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ACAS: Leader in Paddle Sports Education

The Australian Canoeing Award Scheme (ACAS) is designed to meet the needs of the Paddling industry. This includes, clubs, commercial operators, freelance instructors and those that wish to improve there personal paddling skills, knowledge and safety.

Vision: Develop and maintain a quality paddling education pathway for all Australian’s.

Mission: To provide training and certification for Paddle sports leaders through a Nationally recognised assessment and registration system.

ACAS priorities:

Qualifications and Training: Ensuring ACAS provides quality professional qualifications making it the wanted award in the outdoor and paddling industry.

Professional Community: Ensuring ACAS meets current and future Guide and Instructor needs.

Leadership: Building relationships with Key stakeholders in the Paddling and Outdoor Industry.

Operational: Organised, current, consistent and knowledgeable department.

Sustainable: For the ACAS to e accessible and sustainable to its users.

Enclosed waters with no or little current, little wind influence and very small waves. Hazards are minimal and there is ready access to safe landing.

There is sufficient flow to produce small waves or riffles but not stoppers or standing waves. Obstacles are few and safe paths are easy to see and follow. Hazards are overhanging trees and submerged branches and fences.

The sea ranges from easy conditions close inshore with ready access to safe landings to open ocean with heavy swells, surf, and few safe landings. Away from the shelter of land, wind can generate choppy conditions. Knowledge of tides and weather is essential.

Qualifications and awards that can be used across multi disciplines.

Statement of Attainment information

RPL enrollment form

Consent form

Information Guide

Australian Canoeing in partnership with Scouts Australia are issuing the Statement of attainment set out below.

Flatwater skills Canoe

SISOCNE303A Apply canoeing skills

Flatwater skills kayak

SISOKYK302A Apply kayaking skills

Flatwater Guide Canoe

SISOCNE303A Apply canoeing skills

SISOCNE305A guide canoeing trips on flat and undemanding water

Flatwater Guide Kayak

SISOKYK302A Apply kayaking skills

SISOKYK304A guide kayaking trips on flat and undemanding water

Flatwater Instructor Canoe

SISOCNE303A Apply canoeing skills

SISOCNE305A guide canoeing trips on flat and undemanding water

SISOCNE306A Instruct canoeing skills on flat and undemanding water

Flatwater Instructor Kayak

SISOKYK302A Apply kayaking skills

SISOKYK304A guide kayaking trips on flat and undemanding water

SISOKYK407A Instruct kayaking skills on flat and undemanding water

Since 1949 Australian Canoeing has been the Peak Industry Body for canoeing and its qualifications have been regarded as ‘best industry practice’ since their implementation in 1976.

The AC Instructional and Guide Awards have been devised to give a leader the minimum level of competence to operate as a canoeing specialist in the outdoor recreation industry. This level of competence is AC’s recommended level for operation in the Award context.

Courses for the conduct of AC Instructor and Guide Awards are facilitated and delivered by National Training Providers approved by AC. These National Training Providers undergo an audit process to ensure that the training they deliver meets minimum industry standards.

Jason Dicker (Chair)


“Advanced Instructor Inland, paddler from 1975 to present. Teacher of physics to year 11 and year 12 students. Loves books, hates portages – legs are only good for helping rolls. Been instructing since about 1980. Fairly good paddler up to grade 4 nowadays. Sea canoeing is for very strange people.”

Andrea McQuitty

Bio coming soon

Graham Sharpe


Graham Sharpe has a strong history in operational risk management and training. He has over 10 years’ experience in training and education in a diverse range of specialisations. Graham is responsible for implementing a quality management system, for training and safety, for five Department of Sport and Recreation camps.

Outside of the department Graham is actively involved in a number of projects, industry forums and committees including as a Director for Australian Camps Association and Outdoors WA and is chairman of the Western Australian Industry Standards Panel.


  • Sport and Recreation Management
  • Diploma Training Design and Development and Training and Development
  • Advanced Diploma Work Health Safety
  • Diploma of Outdoor Recreation
  • Principal Auditor, Quality, Safety and Risk Management

Core Skills and Experience

Graham’s core skills include:

  • Ethical management and leadership
  • Problem solving and resolution
  • Strategic planning
  • Technical advice for outdoor leadership/recreation programs

Ian Hume

Bio coming soon

Mark Hessling


Mark began his involvement in paddle sports at an early age paddling
canoes with his parents.
After a break of many years Mark returned to paddling when he joined
QSKC to obtain some skills prior to paddling through the Svalbard Archipelago in 2012.
Through his involvement with QSKC Mark has qualified as a Sea Instructor and is the current President of QSKC.
Mark is also involved with QC conducting various recreation programs and conducts sea kayaking expeditions for schools.

Morgen Masuku


I started rafting in 1995 on the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe. A year later I started kayaking which provided the skills to be an all-rounder. Thus I started working as a Raft Guide, Safety boater and Video boater.

1999 I moved to Cairns, Australia where I worked as a Raft Guide on the Tully, North Johnstone and Barron river. I also managed to sneak-in a few kayak expeditions around the area.

I moved to Vail, Colorado where I worked as a Raft Guide. I did a lot of kayaking around that area. I then went back to vail for three seasons.

I also did 18 months in South America where I navigated rivers like the Apurimac, Futalefu, Trancura, Maipo and a few more. South America is a paddlers’ heaven. Highly recommend it for anyone who is comfortable in a kayak.

I joined Penrith Whitewater Stadium in 2002. During the winter breaks I have managed to explore more water ways around Australia, Japan and sometimes going back to USA.


Academically, I hove a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management and Industrial Relations. I am currently studying a Juris Doctor year of 2017.

Peter Carter

Peter Carter began paddling around 1970 and joined the then SA Canoeing Association. He became one of its instructors and for 11 years held the position of secretary. When the ACS Award Scheme began he became an ACF Instructor and was active in the then SA Board of Canoe Education. During the 1980s he joined the Australian Board, serving as its secretary for some years.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s period he paddled Sprint (K1) and Slalom (K1 and C1) with some success, and occasionally, Polo. Peter’s main interest has been in sea kayaking, and he was involved in a number of significant early expeditions in SA. Within the Award Scheme, he became Senior Instructor (Sea), although he is no longer paddling at that level.
One of his key interests has been the development and building of canoes and kayaks, with an emphasis on design and equipment for safe paddling at sea. Another interest has been the preparation and maintenance of training resource materials for the Award Scheme.
Peter continues active paddling at sea and on inland waters, including instructing and assessing.

The Basic Skills Award is purely an introduction and participant award that can be delivered and assessed by a current AC Lifeguard, Guide, Coach or Instructor.

ACAS Instructors who have held their award for greater than twelve months or with prior approval from AC  are able to deliver and assess the below skills awards.

Instructors delivering these awards will be covered by the Australian Canoeing Insurance as long as all AC Guidelines and procedures are followed.

If you wish to deliver a program, please complete and return the request form below. Once reviewed and accepted by AC, the appropriate paperwork will be sent to you.

Flatwater Instructor (day)

Basic Skills

Flatwater Skills

Flatwater Instructor with Overnight Endorsement

Above plus Overnight Endorsement

Whitewater Instructor

Basic Skills

Flatwater Skills

Whitewater Skills

Rescue 1

Whitewater Instructor with Overnight Endorsement

Above plus Overnight Endorsement

Enclosed Sea Instructor

Basic Skills

Flatwater Skills

Enclosed Sea Skills

Overnight Endorsement

Sea Instructor

Basic Skills

Flatwater Skills

Enclosed Sea Skills

Intro Sea Skills

Sea Skills

Overnight Endorsement