Unit of competency details

SISOCNE304A - Apply inland canoeing skills on Grade 2 water (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISOCNE004 - Paddle a canoe on grade 2 riversNot equivalent. Title changed. River grade and conditions clarified throughout unit. Performing deep water rescues included. Unit now focuses on activity skills rather than planning; planning removed. Planning skills for leaders covered in SISOPLN001, SISOPLN002, SISOPLN004 & SISOPLN005. Significant changes to performance criteria and knowledge evidence. 10/Sep/2019
Supersedes and is equivalent to SROCNE004A - Apply inland canoeing skills on Grade 2 waterE Updated and equivalent to SROCNE004A Apply inland canoeing skills on Grade 2 water 06/Jun/2011

ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 28/Nov/2011
(View details for release 1) 07/Jun/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 092101 Sport And Recreation Activities  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 092101 Sport And Recreation Activities  18/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to apply inland canoeing skills on Grade 2 water. Grade 2 water is determined by the International River Grading System. This unit focuses on personal canoeing skills, such as the ability to control and manoeuvre a canoe on Grade 2 water.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to those working as canoeing guides or assistants under supervision in a range of controlled inland conditions, including Grade 2 water.

This unit may also apply to leaders working for outdoor education or adventure providers; volunteer groups; not-for-profit organisations or government agencies.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.



Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

1. Plan a canoeing activity.

1.1. Identify and plan food and water requirements  according to principles of nutrition  and contextual issues .

1.2. Identify an appropriate activity location according to relevant legislation  and organisational policies and procedures .

1.3. Access relevant sources  to interpret weather and environmental information  and determine activity plan.

1.4. Identify potential hazards  associated with the activity and determine a contingency plan to manage risks .

1.5. Determine appropriate contingency plans .

2. Select equipment.

2.1. Select canoe  and equipment  according to contextual issues and organisational policies and procedures, and check working condition.

2.2. Fit and adjust equipment according to manufacturer's specifications to ensure comfort, safety and suitability to the participant and canoe.

2.3. Select personal equipment for the activity and identify the design and or construction features that make it appropriate.

2.4. Select safety and rescue equipment appropriate to the activity location.

2.5. Waterproof, pack and fasten equipment that is not required on hand and prepare canoe for transportation if required.

3. Control canoe in moving water.

3.1. Embark and disembark  the canoe while maintaining stability.

3.2. Apply appropriate strokes  and paddling techniques  to cross and break into and out of currents.

3.3. Negotiate or avoid hazards using a combination of strokes and techniques.

3.4. Support the canoe using the paddle to prevent capsize.

3.5. Apply knowledge of river and hydrological features to assist in controlling the canoe.

4. Plan and run a route through a rapid.

4.1. Scout and assess sections of moving water  to identify hydrological features, hazards and impediments.

4.2. Select and navigate preferred route using efficient strokes and technique.

4.3. Maintain communication  with other paddlers.

5. Apply capsize procedures.

5.1. Exit the canoe in a controlled manner following capsize.

5.2. Maintain appropriate body position in the water to minimise injury and entrapment.

5.3. Manoeuvre the upturned canoe to shore or to rescue craft, and empty water from canoe.

5.4. Re-enter the canoe in an eddy or bring ashore.

6. Evaluate canoeing activity.

6.1. Evaluate relevant aspects  of the canoeing activity.

6.2. Identify improvements for future canoeing experiences.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • planning and organising skills to select and allocate canoeing equipment
  • problem-solving skills to:
  • decide on stroke and capsizing techniques to use according to the conditions
  • determine how to manage risks
  • communication skills to interact with other paddlers and rescue crew to maintain a positive and safe environment
  • river reading skills, such as direction and speed of flow, currents, eddies and other hydrological features that may impact on paddling and safety
  • canoe handling skills to apply a range of strokes and paddling techniques to control and stabilise the canoe in Grade 2 water
  • swimming skills to remove self from danger after a capsize and to manoeuvre canoe to shore
  • first aid, emergency response and rescue skills appropriate to the location to enable initial response to emergencies and personal health care.

Required knowledge 

  • legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable safe conduct of all canoeing activities
  • minimal impact codes to enable protection of the environment
  • international river grading system to understand conditions and appropriateness of the river to the level of participants
  • types of canoes and equipment, characteristics and technology used for canoeing on Grade 2 water, the advantages and disadvantages of the range of equipment, and factors affecting appropriate selection
  • clothing requirements for canoeing such as wet weather gear to maintain warmth and sun protection to minimise sunburn and heat stroke
  • waterproofing techniques used to keep equipment, that is not required on hand, dry during canoeing
  • importance of a personal flotation device in keeping a person afloat and their head above water
  • stroke and capsizing techniques used in Grade 2 water
  • hydrology and river features such as currents, banks, change in gradient and volume, and how these might impact on the canoeing experience
  • swimming techniques to swim out of trouble and manoeuvre canoe to shore
  • communication systems and signals used on rivers
  • navigation applicable to inland river trips
  • principles of nutrition to maintain health during canoeing
  • weather and environmental information to identify forecast conditions and their effect on the activity
  • risks commonly experienced when canoeing on Grade 2 water, and methods to avoid or negotiate these
  • emergency and rescue procedures appropriate for canoeing on Grade 2 water, to ensure risk minimisation to self and group.

