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Guide Endorsement

The Guide Endorsement is aimed at British Canoeing Leaders to support and recognise the additional skills required when fulfilling a guiding role. 

Expand Overview

The Guide Endorsement is for British Canoeing Leaders who are involved in guiding activity, particularly those working within Adventure Tourism and Commercial Markets. This endorsement is aimed at supporting and recognising the additional skills required when fulfilling a guiding role. 

The ethos of the scheme is to support, share and recognise the leaders guiding development. The cadre of Guides and aspirant Guides will be a supportive network of leaders, sharing best practice and like-minded ideas, in order to aid their learning and support paddlers on their journeys. The main purpose is that it is a healthy and supportive learning experience for all involved, whether it is the mentor, aspirant Guide or more importantly, the clients.

The endorsement is available to British Canoeing Leaders who have completed learning relevant to their guiding role. This may include topics such as trip planning/organisation, leadership styles, customer care, camp craft, minimising impact on communities/environment, adding value to the customer experience, with British Canoeing offering a range of modules covering these topics. Recognition that the Guide also meets minimum standards of deployment is also be built into the endorsement; this will cover first aid and a commitment to continual professional development. 


The benefits of becoming a British Canoeing Guide are: 

  • Promotion through a specific page on the British Canoeing website;
  • Use of the British Canoeing Guide logo;
  • Formal recognition;
  • Access to additional guide training and sharing run by fellow experts in the field of guiding;
  • A forum for endorsed guides to share good practice, guiding issues, trends and CPD opportunities;
  • Increase in employment potential both in the UK and International.
Expand Entry Requirements

Leadership Qualification 

This element requires a British Canoeing Leadership qualification:

  • British Canoeing Paddlesport Leader Award
  • A British Canoeing Moderate or Advanced Water Leadership Award 
  • A British Canoeing 4 or 5 Star Leadership Award
  • Previously acquired BCU Leadership Award (e.g. Advanced Proficiency)  

Note: British Canoeing Coaches are also qualified to lead, therefore Coaching Qualifications at Level 2 or above are also relevant. 

Applicants will need to have held a British Canoeing Leadership Award for two years with a logged leading experience of at least 20 journeys/trips.

First Aid Award

Holding a recognised and valid First Aid certificate demonstrates commitment to this aspect of the scheme. First Aid is expected to meet British Canoeing guidelines (e.g. minimum 1-day for those working in Sheltered Water and minimum 2-days for those working in Moderate to Advanced Waters), although guides working in more remote conditions and environments are encouraged to consider WEMSI, Wilderness First Responder or similar courses. 


Maintaining full membership of British Canoeing, the Scottish Canoe Association, Canoe Wales or Canoe Association Northern Ireland is a core aspect of the scheme. Holding such membership provides civil liability insurance amongst other benefits, depending on the National Association. 

Recognition of Experience or Training

Aspirant Guides should develop their specific areas of interest, relevant to their guiding. To gain full Guide endorsement, 3 areas of training and development must be undertaken, out of the following 5 topics.

  • Camp Craft and Expedition Skills
  • Environment and Sustainability 
  • Leadership
  • Customer Experience
  • Trip Planning and Organisation 

Guide Modules: The Guide Modules cover the above topics and are run through experienced Guides. Full details of the content can be found in the Guide Module Outlines on the British Canoeing Awarding Body website

Accredited Prior Learning (APL): British Canoeing appreciates that Guides may choose to develop themselves through a variety of means and seek to recognise formal, non-formal and informal development. Guides may also register other forms of development, including mentored practice with other Guides, specific training, etc., by providing evidence on the APL section of the application form.  

British Canoeing recognise and support that paddlers have enriched and diverse experiences, having attended courses and having worked with other Guides and Leaders. We are working with other organisations to develop the Guide Scheme Mapping Document, which will be updated on a regular basis. This documents is to provide an indication of suitable and recognised courses and awards that can be used to APL British Canoeing Guide Modules. 

Expand Becoming an Endorsed Guide

British Canoeing members should send their completed applications to [email protected]

2019 Fees

Endorsement fee


Ongoing Requirements

The CPD aspect of the scheme recognises the Guides commitment to ongoing development of their professional practice. British Canoeing and the National Associations consider it best practice for professional Leaders/Guides to pursue regular development of their knowledge, skills and understanding in areas linked to their professional activity. This may be achieved by participation in a British Canoeing Guide Module or via an Application for Recognition of CPD. 

2019 Fees

Remaining a registered Guide and associated benefits (every 3 years)



The British Canoeing endorsement on the Guide Scheme does not extend your remit of your British Canoeing Leadership Award and, as such, the Environmental Definitions & Deployment Guidance for Instructors, Coaches & Leaders will remain the same.

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