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Keeping your qualifications up to date and current

Remaining current

It is important that as Paddlesport Instructors, Coaches, Leaders and Guides, you continually keep your Membership, First Aid and Safeguarding in date. This operational requirement ensures that your qualification remains current.


Maintaining full National Association membership provides civil liability insurance, professional indemnity and a range of other benefits. Find out more using the links below –

First Aid Training

Holding a recognised and valid First Aid certificate is essential in keeping any British Canoeing qualification current. All Paddlesport Instructors, Coaches, Leaders and Guides have a responsibility to maintain an appropriate and current First Aid award to ensure you can look after paddlers in your care. See our First Aid Policy for full details.

Note: This does not apply to Paddlesport Instructors that work under direct supervision.

Safeguarding Training

Safeguarding Training is a fundamental requirement and a demonstration of your commitment to protecting everyone who participates in paddlesport. Who you are coaching or leading determines the level of training required. As part of our ongoing review process, we will be introducing changes to our safeguarding requirements for both coaches and leaders.

  • From 30th September 2020, all coaches and leaders will need to engage in appropriate safeguarding training as a prerequisite to assessment.
  • From 30th September 2020, all qualified leaders will need to engage in appropriate safeguarding training to keep their qualifications valid.
  • From 30th September 2020, all coaches and leaders will need to refresh their safeguarding training every three years to keep their qualifications valid and meet Update Scheme requirements.

British Canoeing has a variety of training opportunities available for Instructors, Coaches and Leaders, from face to face programmes if working with children and adults at risk, or low cost eLearning for those who do not.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

As an Instructor, Coach, Leader or Guide, you’ll recognise you need to continually maintain your skills to reflect current best practice in paddlesport activity.

British Canoeing recognises the commitment, time and effort made when obtaining qualifications and, aligned with our Educational Philosophy, wants to provide you with ownership of your continual development.

Considering your own areas for development as an Instructor, Coach, Leader or Guide will aid you in selecting appropriate methods of keeping you up to date with current practice, consider new ideas and research, as well as continually improving the experience you provide to others whilst out on the water.  To assist you in considering your development areas, you could discuss this with peers, coach developers or mentors, reflecting on your current practice.  You may want to use a self-analysis tool which can be used to suggest areas you may want to consider as part of your development.

We encourage that you choose to develop yourself through a variety of means, and seek to recognise formal, non-formal and informal development.

Instructors, Coaches, Leaders and Guides will need to gain 20 points every 3 years.

Development through British Canoeing Programmes

You may choose to use some of the British Canoeing programmes, qualifications and awards, and associated programmes.  All programmes, apart from eLearning, are automatically uploaded onto your records. 

Find out more about the NEW supportive CPD process here