How to choose the right First Aid qualification

Quality training from the world's largest paddling course provider

Knowing how to choose the right First Aid qualification can be daunting, Above all we want to support you to make the right choice.

Therefore we want to help you understand your responsibility to keep your first aid skills current and in line with the type of paddling/ coaching or leading you do.

Therefore considering the right training for you is really important, especially when you consider the type of activity you undertake.

It can be confusing as (for example) almost all Emergency First Aid at Work courses (1 day) do not include:

  • Drowning
  • Hypothermia
  • Hyperthermia

That is to say they do not cover situations we may have to deal with.

The majority of First Aid courses are delivered in a classroom setting, assuming an ambulance is nearby.

It is important to consider where you paddle? and consequently how quickly help (Health Professionals) can get to you.

For these reasons we recommend you consider the type of course and provider carefully and we would recommend you consider courses designed to support remote work or outdoor activity based programmes.

Im a Coach/Leader what training is required?

Considering the type environment you paddle in is key but as a minimum all coaches and leaders need a valid First Aid certificate on your National Association membership record.

  • This training must be certificated.
  • This training should be practical and delivered primarily face to face.
  • First Aid is something we try to avoid doing! as a result refreshing your training is essential. we recommend regular practice in addition to renewing your first aid training every 3 years with face to face training.

I get First Aid training through my employer or Profession (Health Profession, Fire Service etc)?

  • Your training can be recognised and recorded on your membership record.
  • Evidence of your training must be provided to your National Association

I am not based in the UK what training do i need?

Our first aid policy takes into account coaches and leaders who reside outside of the UK, in most cases we can recognise your training and provide an equivalence on your National Association Membership record.

You can read the full First Aid Policy For Coaches and Leaders here:

If you have any questions about the First Aid policy, please contact your Delivery Centre:

I am looking to register for an assessment, what training should I consider?

Your training should meet the minimum requirements in the qualifications course guide for example:

Type of Qualification First Aid Minimum Contact Time
Coach Award (Sheltered Water) 1 day
Coach Award (Moderate Water) 2 days
Coach Award (Advanced Water) 2 days
Performance Coach 2 days
Leader Award (Sheltered Water) 1 day
Leader Award (Moderate Water) 2 days
Leader Award (Advanced Water) 2 days

Paddlesport Instructors

We recommend you hold a minimum of a 1-day First Aid if working independently, you will need to hold a current First Aid award if providing British Canoeing Awarding Body Awards such as Paddle Start.

In addition this level of training meets the requirements for Registration and Update Schemes.

You can find out more about keeping up to date here.


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