The British Canoeing Star Awards are designed for paddlers aged 16 and over.
1 and 2 star awards encourage paddlers to experience the various types of paddlesport available. Paddlers then 'specialise' in particular disciplines from the 3 Star Award onwards. The focus of the 1, 2 and 3 star awards is developing personal skills and gaining independence, while the 4 star and 5 star awards are leadership awards which enable paddlers to lead groups in appropriate conditions.
It is not essential to progress directly through the awards i.e. paddlers don't need to hold the lower award before progressing (other than at 5 Star).