Flatwater Guide and Instructor Training Course – 17th & 18th of August

This course is the Paddle Queensland pathway to prepare the participant for the Flatwater Guide or Flatwater Instructor Assessment to achieve their PAQS award.

Award Definition:

The Flatwater Guide and Instructor Awards are for people seeking professional certification in flat water paddling environments.

The Paddle Australian Qualification Scheme (PAQS) is the industry benchmark certification designed to meet the need for paddling qualifications for use in education, recreational and tourism sectors nationwide.  Where the activities take place 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

Flatwater Guide Award

Holders of the Flatwater Guide Award have been assessed at and are qualified to lead or guide day and half day trips.

  • i.e.: – you are able to impart the skills required for participants to partake in a day/half day trip with you, where if anything goes wrong you are there to deal with it.

Flatwater Instructor Award

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.

  • e.: – you are able to train a group of beginner students with practical and theory sessions to a level where they are able to plan and undertake a trip on their own (and/or pass the flatwater skills award), where if anything goes wrong, you have trained the students to deal with it.


  • Personal flatwater paddling skills as defined in the PAQS flatwater skills and guide awards
  • Recommended obtaining prior to course:
    • First Aid and CPR certificates (appropriate to your organisations requirements & area of operation)
    • some experience and logged hours working as an assistant or observer under training

Course Description:

  • The Paddle Queensland Flatwater Guide Training Course consists of two full days approximately 8:00am to 5:00pm each day
  • Participants should expect each day to consist of approximately half a day in a semi classroom-style environment and the other half of each day on the water
  • Candidates must be prepared to put their skills into practice and will be required to do some work prior to the course to assist in moving swiftly through the syllabus
  • Participants should come prepared for paddling sessions in both the morning and afternoon of the course
  • Please note:
    • this is a guide and instructor training course
    • it is not a skills course
    • candidates are expected to have the personal flatwater skills as identified in the “Flatwater Skills Award” prior to commencement of the course
    • an assessment day is also required to obtain the full certification

Course Cost:

  • From $395* (with own craft and equipment) per person *plus booking and processing fees.
  • Initial course cost is based on the course taking place within 20km drive of Paddle Queensland Headquarters
    • If the course takes place more than 20km PQ HQ an additional fee will be charged
  • Craft & equipment hire available
  • Course fee does not include Assessment and Paddle Australia 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, including the option for a new date or to pay an additional fee [to meet minimum numbers].

Click here to register

Course Location:

  • Wynnum Redlands Canoe Club, Esplanade, Thorneside, Qld 4158
  • Please Note: this may change depending on the location of all participants (an additional charge may be incurred)
  • Other course locations are available by negotiation

What I will learn:

  • Subject matter that will be covered includes but is not limited to:
    • paddling guiding skills
    • refining paddling technique
    • rescues
    • paddling instruction techniques and teaching methodology
    • PAQS overview
    • minimal impact practice
    • interpreting weather
    • navigation
    • trip, route, float plans and risk management planning
    • group management
    • personal and group guiding equipment

Paddle Craft:

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


  • It is expected that participants will supply their own equipment including craft, life jacket and paddle
  • Please bring your rescue and safety equipment
  • 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
  • Please also bring
    • lunch, snacks, towel, change of clothing and water bottle
    • chair, clipboard, notebook and pens
    • ruler, pencil, protractor, compass, dividers and calculator

What Next:

  • Booking your assessment
  • As this is the training to achieve your Flatwater Guide certification you will need to book into a separate assessment to achieve your qualification
  • Prior to booking your assessment you should read the assessment requirements for the certification to ensure you can achieve them including the log book requirements within the designated time frame of six weeks from the date of the assessment
  • Assessments are conducted over 1 day requiring additional costs for both the practical assessment plus qualification registration with Paddle Australia
  • To complete your qualification in addition to your assessment you will need to:
    • meet log book requirements for the Flatwater Guide Award
    • complete an assessment project

For Enquiries Contact:

Steven Rowland,

Education & Recreation Officer

Email:    education.qld@paddle.org.au

Mobile:  0408 286 332  (Mon-Fri 9am to 4pm)

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