WPA Levels of Certification

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The WPA provides SUP Water Safety & Education for instructors from our expert staff designed to educate and inform all levels of instructors with water safety and preparation.  With the rapid growth of stand up paddling the WPA Board of Instructors has put together a comprehensive instructional curriculum to educate instructors to include purchasing decisions, paddling technique and water dynamics in all bodies of water with safety being the top priority with instruction to educate for fun and safety for the paddling community.

The WPA provides six instructor levels based on each instructor’s credentials and needs within the stand up paddling community:

  • SUP Trained Specialist
  • Class I
  • Class II
  • Class II Trainer (teach WPA class I courses)
  • Class III
  • Master Class I

Instructors will need to complete Class I and be evaluated for a higher status based on each instructor’s credentials and background that should include experience (except for SUP Trained Specialist) in the following areas but not limited to:

  • Water safety:  Lifeguard, Harbor Patrol, Boating Safety and instructor.
  • Safety Authority:  Fire, Police, Paramedic, EMT, Doctor, Nurse and instructor.
  • Water Sports background:  competitive and instructor.
  • Water knowledge:  Ocean, surf, lake, river, and white water.
  • Achievements:   list all water sports and other applicable background.
  • Instructor/Coach: list all water sports and other applicable sports.

The WPA Water Safety curriculum includes classroom and on water instruction as part of the water safety education classes:

  • Board and Equipment Purchasing
  • SUP Etiquette
  • Safety Planning
  • Injury Prevention
  • Water Dynamics
  • Basic Boating Laws
  • Board & Paddling Skills
  • Rescue techniques
  • Water Safety information

All instructors who complete a WPA Water Safety class are also required to complete the following criteria before their certification can be completed.  An instructor may attend a WPA Water Safety class however must meet the following criteria to instruct as a WPA Certified Instructor:

Requirements:

  • CPR/First Aid certificate (must attend a class instructed by an American Heart Association or American Red Cross certified instructor)
  • Proof of liability insurance coverage
  • $75 per year to maintain WPA instructor certificate
  • 80% on certification exam

Benefits:

  • Marketing: instructors will be posted by name, level and region on the WPA website
  • Insurance: discounted rates with individual, company and club insurance
  • Backed by a structured organization with the WPA and the WPA Board of Instructors
  • Updates with curriculum supplied to all WPA instructors
  • WPA member only offers and discounts

Applications will be accepted on a limited basis and by invitation.  Instructors must submit their background with credentials including years of experience as outlined above.  Each applicant will be reviewed by the WPA and or a member of the WPA Board of Instructors who will determine if the applicant will qualify as a potential WPA instructor.  Once an applicant is accepted the applicant will be sent an e-mail with information to place a deposit to reserve a spot for an upcoming class date.

Group classes can be requested with six or more that needs to be reserved at least 3 weeks in advance and to include all of the above requirements for each applicant.

The WPA provides five levels of certified water/safety instruction. Each level requires the appropriate experience listed and can be tailored to the instructor’s credentials, typical instructional environment, and needs within the stand up paddling community.

 

SUP Trained Specialist

The WPA SUP Trained Specialist is the perfect training for an sales associate or person who works in the stand up paddling industry that wants to become well educated on all aspects of the sport, equipment, fitting and costs, however will not be giving lessons or instruction.  Please note that the WPA Trained Specialist certificate does NOT make any person a WPA certified instructor who has attended or achieved higher levels of education and training to give lessons or instruction with stand up paddling.

Fee: $195.00 ($75.00 yearly fee included the first year)

5 hours of class/water instruction, 80% on class examination.

Yearly Instructor fee: $75.00 (required to maintain instructor status)

Instructor requirements: 16 years of age.

 

Class I

Certified to give lessons to instruct paddlers as a WPA Certified Instructor.

Fee: $295.00 ($75.00 yearly fee included the first year)

5 hours of class/water instruction, 80% on class examination.

Yearly Instructor fee: $75.00 (required to maintain instructor status)

Instructor requirements: First Aid and CPR certification, water sports liability insurance, 18 years of age and a minimum of 2 years of instructor experience.

A WPA Class I instructor may petition for a Class II level of instruction after one year of being a Class I instructor.  You may contact a Class II Teaching instructor or higher of your choice on the WPA instructors directory to inquire about obtaining a Class II certification.   Look for class dates posted on the WPA website and Facebook.

 

Requirements for higher levels of WPA certification

 

Class II

Requirements- a Class I instructor may petition to become a Class II instructor after one year as a Class I instructor with WPA .

Fee: $150.00 attend a class, $95.00 online (available soon)

80% on Class II examination, with five qualified references.

Yearly Instructor fee: $75.00

Instructor requirements: First Aid and CPR certification, water sports liability insurance, 19 years of age, minimum of 3 years of instruction experience.

 

Class II Trainer

Requirements- A Class I instructor may petition to become a Class II Teaching instructor after one year as a Class I instructor with the WPA and have been a teaching instructor the similar level or higher in stand up paddling or similar sport.  The instructor must exhibit the ability to instruct a class and clearly explain the Class I curriculum.

Fee: $195.00

2-3 hours of class instruction, 80% on Class II Teaching examination, with five qualified references.

Yearly Instructor fee: $75.00

Instructor requirements: First Aid and CPR certification, water sports liability insurance, 20 years of age, minimum of 4 years of instruction experience.

 

Class III

Requirements- WPA Class II Teaching instructor, 3 years as a WPA instructor (no lapse in yearly fees), specialized water safety training in one or more of the following areas: swift water rescue, white water, surf, able to write a training and workout program and have event coordination experience.

Fee: $295.00

Qualified to certify Class I & II instructors.

4-5 hours of class/water instruction, 80% on class examination and ten qualified references.

Yearly Instructor fee: $75.00

Instructor requirements: First Aid and CPR certification, water sports liability insurance, 21 years of age, 8 years of instruction experience

 

Master Class I

WPA Class III certification, multiple specialized water safety training and able to write a safety examination. A WPA Class III instructor may petition to become a Master Class I instructor two years from the date of completing their Class III certification class.

Fee: $295.00

Qualified to certify Class I, II & III instructors.

5 hours of class/water instruction, 80% on class examination and ten qualified references.

Yearly Instructor fee: $75.00

Instructor requirements: First Aid and CPR certification, water sports liability insurance, 10 years of instruction experience.

Complete the instructor application located on the “Instruction” tab for the proper level of instruction given your experience and or to apply for a higher level if you are currently a WPA certified instructor in good standing.

If you have any questions regarding WPA certifications please e-mail us at info@worldpaddleassociation.com.