It was the second time that the EPP core group organized a benchmark event. This time it was held in Slovenia, who took care of the gears and the guinea pigs.
Not surprisingly Slovenia sent most assessors and observers - and also `guinea pigs' to the assessments. All countries were represented, except Germany. In addition to the member countries also Norway and Italy participated. It was a successful session where not everyone passed, but a common European understanding of the EPP 3 levels were developed.
After the benchmark event there was a meeting between the member countries. It was a special day because Norway, after a long preparation applied for membership, and was accepted. Now the four Nordic countries are members of the EPP core group and the basis for further cooperation is established. Development continues of course throughout Europe. The plan for the admission of Italy is now in place, and if all ends meet, Italy may become the tenth member at the next meeting in Oslo in January.
If we look further ahead, the next benchmark event will be held in October 2015, probably as a collaboration between England and France. Here we will work with surf kayaking, ocean race and open canoe. So ambitious instructors and assessors can now consider if they can see themselves represent their country in October 2015. The EPP group was so pleased with the effect of the benchmark event, that the need to participate in the future, will be included in the Statutes. In the same revision of statutes, it was decided that the EPP group’s formal office now is in Sweden, so congratulations to the Swedish federation with this new task.
Development projects In the more discipline specific part of the meeting, we continued the work to standardize the understanding of the concept of `leadership' so that it will have the same meaning across countries, and will support the fundamental separation between personal skills (EPP) and the different national leader, -assessor and -instructor systems. We also discussed Stand Up Paddle (SUP) at the meeting, several countries now have experience of implementing the activity, and it will definitely benefit the national efforts. France investigates a new opportunity, with EU support to develop a common European standard for instructors. This work coincides with the French federation’s ambition to break down the barriers for other EU citizens to work as instructors and assessors in the canoeing and kayaking field in France.
Christian Jacobsen, chair
Pictures: Gregor Zadravec