Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

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66quinny66
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Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by 66quinny66 »

As above really, what are the minimum coaching quals and endorsements required for coaching a beginners group on G2/3?
Thanks in advance

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by Simon Westgarth »

Old L3 or the new MWE.

sam waites
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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by sam waites »

What is important to note within the BCU scheme is the difference between 'coaching' and 'leading' - In the updated BCU Coaching scheme there are Coaching awards ( presently from UKCC Level 1 to 3) and Leadership awards which are discipline specific for sea, canoe, ww and surf with 4 star on moderate water and 5 star on advance water

With 4 star you can lead 4 paddlers in moderate conditions - but crucially they would not need coaching to be able to paddle safely in that environment i.e. a grade 2 river

The UKCC Level 1 is an assistant coach award on very sheltered water, Level 2 as a lead coach on sheltered water for up to 8 paddlers (although some centres work 1:6).

If you wanted to 'coach' beginners on grade 2 (personally I would not take beginners on grade 3 as you've listed and by taking them grade 3 depending on the river / water levels / portages you may need a higher coaching / leadership award) you would need to complete the following in this order

BCU UKCC Level 2 + 4 Star White water leader + Moderate water endorsement (assuming you've already done UKCC L1)

Just realised I could have saved myself a couple of mins and illustrated the vagaries of the BCU scheme much better by directing you here http://www.canoe-england.org.uk/media/p ... 201-10.pdf

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by davebrads »

Far too much seems to be the answer. I have always coached beginners on grade 2 water (I have never had any interest in coaching on flat water, nor do most of my students have any interest in learning on flat water), and I would expect that after about 6 hours on grade 2 they were ready for grade 3. Grade 3 is not particularly dangerous, why do we need coaches to jump through all these hoops to be able to give paddlers what they want?
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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by 66quinny66 »

Thanks guys. It doesn't directly relate to me but when circulating club trip emails we have to be clear whether it is "coach led" which means that any level of coach with 4* could lead but not necessarily coach and "not coach led" trips which are competent paddlers only or 4* led.
However, we do have a couple of "whitewater introductory courses" coming up which are advertised as "coach led". As these are courses rather than trips I'm guessing that these are coaching rather than leading so the appropriate quals would be needed.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by Simon Westgarth »

davebrads wrote:Far too much seems to be the answer..... why do we need coaches to jump through all these hoops to be able to give paddlers what they want?
I'm with you Dave on this. I'd rather see a system with direct access to the level you wish to be at, with strong guidance and safeguards, and not the current bottom up ladder one size fits all approach that frames this far to ridge current scheme.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by davebrads »

66quinny66 wrote:However, we do have a couple of "whitewater introductory courses" coming up which are advertised as "coach led". As these are courses rather than trips I'm guessing that these are coaching rather than leading so the appropriate quals would be needed.
The way we have addressed this in our club is to have a list of coaches who the committee consider are competent to coach on white water. So while their coaching remit might not allow them to coach in a certain environment, they can coach or lead a club organised activity in that environment.
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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by Mike A »

Quinny, could i ask if your post refers to LCC trips?

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by Mike A »

If post does refer to the LCC trips, I am not sure if understanding is quite correct.

The upcoming intro to ww coach led trips is a trip run wholly within coaching remit - Old inland L3 assisted by old L2 and possibly an L4 as well.

Coach led trips should be a trip led by a coach opperating within their remit. (4* does not come into this) There doesnt have to be any coaching, ir is just that an appropriately qualified coach is leading.

There should also be / should soon be, 4* led trips. ie trips led by someone who has an apppropriate leadership award.

Final class of trips should be no coach / no leader trips. These would be trips led by any paddler, possibly including trips led by a coach or leader who is opperating out of remit.

Davebrads idea re club authorised leaders is a good one and something i know that i have often discussed with long standing club members

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by 66quinny66 »

Mike A wrote:Quinny, could I ask if your post refers to LCC trips?
Yes Mike, I'm just seeking some clarity over wording really and your email helps explain this. I have been "corrected" in the past when it comes to trip emails and some of the courses I've set up using external commercial coaches but its never been made entirely clear. A river trip can be "coach led" but this was never clear as to whether this could be Level 1 with a 4* acting as a competent leader with no coaching taking place or whether the term "coach led" always mean that the coach must be appropriately qualified to provide coaching to that particular group within that environment.
The email regarding the forthcoming course which is obviously "coached" rather than "coach led" got me thinking about the whole wording issue again and how I should approach this in the future. I'm keen to get more people out on the rivers and I was being asked about more trips today. I've told people that I'm not doing anything now for a little while as I don't want to cause any issues for the club.
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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by 66quinny66 »

Oh, and it wasn't a challenge as to whether the intro trip was being run "within remit". You know how many coach (singular, thanks Mike) came out on my last trip and I need to know what level of qualified leaders / coaches I need to be pestering to get out with us to cover some of the things people are asking if I can coordinate.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by Mike A »

No worries Rich - with it being late I hadn't clicked that it was you asking, and typing on smart phone isnt the easiest with these big fingers!

