Water classification

This is our new grading scheme for qualifications you'll need for water activities at Girlguiding.

You can see each activity based on the type of water it'll take place on it. The type of water differs for each activity. This makes it easier to link to National Governing Body (NGB) and Girlguiding qualifications.

For full definitions of sheltered water, very sheltered water and other classifications, see the British Canoeing Environmental definitions guidance.

Check the activity and then the type of water to see the qualifications you'll need.

Bell boating

Very sheltered water

Bellboat helm or paddlesport instructor with bell boat experience. Paddlesport instructors should be supervised by a Coach Award holder unless they have been approved to work independently. Read about deploying paddlesport instructors (PDF).

Sheltered water

Bellboat helm or coach award holder with bell boat experience.

Canoeing, kayaking, sit-on-top kayaks, katakanus

For prior qualifications and their equivalency see our British Canoeing qualification equivalency guide (PDF).

Very sheltered water

Paddlesport instructor. Paddlesport instructors should be supervised by a Coach Award holder unless they have been approved to work independently. Read about deploying paddlesport instructors (PDF).

Sheltered water

Coach award holder.

Moderate inland water

Canoe coach, White water kayak coach.

Moderate sea

Sea kayak coach.

Advanced inland water

Advanced canoe coach, advanced White water kayak coach.

Advanced sea

Advanced sea kayak coach.

Dingy Sailing

Dingy instructor.

Where a powerboat is being used as a safety craft then the driver should hold a minimum of Royal Yachting Association National Power Boat Certificate Level 2.

Improvised rafting

Improvised rafting is where poles, barrels and ropes, or similar items are used to construct a craft for use on the water for a short period of time before it will be dismantled.

Very sheltered water

Paddlesport instructor with experience of rafting. Paddlesport Instructors should be supervised by a Coach Award holder unless they have been approved to work independently.

Sheltered water

Coach award holder with experience of rafting.

Inflatable activities

Activity to take place in Unclassified or Very Sheltered Water only.

No National Governing Body award is present for this activity, the provider should provide in house training for staff delivering the activity, who should be competent at rescues, and have attended formal training. Where participants can fall from the inflatable into the water then there must be staff in appropriate craft on the water to perform rescues if required. Sufficient staff should be provided to view all areas of the inflatable.

Kite surfing

British Kitesports Association instructor Level 1 qualification.

Narrowboating

Canals

Girlguiding UK modules 1-3 of the narrowboat scheme.

Rivers

Girlguiding UK modules 1- 4 of the narrowboat scheme.

Rivers or estuaries that have tidal movement

Activity for adults only: Girlguiding UK modules 1-4, plus experience.

Pedalos or hired rowing craft

May be used on ornamental or shallow boating lakes without instruction and without buoyancy aids provided that girls are in sight of a leader at all times, the lake is managed and a leader in the group has the ability to rescue from water, treat for hypothermia, and can administer CPR. In these lakes, the girls should be able to stand up in the water. Neither should there be flow, nor should it be affected by wind.

Personal watercraft/jet skis

Inland water

Royal Yachting Association Powerboat Instructor Inland.

Coastal water

Royal Yachting Association Powerboat Instructor with coastal Endorsement.

Powerboating

Inland Water

Royal Yachting Association Powerboat Instructor Inland.

Coastal Water

Royal Yachting Association Powerboat Instructor with coastal endorsement.

Rowing

British Rowing Session Coach or UK Coaching Club Level 2 Coach.

Stand-up paddleboards

Very sheltered water

BSUPA Level 1 Instructor or Paddlesport Instructor. Paddlesport instructors should be supervised by a Coach Award holder unless they have been approved to work independently. Read about deploying paddlesport instructors (PDF).

Sheltered water

  • British Stand Up Paddleboarding Association Level 1 Instructor
  • British Canoeing Coach Award holder with Stand Up Paddleboard module
  • British Canoeing Sheltered Water SUP Coach
  • British Stand Up Paddleboarding Association Level 1 Instructor
  • British Canoeing Open Water SUP coach

Open water

British Stand Up Paddleboarding Association Level 1 Instructor or British Canoeing Open Water SUP coach.

White water up to grade 3

British Canoeing White Water SUP coach or British Canoeing WW Coach with WW SUP Award.

Sea up to 500 m from shore

British Stand Up Paddleboarding Association Level 1 Instructor or British Canoeing Surf or Sea Kayak Coach Award holder with SUP surf award.

Surfing

International Surfing Association Level 1 Surf Instructor.

Wake boarding, tube boarding or water-skiing

If the participants are to be towed behind a powerboat then the driver must have an Royal Yachting Association Level 2 and be experienced in towing skiers or boarders. Alternatively, they should hold a British Water Ski and Wakeboard Ski Boat Driver award. There should always be an observer on board any craft towing.

For cable tows in house training should be provided for the staff delivering the activity and they should have access to a rescue craft.

White water rafting

Man-made artificial sites

Stadium raft guide or IRF guide (class 3).

Natural Rivers

River raft guide (class 2, 3 or 4).

The class of raft guide must match the grade of water as per British Canoeing's descriptions.

White water tubing

No National Governing Body award is present for this activity, the provider should provide in-house training for staff delivering the activity, who should be competent at White Water Rescues and have attended formal training.

Windsurfing

Windsurfing instructor.

Where a powerboat is being used as a safety craft then the driver should hold a minimum of Royal Yachting Association National Power Boat Certificate Level 2.

Zorbing

Activity to take place in unclassified or very sheltered water only.

No National Governing Body award is present for this activity, the provider should provide in house training for staff delivering the activity. The ball in which the participant is in must have a tether to the bank unless it is in an exceedingly small space, such as a paddling pool.