4 Star Leader - Open Canoe

Course Description

Successful performance at 4 Star level indicates that a paddler has the personal ability, safety, rescue and basic leadership skills required to lead trips on sheltered-moderate water with a group of paddlers who have the basic paddling skills required, but not necessarily the experience, to operate in a self-sufficient manner.

A competent 4 star paddler has the personal skill level and leadership ability required to lead a group of up to four solo canoe paddlers, or three tandem canoe crews (not including themselves), on moderate white water and moderate inland water. They are able to evaluate a group of paddlers to establish whether a particular trip is suitable to their level of performance or choose alternatives. The emphasis is on the application of a variety of techniques appropriate for moving water and exposed open water requiring the paddler to perform appropriate and effective manoeuvres in real situations. The 4 Star Leader Award is a leadership award and not a coaching award.

The training course involves two days of personal skills and leadership.
The assessment course involves two days of personal skills and leadership.
The training and assessment package involves four days of personal skills and leadership. This course is suitable for highly experienced open canoe paddlers.


Click here: 4 Star Leader Open Canoe Award

Training Prerequisites

  • A consistent 3 Star standard of performance is required for anyone starting to work towards the 4 Open Canoe Award. It is recommended that the candidate holds the BCU 3 Star Award.
  • Experience of paddling on grade 1-2 water.
  • Ideally be able to swim in moving water.

Assessment Prerequisites

  • Stamped 4 Star Open Canoe Leadership Registration (LR) form.
  • Valid (within 3 years) two day first aid award (bring original certificate).
  • Valid (within 3 years) 4 Star Open Canoe Leader Training (bring original certificate).
  • White Water Safety and Rescue Training (or Rescue 3 Whitewater Rescue Technician) within previous three years (bring original certificate).
  • Evidence of paddling on grade 1-2 water and open water in a variety of conditions, both as a leader and a member.
  • Evidence of overnight camps.

Click here for British Canoeing course registration information and documents you will need.


Title/Location Start Date End Date Cost
River Dart, Devon (Assessment) 09/03/2017
River Dee, North Wales (Training) 06/05/2017
River Dee, North Wales (Assessment) 06/05/2017

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