BC consultation

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Robert Craig
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BC consultation

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: BC consultation

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Yes but I think it has only been sent to clubs rather than individuals, item 9 will likely lead to quite a number of clubs ceasing to be affiliated but where would they obtain their PL insurance?

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Re: BC consultation

Post by StoneWeasel »

Oh look BC are screwing over volunteer based clubs and grass roots uptake of the sport in favour of their pally course providers again.

I am not even surprised by this shit any more. It just seems to be their standard practice these days.

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Franky »

I was taught to paddle by enthusiastic volunteers who did their teaching for the love of it and the desire to give something back. I haven't coached as such, but I've helped out on club beginners' courses, and I certainly wouldn't have bothered if I'd had to jump through hoops getting qualifications, as opposed to being acknowledged as competent for the task by people who've known me for years.

Cui bono? Not the clubs and not individual paddlers.

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Chris Bolton »

There's also a consultation sent out to members, see here, and some regional meetings.

I think some feedback on that proposal for compulsory qualification might be in order! I've already done the member survey and not having seen the club survey I just pointed out that the cost of qualification needed sorting out as it was killing clubs; it's unrealistic to expect volunteers and professionals to pay the same (I do appreciate that a lot of staff at centres aren't well paid but unless they're freelance they shouldn't have to pay for qualifications themselves).

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Re: BC consultation

Post by DaveB »

Based on the consultation document i wrote to BC with queries about how things would work from October 20220 (assuming the proposed chages are made).. My letter is set out belwo with Chris Earle of BC's replies in caps:
1. The BC insurance policy cover provided to the club as part of its affiliation benefits will only apply to “club activities” which can be defined as follows: -

“any paddling activity within their club that has had due diligence/risk assessment carried out by the relevant and accountable club representative(s) and is organised and delivered by club members (or others appointed by the committee) for club members and promoted on the official club calendar, website, social media or noticeboard”

“Club activities can also include inter-club activities (involving no more than 4 clubs) where one club (host club) is responsible for risk assessment, management of the activity and sharing this information with the other clubs who take part, providing all clubs involved recognise it as part of their official club activities” (see above definition)

It should be noted that “peer paddles”, independent paddling and competitive paddling are not included. Individuals taking part in these activities are recommended to join as full members of British Canoeing or seek alternative insurance arrangements".

2. Is it OK for appropriately qualified coaches or leaders to also have authority to act as relevant and accountable club reps for the purpose of due diligence/risk assessment? YES

3. f not, does this mean that every single session or trip has to be vetted and approved by a relevant and accountable rep before the coach/leader can put people on the water?

4. Our club’s Facebook page is entitled “Shrewsbury canoe club and friends” and membership of the Facebook page is open to anybody with an interest in paddling regardless of whether they are a member of the club. If we continue with this arrangement and paddlers who are not club members join us on club activities promoted through the Facebook page will the committee/leaders and coaches be covered or will such activities not be “delivered by club members…for club members…”? IF NON-MEMBERS JOIN YOU FOR "TASTER" OR "INTRODUCTORY" SESSIONS YOUR CLUB 3RD PARTY LIABILITY INSURANCE COVERS THEM FOR 6 SESSIONS - YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THEIR NAME, ADDRESS AND CONTACT DETAILS IN CASE THERE IS A CLAIM. AFTER THIS PERIOD THE INDIVIDUAL WOULD NEED TO JOIN THE CLUB AS AN ASSOCIATE MEMBER OR bRITISH CANOEING AS A FULL MEMBER

5. The proposed new system says that to be a club activity the activity must be promoted on the club calendar/website/social media or noticeboard. Is this precisely what you mean? If so, it follows that if I run a Club activity for a small group on a Saturday and at the end of the session I agree to coach them again on Sunday the Sunday session will not be a club activity since it has not been “promoted...” I THINK THIS WOULD REASONABLY BE SEEN AS AN EXTENSION OF CLUB ACTIVITY. THE CRITICAL ASPECT IS TO MAKE SURE THAT A RISK ASSESSMENT OF THE ACTIVITY HAS BEEN CARRIED OUT

