WCSS Spill Responder Series Training

Oil spills that enter a watercourse have the potential to cause very serious and widespread damage to the environment. Having an effective response strategy and properly trained response personnel can greatly enhance a company’s response capability and reduce environmental liability.

The Spill Responder Series is intended for individuals who wish to provide accreditation to their employers and/or clients to indicate that they have the most advanced spill response training available in Western Canada.

Upon the completion of the 5 courses, the student will receive certification in Spill Response Management and be recognized by WCSS as an effective contribution to any spill preparedness and response plan in the upstream oil and gas industry.

Each of the following courses include an exam that requires a minimum pass grade of 70%. Where hands-on learning is part of the curriculum, students will be expected to participate in each aspect and demonstrate competent use of the equipment used.

For all other course inquiries, please contact Amy Grenier:

(587) 393-9621

Course Series Details at a Glance*

Name of Course2024 DatesLocationCost plus GSTWhat to BringPrerequisiteRecommendations
SR200July 15 - 16, 2024Nisku, AB$1,100PPE / pen / pencilSR100Steel-toed rubber boots recommended
SR300February 28 - 29, 2024Nisku, AB$1,200Winter PPE / pen / pencilSR100Steel-toed winter boots recommended
SR400-AJuly 17 - 18, 2024Nisku, AB$2,000PPE / pen / pencilSR100Steel-toed rubber boots recommended
SR400-BJuly 19, 2024Fort Saskatchewan Boat Launch$1,200PPESR100 & SR400-ASteel-toed rubber boots recommended
SR500March 20 - 21, 2024Nisku, AB$1,350pen / pencilSR100 ICS 100 (minimum), previous experience in oil spill response
*discounted pricing available when registering for multiple courses within the series

Course Descriptions

All Spill Responder Series courses are designed for anyone working in the following groups:

  • oil and gas industry personnel
  • spill response contractors
  • government personnel who are responsible for responding to spills in surface water and wetlands


LocationOnline / self-study manual
CostFREE / $65 per manual*
What to bringPC or tablet, Google Chrome as a browser
Maximum class size30 for in-house contract classroom setting**

*volume discounts available
**for groups of 10 or more contact shannon.jarrell@wcss.ab.ca 

This one-day awareness level course has been designed to serve as baseline training for the oil and gas industry in Western Canada.  It is recognized by provincial regulators as the minimum recommended level of spill response training for anyone who may be expected to respond to an oil spill.  This includes:

  • supervisors, foremen, superintendents
  • emergency response personnel
  • spill response contractors
  • WCSS member companies who may have missed an annual Oil Spill Cooperative training exercise may choose to complete this training in lieu of attending an exercise. This option is not available to ensure adequate exercise attendance in consecutive years.

The course provides spill responders with basic practical information that will help them to respond quickly and appropriately to a liquid hydrocarbon spill on both land and water. It consists of the following chapters, each with its own quiz:

  • Spill Preparedness Requirements
  • Safety
  • Initial Spill Response Steps
  • Containment and Recovery


DateJULY 15 - 16, 2024 - Click to Register
LocationNisku, AB
What to bringstandard PPE (hard hat, FR clothing, steel-toed rubber boots, gloves, hearing & eye protection), pen / pencil
Maximum class size30

A practical application of the concepts learned in Spill Responder 100;  this  2-day course includes half a day in the classroom to review site access and assessment, containment and recovery tactics, wildlife management, storage and waste management, and decontamination considerations.  The other day and a half are spent in the field where students will have the opportunity to deploy equipment at 4 separate stations, giving them the skills that will prepare them to respond to a release on land that has potential to migrate to moving water, or a small water body.  Specific equipment to be discussed and deployed:

  • watergate dam
  • turner valley gate
  • filter fences
  • anchors
  • boom
  • multiple skimmers

  • inverted weir
  • culvert blocks

  • wildlife deterrents & hazing equipment

  • decontamination area set-up


DateFEBRUARY 28 - 29, 2024 - Click to Register
LocationNisku, AB
What to bringwinter clothing, standard PPE (hard hat, FR clothing, steel-toed boots, gloves, hearing & eye protection), pen / pencil
Maximum class size20

Spill response in a water body with an ice sheet provides its own unique challenges.  Students who complete this 1.5-day course will spend a few hours in a classroom setting in the morning reviewing ice science and the behaviour of oil in ice conditions in a lake and moving water environment, in addition to spill preparedness, initial spill response, and a variety of containment and recovery tactics.  The remainder of the training is field-based and hands-on, and will help students to gain experience with:

  • ice hazard assessment / development of an ice safety plan
  • ice rescue
  • identification of weight-bearing capacity
  • choosing the proper equipment for an effective response in winter conditions
  • ice block removal
  • ice slotting
  • creating current for standing water conditions

  • managing product recovery on the surface of the ice


DateJULY 17 - 18, 2024 - Click to Register
LocationNisku, AB
What to bringstandard PPE (hard hat, FR clothing, steel-toed rubber boots, gloves, hearing & eye protection), pen / pencil
Maximum class size12

Responders will learn how to deploy containment and recovery equipment in open water using WCSS jet boats over the course of 2 days. WCSS-certified operators will be provided in each of the boats.

The first half-day is spent in a classroom session, reviewing regulatory interaction expectations, oil effects and behaviours in medium to large lakes and rivers, access challenges and solutions, and navigating various environmental conditions.

The following 1.5 days give students the opportunity to become well-practiced in handling containment and recovery techniques for large stagnant and flowing water bodies. They will work from jet boats and a barge as crew members and discover the value of strong communication skills in an emergency response setting. The equipment used will include:

  • single engine jet boats
  • various anchors, chain and ropes
  • marker buoys
  • inflatable lake boom
  • boom deflectors
  • standard fast water river boom


DateJULY 19, 2024 - Click to Register
LocationFort Saskatchewan Boat Launch
What to bringstandard PPE (hard hat, FR clothing, steel-toed rubber boots, gloves, hearing & eye protection)
Pre-requisiteSR100 , SR400-A
Maximum class size12

Offered as a stand-alone course that is supplemental to tactics learned in SR400A, responders will learn how to deploy highly specialized containment and recovery equipment in a large river environment. Students that have graduated from SR400 or SR400A are welcome to register for this training. WCSS-certified operators will be provided in each of the boats. The equipment used will include:

  • single engine jet boats
  • twin engine barge with advancing bow skimmer

  • BoomVane

  • circus skimmer

  • vessel debris push


DateMARCH 20 - 21, 2024 - Click to Register
LocationNisku, AB
What to bringpen / pencil
Strongly recommendedminimum ICS 100, some experience with a minimum of 3 hydrocarbon spills to water bodies
Maximum class size30

This dynamic two-day course is the final step in the Spill Responder series and is based on the role of the Incident Commander at an oil spill.  The course content will help better to prepare individuals to communicate effectively between the Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) / Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the Incident Command Post (ICP).

This training is intended for:

  • senior company personnel
  • environmental / spill response consultants
  • individuals expected to manage a spill response
  • individuals expected to operate as an Incident Commander at spill response exercises

The training will explore the necessary steps to take in order to bring a spill response from the emergency phase to the operational phase.  Modules included in this training:

  • Incident Command
  • Initial Response & Safety
  • Facility Management
  • Communications Management
  • Containment, Recovery & SCAT
  • Waste Management & Decontamination
  • Water Quality & Sampling
  • Wildlife Management
  • AER Expectations

Case studies and workshops are included. This is an industry-taught training course, with Subject Matter Experts available to discuss specific details of lessons learned from previous spills.