Swim England to launch Stronger Affiliation process for clubs


Swim England to launch Stronger Affiliation process for clubs

Swim England is bringing in new guidelines for its affiliated clubs in a bid to show they have the highest standards of safe and effective practice in place.

The Stronger Affiliation process is being introduced so new and existing members know clubs are well run and their personnel have the necessary safeguarding checks in place to ensure members’ safety.

Other sports, including football and tennis, have also introduced similar schemes.

Swim England has a total of 1,045 affiliated clubs and more than half of these (55 per cent) are SwimMark accredited – the national governing body’s quality standard for clubs.

Those that do not currently hold SwimMark will now have to provide six pieces of evidence to ensure they stay affiliated to Swim England from January 2021.

The focus areas will be around club constitution, risk assessments, club personnel records,  safeguarding certificates plus compliance statements from the club’s chairperson and welfare officer.

Clubs can then submit additional evidence if they wish to become fully SwimMark accredited.

All clubs that are currently SwimMark accredited will not have to complete these new guidelines as they will have already done so as part of the SwimMark process.  However, they will need to ensure they maintain their accredited status.

Jon Keating, Swim England Club Development Director, said: “As the national governing body, we must implement measures to ensure the safety of our members.

“We want to ensure that all Swim England clubs are fit for purpose and provide a safe environment.

Ensuring safety of all clubs and members

“We hope clubs will fully back the process and look to take it one step further and become SwimMark accredited”.

By introducing a Stronger Affiliation process, Swim England will be able to:

  • Support clubs to ensure they are implementing the appropriate governance and meeting minimum operating standards
  • Enhance the experience of club members
  • Demonstrate its commitment to ensuring the safety of all affiliated clubs and members through stronger governance
  • Provide stronger leadership for the sport
  • Strengthen sustainability for future generations
  • Align to Sport England’s direction of travel for community sports clubs.

All non SwimMark clubs – new and existing – will be able to submit evidence for Stronger Affiliation from 1 June 2020 and all evidence will need to be checked and approved by 1 December 2020 in order to coincide with annual renewals.

Failure to submit the required evidence will result in a club’s temporary or permanent suspension from Swim England.

Anyone with any questions about the Stronger Affiliation process should refer to the FAQs document or, if they require further information, email clubdevelopment@swimming.org in the first instance.