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Centres & Hire Providers

British Canoeing aims to support centres and outdoor companies through the Quality Mark Centre scheme.

The British Canoeing Quality Mark is a national quality mark which can be awarded to organisations providing paddlesport activities within British Canoeing guidelines. The aim is to support providers in developing their activities and to give practical help in promoting their business. 

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Further advice regarding Coronavirus is available on this web page, our coaching and leadership pages and our latest news section.

  • Inspections for British Canoeing Quality Mark, Adventuremark and the Learning Outside of the Classroom Quality Badge will be postponed during the current Coronavirus situation.
  • Existing Providers, who are due re-inspection, will continue to be accredited, subject to payment of the re-inspection fee and completion of a Provider Declaration. This will be followed up by an inspection when it becomes possible to once again undertake inspections.
  • As with the existing annual renewal process, where significant variations in the Providers operation are identified through the Provider Declaration, we will conduct a telephone interview and seek further information in order to confirm continuing accreditation.
  • No new applications will be accepted until inspections can once again be undertaken.

AAIAC Coronavirus Statement - 17.03.2020

If your interested in British Canoeing Quality Mark, Adventuremark and the Learning Outside of the Classroom Quality Badge or have any further questions please contact us on [email protected]

Guidance for learners of British Canoeing and British Canoeing Instructors, Coaches, Leaders, Guides, Quality Mark Centres and Course Providers.

British Canoeing has received several enquiries concerning the risks of COVID-19 during paddlesport activity and British Canoeing courses. 

The following guidance supplements guidance available from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE) as well as Public Health Wales (, Health Protection Scotland (HPS) ( and Department of Health Northern Ireland (DHNI) (\), and may change based on increasing experience in the care of patients with COVID-19, as well as the effect of the outbreak on health services. It is therefore important to always check the latest guidance on the DHSC/PHE/PHW/HPS/DHNI websites. 

COVID-19 is thought to spread in a way similar to seasonal influenza; from person-to-person through close contact and droplets. Standard principles of infection control and droplet precautions are the main control strategies and should be followed rigorously. Aerosol transmission can also occur. Attention to hand hygiene and containment of respiratory secretions produced by coughing and sneezing are the cornerstones of effective infection control. 

We would encourage you to read the following Government guidance in order to develop strategies if the current situation should change. 

If you are in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, please see your National Association website for any further country-specific guidance. 

Government guidance 

Statement for Centres

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We would encourage you to read the following Government guidance in order to develop strategies if the current situation should change. 

Government guidance 

Postponement of courses

We continue to be flexible in our approach to the planning of training and assessment courses; short notice cancellation or postponement of courses is expected under the current circumstances. However, notice periods for rearranging such courses remain the same, permission being sought in advance for short notice courses/changes. We do acknowledge that some learners may be concerned due to expiry dates or time periods – in such cases, please be assured that extensions to those expiry dates will be given.


We expect there to be occasions in the coming months where, through no fault of the learner (e.g. First Aid Course being cancelled), they may not have all appropriate prerequisites for assessments in place, in these circumstances we will be allowing registrations to be made and for candidates to attend assessments; however, certification will not be issued until notification of the missing requirement being gained has been provided – providers will be given written confirmation where such an agreement is in place.

Courses/ Coaching/ Leading/ Guiding Overseas

Providers are expected to consider International travel carefully, taking into account the up to date advice of both the destination and country of origin. We would expect providers to review their joining instructions to ensure learners are aware of the risks of planning to join such courses/trips and take appropriate measures to protect themselves, both from a health and financial standpoint (insurance, EHIC, using credit cards to pay, etc.) 

Course delivery

The guidance is clear that hand washing is essential in the protection of your health and preventing the spread of the virus, careful consideration should be given to ensuring venues have hot running water and washing facilities with alcohol gel (or wipes if gel unavailable) provided in addition to hand-washing facilities. For venues without this option, you must ensure appropriate alternative measures are in place.

Providers are expected to review their joining instructions to ensure this advice is clearly given on booking and in the run up to the course.

First Aid 

Providers are encouraged to read the guidance provided by the Resuscitation Council  on both delivery of First Aid and performing First Aid available here:

For providers who deliver First Aid training, please ensure you are considering the advice of both the Resus Council and your awarding organisation.

