Skip to content Skip to navigation
SCA Coaching group

British Canoeing Star Awards

British Canoeing Star Awards

1
2

British Canoeing Star Awards best suit paddlers aged 16 and over. The 1 star and 2 star awards are generic (involve canoe and kayak), encouraging paddlers to experience the various disciplines of Paddlesport available, with paddlers 'specialising' in particular disciplines from the 3 Star Award onwards. The emphasis of the 1, 2 and 3 star awards is developing personal skills and gaining independence; while the 4 star and 5 star awards are now leadership awards and enable paddlers to lead groups in appropriate conditions. It is not essential to progress directly through the awards i.e. paddlers don't need to hold the lower award before progressing, other than at 5 Star.

Paddlesport Start

Paddlesport Start is designed as an encouragement award, that candidates should be able to achieve in a basic starter session of about 2 hours on sheltered water.

The award is obtained by taking the assessment in any style of paddlesport boat including crew boats (e.g. bell boats, katakanu, K2/K4 etc.)

If the paddler is under 14 the learning program of Paddle Power might be more appropriate.

Related Files:

1 Star Award

The British Canoeing One Star is a clear stepping stone to becoming a paddler.  Designed as a basic award, the one star takes place on sheltered water and is the level people would typically reach after an introductory course of six hours quality water time.

The award is obtained by taking the assessment in any style of kayak or canoe (e.g. sit-on-top, slalom C2, polo boat, sea kayak, racing canoe etc.).

If the paddler is under 14 the learning program of Paddle Power might be more appropriate.

Related Files:

2 Star Award

The British Canoeing Two Star is an improvement award that helps paddlers develop fundamental paddlesport skills on flat water. The emphasis is on gaining a breadth of experience, creating the desired movement of the boat and developing an understanding into of the paddle, boat and water interact.

The award is obtained by taking the assessment in both a kayak and a canoe.  Any style of kayak or canoe is permissible e.g. Sea Kayak, River Kayak, Open Canoe, Racing C1 etc.

British Canoeing has produced a two star dvd which provides a useful resource for both those who aspire to Two Star and for those who are new to assessing the award.  The DVD is available from the SCA Shop .If the paddler is under 14 the learning program of Paddle Power might be more appropriate.

*This award is significantly different to the old (pre August 2007) 2 star, with a change to develop generic movement skills that can transfer to any discipline and with an assessed journey. Assessors will need to be able to assess the award in a variety of craft.

Related Files:

3 Star Award - Open Canoe

Successful completion of the British Canoeing 3 Star Open Canoe award means that a candidate can consider themselves an intermediate canoe paddler.  During the assessment the candidate will be asked to demonstrate personal competence in paddling open water in wind conditions of force 2-3 and on simple moving water as part of a led group.

Related Files:

3 Star Award - White Water OC1

Successful performance at this level indicates that the paddler can consider themselves an intermediate white water OC1 paddler, as they can now paddle on moving waters. They can do this in a competent manner as part of a led group and have the knowledge and ability to help the smooth running of a trip while being led down a section of a river with sections up to grade 2.Paddlers of white water kayaks may be interested in the British Canoeing 3 Star White Water Kayak Award.

Related Files:

3 Star Award - White Water Kayak

Successful completion of the British Canoeing 3 Star White Water Kayak Award indicates that  paddler can consider themselves an intermediate kayaker, as they can now paddle on moving water. They can do this in a competent manner as part of a led group and have the knowledge and ability to help in the smooth running of a trip while being led down a section of a grade 2 river. 

Related Files:

3 Star Award - Surf Kayak

Successful completion of the British Canoeing 3 Star Surf Award demonstrates that the candidate has the competence to cope with UK Surf conditions across a range of beaches and varying tidal conditions.

Related Files:

3 Star Award - Sea Kayak

Successful completion of the British Canoeing 3 Star Sea Kayak Award demonstrates that the candidate has the level of skill, understanding and knowledge of an able improving sea paddler and beyond that of a beginner. 

