For instructor training and certification, WO is a delivery partner of the national Whitewater Kayaking Instructor Program with Canoe Kayak Canada.

The Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) Whitewater Kayak Instructor program is the nationally recognised certification for whitewater kayaking.

The CKC program is part of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). The NCCP is ran by the Coaching Association of Canada and offers qualifications in many different sports.

The program also operates in tandem with Paddle Canada qualifications - when you obtain a CKC qualification you automatically gain the equivalent Paddle Canada qualification.


The NCCP Kayaking qualifications are:

  • Pool Kayak Instructor – Qualifies instructor to lead a pool kayaking session. Ideal entry point for new instructors. No need to have a background in paddling. Well suited to lifeguards. Instructs the basics to new paddlers including propulsion, basic strokes and wet-exits.
  • Lake Kayak Instructor – Qualifies instructor to lead and instruct paddlers on lakes. Demonstrates and instructs rolling, edging and basic strokes to new paddlers to prepare them for whitewater.
  • River Kayak Leader 2 – Qualifies leader to lead intermediate paddlers down class 1-2 rivers.
  • Whitewater Kayak Leader 3 – Qualifies leader to lead paddlers on class 3 whitewater.
  • Whitewater Kayak Instructor 3 – Instructor instructs advanced paddlers on class 3 whitewater.


Leader : Recommended training and certification for group/trip leaders responsible for guiding paddlers. This can stand alone for the Class of whitewater you are leading on. (e.g. L2 for Class II rivers).

Instructor: A higher competency level than leader, who leads groups and teaches as they go. Therefore the candidate must have Leader qualification to also become certified as Instructor. This criteria applies at all levels.

Each qualification is a prerequisite for the next.

Paddlers must be 16 year of age to can gain trained status and 18+ to gain certified status.

To obtain an NCCP sport qualification all participants must pass the Making Ethical Decisions module, this can be taken online.

The Pool and Lake Instructor course is a two day course hosted at a club or paddling centre, such as Madawaska Kanu Centre (Barry's Bay) and other host sites as determined. Evaluation is held during the two days.

The Level 2 is a five day course which combines both the "Leader" + "Instructor" qualifications into one course called L2i2. The course evaluation is held at the end of the course. It is suitable for teaching on Class II rivers.

The Level 3 course combines both the "Leader" + "Instructor" qualification called L3i3. It includes the evaluation. It is also a 5-day course which is held on the Ottawa river and other locations who wish to host. It is suitable for teaching or leading on Class III rivers.


Depending on experience and training a candidate may challenge an "evaluation day" for any course, but taking the training is the best way to ensure success within the program, and a full grasp of how to teach and lead kayaking in whitewater.

If a candidate wants to challenge and be evaluated for the L2i2 or L3i3, special arrangements must be coordinated with our Director of Instruction. Due to strict candidate-to-instructor safety ratios, a request to challenge is dependant on space available. The host agency shall discuss this request with the WO Director of Instruction.

If you want to know more about how the CKC program works, or want to run a CKC course for your club, contact your WO Director of Instruction.

Our schedule of courses is integrated in our Events Calendar.