Adventure Training Consultants – Denmark, Western Australia and Beyond

Flatwater Instructor Courses

Flatwater Instructor Training

This is an instructor development course for those who have a wish to instruct others and develop them towards independent paddling on inland flatwater environments.

The course will focus on strategies and techniques required to instruct and develop paddling skills in others, as well as knowledge and techniques required to safely guide others on inland flatwater environments.

Participants on this course should be actively involved in paddling and posses personal skills and abilities. Participants should also have personal experience and be confidently paddling in a range of flatwater environments, it is expected that participants have the PA Flatwater skills award (either Canoe or Kayak) or equivalent experience and ability.

Course outline

This training course covers a number of important concepts required to provide quality instruction for Flatwater paddling, development and consolidation of the skills and techniques covered during the course along with further experience should give you a solid base to confidently attend an assessment course. Concepts covered as below,

  • Skills – reviewing and refining technical skills  and a full range of strokes to ensure they provide a good visual demonstration for use in teaching novices, the aim being to develop the ability to “role model” all skills  demonstrating strokes that are technically correct and safe. Including the use of assisted and self rescue and recovery techniques (rolling, rescues, tows etc.).
  • Guiding strategy – introducing and practising various different guiding strategies for ensuring group safety whilst on the water, gaining an understanding of the pro’s and con’s and developing judgement to choose appropriate techniques for the context.
  • Instructional strategy – introducing and practising different instructional strategies used to break down complex  skills and techniques  and help novices develop through a gradual build up process, looking at effective explanation / demonstration, analysis of performance and different forms of feedback, instructor positioning for group control / safety and effective coaching.
  • Safety and rescue – reviewing and practising a number of different safety and rescue techniques that are appropriate for use whilst guiding or instructing, including boat to boat rescues, equipment recovery, swimmer recovery, unconscious casualty rescues, all in rescues. The aim being to develop a range of strategies to control, pre-empt or solve problems in a flatwater environment.
  • Paddling knowledge – a review and broadening of overall paddling knowledge, equipment, modern stroke kinetics, paddling history and etiquette, paddling specific first aid and injury prevention, further resources of information.
  • Planning and management – introduction to planning instructional and guiding sessions including appropriate documented safety management systems and session progressions.

Good instruction and guiding comes from experience and judgement, the training course is designed to broaden knowledge and understanding and expose you to a number of different principles and thought processes, we deliberately avoid being prescriptive and instead seek to equip you with a “tool box” of techniques that allows you to find the appropriate approach for the context and situation.

At the end of the course there will be a de-brief with the lead instructor to ensure you have a clear understanding as to  how you should proceed toward assessment (recommended further experience / instructional time) and to allow you to ask any questions or provide feedback to us.

Duration – 2 days

Location – South coast area – Denmark / Albany region

Max number of participants – 4

Ratio – 1 instructor to 4 participants

Equipment requirements – You will need to bring appropriate personal equipment (boat, PFD, helmet etc.) plus any group safety equipment you normally carry

Cost – $500

Dates – Kayak instructor training – 9th and 10th of November, Canoe instructor training – 11th and 12th of November


Flatwater Instructor Assessment

This is an instructor assessment course for those who have a wish to instruct and develop participants to allow them to paddle independently or with minimal supervision on inland flatwater conditions.

During this course you will be assessed against the criteria as laid out in the Paddle Australia Award Scheme for  Flatwater Instructor Award (kayak or Canoe).

Participants on this course should have:

  • PA flatwater skills award (or equivalent knowledge and skills)
  • A verifiable log showing over the previous two year – six trips of a minimum three hours duration,  three guided flatwater activities of at least three hours duration as an observer under training or assistant guide,  three paddling instructional sessions of at least three hours duration as an observer or assistant instructor, delivery of two off water training session (these are minimum requirements, successful assessment candidates normally have experience far in excess of this)

If you have not progressed through a flatwater instructor training course with us and intend to come straight to assessment we suggest that you discuss with us your previous experience and knowledge to ensure that you are in a good position to have a successful outcome during assessment.

Course outline

During the  day of the assessment your abilities will be assessed against the criteria as laid out in the PA  flatwater  instructor assessment, this will be done in a holistic manner and will take into account overall abilities and judgement displayed throughout the assessment day, the assessment will involve, on water sessions, bank based sessions and delivering an instructional session in context with “model clients”.

A summary of elements you will be assessed on are:

  • Skill component – Preparation of all appropriate equipment, launching and landing, paddling efficiency (in moderate winds) using a full range of strokes, competency in rescue and recovery techniques, appropriate safe methods of equipment transport, planning and delivery of all aspects of instructional programmes .
  • Knowledge component – Selection and use of appropriate equipment, planning and navigation during paddling session, storage operation and maintenance of safety and communications equipment, environmental impact, craft knowledge / maintenance, PA structure / safety guidelines / risk management and incident reporting, licensing , permits, land manager requirements, instructional knowledge – models of skill training, analysis and correction, training trainers.
  • Experience component – As listed above ( minimum requirement, successful candidates normally have experience far in excess of that listed)
  • Communication component – Establishing a useful relationship with your participants and effective safe communications on and off the water, provide instruction and coaching using a range of techniques appropriate to the context, provide useful progression for participants, provide clear guidance on strokes with appropriate terminology, impart knowledge effectively
  • Leadership – Manage launching / landing / packing/ preparations, manage novice paddlers in varying conditions, manage multiple capsizes and emergencies of novice paddlers including – rescue, recovery, towing, lead all aspects of a course – directing participants, staff and assistants on and off the water

(further information on assessment criteria and assessment tasks will be outlined pre-assessment)

In addition to the practical assessment during the days you will also need to complete and submit the required assessment projects.

A summary of these are:

  • Prepare a flatwater skills training course that requires the arrangement of an overnight trip, taking into account all aspects of the safety management system and teaching progressions
  • A log book with at the least the minimum logged requirements as detailed previously
  • Complete a written assessment

Duration – 1 day

Location – South coast – Denmark / Albany region

Max number of participants – 4

Ratio – 1 instructor to 4 participants

Equipment requirements – All equipment required during the instruction and guiding of flatwater paddling activities

Cost – $300 (participants are responsible for their own registration cost with Paddle Australia)

Dates – Kayak instructor assessment – 10th of March,  Canoe Instructor assessment 11th of March

Successful completion and performance of all assessment tasks will result in being assessed as competent against the criteria for flatwater instructor as laid out by PA, to receive the qualification this will require to be registered with PA.

Participants are responsible for the cost of registration of their qualification with Paddle Australia, the cost of registration is separate from the cost of  attending the assessment course and is variable depending on how many qualifications you have registered with PA.