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New for 2019

British Canoeing is pleased to announce the NEW Personal Performance Awards and the NEW Paddlesport Instructor award, both due to launch in January 2019.

The NEW Personal Performance Awards are designed for paddlers wanting to gain recognition of their learning and development, in the craft and environment they choose.

The NEW Paddlesport Instructor award is designed for people whose main focus is to deliver paddlesport taster/starter sessions and short journeys in very sheltered water environments, within the safety management systems of clubs/centres or other organisations.

Expand NEW Personal Performance Awards

NEW Personal Performance Awards


The awards allow paddlers to improve their skills, working towards the award of their choice, developing their decision making and fundamental skills. There are no dual discipline awards and all of the awards are direct entry, giving the paddler choice.

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Paddle Awards: Designed to develop enjoyment, safety and skills for those new to Paddlesport

The three Paddle Awards are for those getting into a boat for the first time, enabling them to feel confident in their chosen craft in a sheltered water environment. The awards help empower the paddler, enabling them to start their lifelong journey into paddlesport. 

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Discipline Specific Pathway Awards

  • Each of the 12 disciplines has three awards.
  • Five new disciplines have been introduced including Stand Up Paddleboard, Polo, Racing, Rafting and Slalom, which means there is something for everyone. With a range of different environments and crafts, this enables the individual to make choices on the type of craft and environment they wish to paddle.
  • All of the awards are direct entry. Paddlers can choose which award they would like to work towards, developing their skills and decision making.
  • The awards provide appropriate milestones and acknowledgement of personal skills, setting up the paddler appropriately for British Canoeing Coaching and Leadership qualifications.
  • There are no age restrictions for any of the awards. Providers should check paddlers’ suitability, as well as having appropriate mechanisms for anyone under 18.
  • All of the awards have been created and written with the paddler at the heart of the content and creating self-directed learning, empowerment and ownership. 

Click to view the Discpline Awards

Full details of the content of the awards are available from Autumn 2018 or please see the following links to find out more about the disciplines. 

We'll be sharing these over the next 6 months so keep an eye on the British Canoeing website!

Approach and Ethos Behind the NEW Personal Performance Awards

Aligned with the British Educational Philosophy, the awards provide autonomy for both the individual and Provider, enabling progression and development, embracing individualisation and empowering the paddler.

Achieving a Personal Performance Award

There are many ways a paddler can work towards achieving a Personal Performance Award. 

Click to read more

An individual tries canoeing at a holiday camp, develops their skills and is awarded the Paddle Start certificate. The individual is keen to develop their skills further and finds their local club to undertake the Paddle Discover Award.

Paddlers may be out for a day trip on the sea or on the river and demonstrate their understanding and skills and be awarded a Personal Performance Award.

Club paddlers could use the awards as part of a series of sessions, developing their skills and understanding along the way.

An individual paddler can use the awards as a guide, to promote self-learning.

Paddlers could opt for bespoke training at their local centre, using the award as a checklist and then enlist a Provider to check they meet the requirements.

Racing, Polo, Slalom or Wild Water Racing paddlers can use the awards as progressive milestones in gaining developments in their skill and understanding of their chosen discipline. 

How do the changes impact existing or aspirant Star Award Holders?

We know that many existing or aspirant Star Award holders will be wondering how the changes to the new awards impact them.

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Existing Star Award Holders

Simply, the changes do not affect current Star Award holders. Any Star Awards taken with British Canoeing will remain recognised.

The NEW Personal Performance Awards could be used to refresh your skills or development in other areas. 

Aspirant Star Award Holders

If a candidate is interested in taking a Star Award this year, they are still a great way of gauging development and progress and we would encourage and support anyone wanting to do this over 2018 to access the Star Awards.

From January 2019, the Personal Performance Awards will no longer be directly linked to the Coaching or Leadership awards.  However, if a paddler is looking to attend a British Canoeing (UKCC) Paddlesport instructor course in 2018, they will need to hold the current 2 Star Award.

For anyone who has started their Paddlepower journey already or looking to start in 2018, we will support you in your development and no time limit will be put in place for completion.  For anyone who completes their Paddlepower journey after January 2019, please send in the relevant documentation and we will certificate.

Expand Become a Personal Performance Awards Provider

Become a Personal Performance Awards Provider

We are pleased to announce that every Instructor, Coach, Leader, Guide and Bell Boat Helm will be able to deliver the NEW Personal Performance Awards, providing greater access for the paddling community.

