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Coach with paddlers

Qualification Pathways

There are many options available for paddlers and coaches depending on their own interests. Click on the link most relevant to you to find out more about your options. 

 

I don't yet have any BCU Coaching Qualifications

If you have no previous formal coaching experience or qualifications in paddlesport or any other sport you will normally required to commence your coaching pathway by achieving the BCU UKCC Level 1 Award. In order to do so, you must:

  1. Decide if you wish to achieve the award as Bank Based or Boat Based Coach - Candidates who do not hold the required personal performance award (e.g. 2 star) may still complete the Level 1 or 2 coaching awards as bank based coaches. Bank-based Coaches have to demonstrate their ability to manage the coaching environment effectively from the shore and provide effective and appropriate safety cover. Whilst the two routes do exist, most courses will be open to both bank- and boat-based candidates. Level 1 Course Guide
  2. Gain the required pre-requisites - During registration, candidates must hold the necessary pre-requisites for the appropriate level. To find out more about the pre-requisites, click here. Please note that although FSRT and 2 star are not required in order to register, candidates must complete these either in advance of or during the Level 1 course. Check with your course provider. 
  3. Register with Home Nation Governing Body - See Coach Registration. Important Information - Candidates should allow two weeks to complete the registration process. Anyone intending to become a BCU Coach is required to centrally register with a BCU Awarding Delivery Centre (Canoe England, Canoe Wales, Scottish Canoe Association, Canoe Association of Northern Ireland) before they are able to attend initial coach training. If you wish to apply for scholarship funding you should also do this at least 4 weeks in advance of the course.
  4. Attend a Training / Assessment Course - BCU UKCC Coaching awards are delivered by a range of course providers throughout the country. These individuals or centres are authorised by SCA to deliver the awards before submitting the course paperwork to SCA and BCU who will issue certification. Registration will be required at each coaching level and will be the start of the validating process of your qualification and the means via which your coaching journey will be recorded.

The BCU Coaching Awards follow a modular format, and whilst many Level 1 Training & Assessment courses, and Level 2 Training courses are advertised as 4 consecutive days, options exist for courses over non consecutive days. Contact any training provider for further information and a custom course at dates to suit.

I am a British Canoeing UKCC Level 1 Coach

Level 1 Remit

As a British Canoeing UKCC Level 1 coach you can now coach within the remit of the British Canoeing Terms of Reference. You should also be aware of your responsibilities as a coach. The following information provides further details of the type of activites you can coach and be involved with.

British Canoeing Star Awards

  • British Canoeing Paddlesport Start - An introductory award that can be taken in any Paddlesport craft, this award can normally be achieved after a paddlers first session. If you wish to deliver this award, certificates can be bought from the SCA e-shop.
  • British Canoeing 1 Star - The 1 Star is a basic boat handling skills award, taken in any craft and designed as a test of performance for adults. (British Canoeing considers the 1 Star Award as equivalent to Paddlepower Passport). If you wish to deliver this award you need to complete an assessor logbook, this will have been sent to you either with your Certificate or separately). What you need to do in the logbooks is explained here once completed and approved you will be registered as a British Canoeing 1 Star Assessor.
  • In order to assess Paddlesport Start and 1 Star you need to keep your Coach Update status. (As long as you have maintained SCA membership, your coach update status is valid for 3 years following your Level 1 Course). 

British Canoeing Paddlepower Awards

  • British Canoeing Paddlepower Start - An entry level award suitable for taster sessions or as part of a series of sessions designed for young people. If you wish to deliver this award you just need to purchase the relevant certificates from SCA Self Service.
  • British Canoeing Paddlepower Passport - This is a child friendly award comprising of four progressive levels covering topics including safety awareness, paddling skills, gaining varied experiences, and supporting knowledge. (British Canoeing considers Paddlepower Passport award as equivalent to 1 Star). If you wish to deliver this award you need to complete a provider logbook, this will have been sent to you either with your Certificate or separately. What you need to do in the logbook is explained here, once completed and approved you will be registered as a Paddlepower Passport Provider.

