Paddle Canada Qualifications

We are currently reviewing the Paddle Canada qualifications listed on the Outdoor Education activity pages. Please stay tuned for more information.

Outdoor Education (Flat Water Kayaking)

Pools, Lake Water Kayaking, Base Camp Kayaking

Elementary - Intramural 2019

  • Grades 7 and 8 only.
  • White Water Canoeing, White Water Kayaking, White Water Rafting and Canoeing Moving Water are not appropriate activities at the Elementary level.
  • Consult Risk Management.
  • This activity page must be presented to the activity provider prior to the activity taking place. The activity provider must meet the minimum requirements listed on this page. For more information on planning trips using outside providers, consult Outside Activity Providers.
  • Also consult Outdoor Education (General Procedures).
  • Consult Outdoor Education (Swimming) if swimming is involved.

Equipment

  • Determine that all equipment is safe for use (for example, no sharp corners, cracks, or splinters). Students must be encouraged to report equipment problems to the teacher.
  • Kayak with adequate floatation in nose and stern to prevent kayak from sinking when full of water.
  • Paddle (1 per paddler) and kayak checked for cracks, splinters and leaks.
  • One buoyant heaving line of not less than 15m (49’) (for example, throw rope rescue bag) per kayak.
  • One bailer (bailer must be at least 750mL [9oz] with an opening of 65cm2 [10in2] and constructed of plastic and/or metal) per kayak.
  • One waterproof flashlight per kayak.
  • Correctly fitting and Transport Canada approved personal flotation device (P.F.D.)/life-jackets, with whistle attached, must be worn and properly fastened at all times when near or on the water.

Refer to the First Aid section for first aid equipment requirements.

Clothing/Footwear/Jewellery

  • Appropriate clothing and footwear must be worn. Determine that all necessary clothing and footwear are included prior to departing on the excursion. Dry change of clothing kept in a watertight bag/container must be accessible.
  • When long hair poses a safety risk it must be secured. Devices (for example, hair pins, clips and barrettes) used to tie back long hair must not present a safety concern.

Facilities

  • Check with local authorities for current information regarding route safety.
  • Water conditions must be appropriate for the type of kayak being used and the skill level of the group.
  • Determine that all facilities are safe for use. Students must be encouraged to report facility problems to the teacher.

Environmental Considerations

  • When environmental conditions may pose a risk to student safety (for example, thunderstorms [lightning] or student(s) with asthma, triggered by air quality), teachers must take into consideration their school board/school’s protocols and procedures related to:
    • environmental conditions (consult Weather); and
    • insects (for example, mosquitoes and ticks [consult the school/school board’s protocols and/or regional Public Health Department’s website]).
  • Students must receive instruction on safety procedures related to environmental conditions and be made aware of ways to protect themselves (for example, sun burn, heat stroke).
  • At all times the school board’s weather and insect procedures are the minimum standards. In situations where a higher standard of care is presented (for example, outside activity providers, facility/program coordinators), the higher standard of care must be followed.
  • Teacher and instructor must:
    • be aware of and respond to changing weather and water conditions, prior to and during the trip; and
    • cancel, postpone or alter the excursion if conditions put students’ safety at an elevated level of risk. (for example, wind, temperature, lightning storms, fog).
  • Visibility of 500m (1640’) is required.
  • If storm weather suddenly approaches, leave the water immediately.
  • Daylight kayaking only except under emergency situations.
  • Navigation lights (for example, waterproof flashlight) are required if operating at night or in restricted visibility.

