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ASA is the qualification of choice for employers

A recent audit of aquatic employers showed that the ASA is their qualification of choice - 97.5% of teachers and coaches who are formally qualified hold an ASA certificate.

In the first audit of its kind, the ASA spoke to nearly 400 employers – who themselves represent nearly 10,000 of the aquatic community’s workforce. The ASA now has a greater idea than ever before of how teachers and coaches throughout England work, how qualified they are and what they need to further their careers.

ASA Coaching Systems Manager Colin Huffen commissioned the survey as part of a host of work being conducted for the ASA’s coach and teacher development framework. He said, “It’s great to have confirmation that ASA qualifications are held in such high regard by the industry. We want England to have the best aquatic workforce in the world and for our teachers and coaches to be the very best, it’s imperative to have the support of their employers.”

Survey participant John Digby, Head Coach of Norwich Swan Swimming Club commented that the audit had undoubtedly provided encouragement and incentive for his club. “Here at Norwich Swan we have considered the quality of our workforce in more detail, particularly with regard to the overall professionalism of our teaching and coaching staff.”

A key finding was that over half of the workforce is qualified at Level 2 or above, which means they are able to coach or teach independently.

“It’s great to see so many of the workforce is professionally qualified and have taken steps to advance their knowledge,” Colin said. “Achieving a high level of certification opens up new career opportunities. Teachers and coaches need to constantly refresh their skills and expand their understanding of the sport, especially engaging in professional learning opportunities whenever possible.” 

A key recommendation from the survey is that with the advent of Free Swimming initiatives, which increase swimming participation, there is a need to recruit new teachers and coaches into the sport. 

“One of our main objectives is to recruit and train enough teachers in the next three years to fill any gaps in resources,” said Colin.  “As well as learn to swim, there will be an increased need for structured activities for new swimmers.”

He added: “What this research predominantly demonstrates is that where we are now is far better than our position say four years ago.  As well as lots of input to our development plans, the survey results have given us a baseline to measure against. We need to know what we are doing is working, so that when we take a sample of the numbers who have got a qualification in a year’s time we will be able to monitor our improvements.”

An executive summary of the audit results can be downloaded here.

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