2 Day Course

The British Canoeing Paddle Sports Instructor (PSI) course is an entry-level qualification. Suitable for ages 14+ Anyone under the age of 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult 21 years and over.

Course Dates
  • 15/04/23 - 16/04/23
  • 12/08/23 - 13/08/23
Suitable for ages 14+ Anyone under the age of 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult 21 years and over. You need to have completed your PSRC at least 2 weeks before this course. Contact us if you need to do this.
2 Days - start 08:45 am and finish at 16.45
  • Craft
  • Equipment
  • Buoyancy Aid
  • Dry Bag (if needed)
  • Certificate
What you will need to bring

Bring comfortable clothing such as gym wear, shorts, a t-shirt or wetsuit, along with a pair of water shoes, or old trainers. Bring a towel and a change of clothes. No special equipment or clothing is required.


If you are a group of Scouts, club members or friends and want to run your own dedicated course then drop us an email

Award Details

The qualification will support the instructor with practical skills such as kitting up a group and getting afloat, initial familiarisation activities, games and activities to support learning and how to use mini journeys to support learning, inspire adventure and exploration.

This will be enhanced with support on how these sessions can be delivered in a way that is enjoyable, safe and rewarding. The PSI qualification is designed for instructors running paddlesport taster/starter sessions within the safety management systems of clubs, centres or other organisations in:

  • Very Sheltered Water environments
  • Craft deemed suitable for a first-time experience

The process of completing the qualification aims to help prepare candidates for their first paddlesport instructing role; ‘primed and ready’. It is delivered in a paddler centric style with experience of all craft to provide the instructor with the confidence and skills to deliver sessions within the agreed remit. Canoe Trail are an approved provider of the qualification and have practical experience of rescues from years of experience. Our courses provide access to our professional coaching team and tutors, the very best kit on the market with SilverBirch canoes, Red Paddle Co boards, and a wide range of craft. More than that it is Canoe Trail’s award winning style making padding accessible with a friendly and welcoming approach keeping it safe, fun and sharing learning. The FSRT is a prerequisite for the Paddle Sports Instructor (PSI) course and must be completed at least 2 weeks before the PSI course. You can download and read the full course guide here: Paddlesport Instructor Course Guide

PSI Contents

Practical skills, including games and activities to aid learning
Engagement and relationship building skills
Professional standards of a Paddlesport Instructor
Personal and rescue skills ( these are the same skills that are completed in the FSRT but which now are assessed within a time limit of less than 3mins)

There are three specific assessment tasks that are completed during the course:

1. Professional Standards (working under the British Canoeing framework and as an guardian of the behaviours, standards and level expected)
2. Rescue Skills (The FSRT skills completed as an assessment within key timescales)
3. Personal Skills (personal paddling skills to the Explore level to be able to handle the craft, canoe, SUP or kayak to enable rescues and leadership to be completed.)

British Canoeing E learning Support
British Canoeing provide eLearning support module associated with this award online which can be found at Paddlesport Instructor eLearning package The e learning has been designed to cover a range of syllabus topics relevant to the Paddlesport Instructor.

Foundation Safety and Rescue Training Overview
Minimum age
14 years old although participants can not run their own independent sessions until over 18. They would also need first aid and safeguarding
Guided Learning Hours:  23 (including online and preparation)
Total Qualification Time (hours):  100 (anticipated paddling time on the water as a trainee)
Sheltered water, calm conditions.
The British Canoeing Awarding Body Foundation Safety and Rescue Training course (which must be completed at least 2 weeks before the PSI course)
A First Aid certificate is not a prerequisite. However, holding a First Aid certificate is strongly recommended for all paddlers. A good knowledge of practical issues that paddlers may face.
Course Documents
For more information on the Paddlesport Instructor, view the Paddlesport Instructor Course Guide here


Canoe Trail can provide access to all equipment required for the course including a
range of craft.
The following is a list of recommended equipment required for the participant in this
course to have:

  • Towline OR tow system;
  • Throwline;
  • Webbing (sewn or unsewn sling) and large karabiner;
  • Whistle;
  • Knife.

The course aims to allow the participants to experience a range of equipment, and to teach/coach the participant in ways to use the equipment as well as improvised systems.

What is a PSI instructor?

A PSI instructor is a certified Paddle Sports Instructor who is qualified to conduct introductory paddlesport sessions in a controlled and safe environment. They are authorised to operate in very sheltered water environments and use suitable watercraft for first-time experiences.

What are the reasons for doing a PSI course?

There are several reasons to do a PSI (Paddle Sports Instructor) course, including:

  1. Professional Development: It is an excellent opportunity for those who want to develop their skills and knowledge in paddle sports.
  2. Career Advancement: It is a requirement for those who want to become certified instructors or coaches and work in the paddle sports industry.
  3. Safety: The course covers safety guidelines and techniques to help participants teach others how to enjoy paddle sports safely.
  4. Personal Growth: The course provides an opportunity to challenge oneself, learn new skills, and gain confidence.
  5. Teaching Skills: The course teaches participants how to teach effectively, communicate with students, and create lesson plans.
  6. Networking: The course provides an opportunity to meet other paddling enthusiasts and professionals, building a network of like-minded individuals in the industry.

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