Paddlesport Qualification Pathways

With such a variety of qualifications available, it can be a little confusing to work out which qualification is right for you.

If you are unsure of your pathway then British Canoeing website will give you a range of options to help you. Best place to start is follow this link –

In offering a range of qualification courses, it is hoped that you can create a coaching or leadership pathway that will meet your needs. At Glenmore Lodge we are committed to supporting you through this process and will help you to work out the coaching or leadership pathway that best suits your needs. The following information should help to clarify which route is right for you but if you are still unsure, please get in touch.

To help you navigate through please see this document for the 2019 names of British Canoeing Awards –

BC Names 2019

We have created a one page document to show the full list of British Canoeing Awards. This outlines the pillars of:

  • Safety
  • Personal Performance
  • Leadership
  • Coaching
  • Supporting Modules & CPD
  • 2019 Pathway

We have created some more focused information designed for those at specific levels which offers options on where to progress to.

Please click on the relevant document below:

Below is an overview of the pathway options

Leadership Pathway

If your main focus is to develop your own performance, including being able to get out and paddle in great locations with the intention of progressing on to leading groups, then this is the pathway for you. It starts with the Personal Performance awards and moves on to the Sheltered, Moderate and Advanced ‘leadership awards’ (these awards then form some of the pre-requisites for the coaching pathway).

Personal Performance awards:

New for 2019 – The ‘BC Star Awards’ have been phased out and replaced with the BC Personal Performance Awards. These have three awards – Paddle Start, Paddle Discover and Paddle Explore, which take place on sheltered water and then it splits into 12 disciplines each offering three awards. We are offering some of these as stand alone courses but can also provide them in some of our skills courses. Please ask if you are interested and we are more than happy to help.

They are all aimed at supporting you as the paddler on your journey and aids you in your performance in the chosen craft / environment.

British Canoeing Awarding Body website has all the information on each of the Personal Performance Awards available.

BC Performance Awards available at Glenmore Lodge

Leadership awards:

There are three levels of leadership within British Canoeing:

  • Paddlesport Leader – new from 2017
  • Moderate Leader – these were formerly known as 4 star leader
  • Advanced Leader – these were formerly known as 5 star leader

These awards are discipline specific and focus on personal performance, safety and leadership in sheltered, moderate and advanced water conditions. The paddler will be in a position to lead groups for their club, friends or within a centre. A specific safety course is also required prior to progressing on to the assessment for some of the awards. We offer both moderate and advanced leadership in White Water, Sea, Canoe and Surf, including the specific safety courses.

BC Performance and Leadership Awards available at Glenmore Lodge.

Coaching Pathway

If your main paddling focus is to introduce people to paddling and help develop other’s performance, then the coaching pathway is for you. You have multiple starting points – BC Paddlesport Instructor or BC Coach Award at any level. The starting point depends on current ability and aspirations. For those coaching over extended periods and have done the BC Coach Award then the progression takes you onto the BC Performance Coach Award.

British Canoeing Paddlesport Instructor and British Canoeing Coach Awards:

BC Paddlesport Instructor can introduce paddlers to any type of kayak or canoe and is focused on delivering introductory taster sessions.
The BC Coach Award is about progressive sessions to develop performance and understanding, at assessment candidates can choose to be assessed in kayak, canoe or kayak and canoe on sheltered Water. The BC Coach Award has direct entry options at this level.

There are choices of progressing down a coaching and/or environment pathway. The environmental pathway has direct entry options:

Coaching Development Pathway – British Canoeing Performance Coach award:

Focuses on developing the coaches’ ability to be able to coach and develop paddlers over a year long programme in an individualised way that focuses on the learners needs; it is discipline specific and candidates are required to hold their Moderate Leader award. The BC Performance Coach programme involves a core training course, a discipline specific training course and additional modules, along with working with a group of paddlers over a year to develop their skills. It usually takes up to 3 years to work through the BC Performance Coach programme. Currently BC Performance Coach is available in White Water, Sea, Canoe and Surf all of which we deliver.

Environment Specific Pathway – Discipline Specific Coach in either Moderate &/or Advanced Water:

Focuses on developing the coaches’ ability to work in a discipline specific environment in moderate and / or advanced water, ensuring they are able to deliver progressive sessions to help other paddlers develop. Both awards include a training course, require coaching experience and are then assessed. Candidates are required to hold the Moderate Leadership award for the Moderate Water Coach Award and Advanced Leadership award for the Advanced Water Coach Award. We offer these in White Water, Sea, Canoe and Surf.

British Canoeing Coaching Awards available at Glenmore Lodge