Advanced Sea Kayak Leader Assessment

The British Canoeing advanced sea kayak leader award was formerly known as the 5 Star sea kayak leader award. The title changed in 2017, although the training and assessment content remains the same.

Venue: Anglesey North Wales
Duration: 2 days
Course Fee: £180

Download Booking Form
Download Essential Info

Coach: candidate ratio – 1: 3

The British Canoeing Advanced Sea Kayak Leader (5 Star) Award is a discipline specific award and you will be assessed in appropriate advanced sea conditions and environments. Please read the relevant British Canoeing documents for further details.

The assessment course will include personal paddling, journeying, leadership, navigation, tidal planning, equipment awareness, safety / rescue and other relevant knowledge areas.

A variety of venues will be used and the emphasis will be on making best use of the sea conditions and venues around the Anglesey coastline.

British Canoeing Guidelines:
The current syllabus and guidance notes for the British Canoeing Advanced Sea Kayak Leader (5 Star) award are available below. All candidates for the award should consult these notes, especially those relating to the aims of the award, pre-requisites and assessed skills.

Download British Canoeing 5 Star Sea Kayak Leader Info

Candidates wishing to attend an assessment course with Kayak Essentials must first register with their BC Home Nation, by submitting a completed LR Form. Overseas candidates, if not British Canoeing members, can apply to the Home Nation of their choice. This needs to be completed prior to booking.

The following prerequisites for assessment are required:

  • Advanced sea kayak leader (5 Star) training within the last 3 years
  • British Canoeing open water navigation & tidal planning
  • 16-hour First Aid certificate (inc CPR) within last 3 years
  • VHF Marine Radio short range certificate

British Canoeing registration fee, included with the submitted LR Form: see British Canoeing website for latest fees.

Previous experience:
You must provide documentary evidence of a minimum of 30 varied, quality, advanced sea kayak days in 3 non-adjacent sea areas (see British Canoeing Assessment Notes for more guidance)

Age: 18 years or older

It is not possible to proceed directly from 5 Star training to assessment, in the same week. The British Canoeing LR application process must be followed, unless you have either:

  • already completed a relevant training course in the past, and have already obtained a stamped LR Form, or:
  • you have gained approval from British Canoeing to proceed directly to assessment (via the APL process). This decision will be made by British Canoeing – not Kayak Essentials.

Once registered, candidates can book place on an assessment course.
Please go to our booking page for further details.

3 weeks prior to course date:
At this point we will establish course numbers and (confirmed bookings). If there are sufficient candidates (minimum 3), we will confirm the assessment on the advertised dates. We will also provide any specific pre-course information.

Assessment Program:
These notes are guidelines to indicate the overall content of the assessment course. Specific timings may vary according to group size, venues and paddling conditions – and will be discussed at the initial day one meeting.

Please arrive at the assessment venue (to be confirmed with candidates prior to each specific assessment) with the following:

  • Stamped BC LR Form
  • Written log of relevant sea kayaking experience.
  • If logged electronically, please email us the file prior to the
  • Hard copies of all prerequisite certificates

Candidates should also have an up to date weather forecast and tidal picture for the Anglesey coastline for both assessment days – be ready to discuss expected conditions and possible paddling areas with us at the start of the assessment.

Day One 0900: meet at agreed venue:
Course introductions, prerequisites, administration, logistics, timings

Assessment activities on day one will include: personal paddling; leadership legs; incident management scenarios; navigation. The paddling group will include the candidates and assessor(s); there will be no other paddlers to lead. Candidates will be asked to demonstrate self-rescue and rolling skills, in accordance with the award guidelines

Day Two 0900: meet at agreed venue
Leadership day: candidates will lead a group of up to 4 students (less experienced paddlers than the candidates; around 4 Star standard) on a suitable journey in qualifying conditions. Each candidate can expect to be solely responsible for the group for around 2 hours on this day.

Assessment format:
We will take a positive approach to allow candidates to perform to their full potential. There will be frequent opportunities to discuss assessment tasks and check understanding. The assessment will be broadly holistic, with final decisions made in the light of the candidate’s overall performance across both days.

At the end of the assessment, we will conduct an assessment review and debrief, with outcomes discussed and explained to candidates. If you are not successful, we will explain our decision, discuss detailed performance elements, agree an action plan for a future assessment – and will provide a written version within a week of the assessment.

sound of iona, mull, west coast of scotland