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National Sea Kayak Program Instructor Stream

Waterfront Kayak Instructor

This program provides the theory and skills necessary for instructors to lead introductory kayaking skills and activities in a safe, controlled environment.

With a strong focus on fun, games and safety, this two day instructor program is designed to introduce candidates to activities, skills, teaching techniques, and knowledge to effectively teach the Waterfront Kayak program.

Mandate of the Waterfront Kayak Instructor

A Waterfront Kayak Instructor is certified to:

  • conduct Paddle Canada Waterfront Kayak skills courses and certify paddlers at that level, and
  • assist a Basic Kayak Instructor on a Basic Kayak skills course.

Prerequisites

  • At least 16 years of age.
  • Certification:
    • None
  • First Aid:
    • Standard first-aid with CPR.
  • Teaching Experience:
    • None
  • Paddling Experience:
    • None, though some previous experience in a kayak in class-0 conditions is highly recommended.

Typical Course Length

16 hours of instruction (2 days) with a minimum of eight hours instruction on the water.


Basic Kayak Instructor

This course provides national certification in the instruction and administration of the Paddle Canada Basic Kayak skills course.

Mandate of the Basic Kayak Instructor

A Basic Kayak Skills instructor is certified to:

  • conduct Paddle Canada Waterfront Kayak and Basic Kayak skills courses and certify paddlers at those levels,
  • assist a Level-1 Instructor on a Level-1 Skills course,
  • assist a Kayak Rolling Instructor on a Kayak Rolling clinic, and
  • assist a Basic Kayak Instructor Trainer on a Waterfront Kayak Instructor course.

Prerequisites

  • At least 16 years of age.
  • Certification:
    • Sea Kayak Level-1 Skills certification.
  • First Aid:
    • Current certification in first aid (14 hours) with CPR.
  • Teaching Experience:
    • None
  • Paddling Experience:
    • Significant paddling experience in a wide variety of conditions and locations.
    • Candidates are expected to be able to perform all safety and skill items to a level and confidence superior to that of a student taking the Basic Kayak skill course.

Typical Course Length

20 hours of instruction (2.5 days), minimum eight hours instruction on the water.


Kayak Rolling Instructor

This course provides national certification in the instruction and administration of the Paddle Canada Kayak Rolling skills clinic.

Mandate of the Kayak Rolling Instructor

A Kayak Rolling Instructor is certified to conduct Paddle Canada Kayak Rolling clinics and to instruct paddlers at that level.

Prerequisites

  • At least 16 years of age.
  • Certification
    • Basic Kayak Instructor
  • First Aid
    • Current certification in first aid (14 hours) with CPR.
  • Teaching Experience
    • The prospective candidate must have taught a minimum of two Basic Kayak Skills (or higher) courses within the past three years, being the lead instructor on at least one of those courses.
  • Paddling Experience
    • The ability to roll a kayak confidently. It is strongly recommended that instructor candidates are able to roll confidently on both sides.

Typical Course Length

6 hours of instruction, minimum of 5 hours of instruction on the water.


Level-1 Instructor

This course provides national certification in the instruction and administration of the Paddle Canada Level-1 Skills course.

Mandate of the Level-1 Instructor

The Level-1 Instructor is certified to:

  • conduct Paddle Canada Waterfront Kayak, Basic Kayak and Level-1 Skills courses and certify paddlers at those levels,
  • assist a Level-2 Instructor on a Level-2 Skills course, and
  • assist a Basic Kayak Instructor Trainer on a Basic Kayak Instructor or Waterfront Instructor course.

Prerequisites

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Skills Certification
    • Paddle Canada Level-2 Skills.
  • Instructor Certification
    • Basic Kayak Instructor highly suggested.
  • Teaching Experience
    • None, though it is highly recommended that the prospective candidate have taught a minimum of two Basic Kayak Skills courses within the past three years, being the lead instructor on at least one of those courses.
  • First Aid Certification
    • Current certification in first aid (14 hours) with CPR.
  • Paddling Experience
    • 30 days in Level-1 conditions (including overnights).

Skills certification prerequisite note: With the permission of the Instructor Trainer, a candidate may enroll in a Level-1 Instructor course prior to completing their Level-2 Skills certification. Certification as a Level-1 Instructor is delayed until Level-2 skill certification and all other requirements are complete. Passing the instructor course will be subject to the provision of completing the required Level-2 skill certification and updating the Instructor Course Report within one year.

This provision applies only to the Level-1 Instructor course and does not apply to any other certification.

Typical Course Length

32 hours of instruction (4 days) with a minimum 16 hours instruction on the water.


Level-2 Instructor

The course provides national certification in the instruction and administration of the Paddle Canada Level-2 Skills course.

Mandate of the Level-2 Instructor

The Level-2 Instructor is certified to:

  • conduct Paddle Canada Waterfront Kayak, Basic Kayak, Rolling Skills clinic, Level-1 Skills and Level-2 Skills courses and certify paddlers at those levels,
  • assist a Level-3 Instructor on a Level-3 Skills course, and
  • assist a Level-1 Instructor Trainer on a Level-1 instructor course.

