Canyon Guide Level 2 Assessment

Canyon Guide Level 2 Assessment

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Guide Level 2 Assessment

A Level 2 Guide is qualified to lead commercial and organised groups in canyons rated up to V3A3ii. Once completing the CG2 training and consolidation or entering via a VCQ assessmant can be completed.On successful completion of the assessment certification will be awarded.

The UKCA Canyon Guide Level 2 (CG2) is the second level of professional certification within the UKCA award scheme. This award is designed for an experienced Guide Level 1 (or equivalent) who wishes to lead canyoning excursions in the UK and internationally in a commercial environment rated up to V3A3ii.


  • A successful graduate of the Level 2 Canyon Guide Award will be able to lead novice canyoneers in a commercial environment through a canyon rated up to V3.A3.ii.
  • The graduate will be very comfortable in canyon environments, demonstrating excellent anticipatory skills for reducing risk to their customers and themselves.
  • The graduate will understand and implement safe and efficient rigging solutions in the canyon environment.
  • The graduate will be able to plan and prepare introductory and intermediate canyoning experiences.
  • The graduate will be able to manage canyoning groups as a head guide.
  • The graduate will be able to teach canyoning skills to a group.
  • The graduate will be a role model for canyoning and the UKCA.

Working Controls

A successful candidate will be able to work alone in a canyon rated up to V3A3.ii with up to 8 group members. This can be extended to 16 group members where another Canyon Guide L2 or L1 is present. A Canyon Guide Level 2 can assist a Canyon Instructor in canyons above V3A3ii.  


UKCA Senior Trainer  

Assessment Venue

  • Day 1 Technical - A moderate risk canyon rated around V3A3ii>. The canyons should ideally have a selection of features and technical elements for example rappels, jumps, slides and traverse lines.
  • Day 2 - Leadership, Incident and Group Management - A canyon rated up to V3A3ii.


2 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 L1 award (or similar)
  • Hold the Advanced Canyoning Pro award (or similar)

Log Book

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

  • Minimum of 40 canyoning days in at least 5 different canyons rated V3.A3.ii and above.
  • Minimum of 40 canyoning days, leading canyoning trips in a minimum of 3 technical (V2.A2.i) canyons.

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

Competency Gateway

This assessment can be accessed directly. The UKCA is aware that previous experience and training may have been obtained through other organisations. If the candidate believes they have the skill and experience they can go directly into this assessment.


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 five types of direct evidence to determine a candidate’s competency:

  • Written entry test: multiple choice questions.
  • Questioning and discussion.
  • Observation of practical tasks.
  • Presentation of Information.
  • Timed Tests.

Section 1 (Day 1) Technical Competence

1A - Canyoning, Environment and Planning 

The candidate will:

  • Demonstrate their knowledge of geology and hydrology e.g. rock types, geographical areas and their effect on canyon systems.
  • Demonstrate their knowledge of access legislation within the UK.
  • Demonstrate their knowledge of planning a canyoning trip. This will include weather checks, resources, reading topo maps, guide selection, water levels, basic navigation and emergency planning. 

1B - Equipment

The candidate will:

  • Complete a pre-activity check of equipment and describe how to identify worn equipment e.g. surface wear of ropes, tapes and harnesses, internal damage to ropes, wear and stress to the metal of carabiners and descenders, wear and stress to helmets, recommended maximum life for use of equipment 
  • Explain and describe how they store, maintain and check equipment before and after their canyoning trip.
  • Demonstrate the group and emergency equipment the candidate will pack for remote canyoning trips and how to use it. 
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of current equipment and clothing used for canyoning and reasons for choice e.g. wetsuits, shoes, helmets, harnesses, buoyancy aids, ropes, descenders, karabiners and other technical gear.

1D - Movement 

The candidate will negotiate features found in A3 -A4 or Class C canyons and will:

  • Demonstrate effective down climbing technique, and demonstrate safe and effective techniques for aiding a participant from above and below.
  • Demonstrate efficient and timely movement through the canyon.
  • Show how to assess a jump or slide to make it safe for participants.

