricted Engineer" merely needed an oral practical exam on the vessel. It's a bit different since the advent of the Canada Shipping Act 2001, which came into effect on 1 July 2007, people actually have to know what they are doing now.
Incidentally, the penalties for failure, specified in TP2293 section 2.12, table IX, apply for SVMO toohttp://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/tp ... u-2254.htm
On the same principle, it is not neccesary to have time at sea to renew Certificates of Competence. The candidate for renewal with no sea time in the past 5 years, however, must pass an Oral or written exam on General Engineering Knowledge at the appropriate level. In essence, you can swop sea time for an Exam pass in these cases. (other conditions apply check MPR 107 for Engineers)
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