Invitation to apply for Instructor Trainer certification

Instructor Trainer (IT) Requirements/Prerequisites

  • Must be able to swim at least 200 yards, lift and carry all gear, and overall be in good physical shape.
  • Be competent in padding on flat water and any course genres they teach (e.g. surf, river, downwind).
  • Have up-to-date First Aid / CPR or Wilderness First Aid skills, and will keep a First Aid kit on-site during the course.
  • Must have liability insurance through his/her own business.
  • Flat Water Level 2 course completion for new Instructor Trainers.
  • Course Trainer Workshop or Refresher Course completion.
  • Paddling/Water Resume.
  • Up to 3 References from colleagues.


Code of Ethics

  • Keep SUP skills, techniques and overall knowledge of the sport up to date.
  • Give priority to keeping his/her students safe. Choose an appropriate location for a course/area, that you know well, and are able to recognize any hazards in the area.
  • Anticipate dangers and obstacles and avoid taking students into conditions above his/her skill level.
  • Have an emergency action plan in case of accident and appropriate communication on-site.
  • Appropriately model safety requirements and paddling techniques, regardless of her/his paddling skill level.
  • Instructor and students will wear a PFD/leash until they are safely secured via land, dock, anchor or pod during class while on-water.
  • Make sure all students are wearing appropriate immersion and paddling clothing for the water and air temperature.
  • Know course material and always be prepared for class and effectively manage the course time.
  • Follow PSUPA student to teacher "on water" ratio requirements for requirements for each course genre. (Noted in Section D below)
  • Maintain a positive learning environment.
  • Use a Leave No Trace philosophy (
  • Be a positive coach and leader.
  • Do not abuse role as a leader, which includes not stereotyping a student and not sexually harassing a student.
  • No Discrimination will be tolerated in any way based on race, gender, religion, political, sexual preference or personal identity choice.
  • Be a good SUP Ambassador, having passion for teaching and paddling.


Expectations for PSUPA Instructor Trainer (IT)

  • Train students to be quality PSUPA instructors, embracing PSUPA teaching methodology, with a creative and fun approach to sharing a passion for the sport.
  • Schedule and provide a minimum of 1 training session a year.
  • Provide each student with a printed or digital copy of Instructor Manual for class use, to be used as a standard and baseline for teaching, only after the student is a PSUPA member.
  • When appropriate, assist in evaluating IT Candidates by Sponsoring them (allowing them to shadow teaching) and/or weighing in with IT Peers on Candidate’s acceptance as IT in organization.
  • Lend your particular expertise to the organization and to its members for the credibility, growth and improvement of the organization, and to help improve and develop all aspects of certification course curricula.
  • Actively participate by reading and responding to questions posted on PSUAP members-only forum - which is a members-only benefit – to help members improve their teaching and/or businesses.
  • Be available to the primary operating PSUPA business managers and respond to calls/e-mails within a reasonable time period.
  • Verify certification prerequisites are met by students prior to class, such as CPR/First Aid or Wilderness First Aid, active PSUPA membership, signed liability form, and any specific course requirements.


Additional PSUPA Standards

  • PSUPA Student-to-Teacher Ratio: Most insurance companies require a maximum of a 1-to-5 (on water) teacher-to-student ratio for flat water and 1-to-4 for dynamic water (surf, rivers, etc). For large groups of 10-15 students, consider having 2 to 3 backup guides or instructors.
  • Check the weather conditions of your class location. Be prepared to move to a calmer location or cancel if necessary.
  • Make sure everyone has appropriate and properly functioning paddling clothing and gear for the class prior to entering water.
  • Do a gear check prior to leaving beach or dock.
  • River course should be no more than Class 2+; Surfing course should be with waves no more than 5’ (front side); (Downwind guidelines - to be determined).
  • Always keep an eye on your students and keep them corralled in a tight group.
  • Carry a First Aid Kit, gear repair kit, VHF or water-proof cell phone (if there’s reception), and a tow system in case of rescue or accident. (Communication requirements increase if offshore, downwinding or in other dynamic water environment).


PSUPA’s Commitment and Responsibilities to Instructor Trainers (ITs)

  • Run an ethical business, upholding and enforcing, to the best of its ability, the agreed upon standards set forth in the certification programs and for the organization overall, while being open to growth and change through constructive criticism and feedback from all members of the organization.
  • Be available and open to communication from ITs, Advisors, CIs and Members, with a reasonable response time.
  • Run the administrative aspects of maintaining the organization, which include, but aren’t limited to: facilitating certification and membership cards and paperwork; maintaining website; moderate member-only and IT forums; maintaining membership database; bookkeeping; creating marketing materials; marketing.
  • Keep organization’s records and legal paperwork up to date.
  • Facilitate creating and updating Instruction Manuals for each genre by liaising with appropriate IT.
  • Facilitate creating and updating Certification Programs and Courses.
  • Create and issue certification and membership cards, and track multiple expiration dates.
  • Forward certification inquiries that come through website e-mail to appropriate ITs based-on region and genre of certification request.
  • Facilitate applications of IT Candidates among ITs to determine acceptance of new ITs in organization.
  • Facilitate review of ITs and if necessary Certified Instructors (CIs) who fail to follow Code of Ethics or fail to uphold the PSUPA teaching standards, and follow through with any recommended removals of IT or CI status.
  • Manage feedback of Instructor Evaluations from students
  • As a quality control measure, PSUPA business managers will conduct random class audits with students (via phone or form) in order to demonstrate consistent training practices across the entire organization.


  >>>>>>>>>  Click here to apply  <<<<<<<<<<