Bell Boat Helm (Sheltered Water)

bellboat helm - A group of children in a bellboat waving their paddles and cheering

The main responsibility of the Bell Boat Helm is to ensure safety for themselves and their crew and, of course, provide lots of fun and enjoyment for all.

Bell Boat Helm Overview

Minimum age

16 years (please note, candidates cannot be deemed responsible for leadership by law until they turn 18)


  • Full National Association membership
  • Valid (within 3 years) British Canoeing Awarding Body recognised 1-day First Aid Award
  • Valid (within 3 years) Safeguarding Training recognised by British Canoeing Awarding Body

Course Length

Optional Training / 1-day Assessment or combined training and assessment (2 days)


Optional free Leadership eLearning

Course Documents

To view the associated documents with this course, click here.


You will need to register with your Delivery Centre ahead of assessment. Visit your Delivery Centre website below for further information.

Find a course

Visit your Delivery Centre website to find a course near you.

British Canoeing Awarding Body Training

British Canoeing Awarding Body Bell Boat Training courses are available to support you in your development of the required skills. These courses typically cover helm skills, and the associated personal skills, group management, safety and rescue skills. As this training is delivered by British Canoeing Awarding Body Bell Boat Helm Providers, they will also be able to help you identify an appropriate action plan to support your progress towards a successful assessment. This is the comprehensive option; courses are normally offered as 1 or 2-day programmes; the 2-day programme would normally include an assessment.

Other Training Opportunities  

You may wish to opt for more bespoke training opportunities. For example, private tuition, in-house training through your workplace, working alongside/shadowing other Helms, or conference/symposium workshops. Many British Canoeing Awarding Body Bell Boat Helm Providers are willing to offer bespoke training to individuals or groups of individuals. The benefit of working with a Bell Boat Helm Provider is that they have explicit knowledge of the award requirements. However, there are a great many other experienced Helms who may be in a position to support your development.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment: The assessment for the Bell Boat Helm is 1 day, candidates will be expected to demonstrate the following skills with a Bell Boat and crew successfully and safely:

  • Philosophy, Bell Boat and Placid Water
  • Safety – Equipment, Boat, Paddles, Safety Equipment, The Crew, Man Overboard, Awareness of Paddling Environment – Current, Weirs, Procedure at Locks, Weather, First Aid, Leptospirosis for Events/Expeditions
  • Coaching Group Control Coaching of techniques – Paddling, Steering, Manoeuvring, Negotiating a Lock, Lining
  • General Information, Next Steps, Access to Water, The Environment

Certification: Candidates who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate from their National Association.

Find a course

To find a course in your area, visit your Delivery Centre website by clicking the relevant logo at the bottom of this page.