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BC Paddlesport Leader Assessment

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


If you’re looking for a qualification to lead groups on journeys in sheltered open water and gently moving rivers then this is the course 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.


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This one-day course will look at all aspects of the BC Paddlesport Leader Award. The Paddlesport Leader Award is a non-discipline specific award – in that you can choose what craft you would like to paddles and be assessed in the appropriate environment. For the BC Paddlesport Leader Award you will be based in the appropriate sheltered water environment which includes slow moving water and wind effected open water.


Registered with SCA (or other home nation) as Paddlesport 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 1 day course)

Safeguarding Training recognised by British Canoeing

Aged 16 or older



If you’re looking to gain a qualification to lead mixed craft groups on journeys on sheltered water (wind up to Force 3, less than 200m from land, slow moving rivers and estuaries), this is the assessment to do.

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

The course guide and skills checklist 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 Paddlesport Leader Training.



This course runs with a maximum of 2 assessment candidates and one assessor. We’ll meet up online during the weeks leading up to the course, to discuss the group, the assessment process and venue options.

On the assessment day you’ll make a plan based on the group and the forecast conditions. We will need to find winds of F3 on the assessment day; if the forecast doesn’t permit this we’ll need to reschedule the assessment.

The group will consist of 4-6 paddlers in a range of craft. We’ll spend some of the day on open water and some of the day on gently moving water. Your job is to lead the group on a journey. 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 (F3 and gently moving water). Remember some of the people you rescue will be paddling different types of craft to your own, so you’ll want to have practised this.

Step 1

Book your course place online

Step 2

Call to book accommodation. Prices from £60pn




Packed lunch and afternoon tea and cake

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 bring appropriate kit to look after a mixed craft group in a sheltered water environment, including incidents and rescues.

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


  • Boats
  • Paddles
  • Towlines
  • Throwlines
  • Group shelters
  • Buoyancy aids
  • Helmets
  • Spraydecks
  • Wetsuits
  • Wetsuit boots
  • Cags
  • Paddling trousers
  • Pogies/gloves
  • Dry bags
  • Canoe poles
  • Sails
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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.