Swim Teacher Supervisors providing vital support

26 July 2021

When the first COVID-19 lockdown forced the closure of swim schools across Australia for weeks, if not months, last year, the aquatic industry lost a slew of qualified staff. This meant that once swim schools were ready to re-open many struggled with a massive skills shortage that limited their ability to keep up with a strong demand for people re-enrolling in swimming lessons across the community.

In response to this Royal Life Saving WA launched a new nationally-recognised training course for swimming teachers, as part of the McGowan Government’s ‘Skills Ready’ initiative. The course, SWIM TEACHER by Royal Life Saving, made its official debut in early January, and since then has seen a total of 379 enrolments with 54 participants receiving their completed qualification to date. A recent course at Bold Park saw well over a dozen participants (pictured above) get involved, enthusiastically learning the skills they need to begin their journey as a swim instructor.

SWIM TEACHER by Royal Life Saving is an innovative and flexible training solution that offers candidates an industry-recognised Swim Teacher qualification from the SIS Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package, and is a WA Department of Health approved qualification for swimming and water safety instruction. The course combines online learning, face-to-face instruction and on-the-job practical hours, with successful participants gaining the qualifications needed to work as a Swimming and Water Safety Instructor across Australia.

The requirement for participants to complete on-the-job practical hours as part of their qualification has meant that Royal Life Saving needed to recruit workplace supervisors to oversee this training right across Western Australia. We now have 68 workplace supervisors registered at more than 58 centres in metro and regional areas.

COVID-19 restrictions and multiple snap lockdowns have meant that the completion of these practical learning hours has not always gone to plan, and has taken longer than expected, but the hard work and dedication of our workplace supervisors means all participants are receiving quality mentorship and practical skills.

Liz Fowler in the pool with participants in a women's only swimming programLiz Fowler (pictured left), long-time swim instructor and owner of Swim Mechanix, a Royal Life Saving WA Endorsed Swim School, is one of these workplace supervisors, and says the new SWIM TEACHER course has been a fantastic boost for the industry. “We’ve found that participants coming from the RLSSWA SWIM TEACHER course show more interest in the hands-on training as soon as they come on board. Being paired with a skilled and experienced instructor within our swim school allows them to develop their skills quickly and effectively.”

Royal Life Saving WA General Manager Operations, Ian Brown, says the SWIM TEACHER course aims to ensure students are equipped with the skills, knowledge, and qualifications needed to plan, deliver and assess swimming and water safety programs, and the involvement of these workplace supervisors is a key component of the training. “In collaboration with the aquatic recreation industry, we ensure that the students get to complete their practical hours at one of the many approved Endorsed Swim Schools in WA. The Workplace Supervisors play an essential role in assisting students to complete their training and develop the skills to become successful swimming teachers. This partnership with the aquatic recreation industry and Workplace Supervisors ensures that newly qualified swimming teachers are job ready.”

SWIM TEACHER by Royal Life Saving is an approved course in the WA Government Department of Training and Workforce Development Skills Ready program, the aim of which is to provide the ability for students to either prepare for their first job or reskill quickly for jobs that are available as WA’s economy recovers post COVID-19.

The course is available for free to eligible participants who qualify as part of the Skills Ready program. You can find out more at the link below.

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If you’re a qualified swim instructor who would like to register as a Workplace Supervisor please complete the form here.

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