Guidelines for Run Leaders And Organisers

It is Club policy that all Club runs should be organised and led by competent persons.
The organiser and the leader need not be the same person.

The Organiser

The organiser is responsible for planning, arranging and preparing the information sheet for the run beforehand. This may involve:

  • Inspecting the venue if not already familiar or if any changes may have occurred e.g. fallen trees, changed car parking arrangements
  • Obtaining necessary permissions
  • Organising camp site if necessary (refer to the Code of Conduct for the Organisation of Meets in the Handbook of the Camping & Caravanning Club)
  • If tidal water, consulting tide tables in order to fix date and timings
  • Assessing the distance and type of run and any limitations on participants
  • Writing instructions, with map if necessary, and indication of distance, nature and grade of difficulty of the run, and passing to Group Secretary for distribution
  • If not intending to lead the run on the water, finding a Run Leader in advance.

The Organiser or the Run Leader should:

  • For trips other than placid water – obtain signatures of all participants on a C-CC or BCU Event Form, excepting those members who paddle regularly with a group, who may sign an appropriate form issued by the Group Secretary: e.g. with the mailing subscription reminder.
  • For extended events – obtain signatures of all participants on the event booking form which should incorporate appropriate wording cf. Event Form
  • At organised taster sessions, identify any visitors who are not members of either the C-CC or BCU and obtain their signatures on a C-CC or BCU Event Form and payment of the current BCU Taster Fee to cover Third Party insurance through the BCU for the duration of the event

The Run Leader should:

  • Be familiar with the run;
  • Anticipate the conditions that may be encountered on the day;
  • Identify himself/herself, and assistants, to the group;
  • Try and assess the ability of individuals in the group;
  • Assess the clothing and equipment of participants;
  • Be aware of the numbers in the group and if possible carry on the run a list of names of participants;
  • Identify young people (8-18) and obtain a form of consent signed by a parent or person with parental responsibility for each young person taking part;
  • Ascertain that each young person is accompanied by a responsible adult, or delegate a suitable adult prepared to keep a watchful eye on them;
  • Organise, or delegate to a responsible person, car ferry (if needed) or other transport arrangements;
  • Brief the group, before setting out, on the nature of the trip, possible hazards, lunch stop etc.;
  • Encourage all paddlers to ensure that no one is left paddling on their own;
  • Organise the group on the water, enlisting the help of other competent paddlers familiar with the water and conditions, so as to have a front paddler and a tail ender;
  • As necessary split the group into manageable numbers, each group to have a leader and a tail ender, with a ratio of, typically, 8-12 paddlers per leader, depending on conditions;
  • Be competent in rescue techniques;
  • Carry, and be competent in the use of, or see that other competent paddlers are carrying and know how to use, appropriate safety equipment which may include spare paddles, rescue line, throw bag, tow rope, repair kit, first aid kit etc.;
  • Be aware of and able to recognise and deal with commonly found conditions such as hypothermia;
  • In the event of any accident or mishap, a written note of what happened should be made as soon as possible after the event.


Authority of Run Leaders

Many of the tasks of the Run Leader call for the exercise of judgement. The Run Leader is authorised by the National Committee to refuse to accept individuals on the run if he/she is not satisfied as to their ability and/or their equipment. Similarly the Run Leader is authorised to abandon or shorten a trip in the interests of safety, taking into account changing conditions and the participants’ experience and/or ability.

These guidelines should be read in conjunction with the BCU’s “Good Practice for the Safe Conduct of Recreational Canoeing Activities” which also explains the use of the Event Form and the Taster Fee for insurance cover.