British Canoeing Placid Water Racing Awards

  • A series of awards including time trials (2km – 10km), 500 Metre Sprint Awards, and Marathon and Half Marathon awards. The awards intend to recognize and encourage improvement in canoe and kayak racing performance, they can be attempted in any canoe or kayak, although the aim is to encourage the use of straight running boats, as a progression to racing boats. If you wish to deliver these awards you just need to request the pass slips, coaching@bcu.org.uk

British Canoeing Cross Stream Challenge

The Cross Stream aims to develop and challenge boat handling skills, strokes and moves, whilst blending Slalom, Freestyle, Polo, with a touch of Wild Water and Flat Water Racing and maybe a bit of surf. Its flexibility in delivery focuses on the paddler, not just the boat, enabling paddlers to develop skills based around a predetermined course in managed and measured environment. The challenges will fully open the doors to our sport for all paddlers, providing an opportunity to experience the many different disciplines and helps coaches spot where an individual is most motivated. If you wish to use the Cross Stream Challenge a number of resources are available to purchase our online shop (Self Service).

Progression Options

  1. Stay as you are and keep updated by attending a Coaching Matters event, Coaching Conference, Coach Education training or assessment course or any of the other options available via the Coach Update section. 
  2. 3 Star Award in one of the disciplines.  This will give you the skills to paddle the craft in up to moderate conditions. Choices include Sea Kayak, Canoe, White Water Kayak, Surf Kayak, Touring, Freestyle, Sit on Top 
  3. British Canoeing UKCC Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Paddlesport Training course leading to British Canoeing UKCC Level 2 Award. This will widen your coaching remit allowing you to work independently running progressive sessions in a sheltered water environment in any craft. This award can now be completed in Kayak, Canoe or Generic. 
  4. British Canoeing Foundation Modules these support the coach development programme for all coaches, specifically at British Canoeing UKCC Level 1 & 2 coaches. There are no pre-requisites to any of the modules. Foundation Modules are 3 hours in length. 
  5. British Canoeing Discipline Specific Modules these support the specialist disciplines and aid you in delivering sessions that specialise in Racing, Slalom, Freestyle, Polo, Stand up Paddleboarding

 

Related Files:

I am a BCU UKCC Level 2 Coach

Level 2 Remit 

As a BCU UKCC Level 2 coach you can now coach within the remit of the BCU Terms of Reference. You should also be aware of your responsibilities as a coach. The following information provides further details of the type of activites you can coach and be involved with.

Level 2 Coaches (qualified in canoe and kayak) can register to assess BCU 2 Star Award. 

 

Progression Options

 

 

  1. Stay as you are and keep updated by attending a Coaching Matters event, Coaching Conference, Coach Education training or assessment course or any of the other options available via the Coach Update section.
  2. BCU 4 Star Leader Award this will give you the remit to lead groups in a moderate water environment. Disciplines include Sea Kayak, Canoe, White Water Kayak, Surf Kayak, Touring
  3. Moderate Water Endorsement Training and Assessment in a new discipline. This will extend your remit to allow you to coach groups in the moderate water. 
  4. 3 Star Award in an alternative discipline.  This will give you the skills to paddle the craft in up to moderate conditions. Choices include Sea Kayak, Canoe White Water Kayak, Surf Kayak, Touring, Freestyle
  5. BCU Foundation Modules (alternative to previous one) these support the coach development programme for all coaches, specifically at BCU UKCC Level 1 & 2 coaches. There are no pre-requisites to any of the modules. Foundation Modules are 3 hours in length. These Modules support coaches in the following areas:
  6. BCU Discipline Specific Modules these support the specialist disciplines and aid you in delivering sessions that specialise in Sprint, Slalom, Marathon, Polo, Stand Up Paddleboarding. 
  7. BCU UKCC Level 3 Core Training – leading to BCU UKCC Level 3 Award (discipline specific). This will greatly develop your coaching skills and knowledge. This award moves your coaching from the 6 progressive sessions into the medium term. 

I am a BCU UKCC Level 3 Coach

Level 3 Remit

As a BCU UKCC Level 3 coach you can now coach within the remit of the BCU Terms of Reference. You should also be aware of your responsibilities as a coach. The following information provides further details of the type of activites you can coach and be involved with.

