Becoming an ACA Instructor

February 26, 2016

Love being on the water and working with people? Becoming an American Canoe Association (ACA) certified instructor may be just the thing for you! For almost 40 years, the ACA has been the leader in paddlesports education. Through the certification process a trainee becomes experienced in a specific and proven set of paddlesports best practices. Instructor Certification Workshops (ICWs) are offered in a variety of craft and venues including: River Canoeing, Canoe Touring, River, Kayaking, Coastal Kayaking, Surf Kayaking, Rafting, Stand Up Paddleboarding, and Safety & Rescue. The General Requirements for ACA Instructor Certification maintain that the instructors should be at least 18 years of age, must maintain a current ACA Membership and SEIC dues, must maintain an appropriate level of First Aid and age appropriate CPR trainings. The specific criteria for all certification levels and disciplines are available online. ( The certification process is fairly straightforward and includes: Resources:
  • Participate in an Instructor Development Workshop (IDW) and pass an Instructor Certification Exam (ICE). These courses are offered either as separate courses with time between for skills and presentation development and practice, or can be offered concurrently (at the discretion of the Instructor Trainer) as an Instructor Certification Workshop (ICW).
  • Perform paddling skills consistently with demonstration quality
  • Demonstrate effective teaching skills
  • Demonstrate technical knowledge of paddlesport
  • Demonstrate appropriate safety & rescue ability
  • Demonstrate effective group / course management and positive interpersonal skills

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