Coasteering Courses: Becoming A Qualified Guide
To become an official coasteering guide, you need to have first undergone physical and mental training. After all, you have a number of lives in your hands every single day on the job. Without proper training, you are not only putting yourself at risk, but also those on your tour, and even possibly bystanders if coasteering at a popular location.
Are there qualities that make a good coasteering guide?
Of course, there are! Any great coasteering guide must possess a number of qualities, including a passion for the open water and swimming ability, at some level. There are some things, such as first aid training and experience in the activities you will be teaching, that can be learnt during the course. However, again, previous knowledge in these areas will massively benefit you while training as a coasteering guide. You should also be driven, focused, willing to learn quickly, and be both a leader and a team player – coasteering will demand all of these attributes from you, and more.
Where can you take coasteering courses?
Coasteering courses should only ever be done in person, at physical training. This is because coasteering is a physical activity that can only be prepared for by doing it in person. You can take coasteering courses basically anywhere in the UK; however, it might be easiest finding a training site alongside the coastline as this is where the bulk of coasteering takes place, after all!
How can you become a coasteering guide?
To become a coasteering guide is no quick or simple feat. Though it varies from course to course, some of the most common minimum requirements of being admitted onto a course that allows you to become a professional coasteering guide include the following:
- Be a minimum of 18 years of age
- Be both physically and medically fit
- Have the ability to swim a minimum of 100m in a pool
- Have a minimum number of guided learning hours already completed prior to undergoing the course
Upon completing the coasteering guide training course, you should be trained in a number of things. Again, this will vary a little from course to course, but the essentials should all be there. The main things you need to know before becoming a certified coasteering guide include:
- Handling coasteering equipment and safety equipment
- First aid, including CPR and resuscitation
- Filing risk assessments
- Techniques for safe entry and exit to the water and caves
- Group management, including that specific to coasteering
- Safely planning a coasteer trip
- How to work with the RNLI, when needed, paramedics
- Both normal operating and emergency procedures, and how to identify when the latter should be implemented decisively and swiftly
How long is a coasteering guide training course?
Like all the other previous sections of this guide, the length of the coasteering training course varies from provider to provider. As general guidance, training will very rarely be a day or less. Some courses can be completed in two days, but be warned that these will be intensive and a lot of hard work. Some course may run longer than two days too, depending on the accreditation offered.
Are coasteering guide training courses accredited?
Any coasteering training course worth investing your money into will be accredited, yes. This is usually by at least one of the following bodies, though, of course, the more accreditations it offers, the better it is:
- National Coasteering Charter (NCC)
- National Water Safety Forum (NWSF)
- Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA)
Do coasteering guide training certifications expire?
Yes – it’s the same as the majority of other accreditations. Following initial approval and awarding of the certification, you will either have a 12-month or 24-month period thereafter in which you are a licenses coasteering guide. After that, you will be required to undertake a top-up training course, which is just to ensure you are aware of the latest coasteering safety guidelines and techniques.
Is there anything else I will have to do?
It’s impossible to truly say until you seek employment. However, the majority of coasteering providers will have their own training for you to undertake, including knowledge of the coasteering routes, any local history, and any company-specific lines of training such as their codes of conduct. At the end of the day, it is just a regular job – just outdoors in the great unknown!
Is it worth becoming a coasteering guide?
If it is a career you think you’re interested in, then absolutely! Coasteering is a relatively modern hobby, with it only being established in 1986, so it’s one of the hippest and trendiest forms of adrenaline-seeking there is right now. If you’re after a job that keeps you fit and on your toes, and chasing the best kind of thrills day after day, then coasteering could be a great choice of occupation for you.
To find out more information about training to become a coasteering guide, the best course of action is to visit the National Coasteering Charter, whose website can direct you to a number of useful resources including the location of all the NCC registered coasteering providers based around the UK.