Swim England London

Aquatic sports in the London region


Club Management FAQ’s

To further help our clubs with any queries you may have we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions. We will be constantly adding to these so please keep checking regularly to see if your query has been answered – if not then please obviously get in touch via or one of our development officers if more specific.

Club Management FAQ’s

Where can I find useful guidance documents on Health & Safety?

There is now a documents library on the Swim England website and included in there is an area for Health & Safety. You’ll be able to find guidance on topics such as;

  • Lane management
  • Risk assessments
  • Diving into pools
  • Concussion guidance
  • Swimming teaching whilst pregnant
  • Dry land training
  • Tumble turns
  • Manual handling
  • Hygiene guidance
  • Supervising children in changing room areas
  • Submersion of babies
  • Swimming pools temperatures
  • Use of electrical equipment
  • Water depths and swimming activities

Click here for the direct link you need to access the above and more.

Where can we get some guidance or advice on implementing the Auto-Enrol pension scheme requirement for our club’s employees in time for April 2017?

We are currently sourcing some more specific and relevant guidance for sports clubs on this topic, but for now there are a few useful website links below, as well as a Pensions Advice Line which you can call on 0300 123 1047).

Where can I find example policy templates relevant to our club employees including; disciplinary and grievance, sickness and health and safety for example?

Below are two standard policies on disciplinary and grievance that Swim England have shared and are available to download.

For all other policies we recommend that you take a look at the ACAS Website which is a great resource as all companies across the UK are expected to follow ACAS guidelines.

Our club is thinking of setting up a Twitter account but we’d like some guidance on how to do this and if it is right for our club?

There is a new interactive Twitter user guide resource on the Club Matters Website. It includes ‘Pros and Cons’ and a video showing you how to get started.

We are a SwimMark accredited club, how do we find out our Clubmark ID number?

This used to be available on the old Sport England Clubmark page, but that no longer exists. All information on Clubmark now sits within the new Club Matters website. In order to find out your Club’s ID number (which can sometimes be requested when you’re applying for funding or are wanting to use the Sainsburys Active Kids vouchers for example), you’ll need to follow the below steps;

  1. Go to the Club Matters Website and either Register or Log On.
  2. You’ll need to make sure you link yourself to your club/organisation.
  3. Once you’re logged into your profile, go to the ‘My Club’ menu on the top toolbar and go down to ‘Edit My Club’ in the drop down menu.
  4. At the bottom of this page you will find your club’s Clubmark number. Please note if your number isn’t showing here then it is probably because your profile isn’t attached to your Club.

Disciplines FAQ’s

Where can I find what other clubs in London offer the disciplines (synchro, diving, water polo, masters and open-water) and where they are located?

We now have an interactive map of all aquatics clubs in London, which you can then filter by each discipline as well as those who are SwimMark accredited and offer disability specific swimming. You can find this London Clubs Map here.

Finances / Funding FAQ’s

How can we explain to our pool operator the difference in competition levels in order to explain and justify the amount of pool time we require?

The first thing to note is that all galas are different and time/length will therefore vary. To give a brief explanation here are the most common two;

4 hour gala

League Competitions – These are primarily team events, between four to six clubs maximum at a time. Average distance of race from 25m to 100m. Not usually licenced and therefore no times will be recorded on the British Swimming Rankings database. This means that a swimmer would not be able to enter a County, Regional or National Championship, as these all require you to enter times recorded on the Rankings database. They are fun and are a good initial introduction for a swimmer to start competing, but have huge limitations to a swimmers progress.

8 to 10 hours of pool time needed

Open Meet/County/Regional – All Open Meets have to be licenced by a Regional/National Licencing board. They require a large number of officials to attend and Open Meets are run throughout the country by Swimming Clubs. County Champs, are run by the county and Regional Champs by the Region etc. Without these competitions/galas, swimmers would not be able to compete at all distances on all strokes and therefore their development would not happen. All times will appear on Rankings, enabling swimmers to enter the first level of domestic competition and hopefully develop their skills and racing ability.

Open Meets are attended by any number of clubs and athletes and provide the level of competition needed for our sport to continue being successful. Without clubs organising and running these meets, no-one would be able to reach a County Championship qualifying time and so on right through to National and British competition. Therefore they are extremely important to the sport.

Is there any guidance on the day to day management of finances at a club, including cash flow?