First Aid Extension eLearning

Due to the circumstances we find ourselves in at present, many Instructors, Coaches, Leaders and Guides may be struggling to gain access to courses to be able to renew their First Aid qualification.

British Canoeing recognise this as a difficult time and could be worrying for individuals and anyone deploying supervised paddlesport activities.  

For anyone who is required to renew their First Aid qualification from the 16th March 2020 and is unable to access a course we are providing a FREE eLearning course that will be recognised by all National Associations as a 3 month extension.

The First Aid Extension eLearning is a 15 minute programme which requires both your full name and National Association membership number.  After completion of the course, your attendance will be communicated to your National Association and your record updated 

This online resource acts as an extension and is not a replacement for a face to face First Aid programme, and we would expect within a sensible time period a renewal course to be attended.

Click here to access the First Aid Extension eLearning.

British Canoeing will review this matter over the coming months and will issue further statements as necessary.

Cancellation Policies

We recommend you review your cancellation policies and ensure your position is clear, you are advising your learners of that position at the time of booking and that your arrangement is balanced, fair and two way, e.g. what happens if you cancel the activity due to your own inability to provide the activity. 

Benefits of becoming a British Canoeing Quality Mark Scheme

The British Canoeing Quality Mark and National Association logos can be used both at the Providers premises and to enhance promotional material and stationary, using the British Canoeing and National Associations logos and the words 'British Canoeing Quality Mark'. - Kite Mark of Quality provision for paddlesport. Access to range of services including:

  • Advertising via the Go Paddling Centres look up and other promotions as relevant 
  • Staff Qualification Checking System · Technical Advice via your approval officer for AALS approval 
  • Access to reduced rate boat licenses, where necessary
  • Participation Program support from the Area Development Officers
  • Access to British Canoeing Publications 

For further information and for an application form, please see the following useful downloads:

Please note, this web page and documents gives guidance for British Canoeing (English) Quality Mark Centres. For Centres in Scotland, please visit the SCA website.

The following links and documents give further guidance on the Quality Mark Scheme.

Quality Mark Guidance

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The Quality Mark Guidance document provides detailed guidance about who should apply for the Quality Mark, the application and inspection process, as well as what is involved in achieving the Quality Mark standards.

Guidance for Instructors, Coaches, Leaders and Providers

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The British Canoeing Awarding Body website hosts full details of all of the awards and qualifications, course documents, as well as guidance documents such as the 'Environmental Definitions and Deployment Guidance for Instructors, Coaches and Leaders'. 

There is also a Digital Library which offers a wide range of resources including videos, podcasts, eLearning, academic papers and much more! These resources aim to support Instructors, Coaches and Leaders with their development. 

Guidelines for Hire Companies

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The guidelines for hire companies document is aimed at companies that offers boat hire and unsupervised activities as a sole buisness and sets out the standard you need to achieve for this. 

The document provide a range of principles for the responsible provision of paddlesport activities where safety management, quality provision and the safety and welfare of participants is paramount. Included is a framework from which providers can develop their own operating procedures to ensure that the principles and expectations expressed in the advice provided are fully realised.

YOUR promotion tool: The Go Paddling website

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If you currently run or are interested in running guided tours, starter sessions, canoe hire or want to be included in national promotional Go Paddling campaigns and activities, this is for you. For more information about the specific ways to get involved and benefits to you, visit the 'Become a Go Paddling Provider' section of the website.

Adventuremark and Learning Outside the Classroom

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Please click the following links for the Adventuremark and Learning Outside the Classroom, which provides full details about the accreditation. 

Paddle-Ability Accreditation

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To recognise Centres that are providing quality provision for disabled people, British Canoeing offers a bolt on to the Quality Mark scheme. 

We have developed this programme as we know that disabled people want to easily identify where they can access activity that is appropriate for them. British Canoeing also prioritise their work around developing activity for disabled people around Paddle-Ability Top Clubs and Centres.

For further information, please see the Paddle-Ability Accreditation guidance document.

Quality Mark Terms and Conditions

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Please click here to view the British Canoeing Quality Mark Terms and Conditions.