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Essential Eligibility Criteria
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ACA courses are open to all individuals who satisfy the following essential eligibility criteria.

ACA Skills & Assessment Courses:

In order to participate in an ACA Skills or Assessment Course, each participant must satisfy the following essential eligibility criteria:

  • Be able to independently participate in all individual skills and activities listed in the course outline while also maintaining an appropriate and safe body position
  • Be able to hold their breath while under water and, while in the water wearing a properly fitted lifejacket, be able to independently turn from a face down to a face up position keeping their head above water
  • Be able to effectively communicate with the instructor and other course participants
  • Be able to manage all personal care independently, or with the assistance of a companion
  • Be able to manage all personal mobility independently, or with the assistance of a companion

ACA Instructor Certification Courses:

In order to participate in an Instructor Development Workshop (IDW), an Instructor Candidate must satisfy the following essential eligibility criteria:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be a current ACA member in good standing
  • Be able to independently participate in all skills, activities and rescues listed in the appropriate ACA Certification Course Outline and Instructor Criteria documents
  • Be able to effectively communicate with the Instructor Trainer and other course participants
  • Be able to manage all personal care and mobility independently

In order to participate in an Instructor Certification Exam (ICE), an Instructor Candidate must satisfy the following essential eligibility criteria:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be a current ACA member in good standing
  • Be able to independently complete all skills, activities and rescues listed in the appropriate ACA Certification Course Outline and Instructor Criteria documents
  • Be able to effectively communicate, including effective verbal communication
  • Be able to manage all personal care and mobility independently

ACA Adaptive Paddling Workshops:

In order to participate as an instructor or assistant instructor in an Adaptive Paddling Workshop, each individual must meet the following essential eligibility criteria:

  • Be 18 years or older, or accompanied by an adult
  • Be able to manage all personal care and mobility independently or with the assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant*
  • Be able to get in and out of a canoe or kayak independently or with the assistance of a companion
  • Have prior experience paddling a canoe or kayak, paddling safely on flat water
  • Be able to perform a wet exit independently
  • Be able to re-enter the canoe or kayak following a deep water capsize independently, or with the assistance of one other paddlecraft

*Note: If a companion accompanies a participant and also participates fully in the instructional activities, the companion may be charged as a participant, at the discretion of the sponsoring organization.

In order to participate as a student in an Adaptive Paddling Workshop, each individual must meet the following essential eligibility criteria:

  • Have a significant mobility impairment that limits ability to participate in recreation activities
  • Be able to breathe independently, not require medical devices to sustain breathing
  • Be able to hold head upright without neck / head support
  • Be able to maintain a closed mouth / lips while under water
  • Following instruction in the pool, be able to independently turn from face down to face up and remain floating face up while wearing a properly fitted personal flotation device (life jacket)
  • Be able to manage personal care independently or with the assistance of a companion* (friend or family member) who accompanies the individual

*Note: If a companion accompanies a student and also participates fully in the instructional activities, the companion may be charged as a participant, at the discretion of the sponsoring organization.

Printable version: ACA Essential Eligibility Criteria

If you have any questions about the ACA's essential eligibility criteria, please contact the Safety Education & Instruction Department.

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