ACA Level 2: Essentials of River Canoeing Assessment

Take the Essentials of River Canoeing Skills Assessment Course.

ACA Assessment courses have been developed as a tool to allow paddlers a clear progression of skill development. Courses provide progression in skills and paddling venues associated with specific disciplines in solo and/or tandem canoeing. Upon successful completion of each Skills Assessment checklist, your Instructor will submit the paperwork and you will receive official documentation of your level of skill from the ACA National Office.

Note: to receive Skills Assessment documentation, you must be a current ACA member.

Additional course-specific requirements can be found on the ACA Website in the ACA Assessment Criteria documents.

Course Outline

ACA L2 River Canoeing Skills Assessment Outline

Packing List

ACA Gear List

General Information

Course Length

3 days / 24 hours


  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be a current ACA member in good standing
  • Be able to independently participate in all skills, activities and rescues listed in the ACA Skills Assessment Course Outline
  • Be able to effectively communicate with the Instructor Trainer and other course participants
  • Be able to manage all personal care and mobility independently
  • Completion of the appropriate level skills course, assessment course, or equivalent skills

Certifications Received


Course Length


Course Expectations

For the ACA’s specific eligibility requirements for assessment courses, go to the ACA website and identify the discipline and level of assessment for the course you are enrolling in.

The first half of the course experience is an introduction to the curriculum presented in the format conforming to the ACA curricular guidelines. At the end of this portion of the course, Instructor Trainers meet with individual students to evaluate their strengths and challenges, and to assign specific skills for the second half of the course.

The second half of the course experience is the opportunity for the student to model ACA skills impromptu topics to the rest of the class. It is largely student driven, monitored closely by the Instructor Trainers.

Because of commuting time to and from river sites, participants should plan to pack their lunches each day, to maximize time in class. Bringing plenty of snacks and water, layers and dry clothes is important, as folks get cold each afternoon with the amount of time in the water practicing skills. Please review the ACA Gear List to best prepare for a comfortable experience.

The Assessment ends with exit interviews and a written examination. Students should be aware that they may or may not receive a passing level for every skill; individual skill of each paddler will play into the Instructor Trainers’ final decisions.

Class will end between 5PM and 6PM on the last day of the course. Please do not plan to leave before then, or make travel plans requiring an earlier departure or you will risk certification.