British Canoeing Paddlesport Instructor

Join our two-day course to become a certified Paddlesport Instructor, covering essential skills for leading taster sessions in various settings.

Plas y Brenin

2 Days

Instructor Ratio1:6


Plas y Brenin


2 Days

Instructor Ratio


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The Paddlesport Instructor qualification is for people whose main focus of work is delivering paddlesport taster/starter sessions within clubs, centres or other organisations. The qualification is not discipline specific and is suitable for instructors who work with paddlers from any of the competitive and non-competitive paddlesport disciplines.

The Objectives 

The primary role of the Paddlesport Instructor is to deliver safe and enjoyable taster/starter sessions based on their group’s needs and aspirations. The qualification will support the instructor with practical skills such as kitting up a group and getting afloat, initial familiarisation activities, games and activities to support learning and how to use mini journeys to support learning, inspire adventure and exploration. This will be enhanced with support on how these sessions can be delivered in a way that is enjoyable, safe and rewarding.

It is anticipated that the qualification is likely to be used by instructors in clubs, centres, schools, Duke of Edinburgh, Youth Groups, Uniformed Groups, etc. Instructors who are involved in running taster/starter sessions for:

  • Children and young people as part of a wider educational experience;
  • People as part of a leisure, activity, social or holiday experience;
  • People wanting ‘to have a go’ at the sport; maybe as a potential new regular participant.

The process of completing the qualification aims to help prepare candidates for their first paddlesport instructing role; ‘primed and ready’.

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What To Expect

Day 1

  • Session 1: Course Introduction
  • Session 2: Bank-side – Getting Ready
  • Session 3: Bank-side and On the Water – Getting the Group Afloat
  • Session 4: On the Water – Basic Techniques
  • Session 5: On the Water – Games and Basic Rescues
  • Session 6: Bank-side – Clearing Up and Concluding
  • Session 7: Classroom – End-of-Day Review

Day 2

  • Session 8: Classroom – Q&A from Day 1
  • Session 9: On the Water – Supporting Learning
  • Session 10: On the Water – Journeying Techniques
  • Session 11: On the Water – Advanced Rescues
  • Session 12: Classroom – Course Conclusion

Experience Required 

The candidate entry requirements are as follows:

  • Full Home Nation Delivery Centre Membership;
  • Home Nation Delivery Centre registration;
  • British Canoeing Awarding Body Foundation Safety and Rescue Training;
  • Personal paddling and rescue competence;
  • 14 years of age, or older.

Candidates under 18 years of age should check the suitability of the course with a tutor before attendance.

How Should I Prepare 

Prior to attending the Paddlesport Instructor course you are expected to have developed personal paddling and rescue competence in your preferred craft. Candidates choose to paddle one type of craft for the personal paddling and rescue skills assessment; kayak, open canoe, sit on top, or stand up paddleboard. These skills are assessed during the course (but not trained).

Paddlesport Instructor eLearning – This eLearning package covers a range of relevant syllabus topics. It provides information on content that will be covered on the course and provides additional content to support instructors in the field. It is open access and gives a flavour of some of the content you are likely to cover on the course. It is accessed through the British Canoeing Awarding Body website.

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Why Plas y Brenin?

Plas y Brenin is at the forefront of outdoor instruction. Whether you are starting a career in the outdoors, or just want to take an adventure holiday, PYB is the place for you.

We inspire explorers. We train trainers. We’re internationally recognised. We’ve been around since 1798, with our earliest guests including Queen Victoria. Since then, we’ve focussed on providing the best customer experience, working alongside some of the greatest, 007 included.

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You’ll receive expert supervision from fully qualified and psyched instructors, creating the perfect environment to learn and enjoy something new!

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Your experience will take place in the heart of the extraordinary Eryri National Park. Our National Outdoor Centre features accommodation, a bar, dining, and more. And while you’re here, why not check out some local gems?

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Everyone at Plas y Brenin, from staff to visitors, is excited about adventures and inspired to get outside. Our guests return year after year to experience all that North Wales offers.