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British Canoeing Leadership Awards

The British Canoeing Leadership suite of awards comprises:

  • Paddlesport Leader - aimed at paddlers taking on formal leadership responsibilities in benign, sheltered water environments and aims to support Leaders to run safe, quality, enjoyable trips based on their group’s needs and aspirations.
  • Moderate Water Leadership Awards (formally 4*) - provide leadership training in the moderate water environment.
    • Canoe Leader
    • Sea Kayak Leader
    • Surf Kayak Leader
    • White Water Kayak Leader
    • White Water OC1 Leader
  • Advanced Water Leader Awards (formally 5*) - develops advanced personal skills and basic leadership training in the advanced water environment.
    • Advanced Canoe Leader
    • Advanced Sea Kayak Leader
    • Advanced Surf Kayak Leader
    • Advanced White Water Kayak Leader
    • Advanced White Water OC1 Leader

  

Paddlesport Leader Award

The Paddlesport Leader Award is aimed at paddlers taking on formal leadership responsibilities in benign, sheltered water environments and aims to support Leaders run safe, quality, enjoyable trips based on their group’s needs and aspirations. Paddlesport Leaders will need to show sound personal skills (approx. 3 Star standard) in at least one craft and their leadership skills will be assessed looking after paddlers in a range of craft, including mixed fleets. We anticipate that the award will be useful for Leaders in clubs, centres, commercial settings, schools, Duke of Edinburgh and youth/uniform groups. 

Applications for providers of this award have now closed, please note your interest by contacting coaching@canoescotland.org

E-Learning

British Canoeing have developed an online E-Learning resource to support leaders learning and can be accessed on the following link - British Canoeing Paddlesport Leader E-Learning

Leaders will need to create an account, using their email address, Facebook or LinkedIn, which enables Leaders to work through the e-learning at their own pace and log back in when they want to. The e-learning contains questions to check your understanding. Results are not shared with course providers. The e-learning is purely to support leaders learning. The e-learning resource is not compulsory.

Preparing for Assessment

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.  

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    

A summary of these areas follows below and further expanded upon in the ‘Paddlesport Leader Assessment Guidance’ (see downloads). 

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

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Canoe Leader Award

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.

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Sea Kayak Leader Award

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 Sea Kayak Leader has the skills and judgement to select appropriate environments for paddlers with a range of experience.

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Surf Kayak Leader Award

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 Surf Leader is assessed managing a group of paddlers with a ratio of 1 to 6 in Moderate Surf environments.

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White Water Kayak Leader Award

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.

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White Water OC1 Leader Award

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.

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Advanced Canoe Leader Award

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 up to 4 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 Advanced Canoe Leader has the skills and judgement to select appropriate environments for paddlers with a range of experience. The Advanced Canoe Leader awards is not a coaching award. 

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Advanced Sea Kayak Leader Award

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 Advanced Sea Kayak Leader has the skills and judgement to select appropriate environments for paddlers with a range of experience. The 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.

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Advanced Surf Kayak Leader Award

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.

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Advanced White Water Kayak Leader Award

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 Advanced Leader has the skills and judgement to select appropriate environments for paddlers with a range of experience. The Advanced Leader Award is a leadership award and not a coaching award.

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Advanced White Water OC 1 Leader Award

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 BC Advanced Leader has the skills and judgement to select appropriate environments for paddlers with a range of experience. The Advanced Leader Award is a leadership award and not a coaching award.

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