Go Swimming has everything you need to know about swimming. If you are a parent, a non swimmer or just want to improve your technique this is the section for you.

In British Swimming you will find information about the world of high performance sport, including the disciplines of Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Para-Swimming.

The ASA is the governing body for the sport in England. In this section you will find all you need to know about joining a club or competing in England and becoming a swimming teacher or coach.

The IoS delivers the ASA’s courses and is a member organisation. Whether you are a teacher, coach, employer or club you will find everything you need to know about qualifications or educating your workforce.

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FAQs by Learners

This part of the FAQ section answers questions frequently asked by learners.

Frequently asked questions by learners

List differences between the previous ASA qualifications and those developed in line with UKCC standards

There are four major differences:
· Swimming Coaching and Teaching are now split into two separate strands and sit alongside the other strands of Diving, Synchronised Swimming and Water Polo

· The UKCC education pathway enables a learners to become qualified to teach or coach different types of athletes, from the beginner to elite.  The learner then has the option of specialising within a specific age group category and discipline i.e. a learner can progress from UKCC Level 1 to Level 4 with any age of athlete

· At Levels 1 and 2 there is a greater importance on ‘how to coach’ rather than ‘what to coach’

· The Teaching strand will have a greater emphasis on a multi-disciplined approach – Diving /Swimming Coaching/Synchronised Swimming/Water Polo.  Teachers will be assessed on their ability to deliver skills and drills associated with all four aquatic disciplines

What courses are available?

Level 1 Coaching Diving
           Coaching Swimming
           Coaching Synchronised Swimming
           Coaching Water Polo
           Teaching Aquatics

Level 2 Coaching Diving
           Coaching Swimming
           Coaching Water Polo
           Coaching Synchronised Swimming
           Teaching Aquatics

Level 3 Coaching Swimming
           Unit 1-6 for Coaching Diving  
           Unit 1-6 for Coaching Synchronised Swimming
           Unit 1-6 for Coaching Water Polo

The differences between Teaching Aquatics and Coaching Swimming courses

Teaching Aquatics is aimed at those interested in the teaching programme in a learn to swim environment utilising the ASA Learn to Swim Framework (or equivalent scheme). Coaching Swimming is aimed at those interested in the coaching programme in a competitive environment.

What do I have to do to stay qualified?

Nothing, all current and past qualifications will remain valid. However, if you wish to update your current skills we suggest attanedng Continuing Proffesional Development Seminars (CPD's)

What is the length of the coaching courses?

Level 1 – approximately 32 hours
Level 2 – approximately 60 hours
Level 3 – Units 1-10 approximately 18 days, Unit 11 approximately 8 hours practical assessment 

How much do the courses cost?

Please note the following current Recommended Retail Prices of ASA/UKCC level qualifications. This is supplied purely in order to provide learners with an idea of the fees involved in studying for ASA teaching and coaching qualifications. Per learner:
Level 1   - £395
Level 2   - £680
Level 3   - £1800

The above figures include resources and the standard ASA Awarding Body registration fees, which from April 2009 are £63 per learner for Level 1, £90 for Level 2 and £120 for Level 3. However, some IoS Approved Centres are able to offer courses to learners at a discounted rate through external funding and reductions in site specific costs.  For the exact cost of your course please refer to the published details or contact the course organiser.

Why are the UKCC Levels more expensive than the previous types of ASA courses? 

The sports coach UK delivery licence is part of a massive overhaul of teacher and coach education across sports in Britain.  Swimming is working closely with Sportscoach UK to develop a framework to recruit and support current and potential coaches to create a sporting legacy that goes beyond the 2012 Games.  Key to this achievement is the provision of high quality sporting opportunities for children, players and athletes at all stages of their development. 

By falling in line with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), who regulate and develop educational qualifications and UKCC requirements, it means qualifications are acknowledged outside of sport as part of a National Qualifications Framework.  It is a major step towards swimming coaching and teaching being recognised as a serious career choice with a designated pathway.

Courses meeting the UKCC standard are structured and resourced in a completely different way to the previous ASA courses.  There are far more comprehensive Quality Assurance mechanisms involved in assessing each candidate.  Each course has resources, which are constantly being reviewed and updated for the tutors to deliver and therefore enhance the learning experience.

Approved Centres delivering UKCC accredited qualifications need to ensure that training resources meet minimum criteria; there is on-going training for their tutors; incorporated internal verification processes and appropriate advice and guidance given to all candidates.  The ASA Awarding Body has a monitoring and evaluation function for all Approved Centres ensuring they meet the minimum criteria laid down. 

The ASA is fully committed to “raising the bar” and feels that the UKCC will benefit the participants and the sport.

Why should volunteers take these qualifications?

Individuals who already hold an ASA qualification do not have to take a UKCC accredited qualification.  However, if an individual wishes to further their education then there is a matrix to show what their next step would be.  Those who are new into sport need to ensure they are appropriately qualified.


How can a club find funds to help volunteers/staff to take these qualifications?

Any learner can apply for financial assistance to help him/her with their payments.  This assistance may be available through the Regional ASA, County ASA, ASA Club or Local Authority.  It is suggested that clubs contact their Aquatic Officers to find out more avenues for funding. Please see the ASA regional pages. 

Clubs should identify a training budget to support volunteers and professionals involved with the club.  Ultimately it is the participants in the club who will benefit from higher quality teachers and coaches

The ASA is currently working closely with the Learning and Skills Council (the government agency which funds adult education) to try and secure long term sustainable funding, such as accessing funding for candidates eligible for “train to gain”.

How will I be assessed?

