Sea Kayak Instructor Qualifications

Click the links to view the syllabi for the range of Canoeing Ireland Kayak Instructor qualifications. Resources for trainee Instructors and course tutors are available on our Resources page here.

Sea Kayak Instructor Qualifications

Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor

Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor

Sea Kayak Instructor Qualifications


Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor

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General aims

The Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor Qualification aims to enable participants to:

  1. Become qualified to instruct intermediate sea kayaking skills and lead coastal trips in smooth seas (Douglas Sea Scale) and force 3 winds with groups of up to 6 students.
  2. Become qualified to instruct basic kayaking skills and lead kayaking journeys on flat water with groups of up to 8 students.
  3. Train and assess participants for Canoeing Ireland Level 1 and 2 kayak skills award and the Level 3 sea kayak skills award.
  4. Mentor Level 1 and 2 Kayak Instructor trainees and Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor trainees.
  5. Understand and instruct basic sea kayaking navigation and run Essential Coastal Navigation Courses.

Training Course Outline

The Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor Qualification requires that a candidate attend a registered four-day Level 3 Sea Instructor training course (or a programme of similar duration), and a two-day Assessment.

Applying to attend a Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor Course

Before applying to attend a Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor Training Course, a candidate must

  1. Hold the Level 2 Kayak Instructor Qualification.
  2. Hold the Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills Award.
  3. Be registered with the Canoeing Ireland Training and Development Unit as a Trainee Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor.
  4. Be at least 18 years of age at the time of application.
  5. Have unrestricted access to a fully equipped sea kayak, personal equipment, and additional equipment as listed for a Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor Assessment.
  6.  Submitted your Garda vetting form.

Applying for an Assessment

Before applying to attend an Assessment, a candidate must

  1. Have Maintained registration as a Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor trainee.
  2. Hold a Level 2 Kayak Instructor Qualification.
  3. Hold the Canoeing Ireland Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills Award.
  4. Be at least 18 years of age.
  5. Completed your garda vetting application.
  6. Be currently registered with Canoeing Ireland.
  7. Have unrestricted access to a fully equipped Sea kayak, personal equipment and additional equipment as listed for a Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor Assessment.
  8. Have attended an approved Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor Training Course or Programme  within the 24 months period preceding a selected assessment date.
  9. Recorded in a Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor Logbook, following the completion of a Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor Training Course at least 25 hours of instructional experience on the sea in moving water conditions under the supervision of at least two registered Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructors.
  10. Recorded as part of the 25 hours supervised instructional experience, on at least three different sea trips, details of assisting in the preparation of a group for a Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills Assessment. This group must consist of at least three participants.
  11. Assist on two Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills Assessments.
  12. Assist on two Essential Coastal Navigation Courses.
  13. Participate in three Irish Canoeing Competitions or hold a Level 3 Skills Award in another discipline.
  14. Possess a current and Canoeing Ireland approved First Aid Certificate (REC 3 or equivalent).
  15. Have completed an Sport Ireland approved Child Protection Awareness Workshop.
  16. Be recommended for assessment by a registered Level 3 Sea Instructor.
  17. Return a completed Level 3 Sea Instructor Logbook, with all the above pre assessment requirements fully detailed, to the Canoeing Ireland office no later than three weeks prior to the assessment date.

Format of the Level 3 Sea Instructor Assessment

  1. During the Level 3 Kayak Instructor Assessment candidates must satisfy the assessor that they are responsible and competent to instruct, lead and control a group on a coastal sea trip in smooth seas (Douglas Sea Scale) and force 3 winds.  
  2. During the period of the Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor Assessment personal kayaking skills and application of first aid may be assessed. It would be expected that a candidate would at least have maintained a skills level equivalent to that of the Level 4 Kayak Skills and where possible improved on this.

As part of the Instructor Assessment, a candidate will be expected to

  1. Organise and lead an instructional session for beginners or intermediates over the                 course of a coastal sea trip.
  2. Teach any stroke, technique or rescue applicable to water up to and including smooth seas as outlined in the Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills Award.
  3. Demonstrate effective group control, group rapport, and instructional ability.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to carry out the following rescues efficiently and effectively Self Rescue, X and/or Assisted -X Rescue, All-in-Rescue, Unconscious Casualty, and Eskimo Rescue.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to roll competently in moving water without any prior set-up.
  6. Demonstrate all techniques and skills as required by Level 4 Sea Skills Award.
  7. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of First Aid in the sea kayaking environment as well as a thorough working knowledge of the cause/effect/treatment of Shock, Hypothermia, EAR, CPR and the treatment of an unconscious casualty.
  8. Possess a sea kayak correctly fitted out for instruction and other appropriate personal equipment (See Sea Instructor List of Equipment). It would be expected that a candidate's equipment would be of a standard consistent with the responsibilities likely to be encountered by a Sea Instructor. Examination of equipment will form part of the overall assessment.
  9. Before setting off on the assessment trip the candidate will be required to produce a route summary for the day based on information gleaned from the chart, tide tables, pilot and weather forecast.  Participants may also be asked to complete a route plan for an area other than the assessment area.
  10. Answer questions written or oral, on aspects of sea kayaking covered during the training course or in the support literature
  11. Attend a debrief with the Assessor.
  12. Have recorded in the prescribed logbook during the Sea Instructor Training, all sea kayaking trips. The logbook should reflect a wide range of sea kayaking experience during the training. Details of canoeing activities prior to applying for the Sea Instructor Training Course should also be recorded.

