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ACA I Canoe - Kayak - SUP - Raft - Rescue 108 Hanover St.
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Making the Warld a Better Place to Paddle! Since 1880.
March 21, 2012
Mr. Wayne Stacy
United States Coast Guard
Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety
2100 2nd Street SW
Washington, DC 20593-0001
Final Closeout Report
USCG Grant 1002.05
"Advanced Boating On-Water Paddlesports Safety Training"
August 2010 - March 2012
Dear Mr. Stacey,
The American Canoe Association (ACA) has completed all activities and efforts under Grant 1002.05, a
project titled"Advanced Boating On-Water Paddlesports Safety Training." The ACA has completed the
tasks outlined below in the reporting periods from August 2010 through March 2012. This includes the
extension we received to complete this grant project.
The goal of this project was to involve water safety personnel from a variety of state and federal
agencies in paddlesports and further their understanding of the needs of the paddling public. This was
accomplished by giving these individuals the opportunity to take an ACA Instructor Certification
Workshop (ICW) at no cost. This workshop not only provides education, but also gives these boating
safety personnel the chance to become full-fledged instructors in the largest paddlesports instructional
program in the country. This training will minimize the loss of life, personal injury, and environmental
impact associated with the use of paddlecraft. It also will make for a more enjoyable and educated
paddling environment because of increased and authentic educational opportunities provided by these
The ACA has conducted Instructor Certification Workshops under this grant in the following states:
• Florida • Massachusetts • Texas • Virginia • Washington
Course Development Process
After the targeted states had been selected and the grant had been awarded, the ACA began the
process of partnering with state and federal agencies to secure students for the grant sponsored
Instructor Certification Workshops. Due to the variances in boating safety and education at the state
level, each state needed to have their course implemented in unique ways to address each states
different situation. In some cases, this meant that many different agencies were involved whereas in
other instances a single agency was able to supply all of the students.
Once the students had been selected, the ACA utilized our nationwide network of Instructor Trainers
(IT's) to select one of these highly trained individuals that were local to the targeted state. This was
done to promote a continued relationship between the boating safety agencies in the targeted states
and the paddlesports training professionals that are already working to provide education in those
States sent a variety of individuals from different agencies to their Instructor Certification Workshops.
Members of the United States Coast Guard, state management agencies and of the U.S. Coast Guard
Auxiliary were all represented in at least one Instructor Certification Workshop arranged by the ACA
under this grant. Prior to the Instructor Certification Workshop, each instructor candidate received
course materials including:
• ACA Instructor Manual
• Paddlesport instructional and educational books
• Educational DVD's
• Pamphlets and brochures to use when educating the public
• Educational curriculum and syllabus to use in classes
The goal of these materials was to provide each new instructor with the materials needed to be able to
excel in the Instructor Certification Workshop but to also independently provide paddlesports education
to the public in their respective states, thus facilitating continued awareness and education after the
Instructor Certification Workshop was completed.
Paddlesports instruction also thrives when instructors are able to access up to date information and to
interact with others in the instructional field. To further this goal and encourage continued professional
development, each Instructor Certification Workshop attendee received four years of membership into
both the ACA and our Safety Education and Instruction Council (SEIC).
The Instructor Certification Workshop is a dynamic and hands on learning experience. Students had the
opportunity to learn skills and rescues and then sharpen their ability to teach that knowledge to others.
Over an average of 3 days, students worked with the Instructor Trainers to grow into paddlesports
instructors. With hands on practice on the water, many students developed into instructors and were
able to pass the Instructor Certification Exam (ICE) and become ACA Instructors.
Each state selected the candidates who would attend their Instructor Certification Workshop. Several
agencies were represented over the course of the grant. Members of the United States Coast Guard,
state management agencies and ofthe u.s. Coast Guard Auxiliary were all included in at least one course.
Florida: The ICW was filled with Instructor Candidates from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission
and the U.S. Coast Guard. 7 ofthe 9 candidates were able to receive the instructor award. The
candidates represented a cross section of the state and were both geographically diverse and diverse in
populations they interact with.
Massachusetts: The ICW in this state was filled with members ofthe u.s. Coast Guard Auxiliary and members of the state environmental police. While only 2 of 7 candidates were certified at the
instructor level, the rest were given additional training opportunities that should allow them to be
certified within a year.
Texas: The ICW was filled with 19 instructor candidates from across Texas. They represented both local
and state personnel. Of the 19 instructor candidates, only 1 was able to certify as an ACA instructor.
However, secondary training has been arranged and the numbers of certified instructors from this
training is expected to grow.
Virginia: The ICW was composed of lD Instructor candidates from several different areas of Virginia.
Most were members of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. In this course, alllD
were able to achieve their instructor certification. 6 were even able to achieve a Level 2 Instructor
Certification, exceeding expectations.
Washington: The ICW had 15 instructor candidates, 12 of whom were awarded instructor certifications.
These candidates came from across the state and represented both state and local agencies. 11 of
those that passed the Instructor Certification Exam achieved a Level 2 certification, higher than what
Instructor Certification Workshop Results under Grant 1002.05
10 8 • Total Candidates 6
Certified instructors 4 2 o
Number ofAttendees vs. number of Instructors certified by state
There are wide disparities in the numbers of certifications awarded between different states. This is not
altogether unexpected. In order to provide a course that will have the highest impact the boating safety
agencies chose who would attend. This means that some candidates would naturally have a higher
likelihood of passing than others.
Not passing the certification exam should not be confused with failure. By participating in the Instructor
Certification Workshop, all participants are in a position to better serve the paddlesports community
where they live and work. The ACA already has in place a Continuation Program to allow individuals
who attend an Instructor Certification Workshop and do not pass to achieve their certification at a later
time. A candidate that does not pass is given an individualized plan on how to demonstrate proficiency
at their specific deficiencies. This may include working with another Instructor Trainer, attending
another Instructor Certification Workshop, providing video of skills and teaching, or mentoring under an
Instructor Trainer. Once the specific deficiencies are addressed the candidate is awarded an instructor
The pass rate among instructor candidates was 53%. According to the Safety Education and Instruction
Department of the ACA, the average pass rate for a LevelllCE is approximately 80%. This means that
the candidates did not pass as often as others that take the course. This is might be due to the lack of
self-selection among the Instructor Candidates.
Of the Instructors that did pass the Instructor Certification Exam component of their Instructor
Certification Workshop, the majority actually managed to pass at Level 2. This is unexpected because
the Level 2 instructor certification requires a higher level of skill and experience to pass. Because the
Level 2 certifications were clustered in a few courses, it is highly lik