The assessment will take the form of a continuous assessment whilst journeying in a moderate tidal environment as part of a led group with winds of no more than Force 4.

British Canoeing have produced a Three Star and Four Star Leader Support DVD which provides a useful resource for both those who aspire to Three Star or Four Star Leader and for those who are new to assessing the awards.  The DVD is available from the SCA shop.

Related Files:

3 Star Award - Freestyle

Successful performance at this level indicates that the paddler understands the core competencies of freestyle and can perform at a base level. This award is suitable for those candidates paddling closed cockpit freestyle canoes or freestyle canoes. 

Related Files:

3 Star Award - Touring

Successful performance at this level indicates that a candidate can consider themselves as an intermediate paddler rather than a beginner, the candidate having demonstrated personal competence as a member of a group paddling in a variety of venues. These include open water in conditions of winds up to Beaufort Force 3, and/or ungraded rivers that have a discernible green flow.Kayak touring paddlers may be interested in the British Canoeing 3 Star Touring Award is available as canoe or kayak. Canoe paddlers should also consider the British Canoeing 3 Star Open Canoe Award.

Related Files:

3 Star Award – Wild Water Racing

Completion of the 3 Star in Wild Water Racing indicates that candidates can consider themselves as intermediate paddlers in Wild Water Racing rather than beginners. Personal competencies would have been demonstrated on different rivers and at events where the water is up to grade 2 in standard.Two Star standard is the appropriate level to begin working towards their Wild Water Racing 3 Star, the 2 star can be taken in any boat and does not necessarily have to have been done in Wild Water Racing boats.

Related Files:

3 Star Award - Sit on Top

Successful performance at this level indicates that a candidate can consider themselves able improving sea sit-on-top paddler rather than a beginner. During assessment the candidate would be able to demonstrate personal competence paddling in wind conditions of no more than Beaufort Force 3 or Sea State 3 as part of a led group.

Related Files:

4 Star Leader Award - Open Canoe

Successful performance at this level indicates that you have the skill level required to lead a group of 4 paddlers in appropriate locations, up to "moderate conditions" (for open canoe this is grade 2 white water and open water with winds up to force 4). The award shows that you can judge the conditions and the standard of the group to make appropriate decisions, understanding the need to modify plans when required.

Related Files:

4 Star Leader Award - Sea Kayak

Successful performance at this level indicates that a candidate has the personal skill level and leadership ability required to lead a group of paddlers, on short (6 to 8 miles, of at least3 hours paddling), single or multi-day journeys in a moderate tidal water environment with winds not exceeding Beaufort Force 4. The British Canoeing 4 Star Leader has the skills and judgement to select appropriate environments for paddlers with a range of experience.

Related Files:

4 Star Leader Award - Surf Kayak

Successful performance at this level indicates that the candidate has sufficient personal skills and the ability to manage a group of surf paddlers and to judge the conditions and the standard of the group and make appropriate decisions. The emphasis is on the application of skills in a surf environment, requiring the paddler to perform appropriate and effective manoeuvres in moderate surf. The British Canoeing 4 Star Surf Leader is assessed managing a group of paddlers with a ratio of 1 to 6 in Moderate Surf environments.

Related Files:

4 Star Leader Award - Touring

Successful performance at this level indicates that a candidate has the personal skill level and leadership ability required to lead a group of paddlers in a variety of different craft, inappropriate locations, up to moderate inland and sheltered tidal conditions, and moving water that has a discernible green flow. The BCU 4 Star Leader has the skills and judgement to select appropriate environments for paddlers with a range of experience.

Related Files:

4 Star Leader Award - Freestyle

Successful performance at this level indicates that a candidate has a solid foundation in freestyle and the skill level required to lead a group of 4 paddlers (not including themselves)in appropriate locations (park and play site, grade 3 river section of no more than 500metres in length or managed site), up to moderate conditions. Paddlers at this level will be able to judge the conditions and the standard of the group and make appropriate decisions along with the need to modify plans as required.