I am all for peer to peer learning, and think that the truly amazing numbers of trips being run by competent paddlers is fantastic, but think that there are specific points where coach (or club quality assured) input works a treat. Also, some individuals require the knowledge that they are under an assessed coach in order to relax.

Whilst most things can be done by discovery learning, ie just getting out and paddling, I have a few ideas of events to run as coach led events that will not impose too much on the coaches - who need their own personal paddling time in order to stay sharp and up to speed / date.

So my thoughts are leaning towards intro courses followed by on trip learning, scheduled ww safety events and then drop in clinics running alongside personal development in peer groups. Following the intro ww course I plan on stealing the "Throwbag Olympics" idea and running that at a dock session - with an appropriate pre olympic training session for all paddlers on the intro courses or anyone else who is interested for that matter.

But if you have any requests for training etc, which you obviously have, happy for you to run them by me. Hopefully two heads will easier identify a way to meet that need. Either by scheduling an event or just bolting it onto a trip etc that is already running.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by scottdog007 »

davebrads wrote:
66quinny66 wrote:However, we do have a couple of "whitewater introductory courses" coming up which are advertised as "coach led". As these are courses rather than trips I'm guessing that these are coaching rather than leading so the appropriate quals would be needed.
The way we have addressed this in our club is to have a list of coaches who the committee consider are competent to coach on white water. So while their coaching remit might not allow them to coach in a certain environment, they can coach or lead a club organised activity in that environment.
Sadly the only thing wrong with this is if something goes tits up and someone get hurt the individual or the club could be open to being sued. We had a compatent 'coach' taking someone on an easy grade 2 and the shoulder came out of the other person. The coach was out of their remit and the other guy sued the club successfully. The BCU solicitors took over and delt with it, but they didn't have to they could have walked away.

But the BCU came down heavy on the club and told them to do things correctly. Now as there aren't sufficient coaches or leaders the club chose not to take on any new members, no one is allowed to run trips under the club name unless they are qualified. Sad.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by garya »

I think and easy way to describe the two differnt types of trips and level of support and leader is to uses the terms 'Guided trip' and 'Training trip'.

Guided Trip : This would consist of paddlers who have some basic level of competence or experince relevent to the difficulty of the trip, this could be evidenced by previous trips, and inhouse skills assement or star test. Paddlers would be able to indpendantly follow a line or route demonstrated or indicated by the guide.

There would be no formal teaching or coaching of technique beyond the sharing of top tips between peers. The guide would be 4* leader or higher relevent to the craft and enviroment of the trip.

Training Trip: This would consist of paddlers who wished to have formal trainging or assement to enable them to build the skills and experiance they wanted to improve there paddling. these could be novice or intermidiate paddlers.

This would be lead by a coach who would use a full rage of their Pedagogy skills in addtion to there paddling skills to structure a safe learning envioment for the paddlers. This would be lead by a Coach with the revlevent level or MWE or AWE depending on the enviroment.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by davebrads »

scottdog007 wrote:
davebrads wrote:
66quinny66 wrote:However, we do have a couple of "whitewater introductory courses" coming up which are advertised as "coach led". As these are courses rather than trips I'm guessing that these are coaching rather than leading so the appropriate quals would be needed.
The way we have addressed this in our club is to have a list of coaches who the committee consider are competent to coach on white water. So while their coaching remit might not allow them to coach in a certain environment, they can coach or lead a club organised activity in that environment.
Sadly the only thing wrong with this is if something goes tits up and someone get hurt the individual or the club could be open to being sued. We had a compatent 'coach' taking someone on an easy grade 2 and the shoulder came out of the other person. The coach was out of their remit and the other guy sued the club successfully. The BCU solicitors took over and delt with it, but they didn't have to they could have walked away.
Are you sure that someone successfully sued the club? The last sentence seems to suggest that the BCU successfully defended the claim. As far as I am aware, in order for someone to sue the club they would have to demonstrate that the coach was not competent to take someone on grade 2, that is going to be an expensive process with an uncertain outcome, and it is unusual for your average no win/no fee solicitor to take out any expense that they risk being unable to recover. All you would have to do in this instance is demonstrate that the person was competent - qualifications is one way, but another is the considered opinion of their peers, and that is what is achieved by having the list which is reviewed by the committee.

