Paddlesport Leader (Sheltered Water)

Paddlesport Leader. A group on the water in sit-on-tops and paddleboards.

The British Canoeing Awarding Body Paddlesport Leader award is targeted at paddlers taking on formal leadership responsibilities in benign, sheltered water environments.

Paddlesport Leader Overview

Minimum age

16 years


Optional and free-of-charge.   Leadership eLearning


Valid (within 3 years) British Canoeing recognised 1-day First Aid award
Full Home Nation Association Membership
Registration Fee: £39
You must be aged 16 or over at the time of assessment. Note that you cannot be deemed responsible for leadership by law until you turn 18 years of age.

Course Documents

To view the associated documents with this course, click here.

Informal learning, experience based learning, and an availability of individualised choices are important to developing skilled leaders. To supplement this, British Canoeing provides quality training opportunities for those that seek them. It is important that you take an active role in deciding the appropriate preparation, training and experience that you need prior to presenting yourself for assessment. Guidance is offered below to help you construct this personalised development journey.

British Canoeing Training  

British Canoeing Paddlesport Leader Training courses are available to support you in your development of the required skills. These courses typically cover leadership skills, and the associated personal skills, safety and rescue skills. As this training is delivered by British Canoeing Paddlesport Leader Providers, they will also be able to help you identify an appropriate action plan to support your progress towards a successful assessment. This is the comprehensive option; courses are normally offered as 2-5 day programmes, with longer courses providing more time for you to practice and develop the skills.

Other Training Opportunities  

You may wish to opt for more bespoke training opportunities. For example, private tuition, in-house training through your work place, working alongside/shadowing other Leaders, or conference/symposium workshops. Many British Canoeing Paddlesport Leader providers are willing to offer bespoke training to individuals or groups of individuals. The benefit of working with a Paddlesport Leader Provider is that they have explicit knowledge of the award requirements. However, there are a great many other experienced Leaders who may be in a position to support your development; the Paddlesport Leader Assessment Guidance (available to download from Home Nation Association website) can be used as a steer as to the skills required.

Methods of Assessment

In order to achieve the qualification you need to show competence in the following elements:

  • Participant focused leadership skills
  • Personal paddling skills
  • Rescue skills
  • Underpinning background knowledge, understanding and experience

The Paddlesport Leader Assessment will normally run over 1 or 2-days. This will depend on the course ratios and logistics relating to access to suitable environments.

Upon completion of the Assessment the course provider will submit successful participants for certification.

Paddlesport Leader eLearning

You can access the free eLearning for this course here. The interactive Paddlesport Leader package will take you through some of the key principles behind the Awarding Body Model of Leadership.