Which qualification is right for me?

Why choose a British Canoeing Awarding Body qualification?

British Canoeing Awarding Body qualifications and awards are recognised and used throughout the UK and Internationally.

Within the UK, British Canoeing Awarding Body is the only recognised paddlesport Awarding Body, providing qualifications and awards for over 35 years. Due to our regulated status, we are able to offer high quality learning, as well as standardised assessment processes providing peace of mind for Instructors, Coaches, Leaders and deployers worldwide.

All providers of the qualifications have gone through a significant recruitment, training and moderation process, ensuring that high standards are followed, with compulsory updates yearly to ensure continual competence and delivery of the most current practices within paddlesport.

As an Instructor, Coach or Leader with BCAB, you will have continual support through our digital resources and highly regarded technical group, as well as ensuring both safeguarding practice and first aid requirements are up to date. Being a member of British Canoeing, SCA, Canoe Wales or CANI will provide you with appropriate insurance to operate as an Instructor, Coach or Leader worldwide, as well as access to waters in England and Wales that require a licence.

What do you want to be able to do?

To be able to choose the right course, it’s a good idea to think about what you want to do and where you usually operate with your chosen craft.

if you're looking to run introductory sessions in very sheltered water, in/on stable craft, the Paddlesport Instructor is for you   if you're looking to run stand up paddleboard sessions in very shetlered water, the stand up paddleboard instructor is for you   if you're looking to lead a range of craft in sheltered water, the Paddlesport Leader is for you

if you're looking to lead a range of craft in sheltered water, the Paddlesport Leader is for you   if you're looking to coach paddlers to improve their paddlesport skills in your discipline/environment, the coach award is for you   if you're looking to lead paddlers on safe, enjoyable trips in your discipline/environment, the Leadership Awards are for you

Full details of the environments can be found in the ‘Environmental Definitions & Deployment Guidance for Instructors, Coaches & Leaders’.

Paddlesport Instructor

This 2 day practical course will support you to deliver paddlesport starter sessions, running games and inspiring adventure using short journeys in very sheltered water environments, within clubs, centres or other organisations.

During the course, you will learn everything from meeting and greeting, to putting on kit, warming up and fun games and activities. You will leave the course fully prepared to deliver paddlesport sessions at your club or organisation on craft that’s suitable for the first time out on the water, including canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards and sit on tops.

Age: 14+

Where can I use this qualification? The Paddlesport Instructor is ideal for clubs, Delivery Partners, Hire Providers, Scouts, Guides and other voluntary organisations who run introductory fun sessions for those new to paddlesport.

Prerequisites: There are a couple of things you will need to do before attending the Paddlesport Instructor course.

Find out more here. If this is the course for you, scroll down to find out how to book onto a course.

Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor (available from 4th January 2023)

This 2 day practical course will support you to deliver stand up paddleboard starter sessions, running games and inspiring adventure using short journeys in very sheltered water environments, within clubs, centres or other organisations.

During the course, you will learn everything from meeting and greeting, to putting on kit, warming up and fun games and activities. You will leave the course fully prepared to deliver stand up paddleboard sessions at your club or organisation.

Age: 14+

Where can I use this qualification? The Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor is ideal for clubs, Delivery Partners, Hire Providers, Scouts, Guides and other voluntary organisations who run introductory fun sessions for those new to paddleboarding.

Prerequisites: There are a couple of things you will need to do before attending the Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor course.

Find out more here. If this is the course for you, course dates will be available via your Delivery Centre from January 2023.

Paddlesport Leader

The Paddlesport Leader Award supports you to lead safe and enjoyable trips based on your group’s needs and aspirations. You can choose the craft you lead from and lead a range of craft.

You will lead mixed craft groups in a sheltered water environment (wind up to Force 3, less than 200m from land, slow moving rivers and estuaries). As a Leader, you can work independently, or be deployed by a club, centre or organisation to lead trips and journeys.

You can design your own learning journey towards your assessment, depending on your existing experience. There is optional BCAB training courses to support you in your development of the required skills, which take between 2 to 5 days, with longer courses giving you more opportunity to practise. You may wish to opt for more bespoke training opportunities. For example, private tuition, in-house training through your workplace, working alongside/shadowing other Leaders, or conference/symposium workshops.

Once you feel ready for your assessment, this takes place over 1 or 2 days, depending on the logistics relating to suitable environments.

Age: 16+

Where can I use this qualification? This award is used by clubs, outdoor centres, Scouts, Guides and organisations to support their activity delivery on mixed craft. This includes single or tandem craft.

Prerequisites: There are a few things you will need to do before attending your assessment.

Find out more here. If this is the course for you, scroll down to find out how to book onto a course.

Paddlesport Touring Leader

The Paddlesport Touring Leader Award supports you to lead groups on inland open water environments and on slow moving water, slow-moving rivers up to and including grade 1, and which may include the occasional short rapid of grade 2 and simple safe weirs.

You will lead safe and enjoyable trips based on your groups needs and aspirations. You can choose the craft you lead from and lead a range of mixed craft.

You can design your own learning journey towards your assessment, depending on your existing experience. There is optional BCAB training courses to support you in your development of the required skills, which take between 2 to 5 days, with longer courses giving you more opportunity to practise. You may wish to opt for more bespoke training opportunities. For example, private tuition, in-house training through your workplace, working alongside/shadowing other Leaders, or conference/symposium workshops.