Please give more detail, or else your post will be just one more piece of the general scaremongering that prevents anybody being able to do anything these days.
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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by Mikers »

scottdog007 wrote:Sadly the only thing wrong with this is if something goes tits up and someone get hurt the individual or the club could be open to being sued. We had a compatent 'coach' taking someone on an easy grade 2 and the shoulder came out of the other person. The coach was out of their remit and the other guy sued the club successfully.
I hope that I will never come across this kind of person, I'm talking about the paddler, not the coach. I think there is a very clear moral here - peer paddle only with people you know well. It's a crying shame how one bad apple can spoil the barrell.

There is, and always will be some level of risk and some potential for injury in white water kayaking. Perhaps the paddler would have been better suited to knitting (with of course the addition of corks to blunt those nasty sharp needles.)

I have a 4* WW under the old scheme. I've never been on a coaching course, either old or new. I have however been coaching as an assistant for nearly 25 years. I regularly lead peer paddles on G2/3, I'll take a group that's suitable for the river, I think the maximum number I took was 11, but usual group size is six or seven. I have no problem with providing coaching to people on the trips. I'm waaay outside of my BCU remit, but the groups still operate safely.

I find the idea of a remit that limits you to a certain number of people to be crazy. The number of people that you can look after is not soley dependant on the skill of the person leading the trip. You must also take into account the skills of the people paddling, how their skills stand up to the environment in which they will be paddling and how those people operate as a team.

Not having the relevant BCU qualification does not mean that you're incompetant. Kayaking is not a licensed activity.
scottdog007 wrote:Sad.
Yes it is. Please post a link to the case you mention above.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Hypothetical scenario:

Two chaps out surf kayaking or maybe playboating; one drops on the wave while the other is still there, maybe on purpose, maybe by accident. A collision, first surfer gets a broken rib, not too bad. But, he is self employed and has to take two weeks off work with the inevitable loss of income.

Provided the second paddler is insured by having BCU membership, it would make sense for the first paddler to make a claim and to expect the insurer to pay up.

Please don't always assume that your knocks are just your own risk.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by Mikers »

Adrian Cooper wrote:Hypothetical scenario:

Two chaps out surf kayaking or maybe playboating; one drops on the wave while the other is still there, maybe on purpose, maybe by accident. A collision, first surfer gets a broken rib, not too bad. But, he is self employed and has to take two weeks off work with the inevitable loss of income.

Provided the second paddler is insured by having BCU membership, it would make sense for the first paddler to make a claim and to expect the insurer to pay up.

Please don't always assume that your knocks are just your own risk.
I totally disagree, your post pretty much sums up everything that's wrong with the blame and claim soceity that the UK is rapidly becoming.

What ever happened to the concept of personal responsibility? In your hypotherical scenario both paddlers have chosen to paddle in close proximity and in a inherently risky sport.

Pleae tell me you're playing devil's advocate.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by RizzRat »

I'm not sure where I stand on this one.....

I 100% agree it is a crying shame people are steadily being less willing to volunteer because of "remits" etc
However....

I represent people with aquired brain and spinal cord injuries. They are more often than not bikers who have been injured as a result of the negligence of others. The key word in all of the injury scenarios is negligence and it's a strong one. Lets be sensible here if the court (presuming it went that far) allowed it there would have been negligence involved along with a breached duty of care. It's not going to be the case where a club ran a trip, someone had a pretty unpreventable accident and then unreasonably went after the club/coach!

I don't think I like the idea of someone receiving a life changing injury aquired due to the fault of someone and then not being able to be compensated because they should have known it was dangerous.

No one says it to bikers!

I just deal with this on a daily basis and when you assist people coping with a really bad situation in person it changes your perspective.
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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by scottdog007 »

davebrads wrote:Please give more detail, or else your post will be just one more piece of the general scaremongering that prevents anybody being able to do anything these days.
I'm kind of frightened of saying too much more incase my club gets pissed with me.

The person leading / coaching was out of their remit.

The main problem is that when a club takes money like a membership fee the club then has obligations to the safety of that person. The club already has a form where people sign away the clubs liability, may be if the person on that day was qualified and had pointed out to the new member the risks, then may be no one could be sued. But that wasn't the case.

The person probably went to one of the solicitors that does the 'no win no fee' and he hammered the club well the BCU.

The BCU took over the legal side and asked us not to deal any more with the guy, they also pointed out they would not contest the case. The guy got a good bit of money.