Special Rules/Instructions

  • Be aware of students whose medical condition (for example, asthma, anaphylaxis, casts, previous concussion, orthopaedic device) may affect participation. Consult Medical Conditions.
  • Students must not participate in the activity until they receive information on concussion prevention specific to the activity, inherent risks of the activity (for example, outline possible risks and ways to minimize the risks), and procedures and rules for safe play. Students must receive instruction on the importance of reporting symptoms related to a suspected concussion.
  • Refer to the school board’s transportation procedures related to communicating with parents/guardians the location of an off-site activity and the means of transportation used as well as to the need for obtaining parent/guardian permission.
  • Parents/guardians must be informed that all students will wear a correctly fitting and Transport Canada approved PFD/lifejacket, with whistle attached, when near or on the water.
  • Students that aren’t required to take a swim test or students that have not passed the swim test without a personal flotation device (PFD) must not enter the water (including bathing).
  • Activities must be modified according to the age, ability level, language, and experience of students and the facility available.
  • Previous training, fitness level, and the length of time and intensity of physical activity must be taken into consideration.
  • Activities must be based on skills that are taught.
  • Skills must be taught in proper progression.
  • A proper warm-up and cool-down must be included.
  • When a student displays hesitation (verbally or non-verbally) with participating, the teacher must determine the reason(s) for doubt. If the teacher believes that a potential hesitancy during the skill could put the student at risk, the student must be directed toward a more basic skill, or be permitted to select a challenge at their comfort level, including the choice to not participate.
  • Students with Special Needs: Prior to participation the teacher must address student's safety concerns and make appropriate accommodations/modifications to provide a safe learning environment.
  • Adequate liquid replacement (personal water bottles, water fountains) must be accessible for students before, during, and after physical activity to prevent dehydration.

Kayaking Skills

  • Prior to flat water kayaking, a prerequisite test must occur in a pool, shallow water, or sheltered bay for which students must demonstrate to the instructor competence in kayaking skills, as follow:
    • Launching a kayak
    • Proper entry/exit from kayak;
    • Emptying the kayak (beach and dock);
    • T-rescue;
    • Wet exit; and
    • Maneuver using the following basic strokes:
      • forward
      • backstroke
      • front sweep
      • back sweep
      • draw stroke
      • bracing
      • stopping

Supervision

  • All activities must be supervised.
  • The level of supervision must be commensurate with the inherent risk of the activity. The level of risk increases with the number of participants, the skill level of the participants, and the type of equipment used.
  • On-site supervision is required.

Refer to the Swim Test section for the swim test supervision ratios.

Supervision Ratios for Instructional Time

  • 1-8 Students: personnel and qualifications required are 1 supervisor, 1 first aid certification, and 1 lifeguard certification. These qualifications can be fulfilled by one or more supervisors.

Refer to the definition of Instructional Time.

Qualifications

Refer to the Swim Test section for the swim test aquatic instructor qualification requirements.

Instructor Qualifications

  • A trip guide or instructor must possess ORCKA Flatwater Kayaking Instructor Certification, Paddle Canada Basic Kayak Instructor, or equivalent.

Lifeguard Qualifications

  • A lifeguard must be 18 years of age or older and possess a current (the date on the certificate must not be older than two years) lifeguard certificate issued by one of the following organizations:
    • Canadian Red Cross – Pool/Waterfront Lifeguard
    • Lifesaving Society – National Lifeguard – Pool/Waterfront
    • Equivalent certificate approved by Minister of Health and Long Term Care
  • A student may not act as a lifeguard if they are participating in the activity.

Refer to the Swim Test section for the swim test lifeguard qualification requirements.

First Aid

  • A working communication device (for example, satellite or cell phone, or satellite GPS messenger) suitable for the activities/locations must be available. This device must be maintained, waterproofed, protected and dedicated for emergency communications only. The phone number for the device, and phone numbers for emergency services and school contact people (for example, the principal) must be included with the phone.
  • At least one teacher, trip guide, instructor, or supervisor must have a minimum of a current (not more than three years prior to the day on which the holder is on duty) first aid certificate (standard or higher) issued by one of the following agencies: St. John Ambulance; Canadian Red Cross; Lifesaving Society; Canadian Ski Patrol; or an organization whose certificate is deemed equivalent by the medical officer of health in the local health unit.
  • Follow the school's first aid emergency response (consult First Aid Plan and First Aid Emergency Response) and the school board’s concussion protocol (consult Concussions).
  • An emergency action plan and response to deal with evacuations and lock downs must be followed and communicated to students.

