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British Canoeing

Advanced Canoe Leader Assessment

British Canoeing Advanced Water Leadership Awards were formerly known as 5 Star Leader Awards.

Successful performance at this level indicates that a candidate has entered the top level of performance, involving a high level of personal skill and leadership in advanced situations. It is a leadership award and the appropriate test for paddlers who wish to lead groups of up to 4 paddlers on advanced river journeys and on remote, exposed open waters in open canoe. The five star leader has the skills and judgement to select appropriate trips for paddlers with a range of experience.

We promise that...

  • We will be supportive and do our best to make sure you are as relaxed as possible.
  • We will assess you at the correct standard as stated in the syllabus.
  • We will make sure you fully understand what you need to do.
  • We will make sure that the assessment environment is at the right standard, eg a grade 2 river for 4 star canoe assessments.
  • We will give you as much time as possible to show what you can do.
  • We will take you through the assessment process in short steps that are clear and simple.
  • If the assessment involves leadership or coaching of others we will do our best to bring real students for you to coach or lead.
  • Our decisions will be made based solely on performance and not with any bias of any sort.
  • We will give you a clear action plan for development at the end of the assessment.
  • All our assessment team are encouraged to smile and give you a hug when you need it.


Finding the correct environment for British Canoeing 5 Star courses is very important and can be very difficult. In order to give the best chance of running the course we must be prepared to travel to wherever the best conditions are. The most likely venues are in the Scottish Highlands and so we expect to run the course there. The final decision will be made two or three days prior to the start of the course.

Course Dates

Dates to be arranged.

Course fee: £190


The candidate must provide documentary evidence of a minimum of 30 varied, quality, advanced open canoe days in 3 different geographical areas.

Recognised First aid award (minimum 16 hrs training including CPR) within the last 3 years.

Relevant Leadership Training.

British Canoeing 5 Star Leader Open Canoe Training within the last 3 years or ‘old’ style 5 Star Canoe training. This training must have been at least 4 days logged experience of formal training in personal skills, leadership, incident management, safety and rescue prior to assessment.

British Canoeing Registration (Stamped LR Form).

Aged 18 years or above.


British Canoeing Advanced Canoe Leader Syllabus

Leader Registration Form

How to Register Video

Advanced Canoe Leader Assessment Notes

BCU 5 Star Canoe Assessment
BCU 5 Star Canoe Assessment

Wild River Course Dates



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