Incidentally another club I know of had a similar situation at the same time and they were being sued as well. I do not know the result of what happened. I was told that this person seemed to make a habit of sueing companies over injuries.

Alas this is a reality of today.

It is a shame the BCU do not give more information on these cases.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by TechnoEngineer »

scottdog007 wrote: The person leading / coaching was out of their remit.
My understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) of "working under remit", is that the coach/leader can operate in an environment without needing to write a specific risk assessment.

My understanding is also that when working out of remit, a specific risk assessment should be written for the specific environment involved in the session.

The BCU remit definitions are also so limited that, if taken literally, any coach/leader could find themselves inadvertedly working out of remit on most real trips (unless they restrict their WW paddling to just the Barle etc)

Given the above, if working out of remit, does having conducted a risk assessment put the coach/leader in a better position legally (having demonstrated due diligence) and if so, would his position be reinforced further by requesting the paddlers agree to and sign said risk assessment?
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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by DaveB »

We keep having this sort of conversation from time to time. I suggest that the correct position is as follows. This assumes that all relevant paddlers are members of the BCU or of an affiliated Club and that nothing is said to the contrary in the Rules or Constitution of the Club:
1. Anyone can coach or lead on any grade of water. They do not have to have any BCU qualification or authorisation from a Club to do so. Anyone who leads or coaches has a duty of care which can be summarised as a duty to act in accordance with best practice in the sport. Anyone who fulfils this duty will not be negligent and therefore will not be liable for compensation for any accidents which may occur in what is a risk based activity.

2.Any paddler who, or Club which, is accused of negligence in paddlesport causing loss or injury to a third party is insured and the claim will be dealt with by the insurer and defended or settled as the insurer thinks fit at the expense of the insurer.

3. it is sensible practice for Clubs to draw a distinction betwen paddles/trips put together by members in their private capacity and paddles/trips put together by Coaches or Leaders holding a BCU quali or an equivalent authorisation from the Club and working within their remit and on behalf of the Club. This helps new members (and in particular parents of juniors) to make informed decisons about which paddles/trips they want to go on and should reduce the risk of accidents caused by negligence.


In response to the most recent post about the succesful claim made against the Coach who was working outside his remit I would bet that the point of the case was not simply that he was outside his remit but that a Coach/Leader within remit on the water in question would not have acted as the Coach/Leader in this case did. In other words the Coach was negligent and that is why compensation was payable.
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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by Mikers »

Yes, it would be nice to know that xyz settled out of court with the BCU for an undisclosed sum at the very least.

Then we all know who not to paddle with.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by garya »

i think this would be a good area for a CPD module from the BCU to give guidance for all new and updating coaches.

Club coaching and the Law

It could look at the following:

Insurance
Consent forms and young people under 18
Assumed risk / informed consent
Duty of care
Remit and Negligence
Good samaritan law in uk and aboard
BCU and Comercial insurnce cover
What to do in the event of claim for or against you

There is a lot of confusion on this and sometimes it is holding some clubs and coaches back from doing good work for there members or local communities. The Law is there to protect the coach just as much as the paddlers and will if they hove done all that could resonably have been expected.

Insurance will also make sure that in the unlikely event of somthing serious happening then the families and dependants of those involved and the padders them themselfs will be looked after. Given thet there are risks in paddling we really should have our own personal cover that is upto the job as well as robust cover for those we are leading in case we make an error leading to their injury. When you are laid up recovering it is not the time to be worring about paying bills because your insurance policy small print will not cover specific adventure activities or grades and types of water.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by scottdog007 »

I've kind of taking an interest in this kind of thing because 2 years ago I thought I was helping someone who was having trouble on the Tryweryn and I took over and led him down the top section, he went over pulled his shoulder and never paddled again. As a 4* leader I was out of my remit (grade 4 - Misses Davis Bridge). Theoretically he could has sued me or my club. This shook me up.

If run as a peer trip I guess no one is liable, but as soon as someone is responsible and money has been paid (club membership) then the rules change.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by garya »

scottdog007 wrote:I've kind of taking an interest in this kind of thing because 2 years ago I thought I was helping someone who was having trouble on the Tryweryn and I took over and led him down the top section, he went over pulled his shoulder and never paddled again. As a 4* leader I was out of my remit (grade 4 - Misses Davis Bridge). Theoretically he could has sued me or my club. This shook me up.

If run as a peer trip I guess no one is liable, but as soon as someone is responsible and money has been paid (club membership) then the rules change.
If you are more knowlegable or experianced then courts could still see that you owed an enhanced duty of care based on your experiance and should have stepped in to say stop or walk at some stage. Everyone is liable even on a peer trip with or without money being involved !!

