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NEW Paddlesport Instructor

The NEW Paddlesport Instructor is aimed at those running taster/starter sessions and short journeys in very sheltered water environments, within the safety management systems of clubs/centres or other organisations.

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’.  

The qualification will cover a range of stable craft including kayak (this can be open-cockpit or closed-cockpit), open canoe, sit on top and stand up paddleboard. Candidates will be certificated in one craft but able to instruct a mixed fleet. 

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


Register using your Membership Portal or use the Registration Guidance button for further information.

Paddlesport Instructor Courses

Head over to the Canoe Near You look up and find Paddlesport Instructor courses near you.

Expand Registration

Candidates wishing to book on to a Paddlesport Instructor course must register with their respective National Association.

It is advisable to do this at least 2-weeks prior to the training course.

Registration is the start of the process by which an instructor's qualification journey is records and gives the instructor access to the training resources. Registration is different to booking a place on a course, which is done directly with the course provider.

Registration for the Paddlesport Instructor is open to persons aged 14 and above. All candidates registering for the Paddlesport Instructor course will need to be a full member of their respective National Association. 

All candidates are required to have completed:

To be able to get the most out of your course, we would recommend that you can paddle to the standard of one of the following Personal Performance Awards: Touring Award, Canoe Award, SUP Sheltered Water Award, Sea Kayak Award, White Water Award, Surf Kayak Award, Racing Explore Award, Flat Water Freestyle Award, Polo Explore Award, Slalom Explore Award or the Wild Water Explore Award. 

Expand Course Content

The combined training and assessment practical course, is based on the knowledge, understanding and skills that the instructor needs to ensure the participants in their care are appropriately provided for. This includes:

Practical skills (training focus):

  • the ability to effectively prepare a group for an activity (e.g. kitting up and getting afloat);
  • a repertoire of activities to engage the group (e.g. games, tasks and journeys);
  • a range of motivating activities and games that support learning;
  • a range of strategies for utilising mini journeys to inspire adventure and exploration;
  • how to help participants learn some basic skills;
  • top tips and quick fixes for common challenges to accelerate learning when required;
  • selection of suitable equipment for participants;
  • how to maintain participants’ safety;
  • understanding of deployment matters.

Engagement and relationship building skills (training focus):

  • the ability to quickly build relationships with group members; caring, friendly, approachable;
  • the ability to motivate and inspire the group;
  • effective decision making to deliver (and adapt) sessions that are both safe and enjoyable;
  • communication skills. 

Professional standards (formative assessment):

  • professional behaviour;
  • working as part of a team;
  • clear and effective communication;
  • minimising negative impact on the environment and other users;
  • an active engagement in personal learning and development.

Personal paddling and rescue skills (assessed):

Please see the checklist in Appendix 1 of the Course Guide; this is based on the assessment requirements. 

Expand Course Structure

The NEW Paddlesport Instructor qualification involves a minimum of two days and includes at least 15 hours’ teaching/learning contact time. Courses can be run over a longer duration to include additional time to focus on personal skills, rescue skills, or the development of instructing skills. 

Expand Assessment & Certification

By the end of the course, learners are required to have demonstrated knowledge and skills as identified in the following three areas:

  • Professional Standards
  • Personal Paddling Skills
  • Rescue Skills 

For more information on the Paddlesport Instructor assessment process please refer to the Paddlesport Instructor Assessment Guidance.

Upon successful completion of each of these tasks the course provider will recommend the candidate for certification. Certificates will be email to the candidate with the craft stated on their certificate.

Please note, learners do not need to repeat the Paddlesport Instructor course to have a certificate for every craft. It will be up to the deployer whether the learner displays competencies from a range of craft and so which craft(s) they can operate from. These skills can be demonstrated by undertaking a NEW Personal Performance Award. 


Register using your Membership Portal or use the Registration Guidance button for further information.

Paddlesport Instructor Courses

Head over to the Canoe Near You look up and find Paddlesport Instructor courses near you.