Safety Craft

  • If instruction is taking place in a pool, no safety craft is required.
  • A safety craft is a designated craft that is rescue-capable, taking into consideration necessary factors (for example, distance from shore, weather, water and wind conditions), and contains at least one instructor, trip guide or individual who meets the first aid certification.
  • A safety craft must be in the water and accessible while students are kayaking. The safety craft need not be motorized. If the safety craft is a motorized craft then the operator of the motorized safety craft must have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card. The operator of the safety craft, whether craft is motorized or not, must have experience in navigating the craft.

Swim Test

Swim Test for Watercraft

  • Prior to the activity, students must successfully complete the following swim test in its entirety, in sequence and without any aids or stops:
    • rolling entry (backwards or forward) into deep water at 2.75m (9’) minimum depth
    • tread water for 1 minute
    • swim 50m (164’) continuously any stroke
  • The swim test must be administered by a certified aquatic instructor or a certified Lifesaving Society National Lifeguard (the test is based on the Lifesaving Society’s Swim to Survive™ Standard).
  • The swim test must be completed within the school year in which the activity is taking place.
  • In lieu of completing the swim test, students may provide proof of a Bronze Medallion certification or higher.
  • Results of the swim test must be documented and communicated as per school board policy.
  • Students who do not pass the swim test or who do not have the aforementioned certification must not participate in the activity.

Aquatic Instructor Qualifications for the Swim Test for Watercraft

  • An aquatic instructor must possess both an aquatic instructor certificate and a lifeguard/assistant lifeguard certificate that are dated not more than two years prior to the date on which they are acting as an aquatic instructor and lifeguard. If the aquatic instructor does not hold a lifeguard certificate or an assistant lifeguard certificate, a certified lifeguard must also be on deck during the swim test. When the swim test is administered at a waterfront, aquatic instructors must also hold a lifeguard certificate.
  • Aquatic Instructor Certificates for Pools and Waterfronts:
    • Canadian Red Cross - Water Safety Instructor Certificate
    • Lifesaving Society - Instructor Certificate
    • YMCA - Instructor Certificate
    • Ontario Teachers Aquatic Standard (OTAS) - for pool situations only
  • Verified copies of certification must be available in the swimming area.

Lifeguard Qualifications for the Swim Test for Watercraft

  • A lifeguard must be 18 years of age or older and possess a current (the date on the certificate must not be older than two years) lifeguard certificate issued by one of the following organizations:
    • Lifeguard Certificates:
      • Canadian Red Cross – Pool/Waterfront Lifeguard
      • Lifesaving Society – National Lifeguard – Pool/Waterfront
      • Equivalent certificate approved by Minister of Health and Long Term Care
    • Assistant Lifeguard Certificates:
      • Canadian Red Cross - Assistant Lifeguard
      • Lifesaving Society - Bronze Cross
      • Equivalent certificate approved by Minister of Health and Long Term Care
  • A student may not act as a lifeguard if they are participating in the activity.
  • Lifeguard certification is the only acceptable standard in a recreational camp waterfront scenario.
  • Verified copies of certification must be available in the swimming area.

Supervision Ratios for the Swim Test for Watercraft

Pool Swim Test

  • There must be a minimum of 2 certified aquatic instructors on deck or in the pool.
  • Supervision ratio is 2 certified aquatic instructors per 1-50 students, with both instructors also certified as lifeguards or one lifeguard and one assistant lifeguard.
  • In situations where there are 51-75 students, an additional certified aquatic instructor is required.
  • If assistant lifeguards are used, the number of assistant lifeguards on deck may never exceed the number of lifeguards.

Waterfront Swim Test

  • There must be a minimum of 2 certified aquatic instructors at the waterfront or in the water.
  • Supervision ratio is 2 certified aquatic instructors per 1-25 students, with both instructors also certified as lifeguards.
  • In situations when there are 26-100 students, an additional certified lifeguard is required.

