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Volunteer training and development

There are lots of different volunteer training opportunities available across all our aquatic sports. Our courses are designed to help our volunteers gain and develop the right skills to undertake a club volunteering role.

Whether you fancy being a diving judge or a Team Manager we can signpost you to the right course to help you on your way. Read on to find out more.

Volunteer Training Courses in England

Here are some of the volunteer training courses on offer in England. Click on the course to expand more information.

Child Welfare and Safeguarding Courses

Swim England run several courses aimed at educating volunteers about the importance of safeguarding children and young people in our sports.

Safeguarding training

All club personnel who are required to undertake a Barred List Check and/or Enhanced DBS check for their role must complete approved safeguarding training within a reasonable time of taking up the position. Safeguarding training workshops are usually three hours long and can be delivered in person or online. There are two main options:

  1. Basic Awareness Course – Designed for staff and volunteers who have infrequent contact with children and young people. Read more here.
  2. Safeguarding Training – A more in depth course recommended for people who have regular responsibility for children and young people such as coaches and team managers. Swim England deliver a Swim England Safeguarding and Protecting Children Workshop which supports the recommendations made by the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU). Read more here.

Swim England/NSPCC Time to Listen Course (TTL)

This course is run in partnership with the Child Protection in Sport Unit. It has a 3.5 hour course delivered virtually and designed for volunteers who wish to become Club Welfare Officers.

Candidates must have completed a recognised safeguarding children course in the last three years before attending (see above for details). It takes a detailed look at Wavepower (our child safeguarding policies and procedures publication) and covers topics such as incident reporting and how to implement best practice in a club environment.

Volunteers only need to do the course once. Time to Listen courses are run by the Swim England regions. For more information and to find a regional course, click here.

Team Manager Courses

Team Managers are an essential part of the team structure, irrespective of the discipline, as they support participation at events. Team Managers are responsible for ensuring that teams reach competitions safely and that athletes are cared for whilst at events.

Team Manager training is split into two modules. These courses are run regionally so please contact your region to find out about the next local course. Click here for contact details.

Team Manager – Module 1

This workshop covers all the basics involved with being a Team Manager and is focused on single day and local competitions. It can be delivered in person or virtually. It looks at the role and its responsibilities, and practical aspects such as supervision ratios and risk assessments. This is a good starting point for your volunteering journey. You can read more about what the course covers here.

Team Manager – Module 2

This workshop leads on Module 1 and covers more complex subjects involved with overnight stays and travel abroad, such as requesting international permits and staying safe whilst overseas. It’s designed to give you the skills and knowledge needed to support teams in all situations while they are away competing. It can be delivered in person or virtually. You can read more about what the course covers here.

Young Volunteers

We are always keen to hear from young people who want to volunteer with us! Volunteering in aquatics is a great way to:

  • Make friends
  • Enhance your CV
  • Develop new skills
  • Become more confident.

Did you know, you can start volunteering if you’re under 16, providing you are a member of a Swim England affiliated club? Your region will be able to signpost you to a local club. You can contact them here.

Youth Advisory Panel

Swim England also have a brilliant Youth Advisory Panel who aim to give a voice to young people within swimming and aquatics. Watch this video to find out more about our Youth Panel here.  We are in the process of supporting regions to set up Regional Youth Panels too.

If you’d like to find out more about how to get involved in our Young Volunteers Programme or our Youth Advisory Panel, please email us at volunteering@swimming.org.

Sport specific volunteering opportunities

Did you know you can get involved as a volunteer official in all our aquatic sports – swimming, water polo, diving, artistic swimming, open water swimming and para-swimming?

Check out the information below for more details on entry level opportunities related to officiating. Officiating is a fun way to learn new skills and to get involved in the heart of the action!

Swimming

There are two entry level courses we recommend for new volunteers interested in taking their first steps as an official in the competitive and exciting sport of swimming.

