Paddlesport Qualification Courses
Click on the following links to go straight to the appropriate section:
- British Canoeing Awarding Body (BCAB) Courses:
- Personal Performance Awards
- Paddlesport Safety & Rescue
- Paddlesport Instructor Award
- Paddlesport Leader Award Preparation, Training & Assessment
- Coach Award Preparation, Training & Assessment (Sheltered Water, Moderate White Water, Moderate Open Water – Kayak & Cane)
- Aquatic First Aid Level 1 & 2
I occasionally run ‘open’ courses in and around the Brecon Beacons and surrounding area (which I advertise on Facebook and/or my Calendar), or will arrange courses at times and venues to suit groups of participants.
I can provide limited quantities of ‘specialist’ equipment for courses (including open canoes and SUPs), but normally expect participants to provide their own general purpose kayaks, paddles, clothing and Personal Protective Equipment.
Prices vary depending on the course, but are generally around £80-100 per person per day (for courses with 3 or more participants), plus NGB registration fees (or a negotiated daily rate for 1:1 or 1:2 or group / club / organisation bookings).
Generic Paddle Awards
The Paddle Start Award is for your first session on the water; learning useful skills for an enjoyable paddling experience. It aims to provide you with the basic knowledge to enable you to safely get in and out of your boat, make it move and return to your start point. This is your first step into the world of paddling, ensuring you feel safe, confident and ready to progress to the Discover Award.
The Paddle Discover Award allows you to develop your decision making and practical skills for a fun and safe time on the water, taking you on the next steps towards becoming a proficient and independent paddler. Learn how to choose and effectively use equipment, whilst developing an understanding of the factors which affect your paddling; giving you the confidence to progress to making your own choices with the Explore Award.
The Paddle Explore Award gives you ownership; allowing you to choose where you move next in the world of paddlesport. Working with a coach you will be able to develop a programme that suits what you need. Learning to make confident choices with this individualised approach. Recognising your ability to independently paddle your chosen craft in a sheltered water environment.
The amount of training required for these generic awards (which may be undertaken in kayak, canoe, sit on top or stand up paddleboard) depends on prior experience. As a guideline, participants should expect to spend a day or more honing their skills. Assessment can usually be completed in half a day and may even be possible as ‘continual assessment’ during training, for ‘good’ candidates.
Training and assessment for the Paddle Awards is on sheltered water, such as the River Usk at Brecon Promenade, Llangorse Lake or the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.
Minimum 2, maximum 8 candidates.
White Water Award Training and Assessment
The White Water Award is designed to develop your ability to apply appropriate decision making skills for a safe day out white water paddling in a kayak or OC1. It endorses your skill, judgment and decision making to ensure a successful day on rivers up to grade 2. You will be confident in planning and undertaking journeys on moving water with proficient skills to be in control throughout. Your award should be seen as a sound basis for building the experience and knowledge associated with Progressive White Water Award holders. The amount of training required for the White Water Award depends on prior experience; but as a guideline, participants should expect to spend two days honing their skills, with either ‘continual assessment’ or a separate half- or one-day assessment.
Training and assessment for the White Water Award is on grade 2(3) water, such as upper stretches of the Usk and Wye (in winter) or the Dee, Tryweryn or Teifi (all year).
Minimum 2, maximum 6 candidates.
Canoe Award Training and Assessment
The Canoe Award is designed to develop your personal paddling and decision making skills so you have a fun and safe day out canoeing. It endorses your skill, judgment and decision making when journeying. You will be confident in planning and undertaking canoe journeys on the water in winds up to and including force 3 and taking place on grade 1 rivers with simple eddy lines. Your award is a sound basis for building the experience and knowledge associated with the Progressive Canoe Award.
The amount of training required for the Canoe Award depends on prior experience; but as a guideline, participants should expect to spend one day on open water and one day on a river honing their skills, with either ‘continual assessment’ or a separate one-day assessment.
Training and assessment for the Canoe Award is on open water such as Pontsticill Reservoir / Llangorse Lake and grade 1 rivers such as lower stretches of the Usk and Wye.
Minimum 2, maximum 6 candidates.
I am able to assess slalom paddlers for any of the British Canoeing Slalom Awards, usually as part of their ongoing club, regional or national training programme.
The Slalom Explore Award is designed to develop the foundation in slalom techniques and skills as you start your journey into slalom. It develops your ability to apply your choices to an enjoyable paddling session on the water, looking at the factors which affect your decisions on where and how to train. You will develop your speed and agility to play on powerful white water rapids, learning to handle the challenges that forces of nature may bring, with precise decision making skills. Your award should be seen as a sound basis for building the experience and knowledge associated with Slalom Perform Award holders.
The Slalom Perform Award is designed to progress your slalom techniques and skills, giving you the ability to plan and apply appropriate decision making skills according to the environment. It will give you the ability to apply your choices to an enjoyable training session on the water, further developing your speed and agility to play on powerful white water rapids. You will create confident and proficient use of skills and equipment to be in control throughout the training session with precise decision making skills. Your award should be seen as a sound basis for independently building the experience and expertise associated with Slalom Excel Award holders.
The Slalom Excel Award is designed to advance your ability to apply appropriate decision making skills to deliver a plan in an advanced slalom environment, using techniques appropriate to the environment and gate sequence. You will deliver with conviction and speed whilst demonstrating the ability to adapt your plan and take on appropriate opportunities in the moment. As a Slalom Paddler, you will be able to demonstrate the capacity to associate different moves and explore new boat, body, blade movements and trajectories. You will learn to handle the challenges that forces of nature may bring with precision and create high levels of skills to be in control throughout the training session.
