Instructor Certification

The reasons to pursue certification are vastly different for each Instructor Candidate, however what every person takes away from the certification workshop is remarkably similar.

First there is simply the experience gained and knowledge shared by fellow Candidates throughout the class. A lot of participants say they just want to be a sponge and absorb all kinds of new teaching ideas.

Second, through the certification process you’ll learn a specific and proven standard of practice.

As Instructor Trainers, we will demonstrate and teach a central model to which you can add your own creativity and personality to the presentation.


June 15-17, 2020
ADK at Heart Lake

American Canoe Association: Instructor Certification Workshop (ICW)


Teaching others to paddle is one of the most rewarding experiences a paddler can have. The American Canoe Association offers Instructor certification in a variety of Canoeing and Kayaking tracks. Each different Instructor program track offers Instructor certification at differing levels based on an individual Candidate’s personal skills and teaching ability. From the community volunteer who loves to paddle the local pond to the whitewater professional boater, the ACA offers a certification to meet the needs of the paddling public.

The Instructor Development Workshop will cover ACA Orientation, Teaching and Learning Theory, Equipment, Paddling Concepts, Strokes & Maneuvers, and Safety and Rescue. The Instructor Trainer facilitates group sessions to refine candidates skills and knowledge, drawing on the experience of the group.

During the Instructor Certification Exam, candidate performances are observed and graded by the Instructor Trainers. Each discipline has specific skills requirements, and all Instructor Candidates are evaluated and tested on teaching ability, interpersonal skills, attention to safety, modeling skills and general paddlesport knowledge. Candidates “teach” in three settings: a two minute pop-up topic; a prepared 5-15 minute indoor/dryland presentation; and an on-water stroke session which includes a stroke demo, followed by skills practice and feedback coaching session with your peers.

Fees and Materials

There are several fees associated with attaining Instructor Certification which include, but may not be limited to:

  • ACA Dues – Instructor Candidates must be current members of the ACA. Individual $25. Visit ACA for membership information. Dues are paid annually.
  • SEI Membership – As an Instructor, you support the Safety Education and Instruction Committee with an annual membership of $35.
  • Books and Materials – The ACA requires a number of texts as follows. These can all be purchased through the ACA Store at or
  • Instructor’s Manual $25 or CD $15
  • Introduction to Paddling: Canoeing Basics for Lakes and Rivers $5.95
  • Essentials of Kayak Touring $6.95
  • Teaching Outlines (Wekanu) $15
  • Administration Workbook prepared by the Instructor Trainer $25
  • Course Fee – The course fee will vary and is determined by the costs incurred by the host organization, the lead Instructor Trainer and Instructor Assistants.
    Travel, Meals and Lodging – Costs vary depending on the host facility.
  • Certification Fee – Estimate the individual investment (per head) for instructor certification or to prepare a budget for hosting an Instructor Certification Workshop and Exam at your organization.. Cert Fee = Dues + SEI + Books + Course fee. When comparing our fees to others, be sure to identify the Total Certification Fee.


  • We are available to come to your site for training IF you have a group of 4 or more candidates.  
  • If you are an individual interested in certification, complete the Contact Us form below, and we will keep you advised of upcoming certification programs.


Visit the American Canoe Association for More Info:

Click Here to view ACA Instructor Criteria

Click Here to view ACA Course Outlines

As ACA L3/L2 Certified Instructor Trainers, WEKANU offers certifications in the following tracks:

  • L1 Intro Canoe
  • L1 Intro Kayak
  • L2 Essentials of Canoe Touring
  • L2 Essentials of Touring Kayak
  • L3 FreeStyle Canoeing

Contact Us

Add my name to a list for updates regarding future instructor certification workshops.