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National Aquatic Industry Committee advises on conditions for swim teachers, lifeguards and instructors affected by Victoria’s lockdowns

National Aquatic Industry Committee advises on conditions for swim teachers, lifeguards and instructors affected by Victoria’s lockdowns
June 11, 2021

Royal Life Saving Society - Australia (RLSSA) and the National Aquatic Industry Committee (NAIC) have released a position statement on ongoing reaccreditation and licensing requirements in Victoria for key aquatic industry positions considering recent COVID-19 restrictions and associated lockdowns in Victoria which have mandated the closure of public and learn-to-swim aquatic facilities.

Released yesterday, the position is considered against the remit of the NAIC as a steering committee for national industry guidelines and their responsibility in driving safe aquatic facility operations.

The position provides owners and operators of aquatic facilities with some certainty on the status on their ability to roster aquatic industry staff whose qualifications have been affected by recent lockdowns as they look to reopen their businesses soon.

RJ Houston, National Manager of Aquatics for RLSSA and Chair of the NAIC, advised “this nationally agreed guidance is to be welcomed in these uncertain times, and gives the aquatic industry sector confidence in managing the risks associated with disruptions to the availability of reaccreditation and license renewal processes for key service staff.

With several Registered Training Organisations all providing services to staff across the industry, the Committee felt it was prudent to develop a consistent approach as soon as possible to create certainty for affected aquatic facility staff and management.”

The fourth lockdown announced by the Victorian Government on Friday 28th May to close all public aquatic facilities and swim schools in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on the aquatic industry. With around 600 aquatic facilities and swim schools affected. Frontline employees have been the most financially vulnerable to lockdowns and significant concern has been felt by the committee in ensuring those frontline workers, the majority of whom are classed as casual, are able to get reaccredited and/or licensed when facilities are able to reopen.

Click here to view the position statement.

The Australian Government has a longstanding agreement with RLSSA to provide services on behalf of the Australian aquatic industry. Specifically, RLSSA established the NAIC to lead the research, review and development of the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations (GSPO). The GSPO is intended to be a best practice guide for managers, lifeguards, instructors and others working in the industry on the safe operation of aquatic locations.

The NAIC has the goal of strengthening the health, safety and viability of aquatic facility ownership and operations across Australia.

For more information go to www.royallifesaving.com.au/Aquatic-Risk-and-Guidelines/aquatic-industry/national-aquatic-industry-committee

Image: Swim Teacher at the Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre.

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