Candidates will only be invited to attend an assessment on the satisfactory completion of all the requirements including the submission of a logbook and attendance at the Sea Instructor Training.

List of Equipment required for the Level 3 Sea Instructor Assessment

  • A properly equipped kayak:
  • Rigid end loops and/or toggles
  • Decklines front and back
  • Method of securing paddles
  • Watertight bulkheads and additional airbags where appropriate
  • Suitable foot rest

Personal canoeing equipment:

  • Paddle
  • Sufficient thermal clothing or Wetsuit
  • Spray Deck (and spare Spray Deck)
  • Lifejacket or Buoyancy Aid
  • Cagoule
  • Adequate footwear

 

Equipment must also include:

  • Spare Clothes
  • Towing System specific to the needs of sea kayaking
  • First Aid Kit
  • Repair Kit (For repairs to both fibreglass and plastic kayaks)
  • Split Paddle
  • Waterproof Bag or other method of keeping equipment dry
  • Knife
  • Bivvy Bag/Group Shelter
  •  
  • Whistle
  • Torch
  • Flask and Food
  • Sea Charts (or copies)
  • 1:50,000 Map of area
  • Watch
  • Compass
  • Emergency food/drink
  • Pump or Sponge
  • Flares (one red parachute flare and one red pinpoint flare)
  •  


Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor

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General aims

The Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor Qualification aims to enable candidates to:

  1. Become qualified to instruct and lead groups safely in slight/moderate sea [JP1] conditions.
  2. Train and Assess for Canoeing Ireland levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 Sea Kayak Skills Awards.
  3. Teach advanced coastal navigation courses.
  4. Promote safe kayaking standards, foster further participation and improvement in kayaking standards.

Course Outline

The Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor Qualification requires that a candidate attend a training course and a one day assessment.

The course will cover:

  1. Observation and analysis skills
  2. Coaching to perform
  3. Feedback techniques
  4. Reflective practice

Applying to attend a Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor training course.

Before applying for this training course a candidate must:

  1. Be currently registered with Canoeing Ireland Training & Development Unit as a Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor.
  2. Have completed the Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills training.
  3. Have unrestricted access to a suitable sea kayak, personal equipment and additional equipment as listed for the level 5 Sea Kayak Skills Award.
  4. Complete a course application and return to the Canoeing Ireland office.
  5. Submitted your Garda vetting form.

 

 

Applying to attend a Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor Assessment.

Candidates can apply to attend an assessment upon approval of their completed logbook.

Before applying to attend a Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor Assessment, a candidate must:

  1. Be currently registered with Canoeing Ireland.
  2. Completed your garda vetting application.
  3. Hold the Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills award.
  4. Attend two Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills Training Courses.
  5. Attended two Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills Assessments.
  6. Attend two Advanced Navigation courses.
  7. Participate in five Irish Canoeing Competitions or hold two Level 3 Skills Awards in other disciplines, or hold a Level 4 Skills Award in one other discipline.
  8. Possess a current Canoeing Ireland approved First Aid Certificate (REC 3 or equivalent).
  9. Have completed an Sport Ireland approved Child Protection Awareness Workshop.
  10. Return a completed Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor assessment application to Canoeing Ireland no later than three weeks prior to the assessment date.

Format of a Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor Assessment

The Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor Assessment will take place over one day and must include a sea trip in slight/moderate sea conditions over a minimum distance of 4-8 kilometres[JP4] .

The Assessment Group for the day of the assessment should consist of the following:

Assessors

Minimum of two registered Assessors on the Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor Assessor Panel.

Assessment candidates

Minimum of two and up to a maximum of four Assessment candidates.

Student group

Minimum of three and up to a maximum of eight participants who must hold at a minimum the Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills Award and ideally be working towards Level Kayak 4 Sea Skills standard.

During the assessment a candidate must:

  1. Satisfy the assessors that they are mature, responsible and competent to instruct, lead and control a group safely on a sea trip in slight/moderate sea conditions over a minimum distance of 4-8 kilometres.
  2. Be able to demonstrate any rescue techniques applicable to slight/moderate sea conditions.
  3. Have maintained a skills level equivalent to that of the Level 5 Sea Kayak Skills award.
  4. Present a suitable kayak correctly fitted out for instruction and other appropriate personal equipment. It would be expected that a candidate's equipment would be of a standard consistent with the responsibilities likely to be encountered by a Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor. Examination of equipment will form part of the overall assessment.

 

Equipment required for the Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor Assessment.

  1. Candidates must present suitable personal equipment plus any additional equipment deemed to be appropriate to support other members of the group.
  2. Equipment should reflect such things as the season, the abilities of the group, and the sea conditions at the time the trip is being undertaken.
  3. Borrowed equipment will be assessed as if it were a candidate's own.
  4. A candidate should be aware that having too much or inappropriate equipment can be as hazardous as having too little.

Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor Qualification Assessment Guidelines.