Qualification Guide & What They Enable You To Instruct?

Kayaking & Canoeing

British Canoeing – Paddle Start

Experience your first session on the water; learning useful skills for an enjoyable paddling experience. It aims to provide you with the basic knowledge to enable you to safely get in and out of your boat, make it move and return to your start point. This is your first step into the world of paddling, ensuring you feel safe, confident and ready to progress to the Discover Award.

British Canoeing – Paddle Discover

Your Discover Award allows you to develop your decision making and practical skills for a fun and safe time on the water, taking you on the next steps towards becoming a proficient and independent paddler. Learn how to choose and effectively use the equipment, whilst developing an understanding of the factors which affect your paddling; giving you the confidence to progress to making your own choices with the Explore Award.

British Canoeing – Paddle Explore

Your Explore Award gives you ownership; allowing you to choose where you move next in the world of paddlesport. Working with a coach you will be able to develop a programme that suits what you need. Learning to make confident choices with this individualised approach. Recognising your ability to independently paddle your chosen craft in a sheltered water environment.

British Canoeing – Foundation  Safety & Rescue Training

This course develops your safety and rescue skills in a sheltered water environment. It introduces the key skills needed for you to operate safely and deal with common emergencies. It covers general theory and planning, as well as bank-based and boat-based rescues. It is open to all paddlers, coaches and volunteers, in any craft or discipline, with a boat-based or bank-based option, giving you the opportunity and support to develop your safety skills.

British Canoeing – NEW Paddlesport Instructor

A Paddlesport Instructor is someone who runs starter and taster sessions and short journeys in very sheltered water, within the safety management systems of your clubs/centres or other organisations. Paddlesport Instructors enable newcomers to have a great first-time experience on the water, by creating a fun and safe environment, encouraging new paddlers to come back. It will support you to run games and activities to support learning and inspire adventure and exploration for new paddlers in stable crafts. You will learn skills such as kitting up a group and getting afloat, initial familiarisation activities and how to use mini journeys to support learning. The qualification will cover a range of stable craft including kayak (this can be open-cockpit or closed-cockpit), open canoe, sit on top and stand up paddleboard. Candidates will be certificated in one craft but able to instruct a mixed fleet.

British Canoeing – Sea Kayak Award

The Sea Kayak Award endorses your skill, judgment and the decision making required for a successful day on the sea. You will be confident in planning and undertaking journeys on the sea, in winds up to and including force 3 and/or tides up to 1 Knot, using sea kayaks or sit on tops, in tidal or non-tidal environments, with proficient skills to be in control throughout. Your award should be seen as a sound basis for building the experience and knowledge associated with Coastal Sea Kayak Award holders.

British Canoeing – Canoe Award

Your Canoe Award endorses your skill, judgment and decision making when journeying. You will be confident in planning and undertaking canoe journeys on the water in winds up to and including force 3 taking place on grade 1 rivers with simple eddy lines. Your award is a sound basis for building the experience and knowledge associated with the Progressive Canoe Award

Rock Climbing

Mountain Training UK – Rock Climbing Instructor

The Rock Climbing Instructor scheme enables experienced rock climbers to instruct climbing on single pitch crags and artificial climbing walls and towers. A qualified Rock Climbing Instructor can teach climbing skills, take people climbing, bouldering and abseiling. Manage groups safely in these activities. A qualified Rock Climbing Instructor can operate on single pitch trad and sport crags, indoor and outdoor bouldering venues, climbing walls & towers.

Mountain Training UK – Climbing Wall Instructor

The Climbing Wall Instructor gives climbers the skills required to supervise participants on purpose-built artificial climbing walls and boulders. It is ideal for people who work at climbing walls or at venues with permanent or mobile climbing towers. A qualified instructor can teach climbing skills, take people climbing and bouldering and manage groups safely in these activities. A Climbing Wall Instructor can operate on indoor and outdoor artificial bouldering venues and indoor and outdoor climbing walls.

Surf Lifesaving

RLSS – National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ)

The NVBLQ is an internationally recognised beach lifeguard qualification which gives the huge potential to work both in the UK and abroad. As well as giving you the qualification to become an RNLI Beach lifeguard, it also provides validation for the ISA Surf coach awards. Most Watersport and Outdoor Activity Centres will also accept this as a relevant qualification to coach in a wide range of other water-based activities such as Coasteering, Sit-on-top Kayaking and many more.


ISA/Surf England – Level 1 Surf Coach

This Surf Coach qualification is the most widely recognised and internationally approved courses, meaning you can teach at hundreds of surf schools in England and in countries all over the world. The course covers all aspects of surf education including surf safety, surfing & coaching techniques along with group management. Successful trainees go on to work as professional surf coaches, introducing beginners and helping improvers enjoy wave riding and taking their surfing to the next level.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

BSUPA – Level 1 Instructor

This is an intensive course where you’ll learn how to coach other students on basic paddle board skills and techniques. You’ll also be taught and assessed on your group control ability, level of SUP knowledge, and understanding of SUP safety. Once you qualify, you’ll be able to get pretty much any entry level SUP instructor job you want. BSUPA level 1 Instructor qualifies an individual to teach beginner learn to ride courses to a maximum of 6 students on a suitable area of water.


Archery GB Instructor Award

This Award is the industry’s leading training course for archery. The course is designed for learners with little or no prior experience of archery and is a two-day course and includes a practical assessment. The successful learner will gain an Archery GB Instructor licence which lasts for three years. After this it can be renewed by successfully completing an online renewal module.


Currently, there is no National Governing Body Instructor Award for Coasteering. However, our instructor course is run in accordance with the National Coasteering Charter (NCC) guidelines and the National Water Safety Forum’s best practice guidance. It will equip you with the knowledge and essential skills to confidently run coasteering at Outdoor Centres. The course will cover how to lead and manage a coasteering group, deliver an effective safety brief, plan a route, undertake rescues, management a variety of incidents, coasteering specific first aid and basic life support. After completing this course you will be equipped with the essential skills and knowledge that coupled with the site-specific training at the location being used will enable you to confidently run coasteering sessions.


Safeguarding & Protecting Children Level 2

The QA Level 2 Award in Safeguarding and Protecting Children, Young People and Adults at Risk (RQF) qualification is intended for those who are working with children, young people and adults at risk, including those in voluntary or unpaid positions. This qualification is also suitable for those who have a specific responsibility in safeguarding and protecting in environments such as the education providers and social services.

First Aid

IQL – Level 3 First Aid at Work Qualification (FAW)

This qualification is the full FAW First aid qualification rather than just the minimum level required for your instructor tickets. The course covers a wide range of first aid and CPR skills, equipping the first-aider to apply first aid to a range of specific injuries and illness. It is recognised by all the Outdoor National Governing Bodies for their Instructor Awards including Canoeing, Kayaking, SUP, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Lifesaving and many more.

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