Canyoning Grading System(s) for the UK
As canyoning arrived and developed in the UK so has the gradinging systems we use. When the UKCG (UK Canyon Guides) was initially set up there was a lot of influence from the USA canyoning scene the ACA (American Canyoneering Association) and Richard Carlson as a technical consultant for developing the association. Along with that influence came the ACA grading system which was created around the dry desert canyons in Utah.
Over the years more influence has come from the Alpine or European canyoning scene, our UK canyons are far more similar to the aquatic alpine canyons of Europe, subsequently we have started to adopt the international grading system or the FFME grading system. This system is more specific than the ACA grading system specifically grading Verticality and Aquatic characteristics of our canyons more in depth.
Canyons appear in a variety of different forms, and hazards, like slippery surfaces or dangerous water movements, change depending on the environment. How hazards are managed is a matter of personal preference, which creates some subjectivity in grading.