About the UKCA

Standards, Development, Certification

The UKCA is a non-profit organisation recognised as the National Awarding and Training Body for canyoning and gorge walking activities throughout the UK. 

We aim to deliver high quality, standardised, internationally recognised training and certification. The UKCA training and certification courses are designed for all canyoneers from recreational through to professional level. Our training courses follow standards set out by professional experts and industry standards. We're responsible for promoting the highest standards of canyoning instruction and guiding, striving to ensure that canyoneers and participants enjoy quality, safe and fun experiences.

There has been a long history of gorge walking in outdoor centres across the UK, and recently more commercial companies are providing canyoning trips to their clients. With a rapid increase in interest in the sport, UKCA has been formed to provide a resource for canyoners all over the UK, to provide training, guidance and support in the current best practices to recreational canyoners, professional guides and centre owners alike.


The UKCA purpose is to:

“To support and inspire the canyoning industry and sport through standards, development and certification”

The UKCA vision is to:

“To provide a positive environment to raise the standards of canyoning practice and instruction nationally”

Our Aims:

  • Provide excellent comprehensive training and assessment courses.
  • Develop awareness of canyoning across the UK.
  • Provide technical advice to outdoor providers.
  • Develop a network of professional guides and instructors.
  • Offer a training pathway for professionals to become experts in canyoning.
  • Create and promote more opportunities for exploration and adventure.
  • Develop international relationships for crossover pathways and training opportunities.
  • Attract new members and improve member engagement and satisfaction.



The UKCA is a non-profit association made up of volunteers who are passionate about canyoning. The committee’s goal is to create an open community, where we can all contribute to the development of all aspects of canyoning in the UK and Internationally. 

The UKCA Board of Trustees is responsible for determining the future direction of our organization, controlling finances, making rules, and determining policy for standards and training programs. The Board of Trustees will sit for 2 terms (2 years).

The committee structure has been designed to allow each and every member to have their say in the organisation. Each year an AGM is held to discuss relevant topics to move the development of the UKCA forwards.  All paying members have voting rights to appoint new committee and board members to keep the committees fresh, motivated, and active. 


Board of Trustees

Ben Case - Founder/Chairman

Ben Starkie - Founder/Vice Chairman

Olly Baylis - Founder/Secretary

George Yates - Founder/Treasurer

Driven by passion!

Our team of Trustees has 60+ years combined canyoning experience, we have a well seasoned team at the helm.  

Trustees are responsible for determining the future direction of our organization, controlling finances, making rules, and determining policy for standards and training programs.

Ben Case


Ben is an instructor in a range of outdoor activities, he has worked in the outdoor industry for 10 years. His background is mainly mountain activities, but he can’t stay out of the water, the ideal combination for canyoning. Ben has been canyoning for 12 years. He is co-owner/founder of The Canyoning Company, V7 Academy and one of the UKCA founders.Read More

Ben Starkie

Founder/Vice Chairman

Ben has been professionally canyoning for 24 years. He has a full range of industrial and professional outdoor qualifications, and he has worked/travelled around the world. Ben is the owner of Vertical Descents and Outdoor Safety Training, and one of the UKCA founders. Read More

Olly Baylis 


Olly has been involved in canyoning for the past 22 years. Over the years he has gained a vast amount of skills and experience as a canyon guide and trainer here in the UK and abroad. He now works with leading canyoning providers in Scotland and is one of the UKCA founders.Read More

George Yates 


George has been involved in canyoning in the UK and internationally for the past 13 years. He is an accomplished canyon guide and trainer, with vast experience teaching and guiding around the world. George co-owns The Canyoning Company and V7 Academy. He is the training advisor and one of the UKCA founders.Read More

General Committee

Chairman - Ben Case

Vice Chairman - Ben Starkie

Training Coordinator - George Yates 

Secretary - Olly Balyis

Scotland Representative - Dale Strang

Wales Representative - TBC 

England Representative - Ben Bryant 

Do you have a passion for canyoning? Are you motivated? Do you have a desire to develop canyoning in the UK? 

If you are interested in joining the UKCA committee or Board contact the Chairman or email the association admin@ukcanyoning.org