01690 720214

Sea Kayak Leader Assessment

Course Overview

A two day assessment course based on the new syllabus.

Experience Required

Four Star Leader Training and tidal planning module

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Is it for me?

Do you paddle a sea kayak regularly in winds up to force 4 and in tidal streams up to 3 knots? Have you got the skills and experience to lead fellow paddlers in this setting? Have you done this in a number of different locations? Have you got a record of this in a logbook? Are you happy that you can perform all that is ask for within the 4* syllabus? Have you completed all the necessary training requirements? And do you have all the necessary prerequisites set out in the syllabus? Finally are you looking to gain a certificate to endorse your performance at this level?


You need to be an experienced paddler, with four star sea kayak leadership skills. Please bring proof with you if you have the 3 star award (or the old style 4 Star Award), proof of 4* sea kayak leader award training completed in the last 3 years, or proof of BCU approved APL and a current valid Leader registration form (LR Form). In addition please bring your log book with you to have it signed.

What we cover

During the two day we will cover as many aspects of the 4* Syllabus as time and conditions allow. This will be done on moderate tidal waters, in winds up to force 4 and tidal streams up to 3 knots. You will be assessed leading a group of fellow paddlers of about 3* standard. For a definitive list of all that you may be asked to do please go to the links below to both the 4* syllabus and assessor notes.

BCU 4* syllabus

BCU 4* assessor notes

In brief the syllabus includes,

Personal Paddling Skills

  • Lifting, carrying and launching/landing

  • Efficient and effective sea paddling skills

  • Forward paddling

  • Forward paddling

  • Reversing and stopping

  • Maintaining direction

  • Changing direction

  • Moving sideways

  • Support strokes

  • Rolling

  • Practical navigation

Rescue Skills, Safety, Leadership and Group Management

  • Boat and shore based safety and rescue skills

  • Incident management and first aid in the 4 star environment

  • Being an effective team leader and team member in rescues/incidents

  • Application of leadership

  • Leadership strategies, judgement and decision making

  • Safety awareness and risk management

  • Group control and management

  • Equipment


  • Equipment

  • Safety (includes coastguard and rescue services)

  • Weather

  • Hypothermia/first aid

  • Access

  • Planning

  • Group awareness and management

  • Navigation

  • Etiquette (include collision regulations and signals)

  • General (and historical)

  • Leadership responsibilities

  • Water features/hazards

What's Included In The Price?

Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the following items are included in the total cost.

    Free tea, coffee or selected hot drinks for the duration of your visit
    Afternoon tea & homemade cakes
    Secure boat storage (if you choose to bring your own boat)
    Free (low-speed) wifi access in the bar & dining room
    In course transport
    Railway station pick up & drop off (please call to arrange)
    Parking with CCTV surveillance
    Free use of climbing wall, gym, MTB skills course & rolling pool

    If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:

    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Breakfast & evening meal
    Bar Lunch/packed lunch

Accommodation For This Course

Plas y Brenin Main House

Your course is based at Plas y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre in Capel Curig, North Wales, LL24 0ET.

If you are staying with us,

If you have chosen to add accommodation onto this course or holiday it is usually in the main house in a comfy en-suite room (normally shared with another guest). Each room has tea and coffee making facilities and all bed linen and towels are provided.

This includes accommodation the night before your first day. Your room will be available from 6pm. On your last day you will need to vacate your room by 10am. It is sometimes possible to arrange to stay an extra night please phone 01690 720214 for availability and cost.

Secure storage facilities, showers and toilets are available for you to use on your departure day once you have checked out of your room should you need them, please ask at reception.

Also included, if you chosen to add accommodation, are all your meals - breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes and a three course evening meal. Please bear in mind an evening meal is not provided on the night before your course or on the last day of your course but our bar will be serving meals from 7.00pm until 8.45pm.

If you are are not staying with us but coming in each day,

If you choose to come in daily for your course or holiday you will need to arrive ready for a 9am welcome talk on the first day. For the rest of your course or holiday you will need to be here for 9.15am. We return from a full day of activity, usually in time for tea and cakes at 5pm (included).

There are more activities from 5.30 - 6.30 on some days of your course or holiday, please check on the first day.

For most of our awards and qualification courses there will be further evening sessions on some days which you need to attend, please check on the first day.

There is an 8pm adventure talk by one of our coaches on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday evenings which you are welcome to come to. Find out more about the upcoming talks here.

On the final day you will be finished by 5pm.

For courses based on-site our bar will be serving lunches from 12pm until 2pm or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

If your course is based away from the centre then you will need to bring a packed lunch with you. Each evening our bar serves evening meals from 7pm until 8.45pm if you wish to eat here.

You can arrange to have any of the following meals - breakfast, packed lunch and a three course centre dinner, by contacting our customer services team on 01690 720214 or

follow this link for more details

What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

Please bring your own paddling kit appropriate for paddling and leading a group of 4 paddlers and as the syllabus requires. At this level it is expected that candidates supply their own boat the appropriateness of which will form part of the assessment process. For those who may have problems transporting a boat to the assessment it may be possible to use one of our fleet but this needs to be discussed and agreed in advance. If this applies to you please contact the centre for more details.

You will also need:

  • Lunch bag/box

  • Drinks bottle

  • Cheque book for any BCU fees due

  • BCU logbook/paperwork

Customer Reviews For This Course

Brilliant course if you coach rolling


This course was really fantastic. I'm a Level 1 coach for my club and had been asked to take a series of sessions aimed at teaching teenagers to roll. To be honest I arrived at the course feeling my coaching toolbox for teaching those teenagers rolling was pretty empty! I left with a stack load of tools but more importantly an understanding of a structure for using those tools to journey towards a good roll. I've ended up feeling both confident and really enthusiastic about heading to the pool to coach rolling next week!

On the first day we practiced exercises ourselves that lead progressively towards a good roll. The second day we had a short warm up period and then our willing guinea pig came in. She'd never tried to learn to roll before and we took it in turns to run sessions to take her towards a roll. Between us we videoed most of it and that forms a great resource for reminding us of the exercises. Loads of other stuff was covered: stretches, troubleshooting, different rolls, making a roll robust, using video feedback etc etc. Our instructor patiently answered every question we had - and there were a lot!

Highly recommend this course if you coach rolling.

excellent 2 day course to develop your coaching skills

Shane Clark

This was the first time this course has been run. Day one was about coaching and mentoring each other to make sure you had a great 'coaching roll'. First part of the day focusing on the theory and then using the pool to coach each other. Great Learning environment and feedback from Sid and Andy. Day two was about coaching a paddler how to role. An excellent second day.
Overall excellent value. 2 days coaching from national coaches, unlimited use of the pool, excellent facilities of Plas y brenin and two days accommodation. Outstanding.

Not found what you were looking for?

You can hire one of our coaches instructors or guides from only £250 per day. They'll tailor the day to suit your aims and aspirations perfectly.
You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.

Fill in a Callback Form

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