Definitions

  • Constant Visual Supervision:
    • Constant visual supervision means that the teacher is physically present, watching the activity in question. Only one activity requiring “Constant visual” supervision may take place while other activities are going on.
    • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For high jump, the teacher is at the high jump area and is observing the activity.
    • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For parachute, the intramural supervisor is at the event and is observing activity.
  • Flat water kayaking:
    • Kayaking on lake water or river where no rapids exist and eddies are very slight.
  • In-charge Person:
    • Some activities refer to an “In-Charge” person. While the teacher is in-charge and responsible for the overall safety and well-being of students under their care, sometimes there are other personnel who must be identified as “In-Charge” related to specific situations (for example, a pool lifeguard). In activities where an “In-Charge” person is designated, that person, in consultation with the teacher, must make final decisions regarding safety of the students
  • In-the-area Supervision:
    • In-the-area supervision means that the teacher could be in the gymnasium while another activity is taking place in an area adjacent to the gymnasium. In-the-area supervision requires the teacher to be readily accessible.
    • In-the-area supervision occurs:
      • in activities in which students may be out of sight for periods of time and the location of the teacher is not nearby (for example, alpine skiing, cross-country running). At least one of the following criteria must be in place:
        • The teacher is circulating
        • The location of teacher has been communicated to students and volunteers
      • in single activities and those that may be combined (for example, other in- the- area activities such as badminton, table tennis, handball – wall) with the following criteria in place:
        • The teacher must be circulating between the activities and readily accessible
        • The teacher informs students of the location of the activities
    • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For distance running, the students are running around the school and at times may be out of sight.
    • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For a scavenger hunt, the students are running around the school grounds and at times may be out of sight.

  • Instructional Time:
    • Instructional time is defined as time during which there are organized activities or instructions. Examples of instructional time are lessons, events, practice, and games.
  • Instructor:
    • An individual who provides instruction on skills and possesses the required certifications. This role could be fulfilled by a teacher, parent/guardian/volunteer or an employee of an outside provider.
  • Lifeguard, Assistant Lifeguard and Aquatic Instructor:
    • Refer to the Qualification section.
  • On-site Supervision:
    • On-site supervision entails teacher presence but not necessarily constantly viewing one specific activity. Momentary presence in adjoining rooms (for example, equipment room) to the gym is considered part of “on-site supervision”.
    • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For a relay, the students are practising on the track and can be seen by the teacher who is with the high jumpers.
    • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For relay games, the students are participating on the playground and can be seen by the intramural supervisor.
  • Outside Activity Provider:
    • An outside facility contracted by the school/board to provide activity services.
  • Parent/guardian/volunteer:
    • An adult who has been approved by the principal and has been instructed on responsibilities (for example, monitoring [supervision]).
  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD):
    • According to Canadian Red Cross, “A Canadian approved PFD is designed to keep you afloat in the water. PFDs were designed for use in recreational boating and are generally smaller, less bulky and more comfortable than lifejackets. They have less flotation than lifejackets, and have limited turning capacity, but are available in a variety of styles and colours.”
  • Supervision:
    • The vigilant overseeing of an activity for regulation or direction. Activities, facilities, and equipment have inherent risks, but the more effectively they are supervised, the safer they become.
    • The Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education designate three categories of supervision, Constant visual supervision, On-site supervision, and In-the-area supervision. The categories take into consideration the risk level of the activity, the participants’ skill level and the participants’ maturity. The three levels of supervision described are not hierarchical but represent the type of supervision that an activity requires and the type of supervision that is inherently possible.
  • Supervisor:
    • A supervisor is a teacher, parent/guardian/volunteer, or trip guide. This term is used only in relation to supervision ratios.
  • Teacher:
    • A person with a current certification from the Ontario College of Teachers, under contract by the school/board. This person is legally responsible for the students.
  • Trip Guide:
    • An individual who has the required certifications and/or knowledge/skills of the route and activity. This role could be fulfilled by a teacher, a parent/guardian/volunteer or an employee of an outside provider, and must be approved by the school/board.

Mon, 08/26/19 05:29 pm

Question Mark

Ask Ophea

Have questions? Fill out our Ask Ophea webform.