Changes to Moderate Water Sea kayak Leader (4*)

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on the rocks
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Changes to Moderate Water Sea kayak Leader (4*)

Post by on the rocks »

I understand that next year the requirement for a two -day course and two day assessment is to be changed to no requirement for the course and only a one day assessment?

If so this seems to be a backward step. What is the logic behind the changes, and is there a risk that will they diminish the credibility of the qualification?

oooaaah
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Re: Changes to Moderate Water Sea kayak Leader (4*)

Post by oooaaah »

I think the ratios for leader assessments have also halved, so it should even out. Previously you could be 1:4 on a 2 day assessment, and now it's 1:2 for a single day.

On dropping the training requirement, I think the thinking is that most people will still need the training, but it allows flexibility for those who don't. Like those who have done similar training for another scheme, or abroad or something.

I'm thinking about doing a white water leader assessment next year, and the changes will be good for me. I've done white water leader training in the past, but it will have expired before I get around to doing an assessment. In the mean time I've done canoe leader training and assessment, so I've still been out leading on similar white water, and there is a lot of cross-over between them. Dropping the training requirement means if I feel up to it I can just jump straight in for assessment, or alternatively I can get some coaching that is more tailored to my needs, rather than something that ticks the boxes for an official training course. I think a single day at 1:2 will also provide a more natural assessment than 2 days at 1:4, because at 1:4 you spend a lot of time hopping between different candidates and don't feel much ownership of the day.

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Re: Changes to Moderate Water Sea kayak Leader (4*)

Post by robhorton »

I was told by a current assessor that it's normally obvious within a few minutes whether someone will pass or not. In theory, one advantage of doing it over two days is that if you mess something up on the first day you may get the opportunity to redeem yourself on the second day - although I think it's more often the case that the assessors will use the second day to find further evidence against you.

The guidelines do actually say a 2 day assessment at 1:4 is still possible so that may well be what actually happens in practice as there's normally one day focused personal skills and the other on group management (with mock students).

Currently the assessments need 2 assessors - that seems to have reduced to a single assessor. In theory having two pairs of eyes sounds good but I doubt they come to different conclusions very often.

Re the training - most people passing now will have considerably more than the required 2 days - I don't think removing the requirement makes much difference - as long as the assessment standard is the same it doesn't really matter how people got there.

robhorton
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Re: Changes to Moderate Water Sea kayak Leader (4*)

Post by robhorton »

Curious about the idea of a non-tidal sea leader award though (particularly the advanced version!). Presumably for the Med?

jamesl2play
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Re: Changes to Moderate Water Sea kayak Leader (4*)

Post by jamesl2play »

I went for the training a few years back and it cost me over £300 for a weekend.
I came away so disillusioned by the quality of the training that I have never bothered going for assessment.

It also occurs to me that given the restrictions placed on the Leader there are not many trips to be done within the remit.

This makes the award no more than another cub scout badge. Having said that if I could pop it off in one day I would be interested in getting it.
Not on the old scheme though which in total would probably cost me in excess of £500.

I hope an alternative is found that supports the people making a living from delivering these schemes.

Chris Bolton
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Re: Changes to Moderate Water Sea kayak Leader (4*)

Post by Chris Bolton »

Curious about the idea of a non-tidal sea leader award though (particularly the advanced version!). Presumably for the Med?
And the N American Great Lakes, I understand. BC qualifications are used in quite a few places. The Baltic has minimal tides (I've met Finns who've come to Anglesey for a bit of interesting water) and I think there are areas of SE Asia, popular for kayaking holidays, with minimal tide.

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Re: Changes to Moderate Water Sea kayak Leader (4*)

Post by seawolf856 »

robhorton wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:27 pm
Re the training - most people passing now will have considerably more than the required 2 days - I don't think removing the requirement makes much difference - as long as the assessment standard is the same it doesn't really matter how people got there.
Re the training - Initially I agreed with the idea that as long as the assessment standard was the same, it wouldn't really matter how people got there BUT when I thought about it, I have this award and when I was on the assessment I found that paddling skills, rescue skills and navigation were not the thing which were going to cause me any problems, in fact the most unusual element of the whole process was 'group dynamics' and dealing with people and getting people to buy into your decision making. I suppose it depends on how you interpret the term 'training'. I would still agree that most people who have reached the stage of wanting to have this qualification will have done a fair bit of paddling and would probably consider their boat handling skills and navigation were up to the job and think they don't need any 'training' however, when do we ever train for or practice group handling skills and diplomacy or assertive decision making in our normal paddling lives?
I know of people who I would consider to be better technical paddlers than me who have not passed this award, maybe they would have benefited from some 'group management' training.

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Re: Changes to Moderate Water Sea kayak Leader (4*)

Post by TheEcho »

Yes, the leadership skills can be quite separate from other skills. I am part of a large club, so yes there are people who have been working up their personal skills over the years doing sea kayaking and find leadership the most challenging , but I have seen people with different weaknesses from what you describe
- older folk who may have worked in armed forces or teaching, who find group leadership quite easy, so the personal paddling skills will be the decider when wondering about going for the qualification, particularly when they are getting inflexible and have picked up injuries
- Younger folk who are extremely competent whitewater paddlers and can do fancy tricks, who can’t figure out navigation to save their life.

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