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Royal Life Saving invites nominations to the National Aquatic Industry Committee

Royal Life Saving invites nominations to the National Aquatic Industry Committee
March 3, 2021

Following the conclusion of the previous term of the National Aquatic Industry Committee (NAIC), Royal Life Saving Society - Australia is seeking nominations for the next term and phase of the NAIC into the 2021 to 2023 period.

The NAIC has the goal of strengthening the health, safety and viability of aquatic facility ownership and operations across Australia and is responsible for the development and endorsement of industry initiatives such as the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations (GSPO), National Aquatic Industry Workforce Profile, Economic Benefits of Aquatic Facilities Report, and other national research and advocacy initiatives.

Royal Life Saving aims to increase the swimming and water safety skills across the Australian community, support the aquatic industry to promote safety and prevent drowning in aquatic facilities. RLS has been working with the aquatic industry for over 125 years to facilitate leadership, support programs and services delivery and assist with raising the profile and standing of the Industry nationally and internationally.

To strengthen industry engagement and involvement, RLS established the NAIC to lead the research, review, and development of the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations (GSPO). First published in 1992, the GSPO is a set of detailed specifications and recommendations establishing best practice in design and operations of aquatic locations nationwide.

With the guidelines applying to over 1077 aquatic facilities and more than 1176 swim schools and their reference in numerous coronial and legal proceedings, the GSPO forms the definitive national industry standards written and authorised by the industry for the industry.

In addition to guidelines for lifeguarding, swim teaching, aquatic facility design and operations, the GSPO also contextualises relevant laws, policies and standards for aquatic facilities, including:

• National and State/Territory legislation and regulations
• International and Australian Standards
• Building Code of Australia
• Safe Work Australia Codes of Practice
• Australian Resuscitation Council Guidelines
• Australian Quality Training Framework

Royal Life Saving Society - Australia Chief Executive, Justin Scarr stated “there are few things more important to a community than the local swimming pool. 

"It provides a venue for fun, fitness, lessons and work, especially but not only for young people.

“If you want to contribute to safety culture, career development, risk management and approaches to measuring community impact of facilities, then joining the NAIC presents a great opportunity to lead, and contribute to advocacy, research and guidelines.” 

“We have a proud history working with the aquatic industry, government, schools and the community, and would encourage committed and passionate aquatic industry professionals to join us in this vital work.” 

The role of the committee is to:

• Develop, review and authorise the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations
• Facilitate debate and advocacy for the future directions of the aquatic industry
• Develop and champion the National Aquatic Industry Development Strategy
• Review and make recommendations to various groups including in the areas of Skills, workforce development, employment, safety
• Communicate and advocate the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations 

Speaking of the reformation of the NAIC, Belgravia Leisure Chief Executive, Nick Cox noted “the aquatics industry in Australia has a strong record of prioritising safety and we are extremely proud of being a part of the industry as employers of choice.”

“The next phase of the NAIC continues to recognise the importance of national advocacy and unites the industry to provide leadership for important initiatives such as drowning prevention through education.”

The NAIC achieves its objectives by:

• Enhancing the standing and reputation of the aquatic industry through the establishment and enforcement of universal and minimum guidelines for safe and sustainable aquatic facility operations
• Improving the understanding of the aquatic industry through coordination, communication and consultation between the aquatic industry and peak bodies
• Maintaining a robust evidence base for managing risk in aquatic facilities through research and evaluation
• Developing frameworks and resources that improve the capabilities of the aquatic industry
• Coordinating and regularly communicating to the aquatic industry.

YMCA Victoria Chief Executive, Carolyn Morris explained “we see the work of the NAIC as an important part in telling a story to government that our industry is united, organised, dedicated and committed to enhancing community wellbeing outcomes.

“We are an industry that employs over 67,000 Australians, especially young Australians, and those that need flexible work for parenting or study reasons. Often our people work in aquatics to make a positive impact in their community.”

It is recognised that the aquatic industry and aquatic facility management comprises a diverse web of stakeholders and organisations who span important areas, ownership and management models. As such, the NAIC’s membership is a multi-stakeholder model which aims to reflect the diversity, and vibrancy of the aquatic industry. To fill any gaps the NAIC convenes taskforces who work on specialist areas and priority issues.

