Thursday, January 31, 2013

BCU Course: 5 Star Sea Assessment

We offer a number of BCU training and assessment courses across the UK, US and Europe. Please visit our Events page to see when classes you can join in on might be running. These programmes are also available on demand for groups of friends and clubs so get in touch to discuss dates. Here is one such course we provide - 5 Star Sea Assessment.

Location: Various

Description: This two-day discipline specific assessment is designed to show that a successful candidate has the appropriate level of skill to safely lead a group of paddlers on challenging journeys in advanced tidal waters and dynamic weather conditions typified by the Climate of the British Isles. This award is intended for paddlers who journey on the sea in areas where tidal races, headlands, open crossings, swell and overfalls will be encountered.

Achieving the award demonstrates that a candidate is competent to judge the conditions and the standard of the group to make appropriate decisions on the water as part of a planned route, while showing an understanding of the need to modify plans when required. The assessment will be against criteria set out in the BCU 5 Star Sea syllabus and will examine the following areas:

Personal Paddling Skills

• Launching and landing
• Efficient forward paddling
• Effective manoeuvring and boat control
• Navigation on the water and in poor visibility
• A range of self-rescues
• Rolling in rough water

Rescue Skills

• Application of appropriate rescue skills
• Different towing methods

Safety, Leadership and Group Skills

• Leadership, judgement and decision making processes
• Safety awareness and risk management
• Group care and management tactics
• Paddler welfare and community building
• Ability to handle a range of incidents


• Equipment
• Safety (includes coastguard and rescue services)
• Weather
• Hypothermia/ First aid
• Access
• Planning
• Group awareness and management
• Navigation
• General (and historical)
• Leadership responsibilities
• Water features/hazards

Prerequisites: Endorsed LR form; BCU 4 Star Sea; BCU 5 Sea Star training (or equivalent evidence); BCU Open Water Navigation and Tidal Planning (or equivalent course); a valid first-aid award (minimum 16 hours); 25 days logged experience in 3 different sea areas.

BCU Information: For syllabus details, visit the BCU website.

Contact: For more information, course fees or to register, e-mail:

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