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Royal Life Saving and National Aquatic Industry Committee provides qualification extensions update

Royal Life Saving and National Aquatic Industry Committee provides qualification extensions update
September 14, 2021

An updated position statement on ongoing reaccreditation and licensing requirements for key aquatic industry positions has been released today by the Royal Life Saving Society - Australia and the National Aquatic Industry Committee (NAIC).

Extending the re-accreditation and re-licensing requirements for key aquatic industry roles like lifeguards and swimming and water safety teachers, the latest amendment to the position now ensures that extensions for pool lifeguards mirror the length of the associated lockdown, for example: a 12-week lockdown would equate to a 12-week extension on re-accreditation requirements.

The statement recognises that the aquatic industry has been deeply affected by COVID-19 lockdowns which mandated the closure of public and learn-to-swim aquatic facilities.

It provides certainty on rostering aquatic industry staff whose reaccreditation and/or licence renewal for key qualifications has been affected by recent lockdowns.

RJ Houston, Royal Life Saving’s National Manager of Aquatics for and Chair of the NAIC, welcomed the statement, commenting “this nationally agreed guidance 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 nationally-consistent approach for aquatic facility staff and management.”

Frontline employees are the most financially vulnerable to lockdowns and the committee expressed significant concern for those workers, the majority of whom are classed as casual. The intent of the position statement is to ensure aquatic industry workers can get reaccredited and/or licensed when facilities reopen.

Note: the latest provision has not been applied by the NAIC to swim teacher licensing due to the three-year nature of the license and the availability of @home CPD and CPR options.

Click here to view the position statement.

Guidelines For Safe Pool Operations (GSPO) COVID-19 - Consultation Period Extension
The NAIC is currently reviewing draft updates to the COVID-19 Guidelines.

The document is intended to provide guidance to assist aquatic facility operators determine how best to manage the risk of COVID-19 in their workplace. It provides a framework that links to more detailed advice from State and Territory Health Departments as well as Safe Work Australia and Fair Work Australia.

The document is not intended to prescribe specific approaches, but instead seeks to help businesses determine what is appropriate for their individual workplaces and circumstances and support local decision-making.

The changes build on the existing guideline, with new additions highlighted throughout the draft.

The draft inclusions provide guidance on contemporary issues on treating the risk of COVID-19 in aquatic facilities and swim schools.

Due to the quickly evolving COVID-19 situation, the Guideline is being updated and reviewed by the NAIC with an aim to publish by the end of September.

The NAIC met on 10th September to collate and review initial feedback. The NAIC agreed to:

  • Extend the consultation period until 22nd September
  • Adjust the training section (CV3) to further emphasise the need to adhere to local health rules
  • Adjust the vaccination section (CV4) to underline that the section is intended to support decision-making surrounding mandatory vaccinations for either staff or patrons
  • Make minor adjustments to the CV1 and CV2 sections, which collectively look at the risk management process of managing COVID-19 risk, to ensure the national framework compliments all state and territory local rules wherever possible

To provide feedback, please use the provided form, and send to:

Click here to download the draft GSPO: Managing the Risk of COVID-19 in Aquatic Facilities.

Click here to download the feedback form (Excel)

Feedback closes 22nd September 2021 (extended from 10th September).

Related Articles

13th September 2021 - Aquatics and Recreation Institute charts sector’s roadmap to reopening

13th September 2021 - AUSTSWIM opens nomination for 2021 Awards of Excellence

9th September 2021 - Carlile Swimming mandates staff vaccination

9th September 2021 - Gyms, stadiums and recreation facilities to reopen to fully vaccinated adults as part of NSW’s new roadmap to ‘freedom’

9th September 2021 - CERM invites industry input to 2021 operational benchmarking survey

6th September 2021 - 90% of aquatic facility owners, operators and staff heading towards becoming fully vaccinated

6th September 2021 - Queensland Aquatic Industry Alliance reports on success over past 18 months

3rd September 2021 - 400 delegates from 20 countries dial in to Australian Swim Schools Association’s 2021 Conference

27th August 2021 - 2021 South Australian Aquatics State Conference less than a week away

23rd August 2021 - Royal Life Saving provides guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations and aquatic facilities

10th August 2021 - Aquatic industry delivers $9 billion in economic, health and social benefits to Australia

9th August 2021 - Y NSW calls on NSW Government to support the survival of community sport, aquatics and recreation sector

29th July 2021 - Analysis of aquatic and fitness centres performance through June shows changing consumer behaviour

7th July 2021 - With swim schools facing permanent closure industry leader calls for learn-to-swim services to be classed as an essential service

18th May 2021 - Royal Life Saving highlights lifeguard and swim teacher shortage as providing opportunities for job seekers

17th May 2021 - Royal Life Saving’s Justin Scarr sees opportunities for aquatic facility infrastructure in Federal budget

17th May 2021 - Life Saving Victoria offers swim teachers free licence renewal in June

13th April 2021 - Union says swim teachers set up and pack up is paid work

8th April 2021 - Swim Australia shares resources to aid swim teacher recruitment

18th March 2021 - Drastic shortage of swim teachers puts young Australians at risk

13th September 2020 - Royal Life Saving survey suggests that swim school enrolments fell by 30% in August

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