Coaching Information

Coaching Information

You’ll find stacks of information on coaching awards on the BCU (Canoe England) website, but here are a few basic pointers with some corresponding links to the BCU pages:-

Existing BCU Coaches (old scheme)

If you’re currently qualified as a BCU Level 1/2/3 coach, you will probably know that the BCU has adopted a new coaching scheme in line with UKCC standards. You do not need to transfer to the UKCC coaching scheme and the BCU are stating that they will continue to recognise the existing qualifications ‘indefinitely’. If you do wish to transfer, please see section below.

BCU/ UKCC Awards 

Registering with the BCU

You’ll need to register with the BCU before doing any of their coaching or leader courses. Your course provider may be able to help, or you can do it yourself.

UKCC Coach Level 1 


You need to have the following in place before attending the training course for L1 coach:-

Coach Level 1 – Working Alone

A newly qualified Level 1 coach is not allowed to work alone and must work under the direct supervision of a Level 2 coach (or higher). Once certain pre-requisites have been met plus site-specific training then the BCU will support a Coach Level 1 working on their own at named sites. We have therefore put together a policy which states the Ipswich Canoe Club requirements to allow a coach to work autonomously at a specific site and applies to a BCU L1 and UKCC L1, and also applies to a BCU Trainee L2 coach.
If this affects you and you’d like to understand what we require then please have a look at the ICC Coach L1 Autonomy policy.

Coach Mentoring

If you’re attending UKCC L1 or L2 courses, you’ll need a coach mentor to work with. If you wish to formalise this to have a direct mentoring relationship with a more experienced coach then contact our coaching officer to see what we can arrange.

UKCC L2 Coach  

The Level 2 coach is able to work alone, although would normally be supported by more experienced coaches, delivering sessions safely and effectively. Like the Level 1, this non-discipline specific award is relevant to coaches who wish to coach any Paddlesport discipline. Level 2 coaches will work with paddlers predominantly in their first 2-3 years of paddling activity. The Level 2 coach is able to offer guidance and support to the Level 1 Assistant Coach.


For training:-

  • Over 17 years old
  • Coach Level 1 training
  • 2 Star (new / multi-discipline)
  • 3 Star (either single or double blade discipline)

For Assessment:-

  • Over 18 years old
  • First Aid (Minimum 4 hours)
  • 3 Star competence in your alternative single/double blade discipline
  • Completed L2 training
  • Minimum of 20 logged hours quality coaching experience
  • CRB
  • Sports Coach UK Safeguarding course
  • Completed assessment tasks in candidate pack
  • Complete one CPD

UKCC L2 Coach Transfer

You do not need to transfer to the UKCC coaching scheme and the BCU are stating that they will continue to recognise the existing qualifications ‘indefinitely’.
However, if you are an existing BCU L2 and wish to enhance your coaching remit (such as assess 3-Star, move to Coach L3, etc) then you will need to move to the new UKCC scheme.
You have two choices on how to move across to UKCC L2:

  1.  You can go for UKCC L2 Training and then go for assessment when your action plan says you’re ready;
  2. You can attend a UKCC L2 Transfer course.

Whether you should take option 1 or option 2 is that it should be based on your experience. If you are an active coach who teaches in a variety of environments and situations, and with a variety of different groups then you should look to attend the transfer course where you will get some new input and some form of assessment. If you are less exposed to different teaching environments then you should be steered more towards the full training course followed by formal assessment.
Additionally, if you are looking to continue up the coaching ladder beyond a L2 then you should consider the full training course (rather than the transfer course) which will give you far more coaching input on which future courses will build.
It’s your choice on what you do and this information is trying to help you make an informed decision!



UKCC L1 1-Star Assessors

If you are a UKCC Level 1 coach then you can assess 1-Star and Paddlepower Passport once you complete the pre-requisites. These pre-reqs are fairly easy and you should have been sent a logbook by the BCU which explains. We can help you to gain this assessor status over the summer training courses.

New BCU Assessor Requirements

The BCU guidelines are summarised below:-

Paddlesport Start BCU Coach Level 1
1-Star BCU Coach Level 2.
2-Star BCU Coach Level 2
(with both a kayak and open canoe 2-Star)
3-Star BCU Coach Level 3 in that discipline.
4-Star BCU Coach Level 3 with 5-Star in that discipline and specific training.
5-Star BCU Coach Level 5 in that discipline with specific training.

Child Protection


All coaches operating within the remit of Ipswich Canoe Club must undergo a full CRB disclosure. To get more information and a form, please contact our Child Protection Officer.

Safeguarding and Protecting Children

It’s now compulsory for coaches to complete a ‘Safeguarding’ course. This can  be completed online if you’re not coaching U18s. Otherwise, you’ll need to attend the Sports Coach UK workshop ‘Safeguarding and Protecting Children’. Contact our Coaching Officer for more info. or to find out if the club is organising any courses.

First Aid Certificates

Part of keeping your BCU Coach qualifications up-to-date is to maintain your first aid qualification. For a Coach L1 and L2 you need to do a 4 hour course including EAV/CPR and for a L3 you need to do an 8 hour course including EAV/CPR. If you do a first aid award other than the BCU Lifeguards Aquatic First Aid course then you need to tell the BCU as they have no other way of updating your records.

Revalidation (Keeping Your Coach Qualifications Updated)

As a BCU coach you need to keep your qualifications updated and tell the BCU that you’ve done so. The BCU will not write to prompt you so you have to remember to do this!

There are five main parts to keeping updated:

  1. You need to keep your individual BCU membership current (pay you membership fees).
  2. You need to have a valid first aid award refreshed every three years. If the award is not a BCU Aquatic First Aid then you need to send a copy of the certificate to the BCU office for their records.
  3. You need to have an enhanced CRB clearance through the BCU refreshed every three years. You can do this through the Club – contact our Child Protection Officer for a form.
  4. You must have completed the relevant ‘Safeguarding and Protecting Children’ training;
  5. You need to revalidate your qualifications every three years. You can do this in one of three main ways:
    i. Attend a BCU Coach Update Forum that are run locally around the region. Your attendance is noted and sent to the BCU and you are automatically revalidated.
    ii. Attend a BCU Coach training or assessment for the next level up (e.g. if you‟re a UKCC L1 coach then attending a UKCC TL2 course), or attend a transfer course from the BCU to UKCC coaching scheme. Again your attendance is noted and sent to the BCU and you are automatically revalidated.
    iii. Complete a Coaching Self Assessment Form. The information on the types of training/updates you must have done and a link to the form are on the web or else contact myself and I can advise you.

The BCU don’t send out revalidation acknowledgements so if you’re unsure of you coach update status then please contact the BCU Coaching department.


Suffolk Grant Aid for Coaching Courses

Suffolk Sport, Suffolk’s county sports partnership, have a grant aid scheme for coaches and prospective coaches. They are offering up to 50% of the course costs up front payable to the course provider for any coaching related course and hopefully the 4 star and 5 star river leader awards. Candidates must apply a minimum of four weeks prior to the course to with the full course details.

ICC Coach Funding

We need you to help us scale the budget. In January of each year could you send in your expected/proposed coaching course expenditure for coming year to the ICC Treasurer then we can build the budget. Requested support should cover both new coaching awards and revalidation expenses. Please note this is a budgetary exercise and you will still need to apply to the Committee for recompense for your attended course(s). Thanks.

Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel that you’re already trained, qualified or experienced in a particular area, but just don’t have the appropriate piece of paper, then you can apply to the BCU for this to be taken into account.

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