Level 1- a variety of methods and activities in the form of observation, written evidence and/or verbal discussion

Level 2-  a variety of methods and activities in the form of observation, written evidence and/or verbal discussion

Level 3-  there will be assessment through written assessments and practical delivery

Can I move across to another UKCC discipline?

Yes is the easy answer.  A process has been put in place whereby you only need to take the sport specific units in the new sport to gain the qualification.

For example: If I were qualified as a UKCC Level 2 Diving Coach and then decided I wished to gain an equivalent qualification level in Water Polo, then all I would have to do is pass Units 105,106 and 107 Water Polo at Level 1 and then pass Units 205,206,207 and 208 in Water Polo at Level 2.

Level 1 Units 101-104 are core units
             Units 105 -107 are sport specific

Level 2 Units 201- 204 are core units
             Units 205 -208 are sport specific

Level 3 Unit 1/2/3/4/5/6 are core units
             Units 7/8/9/20 are sports specific
             Unit 11 is sport specific vocational assessment

How do my existing ASA qualifications fit into the UKCC qualifications?

Click here to see a matrix which will provide advice and guidance.

When will Levels 4 and 5 be available?

Levels 4 and 5 are being discussed at a European level.  Once a decision has been made, recommendations will be given to all National Governing Bodies in Britain and a decision taken as to the probable content of these two levels.  It is envisaged that there WILL NOT be a Level 4 or Level 5 swimming teacher qualification.

What does the UKCC Level 1 qualify me to do?

A UKCC Level 1 teacher or coach will be able to deliver a pre-prepared session prepared by a more senior teacher or coach.  

What swimmers are needed for the Level 1 course?

UKCC Coaching Level 1 Units 101-104 does not have to have swimmers for the practical parts, but Units 105-106 requires access to swimmers from a swim21, SwiMark or Dragon Mark club or a club working towards these. 

Can I apply for a Level 2 course if I am currently doing my Level 1?

Learners must have their Level 1 certificate before they can book onto the relevant Level 2 qualification.  It is recommended that learners gain as much experience as possible in between completing their Level 1 and Level 2. 

How old do I have to be to attend a Level 1 course?

Learners must be at least 15 years + at the beggining of the qualification and must be 16 years of age upon qualification completion.

How old do I have to be to attend a Level 2 course?

Learners must be at least 17 years old at the start of the qualification. Please note that there will be no exemptions granted for learners under the age of 17. 

I have a Level 2 Certificate in Teaching Aquatics; can I automatically go on to do Level 2 Coaching Swimming?

Learners must complete Level 1 Units 105-107 Coaching Swimming before they can move onto Level 2 Coaching Swimming. Once they have gained Level 1 Coaching Swimming learners can then complete Level 2 Units 203 and 205-208 Coaching Swimming.

UKCC Level 3 Coaching Swimming - who is eligible to complete the programme?

The UKCC Level 3 Coaching Swimming qualification is aimed at the head or squad coach in a Swim 21 accredited (or working towards) club. Coaches should be working at a minimum of a 1:12 ratio with swimmers at the LTAD stage train to compete or above. Learners will have previously completed:
Club Coach qualification (pre 2006)
Or UKCC Level 2 Coaching Swimming
Or Level 2 swimming teachers qualification with all four units (pre 2006)
Or have gained exemption from the ASA Awarding Body 

What does the Level 3 programme involve?

The programme consists of 11 units in total, units 1-10 are theory based and delivered on a seminar basis. Unit 11 is a practical assessment of your coaching and a allocated assessor will visit you in your club.

Where can I complete the Level 3 programme?

Units 1-10 are delivered in a variety of locations in England and Wales, specific venues can be found by visiting 'Find a Course'. The programme has been designed to be very flexible, once you have registered for the programme you can attend units 1-10 in any location in England or Wales.

How long will Level 3 take me to complete?

You can complete the programme at your own pace, candidates have 36 months from the point of registration to complete the 11 units. However, it is anticipated most coaches will complete it in 9 to 12 months.

How do I register for a Level 3 course?

Complete and return the registration form and return to us along with any required additional paperwork and the registration fee. Your application will then be assessed by an ASA panel and a decision made on the suitability of the programme for you. Upon a decision being made you will be contacted by the Awarding Body.  For the registration form please click here and follw the instructions on the form, to search for a venue to suit you click here.

What is the booking process for units?

After registration with the Awarding Body you will be sent confirmation, you will then need to book onto the units online. However, if you are not sure at that point where you would like to attend, you can decide as you progress through the units. You can book onto a unit up until 7 days prior to it taking place.  However, please note early booking is recommended as many venues have limited spaces.

How do I pay for a Level 3 course?

All payment is to be made online when booking onto each unit.

Is there any funding to help me?

Funding is normally held regionally - please contact your regional office for further information.

What should I expect on the day?

An action packed interactive session with the opportunity to discuss and debate a topic area with other professionals in a similar position to you. All of the units start at 9.30am unless otherwise stated. You should dress casually and be prepared to be practically challenged at a moment’s notice! The majority of units are covered in one day (6 hours approx), however, for some units the content is covered over two days to give you the time to discuss and interpret the information delivered.

How will I be assessed?

In units 1-10 you will be asked to build a portfolio of evidence based around specific assessment tasks. You will be asked to self reflect upon your performance as a coach, examining your current programme and applying the information from the taught seminars. Unit 11 is a practical assessment of your ability to show you are able to apply the information from units 1-10.

What if I think I have covered a topic on a previous qualification?

For those learners who have previously completed the Level 3 club coach qualification (1994-2006/7) we have an exemption process that allows you to convert to the new qualification without completing all of units 1-10 and granting you recognition for your current competency, for further information please enquire at registration.

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