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Clubmark and Topclub

Clubmark / Top Club Accreditation Scheme

Canoe England recognises that our clubs are a key factor in the development and growth of our sport and we value their commitment. In partnership with clubs we have developed different club accreditation schemes to support club growth.

All of the schemes cover:

  • The Activity Programme
  • Duty of Care and Safeguarding and Protecting Children
  • Sports Equity and Ethics
  • Club Management

Benefits of Accreditation

  • Sport England accredited kitemark
  • Annual needs analysis leading to support from Canoe England Canoeing Development Officers (CDOs)
  • Support to develop an annual plan
  • Support to create and develop policies and procedures alongside best practice
  • Discounted Paddlepower resources from Canoe England E-shop
  • Direct funding opportunities from Canoe England
  • Access to greater external funding opportunities
  • Support from other sports organisations
  • Recognition from schools, parents and Local Authorities
  • Raised profile and promotion of the club or centre
  • Coach and volunteer development
  • Strong youth structure that ensures future growth
  • Increased membership

The different options

Clubmark is Sport England‘s quality accreditation that demonstrates to sporting partners, local authorities, schools and parents, that a club meets the minimum operating standards to ensure clubs serve young people well, by offering a quality experience in a welcoming environment. Clubmark criteria can be found here.

Top Club follows the same framework of criteria and standards as Clubmark but allows a club to provide evidence that they have systems and procedures in place to demonstrate they operate above the minimum operating standards. This type of club is offering more to Paddlesport, its members and the community.

Top Club Gold again much of the same levels of criteria as Clubmark and Top Club but this type of club are demonstrating that they are a very active club in both a community and performance based role.

Paddle-Ability Top Club is an additional bolt-on award to either Top Club or Top Club Gold which allows clubs to gain recognition for their additional disability provision.  Most of the Paddle-Ability criteria are extensions of the Top Club criteria.


If you are interested in becoming an accredited club, either contact your local Canoeing Development Officer or download and complete the registration form.

Once you have completed and returned your registration form, your local Canoeing Development Officer will arrange a time to meet and discuss the process, develop an action plan with you, and support your club to achieve accreditation.