As a Level 3 coach you may also with to become a course provider or consider adding some new courses to your portfolio.

Progression Options

 

  1. Stay as you are, develop your coaching experience and keep updated by attending a Coaching Matters event, Coaching Conference, Coach Education training or assessment course or any of the other options available via the Coach Update section.
  2. BCU 5 Star Leader Award this will give you the remit to lead groups in a advanced water environment. Disciplines include Sea Kayak, Canoe, White Water Kayak, White Water OC1, Surf Kayak
  3. 4 Star Award in an alternative discipline.  This will give you the skills to paddle the craft in up to moderate conditions. Choices include Sea Kayak, Canoe, White Water Kayak, Surf Kayak, Touring.
  4. Advanced Water Endorsement Training and Assessment in a new discipline. If you hold the 5 Star Leader Award in the same discipline you could complete AWE to give you the remit and skills to coach in an advanced water environment.
  5. BCU Foundation Modules These support the coach development programme for all coaches, specifically at BCU UKCC Level 1 & 2 coaches. There are no pre-requisites to any of the modules. Foundation Modules are 3 hours in length. 
  6. BCU Intermediate Modules.  These further enhance your background knowledge as a paddlesport coach and are 6 hours in length and form part of the BCU UKCC Level 3 programme.
  7. BCU Discipline Specific Modules these support the specialist disciplines and aid you in delivering sessions that specialise in Sprint, Slalom, Marathon, Polo, Stand Up Paddleboarding. 

Transferring from non-UKCC Coaching Awards

The BCU UKCC endorsed coaching awards were introduced in October 2007. No automatic transfers are available, but a range of options exist to transfer to the new scheme where desired. More than half of SCA Coaching members hold or are undertaking a BCU UKCC award. 

Why Transfer

Why Transfer?

While it is true that pre-UKCC qualifications will continue to be recognised by the BCU/SCA provided the coach retrains their ‘updated’ status, there are many benefits of transferring to the new UKCC endorsed scheme, including the following:

  • Opportunity to develop your ‘how to coach’ skills along side the ‘what to coach’;
  • Opportunity to progress to higher levels as the new scheme continues to roll out;
  • Opportunity to coach in a variety of disciplines;
  • Parity with coaches in many other sports in the UK;
  • Counts as Coach Update CPD;
  • A BCU UKCC Level 2 Award is required to access BCU Moderate Water Endorsement and/or BCU UKCC Level 3;
  • Personal Development; the UKCC endorsed awards may provide coaches with the opportunity to develop certain aspects of their skill set;
  • Increased remit; for example the BCU (UKCC) Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Paddlesport, qualifies coaches to work with paddlers in any craft;
  • Increased recognition: candidates in Scotland receive dual certification with Scottish Qualifications Authority. The UKCC endorsed awards meet nationally set standards for coaching and consequently are likely to be valued higher by employers and clients.
  • Demand led; due to the establishment of a national set of standards for sports coaching, some employers may require the UKCC endorsed qualification;
  • Remaining Current; Coaches may want their skills recognised on the same scale as new coaches coming through.

The choice to transfer lies entirely with the candidate. The process will involve an element of assessment against the new assessment criteria, taking into consideration the candidates’ previous experience andqualifications. When a Coach transfers they will not lose other BCU Coaching Qualifications that they may also hold.

When considering your own situation, ask yourself:

  • Does your current coaching award meet your needs in terms of the environment, craft and ratios?
  • What are your aims?
  • What craft do you wish to coach in?
  • What environment do you wish to coach in?
  • Do you need to coach – is leading enough?
  • Do you want to improve your coaching skills?
  • Do your paddlers need more from you?
  • Do you want to increase your remit?
  • Do you want increased recognition (national standards)
  • Do you see a demand from deployers?

How to Transfer

There is no single answer on how to transfer and there are usually several options available depending on your short, medium and long term aims.The following guidance will assist you in evaluating your options.

