Home Instructor Assessment


Award Definition:

The Flatwater Instructor Award is for people seeking a professional certification in flat water paddling environments.  The Australian Canoeing Award Scheme (ACAS) course is the industry benchmark certification designed to meet the needs of the canoeing and kayaking industry for education, recreational and tourism sectors nationwide.

Holders of the Flatwater Instructor Award have been assessed at and are qualified to lead and guide day and half day trips, plus instruct, facilitate and skill transfer to develop participants in order so that they may act independently or with minimal supervision on inland waters such as open lakes and rivers (but not on whitewater or at sea) in controlled conditions for inland kayaking and canoeing which include:

  • Sheltered and calm waters
  • Minimal wind
  • Ease of access to shore
  • Minimal flow of water



  • This is a full day assessment from approximately 8:00am to 4:00pm
  • All components of the assessment have to be completed within six weeks of the assessment date
  • Candidates must be prepared to put their skills and knowledge into practice and need to come prepared for all aspects of the assessment
  • Complete a written exam to demonstrate knowledge of: correct paddling technique, guide and instructional abilities, navigation, weather interpretation, ACAS structure, lesson planning, risk management and safety
  • In field assessment includes: paddling equipment scrutiny and set up, ability to brief & instruct paddling skills, group management and communication, ability to provide safety briefings, ability to perform efficient rescues and tows.
  • Current First Aid and CPR qualifications (when all paperwork is submitted to Australian Canoeing for registration)
  • Log book requirements:
    • logbooks should be clear, concise and verifiable by a third party
    • for assessment you will need to produce a verified log book showing over the previous two years at least:
      • a minimum of six paddling trips where each trip is of at least three hours’ duration in the type of craft for which you are being assessed
      • plus a minimum of three flatwater guided trips where each trip is of at least three hours’ duration as an assistant guide or an observer under training in the type of craft for which you are being assessed
      • plus, as an observer under training or as an assistant instructor: –
        • three paddling instructional activities of at least three hours duration
        • two off water sessions
      • this is in addition to the time spent on and off the water during your training and assessment courses
  • Complete a written ‘Assessment Project’
  • Please note:
    • a candidate is not registered as a Flatwater Instructor until all components of the assessment and registration process are completed and the appropriate fee for registration is paid
    • attendance and participation in a course is not a guarantee to successful assessment

Course Cost:

  • From $195 (with own craft & equipment) per person
  • Initial course cost is based on the course taking place within 25km drive of Queensland Canoeing Headquarters
    • if the course takes place more than 25km from QC HQ an additional fee will be charged per person
  • Craft & paddle hire available @ $30 per day
    • each participant must provide their own personal and rescue equipment
  • Course fee does not include Australian Canoeing Award Registration Fee
  • Please note: Courses need to meet minimum registration numbers to run on advertised dates. If sufficient numbers are not registered one week before the program, alternative arrangements will be made with registered participants.

Course Dates:         click on course date to book your place on a course

  • new dates coming soon

Course Location/s:

  • Sinbad Street Boat Ramp, Shorncliffe
  • Other course locations are available for private groups by negotiation

Paddle Craft:

  • You need to determine which craft you will be assessed in, as the award is also craft specific.
  • If you are teaching people in canoes, you will need the “Canoe Award”
  • If you are teaching people in kayaks, you will need the “Kayak Award”
  • If you are teaching people in sit-on-tops, you will need the “Sit-on-Top Award”
  • You may also hold both a canoe and kayak award in any ACAS award, however paddling skills and rescues will need to be assessed in both craft styles
  • Note:
    • the “Kayak Award” covers sit-on-tops
    • the “Sit-on-Top Award” does not cover kayaks


  • It is expected that all participants for instructor awards will supply their own equipment including craft, life jacket, paddle and rescue equipment
  • All personal equipment will require a safety check prior to commencement to determine its suitability for the paddling activity
  • Paddle clothing, including enclosed footwear needs to be suitable to get wet and swim in, be sun-smart and appropriate for the conditions

For Enquiries contact:

Steven Rowland, Education and Recreation Officer;

On 07 3899 1667 or by email to qc.education@canoe.org.au