Staff and Supervision

Staff and supervision levels for East Coast Kayaking activities are based on guidelines provided by Victorian Department of Education and Training, Australian Canoeing and the Australian Activity Standards.


East Coast Kayaking Sea kayak instructors leading an activity will have one of the following:

  • an Australian Canoeing Sea Instructor or Sea Guide qualification appropriate for the level of activity being undertaken
  • equivalent documented training and experience from another training provider or education institution
  • equivalent documented experience in lieu of certification/accreditation.

Equivalent training and/or experience for sea kayaking includes staff having experience and knowledge of:

  • sea kayak instruction
  • rescue techniques
  • location of other possible boat traffic, particularly shipping lanes
  • coastal navigation techniques including using coastal charts and marine navigation markers
  • use of tide charts and knowledge of local tidal conditions
  • boating regulations
  • local surf zones, rips and currents including surf types and patterns if surf is likely to be encountered (we normally avoid launching and landing in surf).

The designated assistant to the instructor will:

  • have experience in the activity at the level being offered to students
  • be able to assume a supervisory role during the activity
  • have the ability to participate competently in emergency response procedures
  • have conferred with the instructor on the safety requirements of this role.
  • Note: Water conditions can alter quite suddenly. The experienced staff member will have visited the area previously, and taken a familiarisation trip or conferred with others who have recent experience and know the area well.

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Supervision is the critical factor in managing risk in the outdoors.

A minimum of two staff members (one East Coast Kayaking instructor and one school staff member) are present for each activity. School programs take place on Inland waters and Enclosed waters (defined collectively as Inland waters by DET Guidelines) and surf entry and exits are avoided.

For more information on waterway classification, including maps of areas we most commonly operate in, see our Kayak Environment page.

Students will usually be in double kayaks. The following table shows the minimum staff-to-student ratios, based on Department of Education guidelines for Inland Waters:

up to 12 Students : 2 Staff

13 to 18 Students : 3 Staff

19 to 24 Students : 4 Staff

An Activity Plan is in place for kayaking activities per location, that details:

  • nature and aims of the activity
  • access points
  • emergency response (see also Risk Management)
  • relevant local authorities and contacts
  • contingencies according to different weather conditions - staff are prepared to change or cancel activities in response to unfavourable weather forecasts and weather warnings.

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