If you are taking payment for services then HSE and AALA will impose a higher set of critiera and standards to you, especaily where young people are invovled.

In many cases involving adults if they are informed of the risks and possible outcomes and they still proceed, what is know as Assummed risk may be used to mitigate any claim against you since they choose to proceed and put themselfs into a position of danger knowing the risks after being made aware of them, and knowing the limitations of ther own experiance and ablity to safely take part in the activity.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by alexpethybridge »

scottdog007 wrote:I've kind of taking an interest in this kind of thing because 2 years ago I thought I was helping someone who was having trouble on the Tryweryn and I took over and led him down the top section, he went over pulled his shoulder and never paddled again. As a 4* leader I was out of my remit (grade 4 - Misses Davis Bridge). Theoretically he could has sued me or my club. This shook me up.

If run as a peer trip I guess no one is liable, but as soon as someone is responsible and money has been paid (club membership) then the rules change.
Surely as long as you point out that;

-kayaking is a risk sport, and there is a danger of injury or potentially death
-that he is free to stop and get out at any time
-you are only there to offer him reassurance and offer advice on how to paddle

then it isn't your fault.

I'm also confused as to why you think he could sue you, did anything you do cause him to pull his shoulder, or anything you didn't do that you should have done cause him to pull his shoulder? Because again if the answer to those questions is no, how are you at fault.

I'd like to point out this isn't a personal attack against you or the club, I just want to understand why you believe this. As far as I can tell, according to this, Person X shouldn't 'lead' members of Club Y down g3 rivers without spending an enormous sum of time and money first.
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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by scottdog007 »

alexpethybridge wrote:
Surely as long as you point out that;

-kayaking is a risk sport, and there is a danger of injury or potentially death
-that he is free to stop and get out at any time
-you are only there to offer him reassurance and offer advice on how to paddle

then it isn't your fault.

I'm also confused as to why you think he could sue you, did anything you do cause him to pull his shoulder, or anything you didn't do that you should have done cause him to pull his shoulder? Because again if the answer to those questions is no, how are you at fault.
This was early in my leadership experience, now I would do things differently. The day before I led him on the lower T which is in my remit, I didn't allow him to run Bala Mill Falls, he was disappointed especially as many others did and I was annoyed with myself. So the next day I led him on the Upper and felt abliged to make up for Bala Mill. What I DIDN'T do is say to him "this is out of my remit, you can run this upper section on your own risk, I can't be responsible if anything happens, but I can come with you and assist you".

But it was a club trip, I was out of my remit {grade 4, I can only lead on 2 (3)} so it is identical to the other incident I mentioned where the guy successfully sued.

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Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Mikers wrote:I totally disagree, your post pretty much sums up everything that's wrong with the blame and claim soceity that the UK is rapidly becoming.

What ever happened to the concept of personal responsibility? In your hypotherical scenario both paddlers have chosen to paddle in close proximity and in a inherently risky sport.

Pleae tell me you're playing devil's advocate.
I've given you a hypothetical scenario although it is based on a circumstance I know of. But perhaps, if I rack it up a little for you, it will put it into context. Two chaps out surfing. Everyone knows the rules about dropping in, don't they? One drops in on the other, boat digs into his back and he is paralysed from the waist down for the rest of his life. Does your attitude now change? Don't you think it would be work the injured paddler suing the other in order to recover some insurance money? Maybe you just think it's bad luck and part of the inherently risky sport.

k8tb2010
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:39 pm

Re: Minimum coaching quals for coaching on white water

Post by k8tb2010 »

This makes excellent reading and I'm happy to hear I'm not the only one who is confused. As part of a club we sought advice from the BCU ... But are getting mixed messages.

Any club trip must have a risk assessment, and indeed a dynamic risk assessment to be done on the day, potentially leading to not taking all/any paddlers onto the river, you are also expected to do risk assessments as you go along the trip and indeed potentially get off the river and call the trip off part way through.

If you want to use the BCU insurance it appears that you may not be represented should it go tits up and you are using experienced paddlers. All qualified coaches must be in remit. All experienced helpers/coaches out of remit need to have written evidence (log book) that is agreed either by the committee or a appropriate level coach that the experienced helper/coach is suitable.

To me it's dodgy ground... If in doubt don't do it.

A coach led trip or any club trip for that matter should probably fall in guided remits. A peer paddling trip is peer paddling however I know people who refuse to get any star awards or coaching qualifications because they feel they would then be liable should a situation arise. It's sad really!

A module for these uncertainties is an excellent idea!

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