Paddlesport Safety & Rescue Course
The Paddlesport Safety & Rescue course aims to provide paddlers with the key safety and rescue skills required to operate safely and to be able to deal with common problems in a sheltered water environment.
The course is designed for all paddlers irrespective of their chosen craft. The objective is to introduce, explore and practise simple strategies and safe skills that can provide you with the tools to solve common paddling issues.
Paddlers need to be competent paddling their ‘preferred craft’ (open canoe, kayak, sit-on-top or paddleboard) to enable them to complete the course. Although it is not necessary to hold a British Canoeing Awarding Body Personal Performance Award, paddlers should have ability in at least one craft equivalent to the Paddle Explore Award.
The Paddlesport Safety & Rescue course is a pre-requisite for the British Canoeing Awarding Body Paddlesport Instructor Award.
The course comprises a minimum of 6 hours’ training and is usually conducted over one long day; but can be spread over 2 days or a number of evenings if required. It takes place on sheltered water such as the River Usk at Brecon Promenade or the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal. Minimum 2, maximum 8 candidates. No minimum age (although paddlers must be physically able to undertake the course!).
Paddlesport Instructor Award Training and Assessment
The Paddlesport Instructor is an entry level qualification. This qualification will support the instructor with practical skills such as kitting up a group and getting afloat, initial familiarisation activities, games and activities to support learning and how to use mini journeys to support learning, inspire adventure and exploration. This will be enhanced with support on how these sessions can be delivered in a way that is enjoyable, safe and rewarding.
The Paddlesport Instructor qualification is designed for instructors running paddlesport taster/starter sessions within the safety management systems of clubs, centres or other organisations in:
- Very Sheltered Water environments; and
- Craft deemed suitable for a first-time experience (kayak, canoe, sit on top or stand up paddleboard).
The process of completing the qualification aims to help prepare candidates for their first paddlesport instructing role; ‘primed and ready’.
The combined training / assessment runs over 2 days; and requires candidates to have personal paddling (equivalent to the former 2*-level) and rescue competence in one type of craft (kayak, open canoe, sit on top, or stand up paddleboard); and to have completed Foundation Safety & Rescue Training. Candidates are also required to pre-register with the NGB before attending. Minimum 4, maximum 12 candidates.
Coach Award Preparation, Training and Assessment
The British Canoeing Coach Award offers discipline-specific pathways across all disciplines and introduces the skills and coaching behaviours required to develop performance through progressive coaching.
The Coach Award is designed for people whose core function is to coach paddlers who want to gain/improve paddlesport skills within their chosen discipline. This will include coaching beginners new to the sport, or paddlers looking to develop their skills in the given discipline/environment. The Coach is able to plan, deliver and review progressive sessions safely, effectively and independently.
I am able to offer Discipline Specific Training (2 days, 2-6 candidates) and Assessment (1 day, 1-2 candidates) in:
- Sheltered Water Kayak
- Sheltered Water Canoe
- Sheltered Water Canoe & Kayak (combined)
- White Water Kayak
- White Water Canoe
- Open Water Canoe
Candidates for Discipline Specific Training must have completed Core Coach Award Training (2 days) and, for moderate water variants, must hold the relevant Moderate Water Leader (formerly 4*) Award.
I can also arrange Core Coach Award training (2 days, 4-6 candidates) and Slalom Coach training (in association with other coaches) if required.
Emergency / Aquatic First Aid Level 1 (1-day course) and Level 2 (2-day course)
1-day course provides a basic level of knowledge and skill to render First Aid in a range of emergency situations within a reasonable distance of medical assistance. My courses cover all the requirements for the Emergency First Aid at Work course as well as the British Canoeing Lifeguards Aquatic First Aid Level 1 Award. The 1-day course is an appropriate award for Paddlesport Instructors, Paddlesport Leaders, Sheltered Water Coaches (and Level 1 / 2 coaches) and for all paddlers and volunteers operating in and around the sheltered water environment. It is also an appropriate award for the BMC Climbing Wall Awards. The course comprises a minimum of 8-hours training and is usually conducted over one long day; but can be spread over 2 days or a number of evenings if required. It takes place in a classroom environment, with an outdoor scenario whenever possible.
A 2-day course provide candidates with a level of knowledge and skill to render first aid in a range of emergency situations in an outdoor environment where advanced medical assistance may be delayed. My courses build upon the Level 1 award to provide a 16-hour first aid award which covers all the requirements for the Emergency First Aid at Work course as well as the British Canoeing Lifeguards Aquatic First Aid Level 2 Award. The 2-day course is an appropriate award for Moderate Water Paddlesport Leaders and Coaches and for all paddlers and volunteers operating in and around the moderate water environment. It is also an appropriate award for other outdoor instructors/leaders including Mountainwalking leaders. The course comprises a minimum of 16-hours training and is usually conducted over two long days; but can be spread over more days or a number of evenings if required. It takes place in a combination of classroom and outdoor environments.
Minimum 2, maximum 12 candidates. Minimum age 14 (1-day) / 16 (2-day) (although a 4-hour Primary First Aid course is also available for younger candidates and for e.g. volunteers requiring an introductory qualification).
Course Cancellation Policy
If a course is cancelled by me, I will offer a choice between transferring fees to the next available course or receiving a full refund. Refunds will only include fees paid to me for the event, compensation will not be paid for incidental costs or expenses and I recommend that candidates use refundable vendors for accommodation, travel etc. If you cancel your place after booking, you will be liable for the full course fee unless I can recover some or all of the cost of your place from elsewhere (e.g. if you can find another, additional, candidate to take your place).