I’ve never really had much experience in the Paddlesports side of Adventure Training, I’ve read the ACATI but certain things still aren’t particularly clear to me.

Firstly I have a member of Staff who is a Level 1 Coach and a Paddlesport Leader, I know through my reading that he would therefore be able to deliver Canoe Start and Canoe Discover , however he doesn’t seem to know and I don’t seem to be able to find a) the syllabus that would need to be delivered or the process he needs to go through to sign them off/achieve the awards. (The BCU website is my mortal enemy it’s seems overly clunky!)

Secondly he has the SUP module, is there an SUP equivalent of those awards? Or is it all Canoe & Kayak at that level?

Finally I’ve started doing quite a bit of SUP over lockdown and I’m considering getting myself one of the standalone SUP qualifications, I can see that there are loads of different providers, has anyone got any advice on which one to look at? I’m only looking to use it on sheltered lakes/canals Is the first instance.

Syllabi died out a little when the awards were redone. What we have now is much more woolly than the old Star awards. Which is meant to make them more accessible. IMO, it just makes the standard really hard to define.

Does your staff member have the old level one coach? The first pattern paddlesports instructor, (which has the same remit as the old level one) or the new paddlesports instructor, which has a lower remit than level one.

He has the old Level 1 Coach


Then I’m reasonably sure, he can teach everything up to Explore, and assess Start and Discover.

Syllabi (such as they are!) are here:


I also still look at the old One Star syllabus as a rough guide on what strokes are key.

Out of interest what is required for SUP? I have my own boards and do a lot now, it would be a nice activity to be able to do with the Squadron when the time is right, except I have no interest in doing lots of canoe / kayak work to then achieve a bolt on SUP module, whereby canoe / kayak is different to SUP.

At the basic level, I’m reasonably sure the quals are the same. Go for Paddlesport Instructor and build from there.

I cannot recommend signing up for the NACATC Staff courses enough.

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There are 3 or 4 providers for SUP which was one of the parts of my question as I don’t think there is a necessity to go with the BCU but I don’t know anyone who has gone a different route.

Is there a form to fill in to get certificates etc?

We got a load of Cadets 1 Star & 2 Star a few years back on the old scheme but we used an external provider.

All of the Paddle awards are done by the course certification centre online:

Explore does require you to be a registered ‘provider’ and have the tick on your membership record - there’s an orientation / e-learning to do etc. I’d have to read up for the exact process. Other award info is available on the go paddling site, or the British Canoeing Awarding Body website linked to above.

Personal performance awards are now all linked to discipline and have environmental level - e.g. there is a SUP Sheltered Water Award, a White Water SUP award etc. The Paddle Awards can be done in any craft and are about putting the paddler on a journey to becoming an independent paddler.

Also, you can get a direct SUP qual - BSUPA or Water Skills Academy are both good answers. They have their own environment specific coaching quals / awards.

Thanks for that gents, I take it looking the drop down that we just use General Provider?

Is there a SUP course that the Corps is favouring?

We’re pretty into BC awards really.

Not really, as @Baldrick says it’s mainly British Canoeing awards so I suspect we aren’t going to favour any of the SUP-only setups.

You can see why too. Why reinvent the wheel when an existing provider we partner with does the same task. It also means all of our existing coaches can transition by just learning how to SUP.

(Not that I will. I swim enough in my OC1 thanks)

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Yeah, general provider. The others are if they’ve registered to include their logos on the certificate I think.

Paddlesport Instructor is craft specific - i.e. you could take your assessment on a SUP and then run multi - craft taster sessions (or all SUP).

So you don’t need significant personal skills in canoe & kayak - you just need to know how to rescue them from a SUP and know enough about paddling those craft to run a decent taster session.

You could upgrade to being able to run sessions from a canoe or kayak later on if you so chose by gaining the relevant personal performance awards (White Water Award or Canoe Award), which shows you have the appropriate level of personal skills in that craft to be able to run a session from. Doing that wouldn’t be an option from the SUP only quals.

I’m interested in kayaking. I’ve had a quick look online but can’t see much in terms of internal (Corps) courses, my region was going to do a taster session but it got binned due to lack of interest. Or does it tend to be all run externally?

I’d look to increase my own skills as I’ve not done anything for a while and then look to doing a instructor course in due course.

Or, being cynical, is it not really worth going through the instructor route and instead just put the cadets through a course at a local activity centre etc?

I’ve never done SUP, certainly open to trying that too.

Have a look at CCAT (Cadet Centre for Adventurous Training) -

Although mainly for the Army’s cadets, CCAT takes other CF adult volunteers on a top-up basis.

Lots of other good courses too!

Good luck!

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We provide everything internally at the adventure training centres in Fairbourne and Windermere (when Windermere re-opens)

Your WATTO should be the first port of call to enquire, but the courses timetable is available in Bader.

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Thanks both I’ll give those a look. I find SharePoint difficult to use or rather, difficult to find information I want!