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Coach Award

The Coach Award offers discipline specific pathways across all disciplines and introduces the skills and coaching behaviours required for developing performance through progressive coaching.

The Coach Awards are designed for people whose core function is to coach paddlers who want to gain/improve paddlesport skills within the discipline chosen. 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. 

There are 22 options available covering all of our main disciplines and environments. 

Please click to view the Course Documents on the Awarding Body website


If you already meet these prerequisites, register now using your Membership Portal or use the Registration Guidance button for further information.

Coach Award Courses

Head over to the Canoe Near You look up and find Coach Award courses near you.

Expand Registration & Prerequisites

Candidates are required to register with their Home Nation Association at any point on their journey to assessment. It is highly recommended that coaches register early to enable access to the eLearning Coach Award package which provides supportive material and signposting to development opportunities. 

In order to register, candidates need to hold Home Nation Association membership. There is no expiry date to the registration. 

Core Coach Training Prerequisites

  • Full Home Nation Association Membership

You will also need a base level of knowledge about the discipline(s) you wish to coach; this provides the content of WHAT you will be coaching. Whilst the British Canoeing Paddlesport Instructor eLearning covers the expected prior knowledge of the HOW to coach content. Your course provider can provide further guidance.  

Discipline Specific Training Prerequisites

Assessment Prerequisites

  • Coach Award Core Coach Training
  • Coach Award Discipline Specific Training
  • Relevant Leadership Award for some disciplines (see Coach Award Course Guide)
  • Coach Award eLearning

Evidence of minimum standards of deployment:

  • In date First Aid Training
  • Safeguarding Training (as required by your Home Nation Association)
  • Full Home Nation Association Membership
  • Aged 16 or over at the time of assessment (18 for Advanced Water Options)

Once all prerequisites are in place, you can complete the Assessment Check In and proceed to your assessment.  

Expand Course Content

The Coach Award content is delivered through the Core Coach Training and the Discipline Specific Training. 

The Core Coach Training will explore different approaches to coaching, understanding and enabling learning, and some core coaching skills. You will also be supported in evolving your personal coaching development plan to enable you to take your learning into practice after the course. 

The Discipline Specific Training focuses on HOW to coach the discipline specific skills and WHAT you will be coaching. The training explores how to coach technical and tactical skills. The course will help coaches plan and deliver safe, enjoyable, progressive coaching sessions and explore specifics to help coaches coach some typical athletes/learners relevant to you/your discipline. 

The syllabus is based on the knowledge, understanding and skills that the coaches need to ensure the athletes/learners in their care are appropriately provided for. This includes:

  • assessing athlete/learner performance and needs
  • designing and delivering progressive practice/training sessions to meet these needs
  • managing safety
  • creating an enjoyable motivating learning environment
  • skills to support your own personal learning and professional development 

For more information on the content covered in the Coach Award programme, please read the Coach Award Course Guide

Expand Course Structure

The learning programme for Coach Award candidates is split into four distinct parts; Core Coach Training, Discipline Specific Training, Independent and Supplementary Learning and Assessment. 

The Core Coach Training is a mostly practical two day course. These are typically delivered over consecutive days. The Core Coach Training is generic and open to Home Nation members with an interest in coaching. 

This Discipline Specific Training is a mostly practical two day course. The training is designed for those working towards a Coach Award and is also suitable as stand-alone training. Please note, for the Open Water Canoe, Sea Kayak, Surf Kayak, White Water Canoe, White Water Kayak options, you will need to complete the relevant Leadership Award ahead of the Discipline Specific training. 

The Independent and Supplementary Learning includes completion of the Coach Award eLearning, which can be accessed by completing a CR Form. Alongside face-to-face training, coaches need to learn and develop their craft out in the field. We consider this to be a critical element to support coach development and we aim to provide some guidance to help you steer your way through this. During your development period (and in preparation for assessment) it is important that you engage in activities that help you:

  • practice and refine the application of theory to practice
  • develop as an effective learner
  • develop the depth and breadth of your discipline specific experience and knowledge
  • develop your understanding, depth and breadth of supporting knowledge
  • develop your personal coaching philosophy
Expand Assessment & Certification

Before presenting for assessment, candidates must complete the Assessment Check In with their Home Nation Association to ensure they meet all of the prerequisites. 

Assessment Check In Service

Check In is a new process for coaches who are planning to attend a Coach Award Assessment course. 

It's free, quick and confirmation sent straight to your inbox*. This should then be shared with the assessor to confirm eligibility for assessment. 

The purpose of Check In is to confirm the coach holds all prerequisites, saving time on the day of the assessment, as the assessor doesn't need to check certificates and paperwork. 

Please do not try to check in unless you hold all prerequisites, including the completion of Coach Award eLearning module (unless you intend to submit your workbook and portfolio).  

Confirmation of Check In will not be issued until the conditions are met. 

Please Check In using your Membership PortalUnder the Menu tab, select Registration Details. 

If you are unable to check in online, please download the Coach Award Check In Document  and send it to your Home Nation coaching office via post or email**.

*Note -  as long as you meet the prerequisites, you will be automatically sent confirmation of your Check In. 

**Note – if you are aware that your record is out of date (for example your First Aid has expired) we recommend you email the check-in form to us with a copy of updated certificates.

Assessment Tasks

At assessment, candidates will be required to complete the following assessment tasks 

  • Assessment Discussion Task
  • Practical Coaching
  • Rescue Skills
  • Personal Skills*
  • Background Knowledge, Understanding and Experience

For more information about the Coach Award assessment, please read the Assessment Day Pack

*The Personal Skills element of assessment is not applicable to the coaches pursuing the Freestyle, Polo, Racing, Slalom or Wild Water Racing qualifications. It is applicable to all other Coach Awards. 


Upon successful completion of each of these tasks the course provider will recommend the candidate for certification. 


If you already meet these prerequisites, register now using your Membership Portal or use the Registration Guidance button for further information.

Coach Award Courses

Head over to the Canoe Near You look up and find Coach Award courses near you.