BCU Level 1 Coach Training & Assessment

It’s immensely satisfying to introduce people to a new sport and to coach them through their early experiences. Paddle sport coaches do an important job in opening up the adventurous world of canoeing and kayaking – the BCU Level 1 Coach course is an excellent introduction to practical coaching principles.

team canoe

If you’re planning to attend a BCU Level 1 Coach Training & Assessment course, you should first complete the pre-course registration with your National Governing Body.

Follow this link for the latest relevant British Canoeing resources: British Canoeing Level 1 Coach Information

Currently (2015), BCU Level 1 Coach registration fees are £39 for BCU members, £55 for non-members. You will have to send payment along with the completed BCU CR Form.

If you do not have the BCU 2 Star award or the Foundation Safety & Rescue Training certificate, you must check with your chosen Course Provider that assessment for these awards will take place during the Level 1 Coach course. If this is the case, the course will typically be of 5-6 days’ duration.

After registration, you will receive from the BCU the following documents: BCU Level 1 Coach Candidate Workbook and Assessment Portfolio. These contain pre-course tasks that will help you to prepare for the course itself.

Remember that the course is both training and assessment for the BCU Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Paddlesport. You will gain far more from the course if you ensure that your personal skills are at least at BCU 2 Star standard in both canoe and kayak, and that you have the safety and rescue skills outlined in BCU FSRT syllabus.

The BCU Level 1 Coach will often work with young people and will need to adopt a suitable approach to coaching practical skills to people at different stages of development. The BCU has developed the Paddlepower scheme for coaches working with young people. It will be very helpful for you to become familiar with this scheme before attending the BCU Level 1 Coach course.

BCU Paddlepower Coaches Handbook
BCU Paddlepower Flyer

The British Canoe Union Paddlesport Coaching Scheme embraces the principles of ‘Long Term Paddler Development’. These principles are introduced in the document here – it is very helpful to form an understanding of these principles prior to the BCU Level 1 Coach course.

BCU Long Term Paddler Development Book
BCU Cross-Stream Challenge

Child Protection is an important concern for all paddlesport coaches and the BCU requires that all qualified coaches undertake a CRB check coupled with appropriate training. For BCU level 1 & 2 coaches, the Online Child Protection Course is currently required. It is not necessary to complete this course before attending the BCU Level 1 Coach course.

You can download the BCU Child Protection Policy here. This document contains useful information that may be discussed in greater detail on the BCU Level 1 Coach course.

You can also access many more child protection resources here.

The BCU is committed to equality and inclusiveness in its coaching activities and expects qualified coaches to be aware of their responsibilities in this respect. The following documents provide helpful advice and information, which can be explored further during the course.

BCU Equality Policy
BCU Equality Promotion & Induction Info
UK Sports Coach Guide to Inclusive Coaching
UK Sports Coach Disability Advice

The following notes provide an overview of the BCU Level 1 Coach course. You should also visit the relevant BCU website for current award guidelines.

Download Kayak Essentials BCU Level 1 Coach course learning programme

During the Level 1 program you will be introduced to good coaching practice; the topics covered include how to:

  • ƒprepare coaching activities, taking into account participants’ needs and motives
  • ƒ establish a safe working environment
  • ƒ deliver prepared activities
  • ƒ establish working relationships with participants and others
  • ƒ prepare participants for the coaching activities
  • ƒ support participants’ behaviour
  • ƒ conclude the activities
  • ƒ evaluate the effectiveness of coaching activities
  • ƒ evaluate the effectiveness of personal coaching practice
  • ƒ manage effective and appropriate bank and water based rescues

Course prerequisites include:

  • ƒRegistration with the BCU for the Level 1 Coach award – you will receive the BCU course workbook and assessment portfolio after registration
  • ƒ BCU 2 Star award
  • ƒ BCU Foundation Safety & Rescue Training

If you do not have the above prerequisites, please contact us for further advice. It may be possible to complete these awards before or during the course itself, according the course duration.