There will be three tiers of membership:

Trainee status

Full membership for L5 who meet the full criteria of the Association

Honorary membership

There are many very experienced L5 who for various reasons may not have been as active recently in their personal paddling. These coaches however in the past have been very active paddlers and coaches and have vast experience to offer. These coaches can also become Full members at any time by providing evidence of recent activity.

Likewise Full membership can be withdrawn from if evidence of personal paddling activity is not provided every 2 years.

This ensures there is transparency within the Association and what you get is what is says on the label.

Membership will be free to all members for the first year. We hope to raise funds by advertising to pay for the site and its upkeep. This will be reveiwed as the site builds and we can offer more services for our members.


If you are a trainee you are welcome to join. Your name will appear on the site with your details and you won’t be able to use the logo. There is a trainee rep and we hope to keep you informed of updates and training opportunities. You will be able to share information with other trainees.

To join just send your name, contact details and the date you completed your training course to our email address.


The Association is free to join, there are no fees for advertising your services and you will get a link to your website as well. Members will be sent a logo for electronic or print use. Any enquiries to the site for work will be circulated to all the members free of charge.

The Association is all about remaining active as a paddler as well as a coach, so we expect our members to be having their own adventures in their spare time. What do we mean by adventures? Any expeditions to a challenging or remote area of 3 weeks or more would count as your validation for 2 years, be this inland, sea or canoe. If you have your adventures in the UK or Europe, we would expect you to be doing a minimum of 15 days a year of paddling rivers of a variety of grades including grade V.

For sea paddlers, this would be committing offshore paddles or open crossings, paddling in strong tide races and multi day trips. None of this should be coaching work.

For surfers, paddling in a variety of conditions, both weather and surf, visiting a new area or playing their local breaks on a regular basis.

For Open Boaters, a variety of rivers, be it multi-day trips or challenging white water rivers. For all disciplines this should be personal paddling not paid work.

How to apply

The application procedure is fairly straightforward. We rely on peer policy to validate the applicant’s experience both in paddling and coaching and that they are keen to be part of the Associations ethos. If you fit the criteria it would be great to have you as a member.

Identify a proposer and a second who are already members and can verify your paddling experience. Send a photocopy of your L5 certificate and summary of your personal paddling experience along with your proposers and second endorsement.

Recently qualified L5 cannot join for 6 months to allow time for them to coach at a higher level.

To apply for membership, download the application form, complete and post to the APC.

Website by Ceris Meredith