Home Resources Australian Canoeing Awards Scheme (ACAS)

Australian Canoeing Awards Scheme (ACAS)

Canoe South Australia is charged with administration of the Australian Canoeing Award Scheme in South Australia. The Scheme is the only nationally recognised set of canoeing qualifications.

Canoe SA offers a diverse range of courses for all skill and fitness levels. We offer Australian Canoeing Award Scheme courses including:
  • Basic Skills Award – a 6 hour introduction for people who want to learn to paddle (Canoe, Kayak or SOT (sit on top)).
  • Flatwater Skills Award – extension of paddling skills, course participants will learn additional paddle strokes and rescues. Holders of the Flat-water Skills award have demonstrated they can competently paddle a kayak or canoe as part of a group of peers on flat sheltered, undemanding water.
  • Flatwater Lifeguard Award – The introductory level for people wanting to gain employment in the industry. Holders of the Flatwater Lifeguard award have been assessed as and are qualified to manage a paddling activity in enclosed situations where the group does not leave the immediate launch area
  • Flatwater Guide Award – 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 ACAS Flatwater Guide Award are qualified to lead or guide on inland waters such as open lakes and rivers (but not in whitewater or sea) in controlled conditions for inland kayaking and canoeing.
  • Flatwater Instructor Award – Courses 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 Flatwater Instructor Award have been assessed at and are qualified to operate on inland waterways in controlled conditions.
  • Sea Kayaking Awards – A series of awards aimed at those wanting to develop and hone sea kayaking skills.
  • Sea Weekend – this weekend of skills and information is a must do for ocean and open water paddlers. Enjoying unprotected waters and the sense of adventure can be a buzz but conditions can change quickly. Learn to survive, test your ability and knowledge, learn from the best in South Australia and be inspired.
  • Sea Workshops – program of workshops for sea paddlers.

Click on the links in the left panel for dates, more information and enrolment details.


Rolling Sessions

Everyone who sits in a kayak for the first time feels insecure. The kayak not only feels unstable it may frequently threaten to flip over.

For the Inuit of Alaska & Greenland being able to roll after a capsize could be a matter of life or death. The same is true for sea kayakers who may be many kilometres from shore in rough seas when a capsize occurs
You know that you can easily exit the boat should it tip over, so you can feel more relaxed, but each “wet exit” fills the boat with water that must be emptied. Avoiding this chore is a great motivation for learning to roll!
Beginner’s rolling sessions are held on the gently, sloping sandy beach at West Lakes. Attending a rolling session will develop your knowledge and skills level.
For further information on rolling sessions, please contact Canoe SA sa@canoe.org.au for details.

To view a list of SA courses and to register:

  1. Click theCALENDARlink at the top of this page and select ‘STATE EVENTS’ in the drop down list.
  2. On the left side of the Calendar page, filter your search by choosing ‘Education’ under the ‘TYPE OF EVENT’ category, and click ‘SEARCH’ at the bottom of the page.
  3. Choose the course you wish to attend and click ‘Registration & Information’.
  4. If you are a member of Australian Canoeing, log in and pay for the course.
  5. If you are not a member of Australian Canoeing, register and then pay for the course.

Basic Skills Award

An introduction for people who wish to learn to paddle either a kayak or a canoe on inland waterways. The course programme is designed with the aim of giving you confidence to enjoy the excitement and challenge of paddling. You will be shown and have time to practice the basic paddle strokes for moving your craft safely and efficiently.  While this course is intensive, it is not physically demanding. As the course is practially oriented, most of the course time will be spent paddling and practising paddle strokes.

There will be regular breaks (so bring snacks and water)

Course content and certificate

The Basic Skills Award is an intoductory, participation award.
The course will cover:
An introduction to equipment;
Basic paddle strokes (for kayak or canoe);
Water safety;
Rescue procedure; and
Where to go from here.
At the conclusion of the course you will be provided with a certificate of competency and a booklet or disc that covers an introduction to safe paddling and reviews the basic paddle strokes learnt during the session.
The course is to be carried out on a stretch of outdoor, unheated water. Please come appropriately attired for the weather on the day of the course. (see clothing to wear paddling below) You will be getting wet so a change of clothes is a must bring item. 
Please Note: Whilst every attempt is made by Canoe SA to provide courses that meet the description provided, weather or other environmental conditions may influence the decision of the leadership team or instructors about the safety of participants or the conduct of the course/workshop either before or during the event. Registration for a course or workshop does not ensure that the course or workshop will occur in the manner described.

Enrolment

Please contact Canoe SA (sa@canoe.org.au) for enrolment information.

PLEASE NOTE: A course will not be held if the weather forecast is for wind strength that is not safe for novice paddlers. Weather predictions become more reliable as the day of the course approaches.

Cost

Course fees includes use of a kayak, course notes and certificate, and must be paid prior to the course at the time of enrolment.

Clothing for Paddling

Always dress for the weather conditions.

