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Paddlesports Safety Facilitator
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In February of 2016, the Safety Education & Instruction Council (SEIC) and the ACA Board of Directors voted to approve the newly developed Paddlesports Safety Facilitator (PSF) certification program, which was designed primarily for staff from paddling outfitters, guides services, and livery businesses. This certification allows the facilitator to introduce paddlecraft safety and knowledge to the beginner paddler in a land-based setting.  This is a 1 year, non-renewable certification.


What: This program allows for the opportunity for Paddlesport Safety Facilitator Certification in canoeing, kayaking, and/or stand up paddleboarding (SUP). The training for this certification includes a base module (non-discipline specific) plus three complementary modules that focus specifically on canoeing, kayaking, and SUP.

  • General / Base Module (PDF)
    • Canoeing Module (PDF)
    • Kayaking Module (PDF)
    • SUP Module (PDF)

Who: This PSF certification program can be delivered by any ACA Level 3 Instructor (or higher), any ACA Level 1 or 2 Instructor with the PSF Endorsement, or any Instructor Trainer (IT) or Educator (ITE), within their discipline(s) of certification. In order to deliver each of the specific craft modules (canoe, kayak, or SUP), the Instructor, IT, or ITE must be certified or formally assessed within each specific discipline. For example: A currently certified canoeing Instructor Trainer must also hold instructor certification or documented skills assessments in kayaking and SUP in order to deliver all three craft specific modules. Find an instructor or trainer.


Where: Upon successful completion, this certification allows the facilitator to introduce paddlecraft safety and knowledge to the beginner paddler in a land-based setting.  In order to earn certification, the PSF Candidate will attend a course that is conducted on calm, flat water, protected from wind, waves and outside boat traffic, with no apparent current, and within swimming distance of shore.  A classroom or sheltered off-water area must also be available for discussions and presentations.  It is important to note that this certification is intended for dry land instruction only.


Why: This certification will add credibility to yourself as a source of paddlesports safety information, as well as provide official documentation of your skills and experience for your employer, insurance carrier, or resume.


How: Complete the 1-day course (approximately 4 hours for the base module and 1 hour for each of the craft specific modules). You will also be required to complete a written exam in order to pass the course. In order to receive official credentialing documentation of this certification, you must be an ACA member. 

Certified PSF Resources:

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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