BCU Level 1

Options:

  1. Stay as you are and keep updated
  2. Progress to 4 Star Leader  Training and Assessment (discipline specific). This will provide you with a remit to lead (but not coach) groups in moderate water environment
  3. Transfer to BCU UKCC Level 1. Visit our Coaching Pathway page for further information. Note - scholarship funding of up to 50% is available for this route.

BCU Level 2 in Kayak and/or Canoe

Options include:

  1. Stay as you are and keep updated.
  2. Complete BCU UKCC Level 1.  This will provide you with the full BCU UKCC Level 1 award and remit to coach introductory sessions in any craft in a sheltered water environment. Note - scholarship funding may be available for this route.
  3. 4 Star Leader Award in any discipline.This will provide you with a remit to lead (not coach) in a moderate water environment in your chosen discipline.
  4. Attend BCU UKCC Level 2 Transfer course leading to BCU UKCC Level 2 Award. This will widen your coaching remit, allowing you to run progressive sessions in a sheltered water environment in any craft.
  5. Attend BCU UKCC Level 2 Training course leading to BCU UKCC Level 2 Award. This will widen your coaching remit, allowing you to run progressive sessions in a sheltered water environment in any craft. Note - scholarship funding may be available for this route.

BCU Level 3 in one or more discipline

Options include:

  1. Stay as you are and keep updated.
  2. BCU UKCC Level 2 Transfer course leading to BCU UKCC Level 2 Award. This may widen your coaching remit (depending if you hold Level 3 in kayak and canoe disciplines), allowing you to run progressive sessions in a sheltered water environment in any craft (in addition to your existing BCU Level 3 remit).  
  3. BCU UKCC Level 3 Core training leading to BCU UKCC Level 3 Award (discipline specific). This will greatly develop your coaching skills and knowledge. Visit our Coaching Pathway page to find out more. Note: This route has scholarship funding available of up to £400 or 75%. 
  4. Apply for APL to access BCU Moderate Water Endorsment Training and Assessment in the new discipline.  
  5. 5 Star Leadership Award in current discipline.  This will provide you with a remit to coach groups in advanced water environment.
  6. Advanced Water Endorsement training and assessment.  If you hold a 5 Star or 5 Star Leader Award in the same discipline you could complete AWE to give you the remit to coach in an advanced water environment. 

BCU Level 4 (or BCU Level 3 with 5 star)

Options include:

  1. Stay as you are and keep updated.
  2. BCU UKCC Level 3 Core training leading to BCU UKCC Level 3 Award (discipline specific). This will greatly develop your coaching skills and knowledge. Visit our Coaching Pathway page to find out more. Note: This route has scholarship funding available of up to £400 or 75%. 
  3. 5 Star Leader Award in a new discipline.  This will provide you a remit to lead (not coach) in an advanced water environment in your new discipline.
  4. Advanced Water Endorsement training and assessment in either your current discipline or a new discipline if you hold the relevant 5 Star and Level 3. 

BCU Level 5 Trainee

Options include:

  1. Progress to BCU Level 5 Assessment within your training validity.
  2. BCU UKCC Level 3 Core training leading to BCU UKCC Level 3 Award (discipline specific). Note: This route has scholarship funding available of up to £400 or 75%

BCU Level 5 Coach

  1. Stay as you are and keep updated
  2. Consider the BCU Level 4 Postgraduate Diploma 

I am Interested in Coaching a Competition Discipline

If you are already a coach we have BCU Discipline Support Modules in the following disciplines

  • Slalom
  • Sprint
  • Marathon
  • Polo
  • Freestyle 

Discipline Support Modules are normally organised directly by the SCA. Visit the Event Calendar to search for dates or note your interest by updating your profile in the Person tile of Self Service.  

 

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I have paddlesport qualification(s) from overseas

If you already hold a coaching qualification from overseas then you may be able to use it as Accredited Prior Learning (APL) to gain exemption from some prerequisites. For example you may be able to gain exemption from Level 1 in order to register for Level 2 training. Visit the APL section of our Courses and Training page.  

British Canoeing and Canoe Ireland have agreed equivalence and transfer opportunities for their coaches. See the document below for further information. 

Related Files:

Related Links:

Still not sure and need some help working out your future options? Contact us for some individual help.