In summer, that will mean light clothing (long sleeve tops to protect arms and shoulders) with adequate sun protection (sunglasses for your eyes and sunblock for your skin)

In winter clothing will include woolen or thermal clothing, wetsuits may also be worn, and don’t forget the sun protection as winter sun can damage sensitive skin and eyes

Warm weather:

  • bathers or board-shorts
  • long sleve rash vest or long sleeve shirt (polyester or other quick dry material)
  • broad brimmed hat
  • sun-glasses with keeper band
  • footwear such as wet boots or sneakers

Cold weather:

  • bathers or board-shorts with thermal pants or track pants
  • thermal top or woolen jumper
  • windproof jacket (such as a spray jacket) or cag
  • hat
  • sunglasses with keeper band
  • footwear such as wet booties or sneakers.
Please note:
Prescription glasses when worn on the water should always be secured with a keeper band (they do not float)
Personal floatation device (pfd) are required to be worn by government regulation.
If in doubt about the weather, pack layers of extra warm clothing (wool is best as it can retain body warmth when wet)
All personal items should be secured if taken on the water (in the craft)

Further Information 

Contact:
Canoe South Australia
Phone: (08) 8240 3294

Flatwater Skills Award

Flatwater Skills course conducted through Canoe SA as a National Training Provider

Unless specified the location is Aquatic Reserve, Corner Bower & Old Port Road, West Lakes, SA.
The Course is the starting point for paddlers who are seeking employment opportunities and want to:
  • improve their paddling skills
  • extend their ability under moderate conditions (winds to 17 knots)
  • understand and improve their leadership and instructional style
  • undertake expedition-style camping
  • gain additional qualifications including Flatwater Lifeguard, Flatwater Guide and Flatwater Instructor.

Flatwater Skills Award course covers the following elements:

  • Introduction to Canoe/Kayaks
  • Understanding weather forecasts
  • Navigation
  • Practical skills in controlling a craft in moderate flatwater conditions (wind strength to 17 knots)
Candidates must be prepared to put their skills into practice and will be required to do some work prior to the course to assist in moving swiftly through the syllabus.
Participants should come prepared for paddling sessions in both the morning and afternoon of the course.
When a candidate is ready for assessment, they should contact Canoe SA (sa@canoe.org.au) to arrange an independent assessment.

Assessment

For accreditation, candidates are required to complete:

  • A theory assignment (provided at the course)
  • Practical assessment
  • Submit a logbook that meets the Australian Canoeing requirements for the award

Please Note: A Flatwater Skills Award is a pre-requisite to gaining any of the following leadership awards (Flatwater Lifeguard, Flatwater Guide or Flatwater Instructor Award).

Flatwater Lifeguard Award

Courses are delivered at Canoe SA, Aquatic Reserve, Corner Bower Rd and Old Port Rd, West Lakes.

Please note: Flatwater Skills is pre-requisite for Flatwater Lifeguard.

Please contact Canoe SA for more information by email: sa@canoe.org.au

Award Definition

Holders of the Flatwater Lifeguard Award are qualified to manage a paddling activity in enclosed situations, performing rescues as required, where the group under supervision can be seen from a single vantage point at any time and does not leave the immediate launch area

Flatwater Lifeguard Course Format

The course will include both on-water practical and off-water theory components.

Please come prepared for paddling. That means ensuring sufficient warm clothing to change into after on-water sessions.

The course format is subject to change (due to changing weather conditions or at the discretion of course staff).

The course content will include:

  • Hazard identification & risk assessment of an enclosed area paddling session
  • Planning a  paddling session (enclosed area)
  • Instruction & training methodologies
  • Communication and leadership
  • Environmental impact
  • Flatwater paddling skills

At the commencement of the course you will be provided with:

  • Australian Canoeing Award Scheme Flatwater Lifeguard resources booklet (or e-copy)
  • Information about the assessment process.

You will be provided with relevant industry information during the course.

For those who do not meet the pre-requisite experience requirements, the course will serve as an experience towards assessment at a later date. Assessment of the practical components of the course can be conducted at a later date by negotiation with the Canoe SA office or an appropriate assessor (costs may apply). Please contact Canoe SA (sa@canoe.org.au).

As candidates may commence the course with different skill levels, assessments for Australian Canoeing Awards will be discussed with participants throughout the course. It is important that you bring the following documents with you to the course to ensure the most streamlined pathway to final assessment. Please contact the Canoe SA office if there are any questions.

Documents required for assessment (electronic copies only please):

  • Senior First Aid Certificate
  • Logbook / summary of paddling experience that meets the requirements of award being assessed
  • Any relevant qualifications (such as teaching certificates, AustSwim, AYF) and existing statements of attainment
  • Completed Assessment Project for ACAS award being sought.

The course registration fee does not include fees for assessment or fee for registration of the Flatwater Lifeguard Awards.

As the course contains some assessment components, it is important that you come prepared and with the correct clothing and equipment.

Please contact the Canoe SA office (sa@canoe.org.au) if you have any queries regarding the course you want to attend.

Course dates and times may be subject to change (dependent on the number of registrations and instructor availability).

