Current as of: 2/2/2018

Current SEI Staff: Kelsey Bracewell

Current SEI Chair: Steve Hutton

Current River Kayak Committee Chair: Mike Aronoff

Current Coastal Kayak Committee Chair: John Browning

Current Introduction to Paddling Committee Chair: Vacant


  • (February, 2016) Implemented Paddlesport Safety Facilitator Program


  • (February, 2015) Modified policy on instructor certification maintenance (SEIC Policy Manual Chapter 2.D.1) to read “If ACA membership and/or SEIC dues lapsed at any point during the certification period, back dues must be paid in order to renew/maintain certification.”
  • (February, 2015) Added required prerequisite for IT eligibility (SEIC Policy Manual Chapter 3.B.2.c) to properly report (in addition to having taught) two skills courses at level applied for in previous 4 years.


  • (September, 2014) Modified policy on teaching credits for all ACA instructors: “A current ACA instructor who acts as a qualified assistant to a higher level instructor in a skills or
    assessment class in their certified discipline may report their assistance as a qualifying teaching
    credit at their own certified level as long as they provide instruction and their teaching contributions to the class do not go beyond the body of knowledge contained within their own level. The higher level instructor must decide that the lower-level instructor has the paddling skills necessary to safely provide assistance to the course just as they would for any qualified assistant.”
  • (September, 2014) L5 River Kayak Instructor Certification Course now with a minimum of 2 L5 instructor candidates (as opposed to minimum of 4 candidates for all other levels) and a maximum not to exceed 3:1 Instructor candidate to IT ratio.


  • (March, 2013) L5 River Kayak skills and assessment courses now with a maximum 3:1 student to instructor ratio.


  • (November, 2012) Description of L1 venue now specifically: “calm, flat water, protected from wind, waves and outside boat traffic, with no apparent current, within swimming distance of shore.”
  • (November, 2012) L5 River Kayak Instructor prerequisite no longer time based. L5 instructor candidates now must have taught and properly reported at least 2 L4 skills classes or assessments as prerequisite for certification.
  • (March, 2012) “Hand of God” rescue replaced with “Unresponsive Paddler Rescue” in L2-L5 River Kayak instructor criteria
  • (March, 2012) First Aid and CPR certifications acceptable to maintain active ACA instructor certification must contain a hands-on component (i.e. courses can’t be accomplished solely on-line).


  • October, 2011) L2+ River Kayak Instructors can now teach the L1 Flatwater Kayak Safety and Rescue Curriculum
  • (October, 2011) “Hand-of-god” is now an example of unresponsive paddler rescues required for L2+ instructor certification rather than a standalone requirement.
  • (October, 2011) First aid and CPR certifications used to meet the ACA instruction requirements must now have a “hands on” component and cannot be comprised wholly of on-line work.
  • (September, 2011) ACA Published Journal of Paddlesports Education (edit 9/17/13, Which ACA took over and now presents as
  • (February 2011, SEI Focus) Recommended Minimum Timeframes for Instructor Certification Courses
  • (February, 2011) Changed Requirements for Level 4: Open Water Coastal Kayaking Instructors: L4: OWCK certification cannot be completed unless during some period three of the four conditions (one must be surf) necessary for rough water assessment are present during some portion of the certification course. Specified conditions must occur, but they do not have to be simultaneous. Area of escape from rough conditions must be accessible. The four criteria include:
    • 3-5 foot seas
    • 15-20 knot winds
    • 2-4 foot surf
    • 2-4 knots of current
  • (February, 2011) The Safety and Rescue Committee received approval for a 1-day crossover course that would allow L3+ River Canoe and River Kayak instructors to become certified as L3 River Safety and Rescue Instructors.
  • (February, 2011) Accepted a Sit on Top L2 Kayaking Instructor Certification with associated Criteria and Course, and an associated L3 Curriculum and Certification pending its approval by the Coastal Kayak Committee.
  • (February, 2011) Approved revisions to the current Canoe Camping endorsement and course making the endorsement generic to multi-discipline endorsement for Touring Canoe, River Canoe, River Kayak, and Coastal Kayak. Also approved sample discipline-specific camping skills course outlines.


  • (June, 2010) Instructors can perform skills assessments at or below their level of certification in their discipline.
  • (June, 2010) L3 instructors with a River Kayak or Coastal Kayak Trip Leading Assessment endorsement can perform the respective assessment in their respective discipline(s). L4+ instructors can perform the assessment in their their respective discipline already.
  • (~March, 2010) ACA moved to current office location: 108 Hanover St., Fredericksburg, VA


  • (June 2009) All ACA instructors must now maintain active age-appropriate CPR certification and first aid certification in order for their ACA instruction certification to be valid.
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