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BC Advanced Open Water Canoe Leader Assessment

Qualify LEVEL | 1 day(s)


NEW. You can now choose which date you want to book your British Canoeing Leadership or Coaching assessment on.  Simply choose your preferred date – visit here for more details.  This applies to all disciplines and all British Canoeing Leadership and Coaching assessments.

If you’re looking for a qualification to lead groups of open canoeists on journeys in open water with winds in excess of force 4 and more than 500m from the shore then this is the assessment for you.

It’s your day. Based on the needs of the group and the conditions, you’ll make the plan, choosing the venue to give your team a great day out. We’ll also spend a decent chunk of the day looking at scenarios, rescues and personal paddling skills. Later, well head out to look at managing a group in the dark.


Course Image



To complete your assessment for the British Canoeing Advanced Canoe Open Water Leader, which qualifies you to lead open canoes on open water in winds in excess of force 4.


Registered with SCA (or other home nation) as a British Canoeing Advanced Canoe Open Water Leader candidate (you need to have done this at least 2 weeks before the assessment date)

Full SCA (or other home nation) membership

In date first aid (recognised by British Canoeing – at least a 2 day course)

Safeguarding Training recognised by British Canoeing

Aged 18 or older




If you’re looking to gain a qualification to lead open canoes on journeys on advanced open water this is the course for you.

Take a good look at the assessment guidance, which can be found at

The skills checklist and the Leadership and Raft Guide awards course guide are also well worth reading.

If you’re not sure whether you’re in the right place for the assessment, or would like some input to develop your paddling, leading and rescues, we also offer the option of a 2 day Advanced Canoe Open Water Leader Training.




This non-residential course runs with a maximum of 2 assessment candidates and one assessor.

We’ll meet up online well in advance of the course do discuss potential venues, the group and how to make the assessment work for you.

On the assessment day you’ll make a plan based on the group and the forecast conditions.

The group will consist of 3-4 open canoeists. Your job is to lead them on a journey on inland open water with winds in excess of force 4 (or along the coast with winds up to force 4 and no more than 2 knots of tidal flow). If the forecast doesn’t provide those conditions we’ll need to reschedule the course.

You’ll need to balance the ability of the group and the demands of the environment, supporting them when they find it hard and adding challenge when it’s easy.

We’ll also spend a decent chunk of the day looking at scenarios, rescues and personal paddling skills in the top end of the environment.

We’ll head out again at night, to look at leading groups and navigating in the dark. We anticipate getting off the water by 2300.

Step 1

Book your course place online

Step 2

Call to book accommodation. Prices from £60pn




Packed lunch

In-course transport



Please arrive before 0830 on your assessment day.


There is no set kit list for this course, but as part of the assessment you’ll need bring appropriate kit to look after a group in open water with winds in excess of force 4, including incidents and rescues.

At this stage, it’s likely you have most of your own kit, but you’re welcome to borrow any of the following from our stores;

  • Canoe
  • Paddle
  • Pole
  • Solo sail
  • Tandem sail
  • Group shelter
  • Dry bag
  • Buoyancy Aid
  • Cag
  • Wetsuit
  • Wetsuit boots
  • Paddling trousers
  • Tracking lines


  • Compass
  • Head torch
  • Glow sticks
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Can't find exactly what you are looking for? We are happy to create it for you. You can hire one of our instructors or guides from as little as £280 a day, including any equipment. If you’re a group, all of our courses are available on a date that suits you or if you would prefer we can tailor a course to your requirements. Simply get in touch to discuss your requirements.