Canyon Instructor Course

Canyon Instructor Course

Canyon Instructor

A Canyon Instructor is qualified to lead commercial and organised groups in canyons rated above V3A3ii (where appropriate risk management and systems are in place) A Canyon Instructor can deliver the Intro to Canyoning course. Three-day training and assessment.

The UKCA Canyon Canyon Instructor (CI) is the highest level of professional certification within the UKCA award scheme. This award is designed for a highly experienced Canyon Guide Level 2 (or equivalent) who wishes to lead canyoning excursions in the UK and internationally in a commercial canyoning environment above V3A3ii. This award allows the graduate to deliver the Introduction to Canyoning programme and is the first step to becoming a Trainer.


  • A successful graduate of the Canyon Instructor Award will be able to lead an appropriately skilled group in a commercial environment through a canyon rated above V3.A3.ii.
  • The graduate will be expertly skilled in canyon environments, demonstrating excellent anticipatory skills for reducing risk to their customers and themselves.
  • The graduate will master safe and efficient rigging solutions in the canyon environment.
  • The graduate will be able to plan, prepare and deliver the Introduction to Canyoning Award.
  • The graduate will be able to teach canyoning skills to a group.
  • The graduate will be a role model for canyoning and an ambassador for the UKCA.
  • The graduate can be a mentor for other professional trainees.

Working Controls

A successful candidate will be able to work alone in a canyon rated above V3A3.ii with up to 6 group members where appropriate risk assessments and management systems are in place. This can be extended to 8 group members where another Canyon Guide L2 is present. A Canyon Instructor will be a mentor for other professional trainees. A Canyon Instructor will be able to deliver the Introduction to Canyoning award programme.

Assessor & Trainer

UKCA Senior Training Team

Assessment Venue

  • Day 1 Technical and Theory - Classroom
  • Day 2 & 3 Course delivery - Canyon


3 days




  • Must be 21 years or older.
  • Hold a valid first-aid certificate (2-day minimum)
  • Good level of fitness, mental health and swimming ability.
  • Hold the Canyon Guide Level 2 award.
  • Attended the Canyon Rescue workshop.

Log Book

Prior to assessment, the candidate must present a logbook with a minimum of:

  • Minimum of 80 canyoning days in at least 20 different canyons rated V3.A3.ii and above.
  • Minimum of 80 canyoning days leading canyoning trips in a minimum of 5 technical (V2.A2.ii) canyons.
  • Have shadowed 2 Introduction to Canyoning course.

*These prerequisites are minimum requirements, extra days are recommended.

Competency Gateway

This assessment cannot be accessed directly. The candidate must have worked as a UKCA Level 2 Guide and have relevant experience in UK canyons.


Professional Membership.

Entry Test

Test - Counterbalance Rescue (from above)

The candidate will descend to the victim and perform a counterbalance rescue in order to descend with the victim within 1.7 of the trainer's set time.

If the trainee makes a security error (open carabiner, disconnect etc.) they will fail that attempt.

If the trainee does not meet the time criteria on the first attempt they can retake the test directly afterwards. On the second attempt, they must pass within 1.6 of the trainers set time on a second fail of this test the trainee will not continue onto the Canyon Instructor Course.


Assessment Notes

The syllabus outlines what the content of the assessment will include and gives an idea of what

assessment tasks the candidate will be asked to complete. All judgements on how the candidate meets the syllabus must be based on current good practice and industry standards.

Assessors use three types of direct evidence to determine a candidate’s competency:

  • Questioning and discussion.
  • Observation of practical tasks.
  • Delivery of Content

Section 1 (Day 1) Teaching Theory 

  • 10 steps of teaching.
  • Risk management.
  • Roles and Responsibilities of a Canyon Instructor.
  • UKCA procedures and standards.
  • Introduction to Canyoning overview.
  • Introduction to Canyoning mastery of techniques.

Section 2 (Day 2&3) Course Delivery

  • Delivery of Introduction to Canyoning course.
  • Review, Monitoring and Feedback.