December 2014

swimming instructor certifications

Swimming Instructors: The Origins

As with every sports coach, the swimming instructor has to go through a series of certification programmes before he/she is qualified to teach. But what are the qualifications out there that can equip you with the knowledge required to be an excellent swimming instructor? This post serves to tell you more!

SG-Coach (Previously known as the National Coaching Accreditation Programme or NCAP)

The SG-Coach programme is a training and development programme created by Sport Singapore to train professional coaches in Singapore. In order to become a full fledged swimming instructor under this programme and be registered with the National Registry of Coaches (NROC), one must achieve the following certifications; Standard First Aid, Lifesaving 1, 2, 3, Basic Sport Science, SG-Coach Theory Level 1, SG-Coach Technical (Swimming) Level 1. The minimum age requirement is 18.

In order to register for the SG-Coach Technical (Swimming) Level 1 course, you should have acquired all the other certificates as listed above. Preliminary testing in the form of a skill test of your proficiency of the 4 strokes (namely, front crawl, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke) for 25m per stroke will be conducted before lessons begin. Only selected candidates will be admitted to the course with lessons conducted twice a week. At the end of the course, candidates will have to pass a practical assessment and a theory exam. Successful candidates will be required to complete 24 attachment sessions before qualifying as a swimming coach.

Any instructor who wishes to teach at the Sport Singapore pools will have to go through a 2-day SwimSafer Instructor’s Course to qualify for the pool usage permit.

AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety™

The AUSTSWIM programme has a minimum age requirement of 17 and requires candidates to go through a 16-20 hour programme covering both theory and practical components. After which, candidates will have to complete an online theory assessment, demonstrate the ability to write lesson plans and demonstrate teaching skills through supervised on the job training and demonstrate competence in water safety techniques. AUSTSWIM instructors are required to renew their CPR annually in order for their license to be valid.

ASCTA Swim Australia™ Teacher

The ASCTA programme requires the candidates to undertake a 5-hour sideline observation before attending a practical induction programme and complete an online theory assessment. They will then have to demonstrate their competency in writing a lesson plan and practical teaching. Candidates are also required to be CPR certified and be of 17 years of age.

STA Swimming Teachers’ Certificate

The STA programme consists of two levels, the Basic Teachers Course (BTC) followed by the Swimming Teachers’ Certificate (STC). Candidates must first possess a minimum of lifesaving 1,2,3  and Standard First Aid or CPR certificates.

At the BTC level, candidates are to go through a skill test on their proficiency of front crawl, breaststroke and backstroke for 25m per stroke. . At the end of the course, candidates will have to pass a practical assessment and a theory exam. Candidates must be at least 17 years of age.

At STC level, candidates must be in possession of the BTC certificate are required to go through a skills test on their proficiency of the 4 strokes (front crawl, breast stroke, back stroke and butterfly for 50m per stroke. At the end of the course, candidates will have to pass a practical assessment and a theory exam. Candidates must be at least 18 years of age.



Lifeguard: The Origins

Since the 1800s, lifeguards have been safeguarding the lives and safety of people when swimming first gained popularity as a recreational activity. Based on the data provided by the International Lifesaving Federation, 1.2 million people around the world die drowning every year. The numbers are staggering, considering the widespread availability of swimming and water safety lessons. In an earlier post, we have also shed some light on the truth about the role of a lifeguard in Singapore.

So, how do you become a lifeguard in Singapore?

In order to become a lifeguard, you must first be a proficient swimmer. There is no need for you to possess swimming certificates such as NASSA, SwimSafer or SSPA. Most lifesaving teachers will assess your level of proficiency in swimming and it would be a huge advantage if you are proficient in the breaststroke.

Next, you will have to earn the Lifesaving 1, 2 and 3 certificates that are awarded by the Singapore Lifesaving Society (SLSS). At this stage, you will be equipped with theoretical knowledge of water safety, water and land based rescues and the practical applications lifesaving techniques. These certificates can be awarded concurrently and will serve as the prerequisites for the Bronze Medallion (BM), which is recognised in all Commonwealth countries.

After achieving the Lifesaving 1, 2 and 3 certificates, you will qualify for BM training. At this stage, speed and stamina is key. The practical components are as follows:

  1. Undress (you will be in long sleeved shirt and pants/skirt) and swim 50 meters, then perform clothing tow for 50 meters in 3 minutes 15 seconds
  2. Swim 50 meters followed by a chin tow for 50 meters
  3. Swim 15 meters and tow a submerged casualty to shore in 1 minute 15 seconds, timing stops when you administer the first rescue blow
  4. Initiative exercise where you have to apply your lifesaving knowledge to a scenario set by your examiner

You will also be required to pass a separate CPR test prior to your BM test. There will also be a theoretical component testing your understanding of water safety, rescue principles, survival in water and emergency aftercare.

Upon clearing the BM, you will be eligible to apply for lifeguarding positions. This is subject to in-house fitness criteria and in some cases, you will need to be AED certified. Embark on your journey to become a lifeguard and you will be part of a noble group that safeguards the lives of others.