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​​​​​​SHSM Programs

Certi​fica​tion with NVCA

Stream Assessment SHSM Program.JPG

NVCA’s environmental educators draw on their expertise and the wealth of talented scientist on-staff to offer unique programming for students in the Environmental Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) sector.

Through our programs, students benefit from:

  • Hands-on and experiential learning
  • Written and/or practical evaluations
  • Certificates upon successful completion 

Stream assessments, habitat restoration and wilderness skills such as canoeing, map reading and shelter building are just some of the SHSM certification programs we offer. 

You might consider combining two or more programs with an overnight group camping experience at Tiffin.

See below for a full list of programs. We continue to add to new programs, so if you don’t see what you are looking for, contact our education staff to discuss your ideas.


ICE Tra​​​ining

NVCA also offers Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) training. 

Innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship are three valuable skills for students to gain to help them tackle real-world challenges. 

This program provides students the opportunity to brainstorm and create an idea, develop a plan and build the confidence to present it through strategies gained.

Students then present their idea to sector partners available within the conservation authority and gain applicable responses from knowledgeable staff.​

All 24 SHSM sector certifications include ICE training. While our focus is on environmental SHSM, we can tailor our ICE training to almost any sector, including agriculture, business, arts & culture, non-profit, hospitality & tourism and more. Contact our education staff to learn more.


Book your Program

To plan your SHSM certification program, contact NVCA’s environmental education team at 705-424-1479 ext. 280 or outdoored@nvca.on.ca


​SHSM Certification Programs

​Introduction to Global Positioning Syst​ems (GPS)

  • Students learn use GPS to navigate. They learn the basics of navigation and are introduced to UTM coordinates.
  • Length: 5 hours
  • Cost per Student: $50
  • Location: Tiffin Centre for Conservation

​Species Identification—Tree
available upon special request

  • Students learn about the structure and parts of trees and how to identify a tree through the various parts, culminating with a Orienteering Tree ID. course. 
  • Length: 3 hours
  • Cost per Student: $30
  • Location: Tiffin Centre for Conservation

SHSM 2017.JPGHabitat Restoration
2-part program 

  • Part one: Principles of reforestation and streamside habitat restoration will be explained through presentation and experienced through hands-on stream modelling to witness cause and effect on water quality downstream.
  • Length: 2 hours
  • Cost per Student: $25 
  • Location: Your classroom; outreach mileage fee applies

  • Part two: Completion of part one puts your class on the list to participate in an active restoration project with NVCA Stewardship.
  • Length: 5 hours
  • Cost per Student: Free
  • Location: TBD, bussing fees apply

Knot Techniques
available upon special request

  • available upon special request
  • Students will learn 8 different knots and be assessed on proficiency within a practical setting
  • Length: 5 hours
  • Cost per Student: $50
  • Location: Tiffin Centre for Conservation

Introduction to Map & Compass Use

  • Students will learn to navigate using topographic maps and bearings
  • Length: 5 hours
  • Cost per Student: $50
  • Location: Tiffin Centre for Conservation

Paddling Techniques
available upon special​ request

  • Students spend half the program time learning water safety and canoe rescues. The second half of the day is spent mastering canoe handling skills on Papa Bear Pond at the Tiffin Centre. 
  • Length: 5 hours
  • Cost per Student: $70 (includes certification through ORCKA)
  • Location: Local pool, Tiffin Centre for Conservation, or location TBD

​Stream Assessment Protocol
2-part program

  • Part one: Principles and practices of stream assessment.
  • Length: 2 hours
  • Cost per Student: $25 
  • Location: Your classroom; outreach mileage fee applies.

  • Part two: Students will investigate a local stream and assess its health utilizing standardized methodologies from the Ontario Streams Assessment Protocol (OSAP) 
  • Length: 5 hours
  • Cost per Student: $50 
  • Location: Hands-on stream assessment at location TBD.

Bear Creek Nov. 5 2015 034 Low Ropes.JPGLeadership Skills
This certification is valid for all sectors of the SHSM program.

  • ​To lead effectively is a life skill needed in many circumstances through one’s career. Students will be run through many different tasks to allow different types of leaders to shine.
  • Length: 5 hours
  • Cost per Student: $50
  • Location: Tiffin Centre for Conservation

​Wilderness Survival
This certification is valid for Environmental, Non-Profit, Hospitality & Tourism, and Justice SHSMs.

  • Students will gain experience in constructing emergency shelters and fire building. 
  • Length: 5 hours
  • Cost per Student: $50
  • Location: Tiffin Centre for Conservation​