For many organizations the requests have been things like: We need our staff to feel confident managing a group on the water and teaching people how to paddle a canoe... and we need them to be able to rescue people if they fall in the water.
For other organizations we have spoken with, efficiency and safety have been concerns, for others,having a limited time to get groups moving and what are the best things to cover in a short amount of time?
Why would I want my instructors to be ACA certified?
The ACA is the nation's recognized leader in the fields of paddlesport instruction and education. There are more than 4,500 ACA certified canoe, kayak, rafting, safety & rescue, and stand up paddleboard instructors in the United States. ACA trained and certified instructors have been trained and tested on the water, have shown that they have the teaching, paddling and rescue skills needed to effectively conduct training courses at their level and paddling discipline. They are also teaching using the same language and foundation skills making it easier for your customers to continue their learning progression in an organized fashion. It is most effective If all of your instructors are teaching the same basic skills and using the same language as instructors from other parts of the country. Some organizations such as the AEE (Association for Experiential Learning) requires certification before accreditation.
Another reason for organizations to choose ACA certification is because of the differing levels of certification. for example if a new manager was to come into a position where they needed to put together a summer schedule, knowing that they had level 3 or 4 instructors and level 1 instructors, they would have one more tool in deciding who should lead the more advanced programs and who should be scheduled to lead the programs in more protected waters.
Another benefit to certification is in staff enthusiasm and morale. Many corporate studies have shown that having educational opportunities in the workplace AND having set goals for improvement help with staff productivity and retention. Most certification occurs in levels, providing future goals for students.
Most organizations cite cost as the number one reason they don't support certification for their staff.
We believe certifications benefit the company, the outdoor educator, and the customer. That being said, some organizations have limited budgets and time frames, yet they really need to know that their staff are capable of maintaining safety standards. Other organizations, especially in Maine, start with licensed Maine Guides or trip leaders first (as required by law> and then go to ACA certification. We will work with you to stay within yourbudget.