Paddle Australia (PA) Flat-water Kayak & Canoe
Guide / Instructor Courses

This course is designed to prepare participants for assessment as a Paddle Australia (PA) Flat-water Guide or Instructor in either Kayaks or Canoes. The intake course consists of two full days combining theory and practical components in a flat-water environment, concentrating on guiding and instructing skills. Participants are expected to already have the ability to paddle to the standard of the Flat-water Skills Award (Kayak) or Flat-water Skills Award (Canoe)

A separate assessment day is required to complete Guide or Instructor certification.

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Flat-water Guide

This course is for people seeking employment where the the group under instruction will leave the immediate launch area such as an overnight or full-day excursion. Holders of the Flat-water Guide Award are qualified to lead or guide on inland waters such as open lakes and rivers (but not on whitewater or sea) in controlled conditions for inland kayaking and canoeing. This is recommended for activities such as camps, school trips and experiences.

See the Assessment Guidelines (links to Paddle Australia website):

Flat-water Guide (Kayak)
Flat-water Guide (Canoe)
Flat-water Guide (SOT)

Flat-water Instructor

Holders of the Flat-water Instructor Award are qualified to instruct, facilitate skill transfer to develop participants in order so that they may act independently or with minimal supervision in controlled conditions for inland kayaking and canoeing. An Instructor will have a deeper understanding of paddling technique and skills development and has been assessed to a higher level than guides.

See the Assessment Guidelines (links to Paddle Australia website):

Flat-water Instructor (Kayak)
Flat-water Instructor (Canoe)
Flat-water Instructor (SOT)

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 and Communications

In addition, for Flat-water Instructor

  • Teaching models

  • Skill and knowledge transfer


Guides, Instructors and candidates undertaking these qualifications, can add additional endorsements to their Qualification:

Moving Water Endorsement

The Flat-water awards refer to flat, sheltered and/or undemanding waters with little current (tidal or river), no rapids and limited fetch. For waters that are a little more demanding, a Moving Water Endorsement is a qualification for Grade 1 water that is clearly moving and has hazards such as strainers and a degree of risk, but less than that of a Grade 2 river.

Where: Goulburn River (or similar - water level dependant)
Class Size: Maximum 6 participants

Download the Assessment Guides:
Moving Water Endorsement - Kayak
Moving Water Endorsement - Canoe

Overnight Camping Endorsement

Download the Assessment Guide - Overnight Camping Endorsement

Paddle Craft & Equipment:
You need to decide which craft you will be assessed in, as the award is craft specific.  If you are teaching/guiding people in kayaks, you will need the “Kayak” award.  You may hold both a canoe and kayak qualification in any PAQS award, however paddling skills will need to be assessed in both craft types.

It is expected that participants will supply their own equipment including kayak/canoe, PFD, paddles (including spare), spray deck and helmet. 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.

Course Intake (1 day)

This weekend course is designed to prepare you for assessment - we will see where you are at: skills, knowledge and leadership experience. We will provide soft copies of the course manual, PA Handbook, Safety Guidelines and Minimal Impact code, as well as other industry references. Hard copies will be available to use on the day.

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 in a scheduled class. Private Mentoring days can be organised as required.
Cost: $295 scheduled course or per Private Mentoring day ($400 per person for one day private session).
Kayak/Canoe hire $50 for the day in the scheduled course if required (gear hire included for Private Mentoring days)
Class Size: Maximum 6 participants per scheduled class.


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

It is a good idea to review your log book prior to attending, to ensure that you will meet the Experience requirements by assessment time.


The Intake weekend is for the training component - assessment will take place in a separate one day session, please discuss prior to booking your intake weekend. This assessment date can be a Private Tuition session at an agreed date if the scheduled dates do not suit you.

You need to complete the Assessment Day and then pay a registration fee (payable directly to Paddle Australia) in order to complete your certification as a guide or instructor.

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
Cost: $295pp for groups up to 6 people . Kayak or Canoe hire $50 if required. ($400 per person for a private session.)
Registration with Paddle Australia is $180 for 3 years registration (if your first award - or $18 if you already hold a Guide/Instructor Award)
Class Size: Maximum 6 participants

Assessment can also be undertaken through Private Tuition $400 for a one day private session (at our Training Centre) - contact us to organise your assessment outside the scheduled dates.

Prior to booking you should check the assessment criteria for Flat-water Guide and Flat-water Instructor including logbook and first aid certificate requirements to ensure you can meet this within the available timeframe. The scheduled one day assessment is for Day Guide/Instructor. You may wish to undertake the Overnight Camping Endorsement if you are involved in school camps or overnight touring.

DATES and Locations


PA Flat-water Kayak & Canoe Guide/  Instructor Course


PA Flat-water Kayak & Canoe Guide/  Instructor Assessment (Day Guide / Instructor)

PA Moving Water Endorsement Intake Day

PA Moving Water Endorsement Assessment Day


Sandringham Harbour
Saturday or Sunday
9am - 4.30pm


 Sandringham Harbour
9am - 4.30pm

Goulburn River (Bluegums)
9am - 4.30pm 

Goulburn River (Bluegums)
9am - 4.30pm 


Sunday 8 September 2019
Sunday 12 January 2020
(or by Private Mentoring Day on date to be arranged)

Saturday 9 May 2020
(or by Private Mentoring Day on date to be arranged)

Friday 22 November 2019
Friday 10 January 2020

Saturday 23 November 2019
Saturday 11 January 2020

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