Learn to Swim Companion

A guide to the Learn to Swim Programme

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Adult Learn to Swim Awards

All Awards

If you are serious about your swimming then there are four Adult Learn to Swim Awards to work towards. These reflect the four Stages of the Adult Swimming Framework.

The four Adult Learn to Swim Awards

  1. Be Water Confident – this Award is about gaining the confidence to enter the pool safely. It also covers the ability to move around the pool with confidence and to achieve basic core aquatic skills. These are entries, exits, buoyancy, balance and aquatic breathing.
  2. Be a Swimmer – by the time you earn this Award you will have the necessary skills to start swimming independently over short distances (5 to 10 metres). You won’t need support or floatation equipment.

    At this stage, we recommend you also try the Adult Distance Awards – 5 metres, 10 metres and 25 metres.

  3. Be a Better Swimmer – by this point you’ll be able to swim up to 400 metres independently. You’ll also have the confidence to try other pool activities, such as Aquacise or lane swimming.

    At this stage, we recommend you build your stamina even more, with our Adult Distance Awards – 50 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres

  4. Be a Master Swimmer – gaining this Award means you can confidently enter the Masters section of a swimming club (find more on Masters swimming here). It’s about more advanced swimming skills to enable you to compete at different levels and in different sports such as triathlon, open water swimming and lane swimming.

    At this stage you can also achieve our most advanced Adult Distance Awards – 800 metres and 1 mile.

Adult Learn to Swim Awards Core Skills

As you work through each of these four stages you will focus on developing the following key skills:

  • Entries and exits
  • Treading water
  • Rotation and orientation
  • Streamlining
  • Aquatic breathing
  • Sculling
  • Travel and coordination
  • Floatation
  • Stamina
  • Submersion
  • Water safety

Before you start, it’s a good idea to talk to your swimming teacher about what you want to get out of lessons.

Although each of the four stages has a number of outcomes, not all outcomes will need to be achieved to move onto the next stage; as they are not compulsory. View all the Adult Swimming Framework outcomes.

The Adult Swimming Framework is about being flexible – the swimming teacher will select the required outcomes based on your individual goals.

Keep up to date with the latest news on swimming and wellbeing for all ages.


Are you a swimming teacher?

Visit out teaching swimming hub for support and resources to help you deliver the Adult Swimming Framework.

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