We appreciate that managing the day-to-day finances can often seem a daunting or tedious task for your Clubs, however whether they are just starting out or have been running for decades, managing cash flow is essential to ensuring clubs remain sustainable. Sport England have launched a new cash flow demo, which provides an overview of what cash flow is and why it is so important for your club.

In addition to the demo there is also a ‘Get Your Cash Flowing’ online module available or the ‘Understanding Your Club Finances’ workshop as a follow up. These can be accessed similarly through the link above on the Club Matters website once you have registered.

Membership FAQ’s

One of our swimmers is also a coach so they pay for their Cat 1 or 2 membership, but the club also pay their Cat 3 membership for them and then they must also pay for their IOS membership…….therefore Swim England are getting 3 payments – is this correct?

IOS is the insurance for all coaches and teachers so they do need to have this. They do however only need one membership with Swim England so below would be the options depending on their levels of activity;

If they are a coach and are swimming for fitness/fun they will need IOS and Cat 1. But if they are a coach and swimming to compete then they will need IOS and Cat 2. (And if someone was a coach but not swimming then they would need Cat 3).

A useful way of remembering Swim England Membership categories is as follows;

  • Cat 1 is for people who get wet but don’t go very fast
  • Cat 2 is for people who get wet and go fast (e.g. compete)
  • Cat 3 is for people who stay dry (e.g. volunteers)

Workforce & Training FAQ’s

Why are Swim England looking to change the coaching qualifications and what effect will it have?

Swim England has a long tradition of providing quality training for coaches working in all aquatic disciplines within our sport. In 2007 the decision was made to adopt the common coaching units that were developed for use across all sports. Feedback has shown that not all of these were appropriate for the requirements of coaching within our sector. This has led to a concern that we are no longer providing relevant and consistent training for coaches at all levels across all aquatic disciplines, despite the best efforts of skilled tutors.

Swim England has made the decision, along with the backing from those working at the elite end of the sport, to move to an independent system of certification. These will be known as ASA Coaching Certificates which clearly indicate the level the coach should be operating at ie Assistant Coach, Club Coach, Senior Coach etc. These new coaching certificates will be designed by Swim England as the national governing body for swimming, and developed to meet the needs of the sport by coaching experts, working in partnership with educational specialists. The aim will be to ensure the coaching courses have sufficient time and content to develop skilled coaches at all levels, with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of athletes capable of winning medals on the world stage.

The Institute of Swimming (IoS), as a wholly owned subsidiary of Swim England, will deliver the courses using the expertise of an updated tutor workforce supported, where appropriate, by our elite coaches and talent team to ensure a consistent approach to the ongoing education and development of our coaching workforce. These new certificates will replace the existing qualifications starting with coaching swimming taking effect from 1 October 2016. This will be followed by coaching diving, synchronised swimming and water polo from 1 January 2017.

The IoS have now given a further update and included all of the information, as well as some frequently asked questions, in the Coaching FAQ’s document.

    1. As a coach will this mean I will have to take another course?

No any previous qualifications will remain valid.

    1. Why is the IoS the only organisation able to deliver the course?

The IoS is a wholly owned subsidiary company of the ASA. The ASA has chosen to keep delivery of the new endorsed certificates within the organisation.

    1. As a learner will these new certificates cost more to complete?

We don’t anticipate any increase in costs. If anything, we hope to see a decrease. We will have a better understanding once the writing of the new certificates is complete.

    1. Will the new certificates still take the same time to complete?

We will be able to provide more detail around this in the next couple of months. We don’t anticipate an increase in delivery time, if possible we will seek a reduction. We will also work to ensure a blended (face-to-face and online learning) option is created and provided by the IoS.

    1. I need a coaching course before 1 October 2016, can I still access one?

Yes, the current qualifications will continue to be available until the replacement certificates commence delivery. Therefore the current Coaching Swimming qualification will be available until 30 September 2016 and current Discipline qualifications will be available until 31 December 2016.

    1. As a current coaching tutor for the ASA will I need to remain licensed to tutor these new coaching certificates?

Yes all tutors involved in the delivery and assessment of these new coaching certificates will be required to hold an ASA tutor/assessor licence.

What is the recommended ratios for teaching/coaching sessions in the pool in order to ensure a safe environment?

Please refer to the ‘Safe Supervision’ document, put together by Swim England and other leading organisations in the sport.