Australian Canoeing (AC) Award Scheme - Courses and Certification

East Coast Kayaking is an accredited National Training Provider (NTP) with Australian Canoeing and is accredited for coaching and assessing Basic Skills, Flat water, Coastal and Sea Kayaking Awards.

Basic Skills certification is available to participants in our Sea Starter Course or we can provide a Skills course for your school or organisation (Basic, Coastal, Flat-water and Sea Skills).

Our Guide and Instructor courses are aimed at people wishing to gain Australian Canoeing certification for employment in the industry.

Follow the links below for information on our courses:

Call or email us to discuss: 03 9597 0549 and info@eastcoastkayaking.com


AC Skills Awards

There are skills awards attainable for different paddle craft and levels of skill and experience.

Before applying for a Leader, Guide or Instructor Award (ie. to lead, guide or instruct others) you should be capably paddling at the level required for the relevant Skills Award. We can assess you for your Skills Award when you attend your Intake course if you do not already hold the relevant Skills Award.

Our multi-day courses Paddle the Peninsula and 3 Day Beyond Basics Expedition include training and assessment for Enclosed/Intro to Sea/Sea Skills Awards.

Definitions of Skills Awards

Basic Skills
Participation award performed in flat, sheltered and/or undemanding waters

Flat water Skills
Can competently paddle a kayak and/ or canoe during a trip, as part of a group of peers, on flat, sheltered and/or undemanding water 

Coastal Skills
Demonstrated the ability to plan and conduct personal kayaking activities in Sit on Top kayaks in coastal conditions defined as:

  • Estuaries, embayment’s and areas enclosed or partially enclosed by fringing reef or islands
  • Areas of exposed coastline that are simple, not involving overfalls, tidal races - difficult landings or open crossings may be included
  • Distances of up to one nautical mile offshore
  • Conditions below Fresh (17 knots) 

Enclosed Sea Skills
Demonstrated the ability to plan and conduct personal kayaking activities in sea kayaks in enclosed waters defined as:

  • Bays and Harbours
  • Moderate conditions (forecast or 11-16 knots)
  • Maximum 1.5 nautical miles from shore
  • Breaking (overtopping) waves (sea) up to 0.5m
  • No surf

Intro to Sea Skills
Demonstrated the ability to plan and conduct personal kayaking activities in sea kayaks in coastal conditions defined as:

  • Estuaries, embayments and areas enclosed or partially enclosed by fringing reef or islands
  • Areas of exposed coastline that are simple, not involving overfalls, tidal races - difficult landings or open crossings may be included
  • Distances of up to two nautical miles offshore
  • Conditions below Fresh* (17 knots) , as defined by the Beaufort Scale and used by the Bureau of Meteorology

Sea Skills
Demonstrated the ability to plan and conduct personal kayaking activities in sea kayaks at sea defined as: 

  • Outside of estuaries, embayments or other sheltering reefs or islands in moderate conditions
  • Conditions below Fresh* (21 knots), as defined by the Beaufort Scale and used by the Bureau of Meteorology
  • Areas of exposed coastline that are simple, not involving overfalls, tidal races - difficult landings or open crossings may be included
  • Distances of up to 4 nautical miles from the nearest shore
  • Breaking (overtopping) waves (sea) up to 1m
  • Surf to 1m

Beaufort Scale defines Fresh conditions as 17 to 21 knots of wind. See BOM website for more.

Experience

The Basic Skills award has no prior experience requirement. The other skills awards require you to present a log book of your experience - at least 6 trips of over 3 hours duration in the environment and paddle craft as described for the award above. In addition, for the Sea Skills award there should be 2 different overnight trips.

Download full assessment criteria for Skills Awards:

Flat water Skills
Coastal Skills
Enclosed Sea Skills
Intro to Sea Skills
Sea Skills

For a comparison of the conditions and requirements for the three sea skill awards - Enclosed Sea Skills, Intro to Sea Skills and Sea Skills, download this pdf.


AC Basic Skills Award

The Basic Skills Award is a participation award where the paddler demonstrates the fundamental skills introduced during our Learn to Paddle Sessions: in our Sea Starter Course and Private Tuition sessions. We can deliver a tailored Basic Skills day program to your corporate, school, or government department group in metro or Victorian regional areas.

Assessment is by observation throughout the session in the sheltered waters of Sandringham Harbour (or other suitable Regional venue for your private group).

The paddler performs in a satisfactory and confident manner and can:

  • Present craft and equipment for inspection (hatches and equipment set or stowed ready for launch, spare equipment waterproofed).
  • Swim 50 metres in kayaking clothes (shirt, shorts and shoes as a minimum, and with a PFD) and swim under the craft to surface on the other side.
  • Show to the Assessor’s satisfaction, a full understanding of the basic safety requirements for paddlers and their craft and appreciation of the use of PFDs.

  • Launch the craft, embark and paddle away from the launching point. 

  • Demonstrate:
    - understanding of correct posture and basic injury prevention
    - paddling forwards, backwards, and emergency stops
    - turning the craft
    - the use of the paddle as a means of support on the water
    - coming alongside another craft, and also a clear approach to the launching point
    - disembark, then re-embark, paddle to deep water, capsize and assist with a deepwater rescue or swim the craft ashore.