Related Files:

4 Star Leader Award - White Water Kayak

Successful performance at this level indicates that you have the skill level required to lead a group of 4 paddlers in appropriate locations, up to "moderate conditions" (for white water this is grade 2 with some elements of grade 3) . The award can be taken in any white water spec kayak or canoe that is suitable for such conditions.

Related Files:

4 Star Leader Award - White Water OC1

Successful performance at this level indicates that you have the skill level required to lead a group of 4 paddlers in appropriate locations, up to "moderate white water conditions" .The award shows that you can judge the conditions and the standard of the group to make appropriate decisions, understanding the need to modify plans when required.

Related Files:

5 Star Leader Award - Sea Kayak

Successful performance at this level indicates that a candidate has the personal skill level, leadership ability and judgement to lead paddlers with a range of experience, up to and including advanced tidal water. The British Canoeing 5 Star Leader has the skills and judgement to select appropriate environments for paddlers with a range of experience. The British Canoeing 5 Star Leader Award is a leadership award and not a coaching award. Candidates are assessed to a verifiable common level, regional and climatic variations not withstanding. This award is intended for paddlers who journey on the sea in areas where tidal races,headlands, open crossings, swell and challenging coastlines will be encountered. The award should be accessible to all those people who journey on the sea on a regular basis and should not be seen as the preserve of a few elite performers. It is envisaged that a committed club paddler, sea kayaking regularly in a suitable range of situations, sea areas and conditions should be able to obtain this award within a period of 3 years.

Related Files:

5 Star Leader Award - Surf Kayak

Attainment of this award indicates that the candidate has attained a high level of performance, personal skill and group management in advanced situations. It is a leadership award and the appropriate test for paddlers who wish to lead groups of other paddlers in remote or advanced surf.

Related Files:

5 Star Leader Award - White Water OC 1

Successful performance at this level indicates that a candidate has entered the top level of performance, involving a high level of personal skill and leadership in advanced situations. It is a leadership award and the appropriate test for paddlers who wish to lead groups of paddlers on advanced river journeys in white water OC1.Successful performance at this level indicates that a candidate has the personal skill level, leadership ability and judgement to lead paddlers with a range of experience, up to and including advanced white water. The BCU 5 Star Leader has the skills and judgement to select appropriate environments for paddlers with a range of experience. The BCU 5 Star Leader Award is a leadership award and not a coaching award.

Related Files:

5 Star Leader Award - Open Canoe

Successful performance at this level indicates that a candidate has entered the top level of performance, involving a high level of personal skill and leadership in advanced situations. Itis a leadership award and the appropriate test for paddlers who wish to lead groups of up to4 solo paddlers or 3 tandem crews on advanced river journeys and on remote, exposed open waters in open canoe. Successful performance at this level indicates that a candidate has the personal skill level, leadership ability and judgement to lead paddlers with a range of experience, up to and including advanced white water and advanced open water. The BCU 5 Star Leader has the skills and judgement to select appropriate environments for paddlers with a range of experience. The BCU 5 Star Leader Award is a leadership award and not a coaching award.

Related Files:

5 Star Leader Award - White Water Kayak

Successful performance at this level indicates that a candidate has entered the top level of performance, involving a high level of personal skill and leadership in advanced situations. It is a leadership award and the appropriate test for paddlers who wish to lead groups of paddlers on advanced river journeys in white water kayaks. Successful performance at this level indicates that a candidate has the personal skill level, leadership ability and judgement to lead paddlers with a range of experience, up to and including advanced white water. The British Canoeing 5 Star Leader has the skills and judgement to select appropriate environments for paddlers with a range of experience. The British Canoeing 5 Star Leader Award is a leadership award and not a coaching award.

Related Files: