Paddlesports Awards

lifejackets

The Scottish Canoe Association (SCA) is the National Governing Body for Kayaking and Canoeing. It administers within Scotland the British Canoe Union (BCU) scheme of tests and awards for the training and assessment of coaches and leaders.

For more information please visit: Canoe Scotland

The Scottish Rafting Association (SRA) is the nationally recognised supervisory body for the training of raft guides in Scotland and is a member of the International Rafting Federation (IRF). It operates a training and assessment scheme for that is ratified by the IRF.

At present (July ’09) there is no governing body that deals specifically with other inflatable paddle boats or sit-on-top craft.  Therefore, the nearest appropriate recommendations from the two governing bodies above will be referred to for these cross-over activities.

N.B.  At the time of updating this document (March 2010), the BCU / SCA coaching scheme is undergoing substantial change to align with the United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC).   During the transitional period the new scheme will be reviewed and updated and will be subject to change. It is therefore advised that reference should be made to the SCA / BCU for the most up to date information or advice may be sought from the AAC.

The “old” scheme of SCA/BCU awards will remain valid and holders of these awards will still have the same remit as previously held so long as the award is kept current with regular updates (every 3 years).

 

Generic Awards

New Award Scheme (2008)

UKCC Level 1
In the context of this document, this basic award would only be relevant for staff wishing to run introductory sessions at a specified sheltered site (e.g. small lochans or ponds).

Before doing so they must have received further site specific training approved by the Adventure Activities Consultant.

UKCC Level 2
Level 2 coaches are trained to be able to transfer skills between various boat types in a sheltered water environment. It is therefore appropriate for the coaching of kayaking, canoeing, competition craft, inflatables or sit-on-tops on sheltered waters.

The Level 2  can be awarded for either boat based or bank based coaching. Bank based coaches will, in practice only be operating when appropriate separate rescue cover is in place.

 

Kayaking Awards

UKCC Level 2 with Moderate Water Endorsement
Holders will have the “new” 4 Star Leader Award as a pre-requisite and have attended an additional moderate water endorsement course. They are qualified to work with inexperienced paddlers in moderate water environments. (refer to “Designations of Water”). As well as being craft specific (kayak) this award is also environment specific and will apply either to open inland water, white water, sea or surf.

UKCC Level 3
A Level 3 coach is a discipline specialist coach who is able to plan, implement and analyse long-term development programmes. This is an appropriate award for a person to be in charge of paddlesport activities in a club / centre or as a working professional. 

Holders are qualified to work in a Moderate water environment (refer to “Designations of Water”) with inexperienced paddlers.  They will have been examined on their competence to lead groups safely in this environment and it is assumed that they will have the maturity of judgement necessary to correctly identify and remain within the limit of their operational competence.

NB From Level 3 onwards, coaches will specialize in a particular discipline or environment.  For kayaking these are: White Water Kayaking; Sea Kayaking; Surf Kayaking; Open Inland Water Kayaking

UKCC Level 3 with Advanced Water Endorsement
Holders will have the “new” 5 Star Leader Award and have attended an additional advanced water endorsement course. They are qualified to work with small groups of competent paddlers in a specific craft & environment up to and including Advanced conditions. (refer to “Designations of Water”)

UKCC Level 4 and 5
 As at January 2009, these awards are still under development. Old Award Scheme (prior to 2008 but valid for the foreseeable future)


BCU Level 2 Coach Trainee (Kayak)
Provided a Trainee is 18 years of age or over, has passed the Kayak Safety Test and also holds a current first aid qualification, they may operate with small groups of novices on sheltered water. (Refer to “Definitions of Water” )

Trainees under 18 may only operate under the direct guidance and supervision of a qualified Level 2 Coach or above.

BCU Level 2 Coach (Kayak)
A qualification for those wishing to operate on sheltered water only. It is the appropriate award for those who require to teach basic kayaking skills to groups of novices in sheltered situations. It is not an expedition leadership award and is not appropriate for those who wish to undertake journeys with their groups.

BCU Level 3 Coach (Kayak)
The minimum level of qualification for those in charge of kayaking activities in an establishment or club. There are a number of separate Level 3 Coach Awards that are craft specific. Three of them are relevant to this document

1. Level 3 Coach (Inland Kayak), can operate on open inland waters and rivers (moderate waters). They will have been examined on their competence to lead groups safely on Grade 2 white water. (Refer to Appendix G. Paddlesport River Gradings). It is assumed that having attained this standard, a Level 3 Coach is capable of exercising the maturity of judgement necessary to correctly identify and remain within the limit of their operational competence. It is expected that most Level 3 Coaches will become capable of operating on water up to Grade 3, as their experience grows.

2  Level 3 Coach (Sea), can operate on moderate coastal waters. They will have been examined on their competence to lead groups on coastal expeditions which have easy landings and do not involve open sea crossings, tide races or overfalls.

3  Level 3 Coach (Surf) -the appropriate qualification for those taking charge of kayak surfing or wave skiing as a specialised activity within moderate water conditions.  They will have been examined on their competence to manage groups surfing on beaches with small to moderate waves (1 metre maximum) and beaches free of significant hazards such as strong rips, tidal streams, rocks or groynes.

 

BCU Level 4 Coach (Kayak)
The appropriate qualification level required for operating in Advanced water situations. This level is also discipline specific as above.

BCU Level 5 Coach (Kayak)
The award identifies within the coaching scheme experienced, knowledgeable and motivated individuals who can be relied upon to provide practical coaching information at a high level. The award is discipline specific and is open to experienced Level 3 & 4 Coaches who meet the pre-entry requirements. A Coach is identified as such with their area of advanced specialism in brackets e.g. Level 5 Coach (Inland Kayak).

 

Further points related to “old” BCU kayak qualifications

Surfing in moderate conditions at appropriate locations is often used as a medium for improving white water skills and general water confidence. Level 3 Coaches (Inland and Sea) who wish to supervise such activity must have specific surf training approved by the Adventurous Activities Consultant.

Level 4 Coaches may operate at the same technical level as Level 5 Coaches.

Canoeing

New Award Scheme (2008)

UKCC Level 2 with Moderate Water Endorsement
Holders will have the “new” 4 Star Leader Award as a pre-requisite and have attended an additional moderate water endorsement course. They are qualified to work with inexperienced paddlers in moderate water environments. (refer to “Designations of Water”). As well as being craft specific (Open Canoe) this award is also environment specific and will apply either to open inland water or rivers.

UKCC Level 3
A Level 3 coach is a discipline specialist coach who is able to plan, implement and analyse long-term development programmes.  This is an appropriate award for a person to be in charge of paddlesport activities in a club / centre or as a working professional. 

Holders are qualified to work in a Moderate water environment (refer to “Designations of Water”) with inexperienced paddlers. They will have been examined on their competence to lead groups safely in this environment and it is assumed that they will have the maturity of judgement necessary to correctly identify and remain within the limit of their operational competence.
NB From Level 3 onwards, coaches will specialize in a particular discipline or environment.  For Canoeing these are:  Open Inland Water and White Water.

UKCC Level 3 with Advanced Water Endorsement
Holders will have the “new” 5 Star Leader Award and have attended an additional advanced water endorsement course. They are qualified to work with small groups of competent paddlers in a specific craft & environment up to and including Advanced conditions. (refer to “Designations of Water”)
UKCC Level 4 and 5
 As at January 2009, these awards are still under development.

OLD AWARD SCHEME (prior to 2008 but valid for the foreseeable future)

BCU Level 2 Coach Trainee (Open canoe)
Provided a Trainee is 18 years of age or over, has passed the Canoe Safety Test and also holds a current first aid qualification, they may operate with small groups of novices on sheltered water (Refer to “Definitions of Water” later in this document) .

Trainees under 18 must operate under the direct guidance and supervision of a qualified Level 2 Coach or above.

BCU Level 2 Coach (Open canoe)
A qualification for those wishing to operate on sheltered water only. It is the appropriate award for those who require to teach basic open canoe skills to groups of novices in sheltered situations. It is not an expedition leadership award and is not appropriate for those who wish to undertake journeys with their groups.

BCU Level 3 Coach (Open Canoe)
This is the minimum level of qualification for those in charge of open canoeing activities in an establishment or club. The holder can operate on open inland waters and rivers (moderate waters).
Level 3 Coaches will have been examined on their competence to lead groups safely on Grade 2 white water. It is assumed that having attained this level, the Level 3 Coach is capable of exercising the maturity of judgement necessary to correctly identify and stay within their limit of operational competence.

Open Canoeing is essentially a journeying activity. It is therefore inappropriate to set operational limits related to white water grades. If water conditions are encountered which the group lacks the skills to canoe or the coach lacks the experience to lead safely, there are other options available to negotiate the obstacle. The sound judgement of the Level 3 Coach should be relied upon to make appropriate decisions.

BCU Level 4 Coach (Open canoe)
The qualification level required for operating in advanced situations involving large bodies of open water or advanced (Grade 3 ) white water.

BCU Level 5 Coach (Open canoe)
The award identifies within the coaching scheme experienced, knowledgeable and motivated individuals who can be relied upon to provide practical coaching information at a high level. The award is discipline specific and is open to experienced Level 3 & 4 Coaches who meet the pre-entry requirements.
A Coach is identified as such with the area of advanced skill in brackets e.g. SCA Level 5 Coach (Open Canoe).
 

River Rafting

canoeing

There are 3 qualification levels relevant to the river rafting in the UK. Raft Guide training in Scotland is administered by the Scottish Rafting Association (SRA) See who are affiliated to the International Rafting Federation (IRF)

Level 1 (Trainee Guide)
A Trainee Guide operates under the direct supervision of a qualified Raft Guide and would not normally be given sole responsibility for a raft.

A Level 1 Guide may only guide a raft if there is another guide of Level 2 or greater in the raft to supervise.  However, on water up to Grade 1, a Trainee may, at the discretion and under the supervision of a qualified raft guide, take sole charge of a raft.

Level 2 (Raft Guide)
This is the minimum qualification level required for taking sole charge of one raft within a flotilla of rafts under the control of a Level 3 Trip Leader. 

In the event of a single raft trip, the raft must be helmed by a Level 3 Guide and the raft must be accompanied by a safety kayak or boat.  The safety kayaker or boater must be of a personal standard appropriate to the water being run and have been trained in boat to swimmer and shore based rescue techniques.
A Level 2 Guide may lead trips on Class 1 water.

Level 3 (Trip Leader)
This is the minimum qualification required for taking charge of a flotilla of rafts on the appropriate class of water. (Class 3 and below if qualification is restricted).

The Trip Leader is responsible for overseeing the whole trip and will be expected to possess advanced rafting knowledge and skills, excellent communicative skills and solid organisational skills.

Restricted Category:
Levels 2- 3 within the training scheme fall into two categories, restricted and unrestricted. The restricted award dictates that the guide qualification is only valid in water up to and including Grade 3. The unrestricted award qualifies a guide for any grade of water within the scope of his or her personal experience.

Other Paddle Boats

There is no national governing body for the wide range of inflatable and sit-on-top paddle boats now in use by the commercial, recreational and educational sectors. It is recommended that in most cases it is appropriate to adopt the SCA / BCU coaching scheme for guidance regarding qualification of coach, type of environment and student to coach ratios

In general:
When the craft used involves the paddler(s) sitting on or in the boat, propelling it by a double-bladed paddle, then the SCA scheme regarding kayaks should be followed (e.g. for sit-on-top kayaks, inflatable kayaks, hot dogs or adventure kayaks etc).

When the craft used involves the paddler(s) kneeling or sitting in the boat, propelling it by a single-bladed paddle, then the SCA scheme regarding canoes should be followed (e.g. inflatable canoes, duckies, adventure canoes etc).

For further guidance contact the Adventurous Activities Consultant.

Designations of Water:

Sheltered Water 

  • Small lochs offering a variety of landing options.
  • Canals
  • Enclosed bays of large lochs or coastal areas, where there is minimal possibility of being blown offshore and generally operating no more that 200m from a landing point.
  • Enclosed harbours, where there is minimal possibility of being blown offshore.
  • Quiet flat pools of rivers at medium level or less.
  • The upper reaches of some suitable, slow moving estuaries during Neap tides.
  • Defined beaches (a short section of beach) with easy landing throughout. No tide races or overfalls. Conditions in which swimmers and beach craft could be happily operating with winds not exceeding force 3 (force 2 if offshore when greatest of caution must be exercised);

Moderate Water

  • Large lochs. Operations will normally be within 500m of an easy landing place and in winds that do not exceed Force 4 (Force 2 if blowing offshore)
  • Grade 2 white water for open canoes canoe. Grade 2-3 for kayaks.
  • Coastline or estuary in close proximity to the shore, with easy landing, not involving fast tidal streams, tidal races, or overfalls, winds not above force 4 (force 2 if offshore)
  • The upper reaches of some estuaries.
  • Beaches that are free of significant hazards (strong rips or undertow, tidal streams, rocks or groynes).
  • Small to moderate waves – 1 metre maximum

Advanced Water

  • Any journey on the sea or open inland water where extended crossings may be required.
  • Areas of the sea that may be affected by tidal races or overfalls.
  • Sections of coastline where landings may not be possible or difficult
  • Difficult sea states and /or stronger winds (force 4 or above),
  • Launching and landing through moderate surf
  • Grade 3 white water for canoes or grade 3 for kayaks.

Advanced Surf

  • The surfing of reefs, points and offshore features;
  • Surfing from beaches where the surf height exceeds 1 metre or where stronger winds, cold conditions, rips, long shore drift, rocks or other potential hazards are involved.

For guidance on the suitability of specific areas of water contact the Adventurous Activities Consultant.

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