Paddlesport Coach

The British Canoeing Coach Awards recognise coaches working in any paddlesport discipline and at all levels and are attained following successful completion of a core training course, discipline-specific training, eLearning, further experience and reflection, and a one day assessment. Awards are available for coaches who wish to work independently with paddlers in canoes, kayaks and/or SUPs on sheltered water while those with an appropriate leadership award or competition experience can be trained and assessed working in a specific craft in moderate or advanced water environments.

Core Coach Training

Core Coach training is open to any British Canoeing member with a base level of knowledge about the discipline they wish to coach. This could include, for example, recreational flat-water canoe, kayak or SUP paddlers, white water, sea or surf paddlers, and paddlers or bank-based coaches working with athletes in any of the competitive disciplines. The course ratio of one tutor to four candidates will ensure attention to your learning needs during the course.

Please note that British Canoeing membership is the only pre-requisite for attendance at this course. Potential candidatures should be familiar with basic skills in their chosen craft/discipline (the what to coach) and are recommended to complete the British Canoeing Paddlesport Instructor eLearning which covers the expected prior knowledge of how to coach.

Through a practical based programme you will explore different approaches to coaching, understanding and enabling learning, and some core coaching skills. You will be supported in evolving your personal coaching development plan to enable you to take your learning into practice after the course. Please refer to the British Canoeing Awarding Body Coach Award Course Guide for further information.

Canoe and Kayak Coach (Sheltered Water) Training

This discipline specific training course focuses on how to coach canoe and kayak skills in a sheltered water environment. The training is designed for those working towards a coach award and is also suitable as stand-alone training. The course ratio of one tutor to a maximum four candidates will ensure attention to your learning needs during the course.


  • British Canoeing membership
  • Core Coach or Level 2 (UKCC) Coach or higher training

You will also need a good knowledge of intermediate boat handling skills in canoe and/or kayak (subject to intended assessment route). Prior to training, coaches should ensure that their personal and leadership skills are well practiced; this will allow you to focus on developing your coaching rather than your paddling. The British Canoeing Awarding Body Coach Award Course Guide includes further information and a useful checklist of the skills required.

Coach Award Assessment

When you are ready for assessment we will be delighted to assist with the completion of your award either as a Canoe, Kayak or Canoe and Kayak Coach (Sheltered Water).

We know that assessments can be stressful and will do all that we can to make your assessment as relaxed as possible. Our preferred approach is to conduct assessments at your usual coaching venue, working with equipment and paddlers you are already familiar with, and with the assessor observing unobtrusively in the background. Assessments can be conducted with up to two candidates working with a group of between two and four students and are usually completed within a single day.

Assessment pre-requisites

Prior to attending a Coach Award assessment candidates will need:

  • Core Coach or Level 2 Coach (UKCC) or higher training
  • Discipline specific training
  • Coach Award eLearning
  • In-date First Aid training
  • In-date Safeguarding training
  • Registration and membership with British Canoeing (or national association)

Candidates must be aged 16 or over at the time of assessment. Note you cannot be deemed responsible for others until you turn 18 years of age.

Further guidance on preparing for, and the paperwork to be taken to, assessment is contained the British Canoeing Awarding Body Coach Award Course Guide.

Sounds what you’re looking for?

To discuss training or assessment for a Coach Award contact Andy Maxted, tel: 07730 852760 or email:

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