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  • Do you want to have fun?
  • Like to spend time on the water?
  • With likeminded people?
  • Do you want to introduce people from all walks of life to stand up paddleboarding by running fun, engaging taster and starter sessions?

If so, your pathway to becoming a Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor starts here.


First of all, this is the qualification used by outdoor centres, organisations and clubs to support their activity delivery. Secondly it doesn’t matter if you are releatively new to stand up paddleboarding or have existing experience, this course allows you to develop your existing skills and passion for paddlesport.

  • It’s your journey, our highly experienced tutors are trained to support you throughout this practical course.
  • Your course will support you to run games, activities to support learning and inspire adventure for new paddleboarders.
  • This qualification is open to everyone over 14 years of age!

The programme will explore a variety of subjects, here is an outline of what you will cover during your course:


Before you book onto your Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor Course, you will need to be a member of British Canoeing, ensure you have personal paddling and rescue competence and complete your registration.


Anyone wishing to pursue a Coaching or Leadership Qualification is required to centrally register with the appropriate National Association (British Canoeing, Canoe Wales, Scottish Canoe Association, Canoe Association of Northern Ireland). Registration is the process by which you confirm your intention to study towards a particular qualification. It includes:

  • Checking of previous qualifications
  • Completing and signing the Registration Form
  • Medical Declaration (if required)
  • Setting up and providing access to course resources and eLearning (where applicable)
  • Acceptance of the terms and conditions of study and helps you understand your rights
  • Whilst undertaking the qualification and how your data will be used.

Once you are registered, you become a learner with the National Association and we are able to contact you with relevant information and updates to your course of study, help you find a course and local support or mentoring.


We would recommend that you register as early in your development journey as possible to access all of the support and learning resources. As a bare minimum and to support your learning, we would recommend registering at least two weeks before starting your course. Registration is an online process through your British Canoeing membership portal. Registration is separate from booking a place on a course; the latter is done directly with the Course Provider. It is worth noting that many Course Providers want to see evidence of Registration at the point of booking.



Prior to attending the Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor course you are expected to have developed personal paddling and rescue competence. You should speak to your course provider if you are unsure about your skill level or you can cross check your skills in the Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor Course Guide - Skills Checklist


You can find available Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor courses, using the finder towards the end of 2022. Click or tap the relevant links below. 

  • Join British Canoeing here: British Canoeing Membership (On the Water)
  • Find BCAB Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor
  • Don't forget to register!

Registered SUP Instructor Learners get a range of free resources to support their learning, before, during and after the course. This includes free access to the British Canoeing Awarding Body Instructor eLearning Click here, This supportive eLearning package is made up of 9 topics, along with a knowledge audit which will help you understand areas you may need to develop further.

The modules cover

  • Coaching philosophy
  • Boats and Paddles
  • Health and Safety
  • Group and Session Management
  • Meeting Athlete Needs
  • Feedback
  • Coaching to support
  • Fundamental Skills
  • Performance Models

You can earn 20 CPD points by completing this eLearning. These will be added to your National Association record after completion.

The eLearning is £40 for non-members, £20 for National Association members (Full/ On the water or equivalent). The eLearning is free for learners registered for the Paddlesport or SUP Instructor Award (as long as your membership is valid)


We have chosen to provide the British Canoeing Awarding Body (BCAB) Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor Award for two reasons: 

  • Firstly BCAB has a longstanding reputation of providing industry leading qualifications that are recognised internationally, as well as closer to home
  •  BCAB is OfQual regulated, consequently this ensures the highest standards and qualification validity

This combined training and assessment course will enable you to run games and activities to support learning and inspire adventure and exploration for new paddlers on stand up paddleboards. On this practical course, you will learn skills such as:

  • Kitting up a group and getting afloat
  •  Activities and games to support learning
  • How to use mini journeys to promote exploration of the environment 
  • Keeping your group safe

You need to be able to paddle your Stand Up Paddleboard independently on flat water. You will also need to be able to keep yourself and others safe on and near the water, for example a paddler falling off their SUP. We find that paddlers that have completed the Paddle Explore Award or with around 70 hours of personal paddling experience can focus on the training and get the most out of their course. Paddlers also need to have developed their rescue skills ahead of the course. Your course tutor can provide more details if you are unsure of the required skills. 

  • A typical Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor course takes place over 2 days. 

If you want to find out more, you can read the documentation on the British Canoeing Awarding Body website: Click here

You could also take a look at the Free Instructor eLearning

British Canoeing Awarding Body eLearning activities to aid anyone taking part or thinking about the Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor Course.

The British Canoeing Awarding Body Instructor eLearning is designed to support Instructors and aspirant Instructors through varying topics of knowledge and skill. There are 9 topics to choose from, along with a knowledge audit which will help you understand areas you may need to develop further. The activities are free to access, can be accessed in any order and each have a statement of participation that can be downloaded upon completion.

Simply choose the package you want to study and then open the link to access the Free Instructor eLearning


Our tutors are great at putting you at ease, consequently the assessments are part of the learning and as enjoyable as the rest of the course! By the end of the course, you will have to demonstrate knowledge and skills in three areas:

  • Profesional Standards
  • Personal Paddling Skills
  • Rescue Skills

You will know when, where and how you're going to be assessed and have lots of chances to shape those decisions. Upon successful completion of each of these tasks the tutor will recommend the you for certification. Certificates will be emailed to you.

If you're nervous about your personal or rescue skills and want to make sure your ready for your course, we suggest you speak to a more experienced coach and ask them to support you in gaining your Paddle Explore Award or to use the skills check list (in the course guide) to check your ready.


No course dates currently available.
Please contact us if you would like to arrange or create a new course date.

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