There are a number of roles that existing Providers already hold that will enable Providers to start delivering the Personal Performance Awards from January 2019. We are also recognising a wide range of coaching and leadership qualifications that coaches and leaders already hold which enables them to work towards becoming a Provider of the NEW Personal Performance Awards. This also opens up the opportunity for existing Providers to deliver more awards.

All aspirant Providers will need to complete a specific eLearning package before delivering the Personal Performance Awards. This will be made available in Autumn 2018 and enables all Providers to access the package in the own time, reducing the need for travel, making this a more cost effective route for all Providers.

The eLearning will only be required to be accessed once, even though providers may be delivering multiple awards and covers the following topics -

  • The award structures
  • Philosophy of personal development and growth
  • Standardisation of the awards
  • Assessment principles and practices
  • Administration processes
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The eLearning provides 3 years’ CPD, as well as completing the British Canoeing Assessors Training Course and will cost £15. On completion of the educational package, the provider will be sent an electronic document of the eLearning for further reference, as well as a British Canoeing Provider logo they will be able to use in their promotion and marketing of running the awards. 

For full details of the Provider requirements for the new awards, please see the ‘Provider Requirements for the NEW Personal Performance Awards’ on the Awarding Body website.

If you’re an existing Star Award Provider, please read our ‘How do the changes impact existing Star Award Providers?’ guidance article. 

Stand Up Paddleboard Awards Provider Orientations

British Canoeing are committed to delivering world leading qualifications and awards, ensuring high standards of experience and knowledge in all the disciplines represented.  SUP White Water and Surf are new areas for the organisation and as such, have a limited representation of Providers in these areas.  To ensure consistency and standards of delivery, we are running both SUP WW and Surf orientations for aspirant Providers to deliver the NEW SUP Personal Performance Awards from 2nd January 2019.

Click here to read more and book onto the upcoming Orientations.

Expand NEW Paddlesport Instructor

NEW Paddlesport Instructor

  • Two days of combined training and assessment
  • Only prerequisites are Home Nation membership and Foundation Safety and Rescue Training (FSRT)
  • No workbook but an optional eLearning is available
  • Available in stable craft including closed and open cockpit kayaks, sit-on-tops, stand-up-paddleboards, and open canoes

The 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 process of completing the qualification aims to help prepare candidates for their first paddlesport instructing role; ‘primed and ready’.  

Further details are available in the ‘Paddlesport Instructor Course Guide’ and ‘Paddlesport Instructor Announcement (June 2018)' and 'Frequently Asked Questions' document. These are available to download from the British Canoeing Awarding Body website.

Similarities and Differences

There are a range of similarities and differences between the existing Paddlesport Instructor course and the course to be launched in 2019. 

Both the current (UKCC) and the new Paddlesport Instructor:

  • are recommended as a suitable qualification for running taster/starter sessions;
  • would have high levels of support in place immediately after the course;
  • are expected to be working within the framework of deployers’ safety management systems, for example, at your club or centre;
  • can run taster/starter sessions on their own after some experience has been acquired.

The differences between the current (UKCC) and the new Paddlesport Instructor: 

Similarities Differences Pi Table

Aspirant Paddlesport Instructors: Shall I wait until 2019?

If you are interested in completing your Paddlesport Instructor qualification, you have an option of whether to wait until the new qualification is launched or attend a course in 2018. 

We would recommend you undertake the (UKCC) Paddlesport Instructor course in 2018:   

  • If you require a working qualification before 2019
  • You are looking to work in sheltered water, rather than very sheltered water environments
  • You are looking to become a Coach. Although the (UKCC) Paddlesport Instructor is not a prerequisite of the Coach Award, it can accelerate your journey through the Coach Award pathway if it is completed first. Therefore the current (UKCC) Paddlesport Instructor qualification is a great stepping stone to the Coach Award.  

For further information, please see the FAQs document on the Awarding Body website or read our Guidance Article.

Expand Become a Paddlesport Instructor Provider

Become a Paddlesport Instructor Provider

British Canoeing and the Home Nations will need a number of British Canoeing Paddlesport Instructor Tutors in order to deliver the NEW Paddlesport Instructor Award from the 1st January 2019. 

Applications for Paddlesport Instructor Tutors are now closed.

Application Timeline

  • Application open 3rd July 2018
  • Application deadline 21st August 2018 (12:00 noon)
  • Application decisions by 21st September 2018    

Application decisions will be sent via email (unless agreed otherwise) If successful your offer will be conditional, based on attending an orientation successfully and completing an any agreed action plan within an agreed timescale.

If successful applicants are required to book on to an orientation event within 12 months (21st September 2019), failure to book on to an orientation may require a new application to be submitted.