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BC Canoe Open Water Leader Assessment

Qualify LEVEL | 1 day(s) | Ratio 1:2


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 up to force 4 and up to 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.

This is a non-residential course.

Please contact us to arrange a date for your assessment.



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


Registered with SCA (or other home nation) as a British Canoeing 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 16 or older



If you’re looking to gain a qualification to lead open canoes on journeys on moderate open water this is the assessment to do.

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 Canoe Open Water Leader Training.



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

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

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

The group will consist of 3-6 open canoeists in a maximum of 4 canoes. Your job is to lead the group on a journey on open water with winds up to force 4. If the forecast doesn’t allow us to find force 4, we’ll need to reschedule the assessment. 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 in 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.

Step 1

Book your course place online

Step 2

Call to book accommodation. Prices from £60pn



Packed Lunch

In-course transport




Please arrive at Glenmore Lodge by 0830 on your assessment day.


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

We have a wide range of appropriate equipment available to borrow from our stores, including;

  • Canoes
  • Paddles
  • Poles
  • Throwlines
  • Group shelters
  • Buoyancy aids
  • Poles
  • Sails
  • Wetsuits
  • Cags
  • Paddling trousers


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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.