Warning not all shops have trained instructors. I am not going to rat anyone out but there is a reason why I am writing this post. I wanted to bring this to your attention.
With hard economic times some shops are claiming that they uphold a level of safety by claiming that they hold an ACA certification. Now, I know several instructors who are honest about why they do not belong to the ACA or associate themselves with the BCU. And these people do not pass themselves off as ACA or BCU members (we can debate their whys in the comments)
I am only focusing on the liers. I think they are claiming that they are members of the American Canoe Association and or the British Canoe Union to compete with other retailers and local ACA / BCU instructors. A person can still be safty minded if they do not belong; however, if an instructor starts with a lie can you trust them with your safety? I think safety should always come first and I question just how safe these people are on the water.
Most ACA and BCU Instructors adhere to the guidelines of the organization that certified them for paddling knowledge and water safety. This means that they teach in a prescribed manor. The ACA and BCU want their instructors to teach a particular way to increase the safety of the student. It is the same philosophy behind being taught CPR by a certified instructor.
I think all Certified ACA Instructors and BCU Coaches should always teach by a set of guidelines. I do not want to see a retailer put the safety of the paddling community in jeopardy by claiming that they are safe because they are certified by the ACA and yet do not see a need to teach ACA classes. If you find a shop claiming to have certified instructors and do not teach ACA or BCU classes, run.
An instructor claiming to be certified should be able to produce their membership card, instructor card, and CPR card. It is now required of ACA instructors to be CPR trained.
ACA Instructor Maintenance Requirements: BY the end of the 4 year certification period, the following minimum maintenance requirements must be met in order for the certification to be renewed for an additional 4 years:
- Maintain annual ACA membership and SEIC registration
- Teach a minimum of two (2) properly reported courses at the appropriate level of certification
- Participate in an Instructor Update during the certification period.
Instructor Updates can be accomplished by one of the following methods:
- Participate in an actual Instructor Update course at your highest certification level
- Assist with an IDW or ICE at the highest level of certification (with the pre-approval of the facilitaint IT) and complete a review of ACA Policies & Procedures with the IT
- Complete an approved Endorsement (check with the SEI Department beforehand)
- Co-teach a skills course at your highest level of certification under the supervision of an IT in that discipline and complete a review of ACA Policies & Procedures with the IT.