L4 Skills Assessment

Before applying to attend a Level 4 Kayak Skills Award Assessment, a candidate must:

  • Have obtained the Level 3 Kayak Skills Award
  • Have completed an RSR 2 Training Course and obtained an RSR 2 Certificate
  • Have unrestricted access to a fully equipped kayak, personal equipment and additional equipment. (See Level 4 Kayak Skills List of Equipment)
  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Be a member of Canoeing Ireland


  • The Level 4 Kayak Skills assessment must take place during a river trip of at least three km on water of Grade III difficulty
  • During an assessment a candidate must explain and demonstrate all techniques and skills at a level higher than that required for the Level 3 Kayak Skills Award. All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated to the required level in order to achieve this award
  • All strokes should be demonstrated in relevant situations i.e. sculling in a stopper. Strokes should be demonstrated on both sides of the kayak
  • All rescues must be executed by the candidate acting as both rescuee and rescuer. Generally, required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of the river trip.

While it is not compulsory to attend a training course prior to assessment, it is strongly recommended.


Assessment Guidelines:

A Level 4 Kayak Skills Award can only be assessed by a Level 4 Kayak Instructor who meets the Level 4 Kayak Skills Assessor Panel requirements.

 It is recommended that the award be assessed by an Instructor other than the Instructor who ran the training course leading to assessment.

The assessment will be carried out with a maximum ratio of 4:1.

Should a candidate fail an assessment written guidelines should be given as to the areas that they need to improve on.

No other award may be assessed at the same time as the Level 4 Kayak Skills Award.


Equipment List required for Assessment:

  • Properly equipped kayak: Rigid end loops and/or toggles
  • Suitable buoyancy
  • Suitable foot rest
  • A kayak must be of sufficient volume to carry out all necessary safety equipment and perform any rescue as required by the Level 4 Kayak Skills Award

Personal kayaking equipment:

  • Paddle
  • ISO/CE approved Helmet
  •  ISO/CE approved Buoyancy Aid with integrated harness
  • Spray deck
  • Adequate hard sole footwear
  • Wetsuit or Dry pants, Dry cag or Drysuit, combined with sufficient thermal clothing

Other Equipment:


  • Throw Rope
  • Knife
  • 4-5 m Open Sling
  • Karabiners x 2 (one screw gate, one snap gate)
  • Towing System
  • First Aid Kit
  • Mobile Phone
  • Whistle
  • Torch
  • Flask and Food
  • Spare Clothes
  • Bivvy Bag or group shelter
  • Split Paddle
  • Repair Kit which should include  duct tape and multi tool (at a minimum)
  •  Dry Bag or other method of keeping equipment dry