Paddle UK / Canoe Wales Standards for Deployment

Paddle UK (formerly British Canoeing) has recently published new ‘Standards for Deployment’ for those involved with delivering paddlesport across the UK (see Standards For Deployment | Paddle UK). These include specific guidance for ‘commercial’ providers (see Commercial-Standards-for-Deployment-Policy-April-24-1.pdf) as well as for clubs affiliated to Paddle UK and its national associations (including Canoe Wales). The standards include requirements for safeguarding training as well as for instructor / leader / coach qualifications. Of particular note:

  • Heads of Paddlesports “should be qualified for the environment and craft your customers will be using and where your staff are working”, with a minimum BCAB Coach (or ‘old style BCU Level 3 Coach – but not a UKCC Level 2 Coach) qualification
  • Instructors, leaders, coaches, and anyone responsible for the delivery of formal paddlesport activity must hold a British Canoeing Awarding Body recognised qualification (with a list of minimum qualifications) and maintain an appropriate level of competence, where:
    • “working outside of your formal qualification remit, would require a robust and detailed risk assessment to be carried out, a recorded and current skills verification approved by the [deployer] gaining assurances from experienced coaches or leaders holding an appropriate qualification within the discipline and environment” [i.e. there is still a mechanism for Technical Advisers to assess competence of individuals to operate beyond their formal qualification – but  they must have at least some qualification as a starting point]; and
    • ‘competence’ means that “that they are still able to carry out their role, this includes that they are able to cope with the physical demands as well as maintain the knowledge, skills and ability”.

We don’t yet know exactly what status these ‘standards’ will have in relation to AALA etc. inspections, but it seems fair to assume that they will in time become an ‘expected norm’.

We’re not aware that there was any meaningful consultation about these standards with the activity provider community in Wales, so feel free to send us any questions comments and we’ll pass them on to Canoe Wales for consideration…

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