Once you feel ready for your assessment, this takes place over 1 or 2 days, depending on the logistics relating to suitable environments.

Age: 16+

Where can I use this qualification? This award is used by clubs, outdoor centres, Scouts, Guides and organisations to support their activity delivery on mixed craft. This includes single or tandem craft.

Prerequisites: There are a few things you will need to do before attending your assessment.

Find out more here. If this is the course for you, scroll down to find out how to book onto a course.

Coach Award

The Coach Award supports you to coach those who want to gain/improve their paddlesport skills in the craft and environment they choose. This will include coaching beginners new to the sport or paddlers looking to develop their chosen skills in the given discipline / environment so that they can paddle safely.

You will be able to plan, deliver and review progressive sessions safely, effectively and independently. The Coach Award is available in 22 disciplines which cover all of our main disciplines and environments. Disciplines include:

  • Canoe and /or kayak coach (Sheltered water)
  • Freestyle Coach
  • Polo Coach
  • Racing Coach
  • Slalom Coach
  • Wild Water Coach
  • Open Water Canoe Coach (Moderate or Advanced Water)
  • Sea Kayak Coach (Moderate or Advanced Water)
  • Stand Up Paddleboard Open Water Coach
  • Stand Up Paddleboard Race Coach
  • Stand Up Paddleboard Sheltered Water Coach
  • Stand Up Paddleboard White Water Coach
  • Surf Kayak Coach (Moderate or Advanced Water)
  • White Water Canoe Coach (Moderate or Advanced Water)
  • White Water Kayak Coach (Moderate or Advanced Water)

Qualification pathway: The Coach Award pathway consists of Core Coach training, where you will explore different approaches to coaching, understanding and enabling learning and some core coaching skills. This can be done as a 2 day practical course or online modular course.

The 2 day Discipline Specific Training focuses on HOW to coach the discipline specific skills and WHAT you will be coaching. The training explores how to coach technical and tactical skills. The course will help coaches plan and deliver safe, enjoyable, progressive coaching sessions and explore specifics to help coaches coach some typical athletes/learners relevant to you/your discipline.

This is concluded by a 1 day assessment.

If you feel you already have the relevant skills and knowledge to bypass the training, you can apply for Accredited Prior Learning. This allows you to access the qualification pathway at the most appropriate point to you. You can complete the short form on your membership portal.

Age: 16+ at the time of assessment, 18+ for advanced water options.

Where can I use this qualification? The Coach Award is used by clubs, centres and organisations worldwide, as well as independent coaches who have a career in paddlesport. For example, the Coach Award is ideal for a Polo Club looking to develop their athlete’s skills or a club coaching sea kayaking sessions in a moderate or advanced water environment.

Prerequisites: Ahead of the Core Coach Training, you will need to become a member of your National Association (depending on where you live, you will need to join British Canoeing, Canoe Wales, Canoe Association of Northern Ireland or the Scottish Canoe Association).

The prerequisites for the Discipline Specific Training can be found in the Coach Award Course Guide.

Find out more here. If this is the course for you, scroll down to find out how to book onto a course.

Leader

Alongside the Paddlesport Leader and Paddlesport Touring Leader, the Leadership Awards are available in a variety of disciplines and support you to share your passion for paddlesport by taking others on safe, quality, enjoyable trips based on your group’s needs and aspirations. Disciplines include:

You can design your own learning journey towards your assessment, depending on your existing experience. There is optional BCAB training courses to support you in your development of the required skills, which take between 2 to 5 days, with longer courses giving you more opportunity to practise. You may wish to opt for more bespoke training opportunities. For example, private tuition, in-house training through your workplace, working alongside/shadowing other Leaders, or conference/symposium workshops.

Once you feel ready for your assessment, this takes place over 1 or 2 days, depending on the logistics relating to suitable environments.

Age: 16+ at the time of assessment, 18+ for advanced water options.

Where can I use this qualification? This award is used by clubs, outdoor centres, Scouts, Guides and organisations to support their activity delivery.

Prerequisites: There are a few things you will need to do before attending your assessment.

If this is the course for you, scroll down to find out how to book onto a course.

 

Booking onto a course

Now you’ve decided on the right course for you, follow the next steps…

  1. Ensure you meet the prerequisites

Find out the prerequisites of the course you are looking to attend. The prerequisites can be found in the relevant Course Guide document or on the ‘Registration Requirements’ page. Examples of prerequisites can include safety training, membership, first aid or safeguarding training. It is important to ensure you meet the prerequisites ahead of your training/assessment.

You will need to ensure the prerequisites are updated on your National Association membership record.

2. Register

Registration is separate from booking a course. You will need to register with your National Association via your National Association membership portal. This confirms your intention to study towards a particular qualification.

The registration process includes checking you meet the prerequisites for the course and extends your insurance cover whilst you are studying. Registration also includes the relevant resources, for example, the Coach Award eLearning when registering for the Coach Award. Log into your membership record by using the following links –

3. Booking onto your course

Now you’re ready to book your course, there are three options:

3a. Find a course.

You can find upcoming courses via your Delivery Centre website by following the links below. Courses are listed via date or location so you can find a course near you.

3b. Find a Provider.

You can search for a Provider near you via your Delivery Centre website and contact them to see if they are running any courses near you.

3c. Organise a course yourself.

If there is a group interested in the same course, for example, at a club or centre, contact a Provider near you to arrange a bespoke course for your group.