Guidance on British Canoeing Qualifications and Awards

IMPORTANT: This document must be read in conjunction with local government and National Association guidance.

British Canoeing qualifications and awards are delivered across the globe and we recognise that lockdown measures and easing of restrictions are different in every country. Some learners and providers are starting to consider their development by attending/offering British Canoeing courses.

The following document provides information to Providers running British Canoeing Qualifications and Awards.  It is important that, alongside this document, Providers keep up to date and follow their Local Government and National Association guidelines as there are many variations across the UK and Internationally. 

This document will be reviewed regularly and further updates provided, considering COVID-19 developments. British Canoeing’s intent is to have all courses running as soon as responsibly possible.

If Providers have any specific questions or concerns regarding the delivery of British Canoeing courses, please contact your National Association.

Considerations for delivering responsibly:

Providers have the appropriate experience, decision making skills and professional judgement and take the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of paddlers and deliver courses in a responsible way. British Canoeing suggests Providers consider the following:

  • Complete a new COVID-19 risk assessment, taking into consideration the Government guidelines and put in place appropriate measures to safeguard yourself, staff, clients and members of the public;
  • Check with your insurance (not following Government guidance could invalid your insurance);
  • Develop appropriate approaches to ensure that social distancing restrictions, if in place, are followed as part of your delivery including pre-briefings and post feedback sessions;
  • Ensure communication well in advance with your clients when booking, to make them aware of the measures being put in place for the course and guidelines they should follow before, during and after the session;
  • Consider the environments that you use, how you will get there, access onto the water as well as popularity of the venue.

Face to Face Training courses and Guide Endorsements:

Coaching, Leadership, CNTP, OWNTP, Guide Endorsements and supporting module training courses are able to be delivered, if Local Government guidelines permit:

  • Safety of participants, providers and members of the public is paramount;
  • Training courses with rescues must have specific consideration and a detailed action plan provided to participants if these are unable to be practiced, and that individuals are made aware of this restriction at the time of booking;
  • For Coaching and Leadership courses that require ‘coaching/leadership practice sessions’ that are unable to be delivered due to low ratios, a detailed action plan must be provided and participants made aware of this restriction at the time of booking;
  • The following ratios have been adjusted to allow programmes to be offered, all other ratios remain the same and maximum numbers have not been changed.
Qualification / AwardMinimum Ratio
Foundation and Intermediate Modules1:2
Guide Modules1:2
Support Modules1:2

Safety Courses:

The following courses cannot run if social distancing restrictions are in place due to the nature of the programmes, close proximity and rescue requirements:

  • Foundation Safety and Rescue Training
  • White Water Safety and Rescue Training 
  • Advanced White Water Safety and Rescue Training 
  • Advanced Surf Safety and Rescue Training

Personal Performance Awards:

Personal Performance Awards can be delivered if Local Government guidelines permit. Due to the diversity and ethos of the Personal Performance Awards, a sensible approach on how Providers deliver and recognise competence will be required. 

Coaching and Leadership Assessments:

  • If social distancing restrictions are in place then no assessments are able to be delivered. This includes the BCAB Paddlesport Instructor Award which is a combined training and assessment programme.  This is due to the nature of our qualifications and the safety implications. All assessments must cover all elements of the documented assessment criteria;
  • An exception to this would be assessments that have candidates and mock students from the same household (cohabiters). Due to the British Canoeing policy of assessing friends, family or members of staff, these assessments would require approval from National Associations.