Paddlesport Leader

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The Paddlesport Leader qualification is aimed at paddlers wishing to take on formal leadership responsibilities in sheltered water environments.

The primary role of the Paddlesport Leader is to facilitate, supervise, and lead safe, enjoyable trips, meeting the needs of their group. These aspects will primarily be achieved through choice of venue and equipment and leadership strategies that match the group’s specific needs. The award does not include progressive coaching of technical skills but focuses on learning through experience.

The award will be useful for leaders in clubs, centres, commercial settings, schools, Duke of Edinburgh and youth/uniform groups.


Paddlers are required to register before they attend their assessment. You will need, a valid (within 3 years) British Canoeing recognised 1-day first aid award, valid (within 3 years) Safeguarding Training recognised by British Canoeing and Full CANI Membership. You must be aged 16 or over at the time of assessment. Note that you cannot be deemed responsible for leadership by law until you turn 18 years of age.

Preparation for Assessment

There is no official training for the Paddlesport Leader award however 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. For example, in-house training through your club or work place, working alongside/shadowing other Leaders, or attending conference/symposium workshops.

Guidance is offered below to help you to decide what will work best for you in your personalised development journey.

British Canoeing have developed an online E-Learning resource to support leaders learning, this 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.

Follow link for British Canoeing Leadership Model.

The links below provide guidance on registration, syllabus, training, assessment, how to become a provider, course authorisation and much more.

Sheltered Water Leader Resources

How and When to Register/check-in for Coaching and Leadership

Providers – Information and Course Authorisation

Guidance Documents and Resources