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • applies relevant process to plan equipment and supply requirements according to the conditions and duration of the canoeing activity
  • applies knowledge of rivers and hydrological features to manoeuvre canoe, interpret and negotiate hazards and rapids, and determine preferred route
  • demonstrates control of strokes and capsizing techniques in Grade 2 moving water
  • evaluates and reflects on own canoeing performance to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas that need improvement.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure participation in multiple canoeing activities in Grade 2 rapids to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance.

Assessment must also ensure access to:

  • resources and information, such as weather sources, to plan and select equipment for the canoeing activity
  • suitable inland rivers with moving water, up to and including Grade 2 rapids
  • canoeing, navigation, first aid and safety and rescue equipment
  • a suitable and safe method of transport, if required to drive canoe to and from activity location.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • observation of the planning and review process
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable safe conduct of all canoeing activities
  • observation of safe participation and demonstration of canoeing skills, such as capsizing a canoe
  • third-party reports from a supervisor detailing performance.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • SISOWWR201A Demonstrate self rescue skills in white water.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Food and water requirements  may include:

  • menu planning and preparation
  • range of foods.

Principles of nutrition  may include:

  • food groups
  • dietary guidelines
  • individual food requirements and allergies.

Contextual issues  may include:

  • weather conditions, including times
  • season
  • transport
  • location
  • trip distance and duration
  • group objectives
  • group size.

Relevant legislation  may include:

  • occupational health and safety
  • permits or permission for access
  • environmental regulations
  • marine regulations.

Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

  • occupational health and safety
  • use and maintenance of equipment
  • communication protocols
  • emergency and safety procedures
  • minimal impact codes
  • international river grading system
  • code of ethics.

Relevant sources  may include:

  • Bureau of Meteorology
  • media
  • land managers or agencies
  • coastal patrol or coastguard
  • volunteer marine rescue
  • local knowledge.

Weather and environmental information  may include:

  • satellite images
  • daily and weekly forecasts
  • maximum and minimum temperatures
  • weather warnings
  • event warnings
  • river levels
  • synoptic charts
  • high and low tide predictions.

Hazards  may include:

  • temperature extremes
  • slippery or unstable terrain
  • dangerous animals and insects
  • stinging trees and nettles
  • dense vegetation
  • group management hazards
  • slippery or unstable shore
  • poor posture, poor technique
  • poor carrying techniques
  • loose or insecure craft when being transported.
  • other craft.

Contingency plan  may include:

  • contingency exit points for group evacuation
  • summoning of assistance if required
  • alternative location and or route
  • spare equipment in case of loss or damage.

Risks  may include:

  • heat exhaustion
  • hypothermia
  • heat exhaustion
  • injuries
  • exhaustion
  • lost party or party member
  • equipment failure.

Canoe  may include:

  • C1 craft
  • C2 craft.

Equipment  may include:

  • canoe
  • paddles
  • helmets
  • personal flotation device
  • spray deck
  • navigation equipment
  • safety and rescue equipment
  • air bags
  • first aid equipment.

Embark and disembark  may include:

  • in eddies
  • in moving water
  • from a bank
  • from a ledge.

Strokes  may include:

  • forward and reverse
  • J
  • sweep
  • draw
  • support.

Paddling Techniques  may include:

  • use of trunk rotation
  • correct posture
  • use of leg drive
  • hand placement on paddle
  • blade placement in water
  • blade depth in water
  • paddle blade angle throughout stroke
  • paddle entry and exit points
  • movement of top hand through the stroke
  • lean or edge of the craft
  • smooth transfer between different strokes
  • edging or leaning.

Moving water  may include:

  • rivers with Grade 2, moving water
  • low ledges and drops, and easy eddies.

Communication  may include:

  • calls
  • whistles
  • paddle signals
  • hand or arm signals
  • International River Signals.

Relevant aspects  may include:

  • objectives
  • planning process
  • activity site
  • weather
  • equipment selection
  • clothing selection
  • food selection
  • instructional content
  • instructional technique
  • assessment technique
  • group feedback
  • directing techniques
  • rescue techniques employed.

Unit Sector(s)

Outdoor Recreation

Competency Field