Coach Award

The British Canoeing Awarding Body Coach Award is an entry point coaching qualification and offers discipline specific pathways across all disciplines and environments.

Coach Award Overview

Minimum age

16 years at the time of assessment


Core Coach Training: Full National Association Membership

Discipline Specific Training: Full National Association Membership, Core Coach Training, or equivalent (see Coach Award Course Guide), relevant Leadership Award for some disciplines (see Coach Award Course Guide)

Assessment: Core Coach Training, relevant Discipline Specific Training and Coach Award eLearning.

Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already have the relevant skills to bypass the training, log in to your membership record and apply for Accredited Prior Learning.

Course length

Core Coach: 2 days’ practical course or online course delivered through modules

Discipline Specific:  2 days’ practical training

1 day Assessment


Coach Award eLearning available upon registration

Course documents

To view the associated documents for this course, please click here


You will need to register with your Delivery Centre ahead of assessment. This can be done at any point during your learning journey. Visit your Delivery Centre website for further information (links below)

UCAS Points

8 Points

Find a course

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

The Coach Award is designed for people whose core function is to coach paddlers who want to gain/improve paddlesport skills within the discipline chosen. This will include coaching beginners new to the sport, or paddlers looking to develop their skills in the given discipline or environment.

The coach is able to plan, deliver and review progressive sessions safely, effectively and independently.

The Coach Award is discipline specific and currently available in:

  • Canoe Coach (Sheltered Water)
  • Kayak Coach (Sheltered Water)
  • Canoe and Kayak Coach (Sheltered Water)
  • Freestyle Coach
  • Polo Coach
  • Racing Coach
  • Slalom Coach
  • Wild Water Coach
  • Open Water Canoe Coach (Moderate Water)
  • Open Water Canoe Coach (Advanced Water)
  • Sea Kayak Coach (Moderate Water)
  • Sea Kayak Coach (Advanced Water)
  • Stand Up Paddleboard Open Water Coach (Moderate Water)
  • Stand Up Paddleboard Race Coach (Moderate Water)
  • Stand Up Paddleboard Sheltered Water Coach
  • Stand Up Paddleboard White Water Coach (Moderate Water)
  • Surf Kayak Coach (Moderate Water)
  • Surf Kayak Coach (Advanced Water)
  • White Water Canoe Coach (Moderate Water)
  • White Water Canoe Coach (Advanced Water)
  • White Water Kayak Coach (Moderate Water)
  • White Water Kayak Coach (Advanced Water)

Click here to view the individual Discipline Specific Training Programmes.

Course Content

The Coach Award content is delivered through the Core Coach Training and the Discipline Specific Training.

The Core Coach Training will explore different approaches to coaching, understanding and enabling learning, and some core coaching skills. You will also be supported in evolving your personal coaching development plan to enable you to take your learning into practice after the course. The Core Coach Training can be done as a 2 day practical course or an online course delivered through a series of modules.

The Discipline Specific Training focuses on HOW to coach the discipline specific skills and WHAT you will be coaching. The training explores how to coach technical and tactical skills. The course will help coaches plan and deliver safe, enjoyable, progressive coaching sessions and explore specifics to help coaches coach some typical athletes/learners relevant to you/your discipline.

Method of Assessment

At assessment, candidates will be required to complete the following assessment tasks:

  • Assessment Discussion Task
  • Practical Coaching
  • Rescue Skills
  • Personal Skills*
  • Background Knowledge, Understanding and Experience

*The Personal Skills element of assessment is not applicable to the coaches pursuing the Freestyle, Polo, Racing, Slalom or Wild Water Racing qualifications. It is applicable to all other Coach Awards. 

Coach Award eLearning

You can find out more about the Coach Award eLearning package on the site here. You need to register through your Delivery Centre before you can gain access.

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:

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Paddlesport Safety and Rescue Course

This course was launched on the 4th January and aims to provide paddlers with the key safety and rescue skills required to operate safely and be able to deal with common problems in a sheltered water environment.

The course content focuses on rescuing from the paddlers specific craft and covers equipment, safety frameworks, as well as a range of rescues such as contact and towing rescues, self-rescues and deep water rescues.

Find out more about this course!


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Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor

This course was launched on the 4th January and aims to support Instructors running SUP taster/starter sessions and short journeys in very sheltered water environments.

The 2 day course helps to prepare candidates for their first SUP instructing role, ensuring they are ‘primed and ready’ to deliver safe and enjoyable sessions for people new to paddleboarding, within the safety management systems of clubs, centres or other organisations.

Find out more about this course!


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Inclusive Language eLearning

This eLearning was launched on the 11th January and will cover the importance of using inclusive language and the impact it can have on those around you.

This module provides an understanding of key terms, definitions and examples of inclusive language; supports learners on how to identify and tackle inappropriate or exclusive language such as banter and microaggressions; and how to challenge it when it happens.

Find out more!


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International Webinars

We have held several International webinars throughout the year the first being Paddling in France which was on 15th February 2023, this was then followed by the United States of America on 15th March 2023 we then had Nepal, Norway and the latest one Austria which was on 21st June 2023. 

If any resources were used in the webinar you can now find them on the BCAB Digital Library along with the recording of the webinars. Unfortunately Paddling in Norway wasn\’t recorded so that wont be on the Digital Library.


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Manual Handling eLearning

This eLearning was launched on the 31st January and will cover different types of manual handling, how we can consider and manage risk and shows the steps we can take when manual handling to better protect our bodies. 

Throughout paddlesport, there are many occasions when we are lifting, carrying and moving craft, as well as performing rescues.  It’s essential we reflect on current practice and consider whether we are putting ourselves and others in potential danger of damaging joints and muscles, particularly when moving or lifting equipment or people.

Find out more!