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National Paddlesports Instruction Program

The ACA National Paddlesports Instruction Program has been acknowledged as the premier paddlesports education program throughout the United States and in over 30 countries.


Through the efforts of the ACA National Office and the Safety Education & Instruction Council(SEIC), course curricula and educational resources are developed and made available to the general public, instructors, partners and the outdoor industry.


The ACA offers courses in the following paddlesports disciplines:

The ACA offers five types of courses:

  • Skills
    • designed to expose and develop participants skills, offered in all disciplines and at all levels
  • Skills Assessments
    • participants must successfully complete a checklist of skills in order to receive a skills assessment credential from the ACA
  • Certifications
    • Instructor Certification Workshops (ICWs) are offered in all paddlesports disciplines (Instructor Criteria)
  • Endorsements
    •  a certified ACA Instructor can become endorsed to teach additional, specialized courses
  • Paddlesports Safety Facilitator
    •  designed primarily for staff from paddling outfitters, guide services, and livery businesses. This certification allows the facilitator to introduce paddlecraft safety and knowledge to the beginner paddler in a land-based setting.

Additional Information:

For questions about the ACA National Paddlesports Instruction Program or ACA Course Curriculum, please contact the Safety Education & Instruction Department



ACA Mission

Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling; stewardship support to help protect paddling environments; and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition, exploration and recreation.

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ACA | Canoe-Kayak-SUP-Raft-Rescue
503 Sophia St. Suite 100
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Phone: 540-907-4460
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