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Choosing the right CPD for you

The great thing about the NEW CPD process is that your development opportunities are directed and controlled by you. This means that you can pick the CPD that’s relevant and interesting to you, that’s delivered in a way that you find engaging and meaningful.

You can select formal qualifications and awards, such as British Canoeing qualifications and awards, or informal learning and development opportunities. We recognise that many coaches and leaders have spent time during lockdown participating in online webinars or community of practice events, reading books or listening to podcasts. These could all count towards your CPD points! Having choice over your CPD is great! But choice can lead to confusion, so read our top tips about the things you many want to think about when engaging with different types of CPD.

Will this topic develop your knowledge and are you likely to be able to apply this on the water?

There’s loads of information available at the click of a button, from podcasts, eLearning to webinars. However, you need to be able to apply your newly learnt information on the water. Just knowing the latest Freestyle skills or reading about growth mind sets won’t make you a better Instructor, Coach, Leader or Guide, unless you are able to reflect and apply it in context, in the right environment, with individuals that are suitable.

The best way to put these new skills into practice is to try them out!

Does the CPD address your areas of development?

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Sometimes it can be hard to challenge ourselves and look at areas we need to develop. However, by understanding these areas, you’re more likely to benefit from the CPD you choose. The Self-Analysis Tools can help you see where your current practice is and therefore, the areas that you can consider to develop. You could also write a personal development plan to support your learning journey or ask a mentor which areas you could develop. Pick the method that works for you!

Do you have opportunities for practice and reflection?

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 We would never expect paddlers to pick up new skills straight away, so why would we as an Instructor, Coach, Leader or Guide? We need to practice and reflect upon the knowledge and skills we pick up in order for it to work in the various environments we work in. Reflection is a great way to learn and a Mentor could help you do this. Alternatively, creating a community of practice with other Instructors, Coaches, Leaders and Guides is a great way to share experiences and learn from others.

Can you fit CPD into your everyday life?

If you added up the amount of hours you spent coaching or leading others, it would probably be a lot! It’s therefore important to make time for your own learning and development, so you can best support and develop those you’re paddling with.

CPD should not seem like a burden on your time. It doesn’t have to be a weekend course, it can be as simple as talking to another Leader, reflecting on your day, or listening to a podcast and then thinking about how you can apply that to your delivery.

Think about your next steps, what you want to learn next? What would make the difference to the individuals you lead and coach? The key is picking CPD activities that are relevant and interesting to you, that’s delivered in a way that you find engaging and meaningful. You’re then more likely to actively seek CPD opportunities and embed this into your delivery.

What are British Canoeing and the National Associations doing to support your development? 

The British Canoeing Awarding Body website hosts the Digital Library which includes a huge range of academic papers, videos, podcasts, eLearning and much more! The topics are wide ranging, from discipline focused resources, to nutrition advice and how to pack your craft. There really is something for everyone!

Coaching Matters Events

These events are delivered all over the UK and beyond, contact your National Association to find out what is happening in your area and what topics and subjects are going to be covered.  Coaching Matters Events are a great way to work alongside like-minded individuals wanting to learn, share and develop their practice.


National Associations host a number of webinars and these are fantastic opportunities to get engaged with other coaches and leaders, as well as update in specific areas.  Contact your National Association to find out what they have lined up and book your place.

Coach Developers and Mentors

There are many individuals that you can engage with to develop your understanding and expand your learning.  National Associations have Coach Developers and Mentors that have undertaken specific training to help structure your progression. To find a suitable Coach Developer or Mentor, contact your National Association. You can then have an online discussion to start your own individualised development.

Find out more about the NEW CPD process here