6. What is meant by competitive paddling? We run a polo team. Are club members covered at the polo training sessions? Are they covered at competitive matches? CLUB MEMBERS ARE COVERED FOR THEIR TRAINING SESSIONS. IF COMPETING AS A CLUB THEY ARE COVERED FOR COMPETITIVE ACTIVITIES



7. Similarly we have a group of flat water racers who train together. These training sessions are “promoted” and are run for members and subject to the exclusion of competitive events would be club activities and insured. Are they covered if they are just measuring personal performance against the clock? Are they covered if they compete against each other during training sessions? YES COVERED FOR ALL THESE AS THEY FALL INTO CLUB ACTIVITIES



8. The proposed new regime from October 2020 for coaches and leaders and instructors is: -

“all coaches, leaders and instructors will be required to hold a certified British Canoeing qualification and be currently qualified with all necessary updates undertaken.”



Presumably the reference to “a certified British canoeing qualification” would be satisfied by an old style bcu qualification or a more recent bcu/UKCC qualification. Is this correct? YES AS LONG AS THE QUALIFICATION IS UP TO DATE



9. Does the new guidance imply that the qualification must be relevant to the nature of the activity (i.e. It must be a coaching qualification covering relevant craft for a coached activity but could be either a coaching or leadership qualification for an activity not including coaching)?



10. Does the new guidance imply that the qualification must also be appropriate to the grade and type of water on which the activity will take place? (which would exclude the possibility of highly experienced paddlers with low grade qualifications being authorized by the club to go beyond their paper remit.) YES



11. To be qualified to run a “club activity” does a paddler have to be an “on the water” or “on the bank” member of BC? NO...ALTHOUGH THIS IS RECOMMENDED



12. If the answer to item 11 is “No”, please confirm that it will be possible for coaches who are no longer members of BC to attend CPD courses and have their records updated appropriately. YES



13. If an appropriately qualified coach or leader is running a “club activity” and wishes to have several separate groups on the water at once and not under his direct visibility/supervision does it follow that each separate group must be lead by a paddler with the same minimum qualifications as the coach or leader who is running the activity? NO If not, can the committee of the club authorise members to act as group leaders/coaches on club activities simply on the strength of their experience/skill set as long as the overall activity is run by a paddler with the necessary paper qualifications? YES

14. Will it be possible for club committees to waive the requirement for current first aid qualifications in the case of Healthcare professionals or does this have to be done by BC? NOT SURE...LET ME CHECK. I'LL GET BACK TO YOU.



I look forward to hearing from you.

Dave Butler

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Robert Craig
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Re: BC consultation

Post by Robert Craig »

My view is that insurance is a good servant but a bad master. We need to decide what activities we want to do, and then find an insurer to cover those activities - not the other way round.

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Adrian Cooper »

A good set of questions, Dave, but no that you have the answers I am sure you can think of a number of follow-up questions.

You organise a trip, club activity, you are a kayak leader, six people turn up on the day, three kayaks, two canoes and one SUP. You presumably send the three home?

You organise a trip for next month but this month your first aid runs out, you can't get on a course before the trip, presumably you cancel it?

Open water canoe leaders must carry anemometers in case the wind increases beyond their remit during the day?

Item 4 would mean that someone you meet in the car park at the get in would not be able to join you on the river even though he had no-one else to paddle with? Or maybe he can but is not insured?

Maybe all of theses things full down to insurance, maybe some people will need to accept they are not insured but would it invalidate the insurance if you had an uninsured person along? Are you insured as a group or as each individual?

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Robert Craig wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:31 am
My view is that insurance is a good servant but a bad master. We need to decide what activities we want to do, and then find an insurer to cover those activities - not the other way round.
Of course, we expect that BC will know what we do?

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Robert Craig »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:30 am


Maybe all of theses things full down to insurance, maybe some people will need to accept they are not insured but would it invalidate the insurance if you had an uninsured person along? Are you insured as a group or as each individual?