Prerequisites

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Skills Certification
    • Paddle Canada Level-3 Skills (this is a strictly enforced prerequisite).
  • Instructor Certification
    • Paddle Canada Level-1 Instructor.
  • Teaching Experience
    • The candidate will have a significant teaching experience as a Level-1 Instructor in a wide variety of conditions and locations including a minimum of 15 days of logged instruction of Level-1 curriculum (either courses or clinics).
    • A minimum of two, Level-1 Skills courses within the past three years, being the lead instructor on both courses. These two courses count toward the 15 logged days.
  • Other Certifications
    • Current certification in wilderness first aid (16 hours) with CPR.
    • Restricted Operator Certificate (Maritime).
      • While not required for course registration, the candidate must be able to provide proof of certification within one year after Level-2 Instructor certification is complete.
    • Paddling Experience
      • Significant paddling experience in a wide variety of conditions and locations.

Typical Course Length

40 hours of instruction (5 days) with a minimum of 30 hours instruction on the water.


Level-3 Instructor

This course provides national certification in the instruction and administration of the Paddle Canada Level-3 Skills course.

Instructor Candidate Description

The Level-3 instructor candidate is a highly experienced Paddle Canada sea kayak instructor and as such, the requirements for knowledge, personal experience and leadership is significant.

The instructor candidate will show confidence with the material and be effective in the overall management of this challenging course. The ability to quickly assess student’s needs, be flexible with changing environmental conditions and the ability to set-up and effectively debrief challenging teaching scenarios on the water are key attributes of the Level-3 Instructor.

Mandate of the Level-3 Instructor

The Level-3 Instructor is certified to:

  • conduct Paddle Canada Waterfront Kayak, Basic Kayak, Kayak Rolling clinic and Level-1, 2 and 3 skills courses and to certify paddlers at those levels,
  • assist Level-4 Instructors on a Level-4 Skills course, and
  • assist a Level-2 Instructor Trainer on a Level-2 Instructor course.

Prerequisites

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Skills Certification
    • Paddle Canada Level-4 Skills.
  • Instructor Certification
    • Paddle Canada Level-2 Instructor.
  • Teaching Experience
    • The candidate will have a significant teaching experience as a Level-2 Instructor in a wide variety of conditions and locations including a minimum of 20 days of logged instruction of Level-2 curriculum (either courses or clinics).
    • A minimum of two Level-2 Skills courses within the past three years, being the lead instructor on both of those courses. These two courses count toward the 20 logged days.
  • Other Certifications
    • Current certification in wilderness first aid (36 hours) with CPR.
    • Restricted Operator Certificate (Maritime).
  • Paddling Experience
    • Significant paddling experience in class-3 conditions.

Typical Course Length

Level-3 Instructor is achieved only through the mentorship process. The candidate must be mentored through two Level-3 Skills courses.


Level-4 Instructor

This course provides national certification in the instruction and administration of the Paddle Canada Level-4 Skills course. This award may be achieved only through apprenticeship.

Instructor Candidate Description

The Level-4 instructor candidate is a highly experienced Paddle Canada sea kayak instructor and as such, the requirements for knowledge, personal experience and leadership is significant.

The instructor candidate will show confidence with the material and be effective in the overall management of this challenging course. The ability to quickly assess student’s needs, be flexible with changing environmental conditions and the ability to set-up and effectively debrief challenging and extended teaching scenarios on the water are key attributes of the Level-4 Instructor.

Mandate of the Level-4 Instructor

The Level-4 Instructor is certified to

  • conduct Paddle Canada Waterfront Kayak, Basic Kayak, Kayak Rolling clinic and Level-1, 2, 3 and 4-skills courses and to certify paddlers at those levels, and
  • assist a Level-2 or 3 Instructor Trainer on a Level-2 Instructor course.

Prerequisites

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Skills Certification
    • Paddle Canada Level-4 Skills.
  • Instructor Certification
    • Paddle Canada Level-3 Instructor.
  • Teaching Experience
    • The candidate will have a significant teaching experience as a Level-3 Instructor in a wide variety of conditions and locations including a minimum of 20 days of logged instruction of Level-3 curriculum (either courses or clinics).
    • A minimum of two Level-3 Skills courses within the past three years, being the lead instructor on at least one of those courses. These two courses count toward the 20 logged days.
  • Other Certifications
    • Current certification in wilderness first aid (36 hours) with CPR.
    • Restricted Operator Certificate (Maritime).
  • Paddling Experience
    • Significant experience on extended kayak trips in class-4 conditions. A minimum of 5 extended trips totalling 20 or more nights. The prospective candidate must show evidence (e.g. weather/sea state logs, photography or video) that they spent a minimum of 5 days during any two trips in class-4 conditions.

Typical Course Length

Level-4 Instructor is achieved only through the mentorship process of which the candidate must participate in two.

Please note that the above course descriptions are for reference only. The syllabus or course policies may have changed slightly over time so in case of disagreement, refer to the latest version of the Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Program Manual for the most up-to-date information.

Please forward any questions, comments, concerns and feedback to the Sea Kayak Program Development Committee.

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