AC Coastal Guide Course

This course is designed to prepare participants for assessment as a Australian Canoeing (AC) Coastal Guide in Sit-on Top Kayaks. The intake course consists of two full days combining theory and practical components in a coastal environment, concentrating on guiding skills. Participants are expected to already have the ability to paddle to the standard of the AC Coastal Skills Award.

Separate assessment day(s) are required to complete certification.

Coastal Guide

This course is for people seeking employment where the the group under instruction will leave the immediate launch area such as a day or part-day excursion. Holders of the Coastal Guide Award are qualified to lead or guide sit-on-tops 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 1 nautical mile offshore;
  • Conditions below Fresh (17 knots) as defined by the Beaufort Scale and used by the Bureau of Meteorology. 

This is recommended for activities such as camps, school trips and experiences.

Elements covered in the course will include but are not limited to:

  • Equipment
  • Paddling skills
  • Rescue skills
  • Navigation
  • Weather
  • Tides
  • Trip planning
  • Risk management
  • Group control

Paddle Craft & Equipment:
This course is designed specifically for Sit-on-Top kayaks and deals with the paddling skills and rescues applicable to these craft.

It is expected that participants will supply their own equipment including kayak, PFD and paddle. East Coast Kayaking can provide any or all of this equipment - please notify us at the time of booking if you need to hire equipment.  Please detail personal equipment on the checklist on the Participant Information form emailed to you following your booking to determine its suitability.

Paddle clothing needs to be suitable for the conditions and environment - to protect you from sun, wind and cold.

Location: Our Training Centre at 37 Jetty Road, Sandringham, with the practical component on the sheltered waters of Sandringham Harbour and surrounding waters. Other locations for your private group / organisation can be arranged - contact us to discuss.
Duration: 9.00am - 4.30pm for two days in a scheduled class, Saturday & Sunday. Private Mentoring days are organised as required.
Cost: $330 for scheduled course or per Private Mentoring day ($400 per person for one day private session).
Kayak hire $65 for the two days if required
Class Size: Maximum 12 participants per scheduled class.


Applicants for a Guide Award should already hold a Coastal Skills Award or have demonstrated equivalent skills. This allows the paddler to operate confidently, skilfully and safely within their tested conditions.


The Intake weekend is for the training component - assessment will take place in a separate one day sessions, please discuss prior to booking your intake weekend. This assessment date at Sandringham can be a Private Tuition session at an agreed date if the scheduled dates do not suit you. Some assessment may be done remotely by agreement with the assessor - discuss the required standard of presentation prior to submission.

You need to complete the Assessment Day(s) and pay a registration fee in order to complete your certification as a Guide. These sessions can be done in any order.

Surf Assessment

Location: Meet at 8:30am at a designated café to discuss the program and destination for the day. Locations are within 2 hours drive of Melbourne, eg. Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island, Inverloch, Waratah Bay
Duration: 8.30am - 4.00pm
Class Size: Instructor ration 1:4. Maximum 12 participants
Cost: $300. Kayak hire $30 if required


Skills, Knowledge and Leadership Assessment

Location: Our Training Centre at 37 Jetty Road, Sandringham, with the practical component on the sheltered waters of Sandringham Harbour. Other locations for your private group / organisation can be arranged - contact us to discuss.
Duration: 9.00am - 4.30pm
Class Size: Maximum 12 participants
Cost: $275. Kayak hire $30 if required
Registration with Australian Canoeing is $150 for 3 years registration (if your first award - or $18 if you already hold a Guide/Instructor Award).
This assessment day can also be undertaken through Private Tuition $400 for a one day private session or we can schedule a day for your group of 4 or more - contact us for a quote and to organise your assessment outside the scheduled dates.

Prior to booking you should check the assessment criteria for the Coastal Guide Award, including logbook and first aid certificate requirements to ensure you can meet this within the available timeframe. 

DATES 2016-2017 SEASON


AC Coastal Guide Course


AC Coastal Guide Assessment


Sandringham Harbour
Saturday & Sunday
9am - 4.30pm


Sandringham Harbour
9am - 4.30pm

Surf Assessment (location TBA)
8.30am - 4.00pm



27-28 August 2016
15-16 October 2016
28-29 January 2017
29-30 April 2017

20 November 2016
13 May 2017

Dates as required

Contact us for Skills, Leader, Flat-water Guide / Instructor, Coastal Guide / Instructor, Sea Guide / Instructor or Enclosed Guide / Instructor courses on or 03 9597 0549.