Current situation is that insurance is for people, not groups. It's negligence isurance, and groups can't be negligent, only people. Currently as well, the insurance covers damage to anyone - group members, passing fishermen, etc. So currently "not covered by the insurance" means not covered for negligence. So injury to a guest on a trip is covered, but negiligence by that guest isn't covered.

Which seems quite rational. Changes to this might not be what "we" want.

Worrying about people on taster sessions is a bit of a diversion, as it's hard to see how such people could be negligent - you have to know what you're doing to be negligent.

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Chris Bolton »

Worrying about people on taster sessions is a bit of a diversion, as it's hard to see how such people could be negligent - you have to know what you're doing to be negligent
Deliberately putting yourself or others in danger by ignoring reasonable instructions? For example, a group approach a weir, with flat water above and an easy landing. The leader decides that the group will all portage, but one inexperienced paddler decides to run it, despite specific requests not to?

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Robert Craig »

For the insurance to be useful to the "taster", they would have to damage someone else by their negligence. So if the "taster" ignores instructions, no-one's been negligent.

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Re: BC consultation

Post by twopigs »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:30 am
A good set of questions, Dave, but no that you have the answers I am sure you can think of a number of follow-up questions.

You organise a trip, club activity, you are a kayak leader, six people turn up on the day, three kayaks, two canoes and one SUP. You presumably send the three home?
So long as you are on Moderate Water carry on!
You organise a trip for next month but this month your first aid runs out, you can't get on a course before the trip, presumably you cancel it?
'Fraid so!
Open water canoe leaders must carry anemometers in case the wind increases beyond their remit during the day?
Similarly Sea Kayak leaders ...... but also some device for measuring the distance off-shore - however that is defined ........

I am not convinced that all these seemingly proposed changed are for the good of the sport ......
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Re: BC consultation

Post by Chris Bolton »

So if the "taster" ignores instructions, no-one's been negligent.
As an example, suppose somebody goes to rescue the idiot 'taster', and comes to harm. Hasn't the taster been negligent?

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Robert Craig »

I don't think the rescuer (if injured) could sue the "taster", and so no insurance claim would arise.

Also, the trip leader remains covered by the insurance.

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Chris Bolton »

I don't think the rescuer (if injured) could sue the "taster"
I think you could have a claim against anyone (any adult) who contributed to your injury, but as you say, it's academic unless the club has acted outside the terms on which non-members are covered (which I think is suggested as 6 sessions) so my apologies for leading the thread off on a wild goose chase.

I think any kind of outdoor activity club is doomed unless we can change the compensation culture and create a sharper distinction between liability under professional instruction and from a club volunteer.

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Robert Craig »

I agree with you, except that I don't think that a rescuer who acts under their own free will can sue a rescuee.

We need to try to avert the doom by speaking out - the document was a consultaion, and I hope clubs responded. [I'm in Scotland, so my club didn't get a vote. I am worried that the insurance cange might extend to Scotland - how could it not?]

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Re: BC consultation

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I'm stating the obvious here, but the fact that this discussion is even taking place is a sad indictment of the abandonment of trust and goodwill in our "society". If everyone were as greedy and mean-spirited as now seems to be taken for granted, nobody would help anybody do anything for fear of being sued. Maybe that's the way we're heading.

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Robert Craig »

I'm not as despondent. Very few people get sued, and few of us hesitate to help, and I don't think anyone what has helped has been sucesfully sued (?? anyone know?).

I think that the issue here is that someone is negotiating with the insurer from a position of weakness - "here's the contract, now tell us what we can do" rather than "here's what we want: and remember that when you're quoting you're in competition with others. Our negotiator as well might be a finance person, rather than a paddler, not knowing what matters. "We2 need to make a noise

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Re: BC consultation

Post by StoneWeasel »

Robert Craig wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:30 am
We need to try to avert the doom by speaking out - the document was a consultaion, and I hope clubs responded. [I'm in Scotland, so my club didn't get a vote. I am worried that the insurance cange might extend to Scotland - how could it not?]

There was a consultation before the transition to UKCC awards too. That was seemingly largely ignored too.

Personally I do not have a lot of faith in BC listening to or acting on anything that comes out of the consultation.