  1. Time Keepers Course – This course is aimed at volunteers who want to get involved as timekeepers at club events. The course is online and involves a 90 minute interactive theory session followed by a practical session to test your new found skills. You can find out more about the course and book a place here. You must be at least 14 years of age to complete the course and qualify as a timekeeper.
  2. Swimming Officials Judge 1 Course – This online theory course is the first step on your journey as a swimming judge. It is open to anyone who wants to understand the FINA rules relating to swimming and the process of being a judge. You must be at least 15 years of age at the start of the course. You can read more about the course and book on here.  There is also a practical element to the Swimming Officials Judge 1 Course. You can do this at a club or the region can help you arrange this. You can contact your Regional Coordinator using the details below.

These two courses are the first stage of the swimming judge’s pathway.  You can find out more about the Swimming Officials Pathway here.

Water polo

There are two entry level courses we recommend for new volunteers looking to get involved in the wonderful world of water polo. These two water polo courses are organised regionally. Please contact your Regional Manager in your region for more information. You will find their details here.

  1. Club Referee Course – This course is aimed at volunteers who wish to gain an initial understanding of water polo FINA rules and how to apply this within their club. It is an online course and you need to be 14+ to participate. This is the first step of the water polo refereeing pathway. You can find out more about the pathway for water polo referees here.
  2. Table Officials Course – This course is designed for volunteers who want to learn how water polo games are managed from poolside. The course will give insight into the roles of timekeeper and match secretary. The course has both theory and practical elements.
    To take a closer look at what the course involves and the pathway for table officials click here. You can also visit the water polo hub on swimming.org for lots more information about water polo.
Diving

There is one main entry level course we recommend for new volunteers interested in getting involved as an official in the daring sport of diving.

Diving – Judge 1 Course

This online course gives an overview of the roles and responsibilities of a diving judge, an introduction to the judging scale, and the different diving positions. It is a 2.5 hour course and involves a short online learning check at the end. Inspired to find out more? You can register your interest for the next course here.

This course provides a platform for you to continue your journey as a volunteer judge. You can read more about the judge’s pathway in diving by clicking here. You can also visit the diving hub on swimming.org for lots more information about the sport.

Artistic swimming

There is one main entry level course we recommend for new volunteers interested in getting involved as an official in the fabulously entertaining sport of artistic swimming.

Artistic Swimming – Judge 1 Course

Exciting news! We are getting ready to launch our new online Judge 1 course in September 2021. The course will give newcomers to the sport a great introduction to what is involved in judging artistic swimming so they can act as judges at club events. The course will be seven hours long and includes a short online learning check. You can register your interest for the course here.

You can find out more about what’s involved in the course and how it links into the judging pathway here. You can also visit the artistic swimming hub on swimming.org for lots more information about the sport.

Open water swimming

Open water swimming is a niche, but growing sport that invigorates all the senses. If you’d like to find out more about how to become an open water official, please contact Paul Kendall at openwater@eastswimming.org, who will be able to give you more information.

You can visit the open water hub on swimming.org for lots more information about open water swimming.

Para-swimming

There is one course we would recommend for anyone looking to get involved in the inspiring world of para-swimming.

Introduction to Disability Swimming

This course is aimed at coaches and teachers looking to learn more about how to make their club or lessons more inclusive. You can find out more here.

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering in para-swimming, please email us at volunteering@swimming.org. We are always looking for volunteers to support regional and national para-swimming events. You can also visit the para-swimming section of the competitive swimming hub on swimming.org for lots more information about the sport.

Coaching and teaching aquatics

If you’re interested in coaching or teaching in any of our aquatics sports, please visit the Institute of Swimming website using the links below.

There you will find full details on all our courses including information on what is covered, course prerequisites and a list of the latest courses in your area.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

If you have any further questions on the volunteer training courses we offer then get in touch with the Swim England Volunteering team by emailing volunteering@swimming.org. We will be happy to help!

You can also search for online courses using our Swim England Calendar or follow us on Twitter using @Sw_EngVolunteer.

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