Flatwater Guide

Courses 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 Flatwater Guide award are qualified to lead or guide on inland waters such as open lakes and rivers (but not in whitewater or sea) in controlled conditions for inland kayaking and canoeing.

Elements include but not limited to:

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

Further assessment requirements

  • Logbook:
  • Six trips of a minimum of three hours duration
  • Three guided flatwater activities of at least three hours duration as an observer under training or as an assistant Guide
  • Current Apply first aid certificate

Flatwater Instructor Award

  • Are you an outdoor education specialist or an outdoor education student?
  • Are you a youth group leader and want to challenge your young people?
  • Do you work with vulnerable young people and want to introduce them to the natural environment?
  • Do you want to be able to lead a group of novices on an expedition?

Flatwater Instructor is the step you need to take to open up opportunities for yourself and the people you work with.

Holders of the Flatwater Instructor  Award have been assessed and are qualified to instruct, facilitate skills transfer to participants so that they may act independently or with minimal supervision in controlled conditions on protected inland waterways in moderate conditions

  • Assessment record for the Flatwater Instructor Award CLICK HERE
  • Assessment summary for Flatwater Instructor CLICK HERE
  • Logbook for Flatwater Instructor CLICK HERE

Further information is available on this website or by contacting Canoe SA (sa@canoe.org.au).

Please Note: to gain the Flatwater Instructor Award, candidates must:
  • be assessed as having the knowledge to plan and conduct a flatwater instructional programme and complete the Flatwater Instructor Assessment Project.
  • demonstrate the ability to train individuals and groups from novices to instructor level on activity and expedition based programmes in canoe or kayaks
  • produce a verified log book showing canoeing or kayaking activity over the last 2 years
  • have a valid Senior First Aid certificate

Please note: A candidate is not registered as a Flatwater Instructor until all components of the registration process are completed and the appropriate fee for registration is paid. Attendance and participation in a course is not a guarantee to successful assessment.

Intro to Sea Skills Award

Intro to Sea skills – The holder of this award has demonstrated the ability to plan and conduct personal kayaking activities in sea kayaks in coastal conditions defined as:

  • Estuaries, embayments 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 two nautical miles offshore;
  • Conditions below Fresh (17 knots) as defined by the Beaufort Scale and used by the Bureau of Meteorology

Elements include but not limited to:

  • Equipment
  • Paddling skills
  • Rescue skills
  • Navigation
  • Weather
  • Trip planning
  • Surf launch and land
  • Towing

Further assessment requirements

  • Logbook: Six sea environment trips of a minimum of three hours duration over a period of at least two years.

Sea Skills Award

Sea skills – The holder of this award has demonstrated the ability to plan and conduct personal kayaking activities in sea kayaks at sea defined as outside of estuaries, embayments or other sheltering reefs or islands in moderate conditions:

  • Conditions below Fresh (21 knots) as defined by the Beaufort Scale and used by the Bureau of Meteorology;
  • Assessed in minimum winds of 11 knots (moderate conditions);
  • Areas of exposed coastline that is simple, not involving overfalls, tidal races, difficult landings or open crossings may be included;
  • Distances of up to 4 nautical miles from the nearest shore;
  • Breaking (overtopping) waves (sea) up to 1m;
  • Surf to 1m.

Elements include but not limited to:

  • Equipment
  • Paddling skills
  • Rescue skills
  • Navigation
  • Weather
  • Trip planning
  • Surf launch and land
  • Towing
  • Rolling

Further assessment requirements

  • Logbook: Six Sea environment trips of a minimum of three hours duration over a period of at least two years
  • Two different overnight coastal sea kayak trips

Sea Leader Award

Sea Leader – The holder of this award has been assessed and is qualified to lead groups of sea skills paddlers in sea kayaks at sea defined as outside of estuaries, embayments or other sheltering reefs or islands in moderate conditions:

  • Conditions below Strong (21 knots) as defined by the Beaufort Scale and used by the Bureau of meteorology;
  • Distances of up to 4 nautical miles from the nearest shore;
  • Surf to 1m;
  • Operations may also be conducted in conditions that exceed the above where a documented hazard;
  • Identification and risk management process has been undertaken to ensure the participants skills and equipment are appropriate to the environment.

Sea leaders may also lead people at the level of intro to sea skills or equivalent paddlers in conditions that include:

  • Wind conditions below 15 knots (forecast or observed);
  • Crossings of less than 1 nautical mile;
  • Surf to 0.5m;

Not rounding a significant headland

Elements include but not limited to:

  • Equipment
  • Paddling skills
  • Rescue skills
  • Navigation
  • Weather
  • Trip planning
  • Surf launch and land
  • Towing
  • Rolling
  • Risk management
  • Group control

Further assessment requirements

  • Logbook: Six Sea environment trips of a minimum of three hours duration over a period of at least two years
  • Two different overnight coastal sea kayak trips
  • Three trips of at least three hours in a coastal environment as group assistant leader
  • One self-contained overnight trip in a sea environment of at least 25km distance.
  • Current Apply first aid certificate

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