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Franky »

The only purpose of a consultation is to be able to say that there was a consultation. If punters are cynical about consultations, all the better: punters don't engage, and if they complain afterwards, they're told, "You should have expressed your concerns during the consultation." You can't prove that your concerns would have been ignored!

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Adrian Cooper »

twopigs wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:41 pm

You organise a trip for next month but this month your first aid runs out, you can't get on a course before the trip, presumably you cancel it?
'Fraid so!
The new skills awards are aimed at making paddlers independent, helping them make their own decisions, allowing them to feel confident about embarking on their own adventures. But once a club organises a trip, it will need to be staffed by a leader with current BC qualifications. The day after your first aid certificate runs out, all information is downloaded from your brain and you know nothing of value in an emergency. However, your leadership skills continue to be valid (for now).

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Chris Bolton »

The only purpose of a consultation is to be able to say that there was a consultation
Sadly, it looks like that is the case here. BC response on social media is to say something like "This is a formal consultation, so we're not taking account of your comments here". If BC wants to be seen as a membership organisation, it needs to understand that it's there to support the members, not vice versa.

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Re: BC consultation

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Re: BC consultation

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Chris Bolton wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:22 pm
The only purpose of a consultation is to be able to say that there was a consultation
Sadly, it looks like that is the case here. BC response on social media is to say something like "This is a formal consultation, so we're not taking account of your comments here". If BC wants to be seen as a membership organisation, it needs to understand that it's there to support the members, not vice versa.
Or did they mean "through this channel"?

They are going to get enough to work with through their "formal consultation" channel - probably not got any capacity to add all the social media input .....
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Re: BC consultation

Post by Chris Bolton »

Or did they mean "through this channel"?
I'm sure they did mean 'through this channel' and if they'd said they expected to get lots through the consultation itself and couldn't manage extra data, that would have made sense - it was the wording "this is a formal consultation" that worried me. But maybe I'm reading more into it than was meant.

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Re: BC consultation

Post by sandybottoms »

Simply a way of soaking the grass roots for more money. When everyone gets the correct bit of paper and demand for courses slows down expect the goal post to shifted over the horizon once again as another 'new qualification' hoves into view (looking suspiciously like the old qualification with a new name ...)

You've got to laugh and hope clubs find alternative insurances that simply allow us to get on with the sport, that for most is a leisure activity.

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Re: BC consultation

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This has got me thinking... What actual authority does BC have to "govern" canoe clubs? I've just looked at the Wikipedia page for it, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Canoeing, and it would appear to be nothing more than a limited company. As such, one would expect that its central aim, and perhaps its sole aim, is to make money. What advantage do clubs gain from being (by their own choice, it would appear) beholden to it?

Wikipedia states that BC is "a national governing body for canoeing in the United Kingdom" and that it was "established in 1936 as the British Canoe Union".

So - if it's a (NB not "the") governing body, who appointed it? Or is it self-appointed? In which case, what authority does it have to demand that club coaches possess particular qualifications? What are the advantages to clubs of being affiliated to BC?

And - it was established in 1936. But by whom?
Last edited by Franky on Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Whilst they are described and describe themselves as the governing body, this is really only in relation to competitive sports. As far as recreational paddling is concerned, there is no need for government and this is where members get wound up by their imposed rules. If you weren't a member of BC, you could pretty much do anything you like without insurance but would need to arrange your own licences for controlled rivers and canals.

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Re: BC consultation

Post by Franky »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:35 pm
Whilst they are described and describe themselves as the governing body, this is really only in relation to competitive sports.
Yes... but that's not the general perception of club members, and it doesn't seem to be the impression they want to convey. On the contrary, they seem intent on making their purported authority over clubs ever more visible.

I'm guessing that the BCU was created by clubs, back in 1936, as a central organisation to co-ordinate activities and standards for an increasingly popular pastime. But at some point (probably beginning in 1980, when it became a limited company), it ceased to be a tool of the canoeing and kayaking community, and its purpose became self-perpetuation by whatever means were available. Hence the tail is now wagging the dog.

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