Certification Levels

The certification programs offered through the AWA are focused on developing safe and effective instructors and leaders.  Listed below are the various levels available to instructors and leaders wishing to teach courses or lead other paddlers in various settings.

 LEADERSHIP DEV MODEL 10.pdf

Additional fees apply to instructor members, see Course Fees for more information.

Pool Kayak Instructor 1
Lake Kayak Instructor 1  
Combination Pool & Lake Kayak Instructor I
Swiftwater Rescue and Safety

River Kayak Leader 2
River Kayak Instructor 2
Combination River Leader 2 and River Instructor 2


Whitewater  Kayak Leader 3
Whitewater Kayak Instructor 3
Combination Whitewater Kayak Leader 3 and Whitewater Kayak Instructor 3

 


Pool Kayak Instructor

Target Audience:     Lifeguards and swimming instructors who work at pools who wish to teach kayaking, teachers or youth leaders wishing to teach kayaking for their groups and club instructors running winter pool sessions.
Course Duration:     8 hours
Prerequisites:

  • Minimum Age: 16 years
  • Must have previously experienced the basic skills involved
  • Does not have to be an experienced or proficient paddler

Environment: Indoor & outdoor swimming pools or controlled beachfront swim areas, with lifeguards present
Course Outline
:

  • Risk management
  • Basic pool safety
  • Pool and paddling equipment
  • Boat fit
  • Getting in and out of boats - dryland and wet exits
  • Basic strokes; forward and reverse; sweeps, draws, hip flicks,  and hand of god
  • Practice routines
  • Games
  • Professionalism, ethics, and promotion

Lake Kayak Instructor 1

Target Audience:     Club or summer camp instructors teaching kayaking on unsupervised flatwater sites
Course Duration:     8 hours
Prerequisites:

  • AWA Member
  • Minimum Age: 16 years
  • Must have intermediate flatwater skills
  • Certified as a NCCP Pool Kayak Instructor 1
  • Active instructors must have Standard First Aid and CPR certification

Environment:  Teaching beginners on outdoor flatwater, such as lakes, canals, ponds or non-moving water sites (flow less than 10 metres/minute)
Course Outline:   This course builds upon the basics of the pool course. It includes:

  • NCCP overview
  • Equipment
  • Risk management
  • Teaching methodology
  • Site selection and group management
  • Environment monitoring – weather and water conditions
  • Technical skills; forward & reverse paddling, sweeps, low & high brace, draw, bow draw, flatwater roll
  • Common paddling injuries
  • Basic rescue techniques for lake environment
  • Games and exercises
  • Professional issues and administration

Combination Pool and Lake Kayak Instructor

Target Audience:     Club or summer camp instructors teaching kayaking in supervised pools and on unsupervised flatwater sites
Course Duration:     Two days
Prerequisites

  • Minimum Age: 16 years
  • Must have intermediate flatwater skills
  • Active instructors must have Standard First Aid and CPR certification

Environment:     Teaching beginners in the pool and on outdoor flatwater, such as lakes canals, ponds or non-moving water sites (flow less than 10 metres/minute)
Course Outline:     This course combines the basics of the pool course and the technical review of the Lake course. It includes:

  • NCCP overview
  • Basic pool safety
  • Pool and paddling equipment
  • Boat fit
  • Getting in and out of boats – dryland and wet exits
  • Basic strokes; forward and reverse; sweeps, draws, hip flicks, high and low braces, flatwater roll, and hand of god
  • Practise routines
  • Games
  • Professionalism, ethics, and promotion
  • Teaching methodology
  • Risk management
  • Site selection and group management
  • Environment monitoring – weather and water conditions
  • Common paddling injuries
  • Basic rescue techniques
  • Professional issues and administration

Swiftwater Rescue and Safety

Target Audience:     This Whitewater Canada course is recommended for all paddlers
Course Duration:     Two and a half days
Prerequisites:     AWA Members
Environment:     Class I-III whitewater
Course Outline:   

  • Risk, incidents, and liability
  • River dynamics (hydrology)
  • River hazards
  • Trip safety and planning
  • Throwbags
  • Wading and swimming
  • Tow systems and in-boat rescue techniques
  • Knots and anchors
  • Tag and snag lines
  • Mechanical advantage systems
  • Leading rescues and organization of rescues

River Leader 2

Target Audience:     Club members who wish to lead river trips
Course Duration:     One and a half days
Prerequisites:

  • AWA Member
  • Minimum age 18 years
  • Class III (intermediate) whitewater paddling skills
  • Swiftwater Rescue and Safety Certification
  • Active instructors must have Standard First Aid and CPR certification

Environment:     Class I-II whitewater
Course Outline:    This course is risk management-focused and covers the details of trip-planning and leading a group down the river on Class I and II water. It includes:

  • Risk management: liability, waivers, standards of care, emergency action planning
  • Planning and preparation
  • Paddler screening
  • Risk assessment and decision making
  • Leadership skills
  • River hazards and hydrology
  • Group management, scouting & communication techniques including river signals
  • Demonstration of rescue and paddling skills

River Instructor 2

Target Audience:     Club, school, or commercial instructors wishing to teach kayaking on easy rivers
Course Duration:     One and a half days
Prerequisites:

  • AWA Member
  • Minimum age 18 years
  • Class II (intermediate) whitewater paddling skills
  • Swiftwater Rescue and Safety Certification
  • Certified as a NCCP River Leader 2
  • Active instructors must have Standard First Aid and CPR certification

Environment:     Instructing beginner and novice groups on Class I-II whitewater
Course Outline:

  • NCCP overview
  • Equipment
  • Risk management
  • Teaching methodology
  • Site selection
  • Group management and communication
  • Session planning
  • Technical skills; basic eddy turns (in and out), boat ferrying, s-turns, surfing, backlferrying, and the moving water roll
  • Common paddling injuries
  • Basic rescue techniques
  • Games and exercises
  • Professional issues and administration

Combination River Leader 2 and River Instructor 2

Target Audience:     Club, school, or commercial instructors wishing to teach kayaking on easy rivers
Course Duration:     Two and a half days
Prerequisites:

  • AWA Member
  • Minimum age 18 years
  • Class II (intermediate) whitewater paddling skills
  • Swiftwater Rescue and Safety Certification
  • Certified as a NCCP Lake Kayak Instructor
  • Active instructors must have Standard First Aid and CPR certification

Environment:     Leading and instructing beginner and novice groups on Class I-II rivers
Course Outline:

  • NCCP overview
  • Equipment
  • Risk management focused and covers the details of trip planning and leading a group down the river on Class I and II water
  • Risk management: liability, waivers, standards of care, emergency action planning
  • Planning and preparation,
  • Paddler screening
  • Risk assessment and decision making
  • Leadership skills
  • River hazards and hydrology
  • Group management
  • Scouting & communication techniques including river signals
  • Demonstration of rescue and paddling skills
  • Teaching methodology
  • Site selection
  • Instructional group management and communication
  • Session planning
  • Technical skills: basic eddy turns (in and out), boat ferrying, s-turns, surfing, backlferrying, and the moving water roll, common paddling injuries, basic rescue techniques, games and exercises, professional issues and administration

Whitewater Leader 3

Target Audience:     Club, school, commercial instructors or guides/leaders who wish to lead advanced whitewater trips; safety boaters, other professional paddlers, etc.
Course Duration:     One and a half days
Prerequisites:

  • AWA Member
  • Minimum age 18 years
  • Class III-IV (advanced) whitewater paddling skills
  • Swiftwater Rescue and Safety Certification
  • Certified as a NCCP River Leader 2
  • Active instructors must have Standard First Aid and CPR certification

Environment:     Class III whitewater
Course Outline:     This course follows the same format as the Kayak Leader 2 course, but for trip planning and leading on Class III water. It includes:

  • Risk management: liability, waivers, standards of care, emergency action planning
  • Planning and preparation; remote runs, map analysis, GPS
  • Paddler screening
  • Risk assessment and decision making
  • Advanced leadership skills
  • River hazards and hydrology
  • Group management, scouting & communication techniques including river signals
  • Demonstration of rescue and paddling skills

Whitewater Instructor 3

Target Audience:     Club, school, or commercial instructors wishing to teach kayaking on intermediate/advanced rivers
Course Duration:     One and a half days
Prerequisites:

  • AWA Member
  • Minimum age 18 years
  • Class III-IV (advanced) whitewater paddling skills
  • Swiftwater Rescue and Safety Certification
  • Certified as a NCCP River Instructor 2
  • Certified as a NCCP Whitewater Leader 3
  • Active instructors must have Standard First Aid and CPR certification

Environment:     Instructing intermediate and advanced groups on Class III whitewater
Course Outline:

  • NCCP overview
  • Equipment
  • Risk management
  • Teaching methodology
  • Site selection
  • Group management and communication
  • Session planning
  • Technical skills: basic eddy turns (in and out), boat ferrying, s-turns, surfing, back ferrying, the moving-water roll and pivots
  • Common paddling injuries
  • Basic rescue techniques
  • Games and exercises
  • Professional issues and administration

Combination Whitewater Leader 3 and Whitewater Instructor 3

Target Audience:     Club, school, commercial instructors or guides/leaders who wish to lead advanced whitewater trips and teach kayaking on intermediate/advanced rivers
Course Duration:     Two and a half days
Prerequisites:

  • AWA Member
  • Minimum age 18 years
  • Class III-IV (advanced) whitewater paddling skills
  • Swiftwater Rescue and Safety Certification
  • Certified as a NCCP River Leader 2 and River Instructor 2
  • Active instructors must have Standard First Aid and CPR certification

Environment:     Leading and Instructing intermediate and advanced groups on Class III whitewater
Course Outline:     This course follows the same format as the Kayak River Leader 2 course, but for trip planning and leading on Class III water

  • NCCP overview
  • Equipment
  • Risk management: liability, waivers, standards of care, emergency action planning
  • Planning and preparation; remote runs, map analysis, GPS
  • Paddler screening
  • Risk assessment and decision making
  • Advanced leadership skills
  • River hazards and hydrology
  • Group management, scouting & communication techniques including river signals
  • Demonstration of rescue and paddling skills in difficult water
  • Risk management
  • Teaching methodology
  • Site selection
  • Session planning
  • Technical skills: eddy turns (in and out), boat ferrying, s-turns, jet ferries, surfing, pivots, side surfing and spins
  • Common paddling injuries
  • Games and exercises
  • Professional issues and administration