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Register of Aquatics Professionals (RAPs) launched

20 September 2013

The Register of Aquatic Professionals (RAPs) has officially launched, receiving a warm reception from aquatic industry leaders and sports stars alike.

Hosted by Olympic medallist Steve Parry, the launch took place at the Oasis Sports Centre in London Borough of Camden, operated by Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL).  During the launch, CEO of the ASA, David Sparkes, addressed those present as part of an expert panel that also contained representatives from the The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK) and the Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA).

Created by SkillsActive in partnership with the ASA, RLSS UK and the STA, RAPs provides a system of regulation to ensure that individuals working in the aquatic industry meet agreed National Occupational Standards (NOS) and best practice guidelines.

RAPs will provide verification that those working in the sector are fully qualified to perform their role. It will support the training needs and career development of those working in related roles, including swimming teachers, lifeguards, pool managers and pool plant operators. 

As recent research from the ASA shows that only half of children are able to swim, there is an increasing need for aquatic professionals to have their qualifications recognised by parents looking for swimming teachers outside of school.

"Ensuring there is quality and professionalism throughout this industry is a must." - Steve ParryThe creators of RAPs earlier this week made a call for more parents to top up their children’s compulsory school swimming lessons with additional lessons outside of school if their children are to be proficient swimmers.

David Sparkes, CEO of the ASA said, “Employers have asked for two things. A single qualification so they understand the qualification, regardless of whose badge is on it, and a single qualification that meets their needs   That is what we have delivered. What we will have with the register is a list of people who are more employable because they have reached a high standard, but equally to stay on the register the employee has to commit to ongoing professional development. So the register is not an end in itself but it is a living register that teachers will have to stay on through continual professional development”.

Steve Parry said, “Ensuring there is quality and professionalism throughout this industry is a must, and I’m delighted that the Register of Aquatic Professionals is actively addressing this. Employers can now easily identify the best qualified staff, and the public, especially parents, can rest easy in the knowledge that those working in this industry are up to the task.”

It will cost £38 per year to join the RAPs register, however there is a reduced joining rate of £15 for IoS members, which can be administered on renewal of IoS membership from October.

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