The previous NAIC consisted of representatives from:
• Royal Life Saving Society - Australia
• Representatives from national swimming-based organisations
  o Swimming Australia
  o Australian Council for Swimming and Water Safety Teachers (AUSTSWIM)
  o Australian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA)
• Representatives of state entities with a focus on aquatic facility management
  o Aquatics and Recreation Victoria (ARV)
  o Aquatic Recreation Institute (NSW)
  o Leisure Institute of Western Australia Aquatics (LIWA)
• Representatives of local government 
  o Brisbane City Council
• Representatives of facility managers 
  o Club Group
  o Belgravia Leisure
  o YMCA
  o Sea Lyons Aquatics

RLSSA National Manager - Aquatics, RJ Houston added "members of the NAIC are appointed for a two years term, and requires a firm commitment of your time and expertise to the work of the NAIC.

“Selection will be based on a variety of factors to ensure that the NAIC has diverse and skilled representation, including: across geographic locations, urban and regional; large, medium and small operators, and commercial learn to swim centres and businesses.

“To ensure the NAIC membership represents the depth, breadth, and scale of the industry we are seeking applications from a number of stakeholders including designers, builders, owners, operators, peak bodies, training organisations and government agencies.”

Some of the priorities to be confirmed by the committee in 2021 include:

• Setting the National Aquatic Industry Strategy 
• Setting a national industry agenda for ‘bouncing back from COVID-19’ 
• Determining the national advocacy and research needs of the industry 
• Reviewing and updating existing GSPOs where relevant
• Developing and authorising new guidelines where relevant

LIWA Executive Officer, Steve Good went on to say “the work of the NAIC to date has been a positive case study in industry groups working together for the betterment of the entire industry nationally.

“We have been proud to contribute to the creation of national industry standards on behalf of the industry in Western Australia that ultimately enhance community wellbeing across the country.” 

“We look forward to the continued work of this group in continuing to enhance the standing of industry nationally and advancing the industry’s interests.”

Nominations close on Friday 12th March 2021.

To nominate for a position on the NAIC, go to and download a nomination form. 

Alternatively, contact 

Main image: Kawana Aquatic Centre. Credit: Sunshine Coast Council.

Related Articles

2nd March 2021 - Aquatic and Recreation Institute NSW announces organisational and staff changes

1st March 2021 - Research sheds light on supervision issues at public aquatic facilities

26th February 2021 - Queensland Premier suggests new stadium and aquatic sport venue to be built if Brisbane secures 2032 Olympics

24th February 2021 - Perth Lord Mayor questions costs of new aquatic centre

25th January 2021 - Surf Life Saving Australia warns drowning deaths more likely on public holidays

18th December 2020 - Belgravia Leisure’s achievements in aquatic programs and facilities recognised at AUSTSWIM Awards

10th December 2020 - Royal Life Saving launches 2020/21 South Australian Vacswim program

23rd November 2020 - Royal Life Saving’s latest Keep Watch campaign highlights tragic drowning toll among children aged under 12 months

16th November 2020 - LIWA Aquatics Regional Seminar marks return of face-to-face events

30th September 2020 - CQU researcher seeks input with study into drowning prevention strategies

6th October 2020 - Royal Life Saving concerned over significant fall in swimming lesson enrolments

23rd September 2020 - Paul Sadler Swimland concerned that limited access to swimming lessons increases drowning risks for children

18th September 2020 - Royal Life Saving and Surf Life Saving Australia report males account for 80% of all drowning deaths

25th August 2020 - Royal Life Saving introduces new conflict management course for the aquatic industry

11th August 2020 - Royal Life Saving publishes new National Swimming and Water Safety Framework for learn to swim programs

30th July 2020 - New research has potential to reduce risk of drownings at Australian aquatic facilities

12th June 2020 - Royal Life Saving responds to questions on resuscitation during Coronavirus pandemic

20th May 2020 - Royal Life Saving fears AIS reboot Framework fails to account for swimming and water safety programs

14th May 2020 - National Aquatic Industry Safety Committee endorses new risk management guidelines for swim schools and aquatic facilities

5th December 2019 - AUSTSWIM receives funding boost to combat multicultural drownings

14th March 2018 - National Sports Convention expands with National Aquatic and Recreation Infrastructure Conference

1st March 2018 - Royal Life Saving opens nominations for 2018 National Aquatic Industry Safety Awards

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