1E - Movement on Rope

The candidate will have good knowledge of fall factor and dynamic loading, they will be able to identify the risks and understand how to reduce them. The candidate will:

  • Demonstrate how to descend with an improvised device.
  • Demonstrate how to pass a deviation or rebelay.
  • Demonstrate how to pass a knot during an abseil.
  • Demonstrate how to ascend double rope
  • Demonstrate how to ascend a guideline (guided abseil)

1F - Movement in Water

In an A3 or Class C canyon environment or Grade/Class 2 river environment the candidate will:

  • Show strong swimming ability.
  • Demonstrate good ferry swimming technique.
  • Explain the use of tension diagonals to move a group across a substantial flow. 
  • Demonstrate group river crossing techniques.
  • Explain the risks involved with trap pools, hydraulics, undercuts.
  • Effective bag management. 

1G - Rigging

During a canyoning descent rated V3/V4 the candidate will:

  • Demonstrate safe, effective, efficient and CLEAN rigging in a canyon that is unfamiliar to the candidate.
  • Demonstrate rigging to avoid or mitigate water hazards, specifically using guided abseils and ziplines.
  • Demonstrate rigging releasable twin rope systems in order to add efficiency to a descent.
  • Demonstrate the use of double rope systems and when its appropriate to use them.
  • Describe the use of static rope systems and when it is appropriate to use them.
  • Demonstrate the use of fixed traverse lines and when it is appropriate to use them. 

1H - Rope Rescue 

The candidate will have knowledge of the risks involved with rescue and the difference between direct and indirect rescue the candidate will:

  • Demonstrate how to perform a counterbalance haul rescue using a PCP
  • Demonstrate how to perform a direct assistance rescue, using a foot loop or lift to manage a stuck descender.
  • Explain the use of an indirect 2:1 lift rescue.
  • Demonstrate how to perform a 3:1 simple haul.
  • Perform a direct rope cutting rescue.

1I - Teamwork and Incident Management

The candidate will:

  • Demonstrate their knowledge of visual and sound signals.
  • Identify the process of launching an alert.
  • Have a first aid kit and know how to use it.
  • Explain the use of sequencing and how they will implicate it on a canyoning trip
  • Demonstrate a team method of transporting a casualty.

1J - Working with a Second Guide

The candidate will:

  • Describe the working controls for a UKCA CG1 and CG2.
  • Describe the process of leapfrogging and leader progression.
  • Demonstrate their knowledge of effective positioning as the lead guide. 
  • Demonstrate their knowledge of working with a second guide.

1K - Timed Tests

Test 1 - Rope Conversion Pass a Knot 

The candidate will ascend past a knot to reach 5 meters, convert and descend past the knot to reach the ground in under 6 min.

If the trainee makes a safety 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 5.5 min on a second fail of this test; the trainee will not pass the L2 guide assessment. 

Test 2 - Direct Rope Cutting Rescue

The candidate will perform a direct rope cutting rescue,  within 1.7 of the trainer's set time.

If the trainee makes a safety error (open carabiner, dropped knife 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 trainer's set time. On a second fail of this test the trainee will not pass the L2 guide assessment. 

Section 2 (Day 2) -  Instruction, Leadership and Planning

On day 2 the candidate will be expected to lead a group in a canyon up to V3.A.3ii. 

2B - Leadership

The candidate will lead a canyoning excursion with a real group, during the excursion they will demonstrate and will be assessed on:

  • Never compromising their safety or the safety of the group.
  • Effective group briefing including; setting boundaries, ground rules, appropriate and effective risk disclosure.
  • A leadership style that is appropriate for the clients; their skill and experience level and their needs.
  • Demonstrate safe practices and good judgement and decision making within the scope of this qualification
  • Professionalism - language, appearance, gestures and engagement. 
  • Preparing and briefing.
  • Time management.
  • Use of a second guide.
  • Role Modeling, motivating and having fun with the group.
  • Establishing a rapport with individuals and having emotional awareness of individual needs.
  • Safe, appropriate and efficient rigging.

3B - Instruction

The candidate will provide instruction on some of the following:

  • Fitting equipment
  • Rappelling and movement on traverse lines
  • Communication 
  • Movement techniques
  • Jumping
  • Sliding
  • Swimming 
  • Teamwork

3C - Feedback and Review

  • Personal Feedback
  • Introduction to the Canyon Instructor programme.