Swim England Members

Coach Membership from £59 a year including enhanced insurance and professional membership status.

How To Resolve Issues or Disputes

If you require help with a problem or dispute at a club in England, there are a number of options available to resolve issues within a Swim England club.

Some ways to resolve issues with your club

Click or tap on the links below to find out more about each process.

  1. Contact a Swim England Friend
    Swim England Friends are in place for all general queries relation to the Judicial process (set out below) and assistance with internal disputes such as alleged breaches of the Club Constitution / Rules, Code of Ethics, and Codes of Conduct.
  2. Raise a concern about a child or adult at risk of harm
    Our Safeguarding Team can help if you are worried or concerned about a child or adult who is being harmed, or at risk of harm. Please remember you do not have to decide whether or not your concern is a safeguarding issue, and our trained team will respond to all concerns with care and sensitivity. Further information is available on our Wavepower Safeguarding page.
  3. Resolve a concern about coaching
    If you cannot resolve a concern about coaching practices and techniques at your club, you can raise the issue with us.
  4. Make a Club Complaint
    A Club complaint refers to a complaint involving an alleged breach of the club’s rules or any other dispute not relating to an alleged breach of Swim England regulations, between two or more club members, any or none of whom may be an officer of the club, or one or more club members and one or more employees of the club. Anyone can make a complaint if you are a Swim England member to your Club Chair. We have developed guidance for different stages of the process, which can be found below.
  5. Make a formal complaint
    A formal complaint can be submitted in accordance with Judicial Regulations and processed by the Office of Judicial Administration.
  6. Consult the Medical Protocol
    Swim England offers assistance to clubs and members in relation to medical conditions as set out below.
  7. Employment disputes
    If you have an employment related dispute with your club then please seek advice from ACAS or through the IoS.

Club Complaints Guidance

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Swim England Friend?

Swim England Friends are volunteers who are available to give impartial assistance and guidance to Swim England members or their parents on matters involving the Swim England Judicial Regulations, Club Constitution / Rules and the Swim England Code of Ethics and accompanying Codes of Conduct.

Our Swim England Friends have a wealth of experience in the world of aquatics and a knowledge of the regulations, constitution and judicial procedures.

They also have in-depth knowledge of swimming clubs and how issues such as yours may have been resolved in the past.

Swim England Friends are not just there for one-off advice.  You can keep going back to your contact in the case of an ongoing dispute.

Swim England Friends are assigned on a case-by-case basis.

If you have an issue that you are not sure how to resolve, please contact [email protected] and we can put you in touch with someone appropriate to your dispute.


We require all affiliated clubs and organisations with members under 18 to appoint a Welfare Officer.

The Welfare Officer is responsible for ensuring their club or organisation is adopting and implementing WavePower, the Swim England Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.


All Swim England affiliated organisations hold a copy of our Safeguarding Policy and Procedures document, Wavepower.

Head to our Wavepower pages to view it for yourself and find out more.

The Welfare Officer is the first point of contact members who have a welfare or safeguarding concern. They can provide advice and guidance and may also refer the matter to a County or Regional Welfare Officer, the Swim England Safeguarding Team or one of a number of other statutory agencies including the police.

Swim England

For anyone with any safeguarding or welfare concerns relating to either children or adults, please contact [email protected] or 01509 640700 (Option 1 for Swim England and then Option 3 for Safeguarding).

Urgent concerns

If the matter is urgent and you cannot contact your Club Welfare Officer or the Swim England safeguarding team, you can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 (if the concern is regarding a child being harmed or at risk of harm). If it is an emergency because a child or adult are at immediate risk, then call the police or children’s/adult's social care in your area. If a child or adult at risk is in immediate danger contact the police on 999. For non-emergencies 101.

How can I raise concerns regarding coaching techniques and practices?

The first step for any coaching concerns with your club is to arrange a time to speak directly to the coach, or the head of the coaching staff.

If you have tried resolving your issue at club level and are still in dispute, you can raise the issue with Swim England by emailing [email protected].

Your query will then be referred to an England Talent Team Leader for your sport, who will provide expertise and advice.

Our Coaches Referral Protocol outlines the steps we will take when a concern is raised with regards to coaching techniques.

If you have a question about coaching disputes or wish to raise the issue with us, please contact [email protected] putting as much detail as possible about your dispute.

Do I have to be a member of the Swimming Club to start a complaint process?

A person wishing to make a Complaint must have been a Swim England member at the time of the event(s) complained about, or have been attempting to obtain membership.

Parents or guardians can submit a Complaint Form on behalf of a Swim England Member under the age of 18.

When should I raise a formal complaint?

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of an internal club process there is an option to raise a formal complaint with Swim England over a dispute at your club or breach of Code of Conduct.

This decision should be taken after full discussion with a Swim England friend. The formal complaint form can be requested by emailing [email protected].

There is a charge of £100 for registering a formal complaint with us.

How can I resolve a medical concern?

If you or your child have a medical condition or concern that is affecting your or their ability to take part in aquatics, we recommend you first make all attempts to discuss this with your coaches at your club.

If there are concerns over whether it is safe for you or your child to be participating in aquatics sessions, Swim England affiliated clubs can receive advice under the Medical Protocol.

Our Medical Protocol Terms of Reference outlines the process we will take if a written reference is received.

Why do we have to pay a fee to make a complaint with the Office of Judicial Administration?
  • Complaints absorb a great deal of time.
  • The fee is a contribution to the costs of processing your complaint.
  • If your complaint is upheld the fee may be returned.
  • If your complaint is unsuccessful, the fee may be retained.
I need help to solve a problem in my swimming club – what should I do?

Your club will have a written constitution (a set of rules). These are likely to be on the club web site, on a noticeboard, or in the joiner’s handbook.

First of all, check the rules to see whether or if the club has broken (or not followed) it’s own rules.

Do your best to follow the club’s complaint procedure – i.e. to write to the chairman, or the secretary, and clearly make your case.

The club’s internal procedures failed. What do I do now?

Contact the Swim England Office of Judicial Administration.

You will be provided with the opportunity to be put in contact with a Swim England Friend.

Judicial Flowchart

Click or tap on the image below to download a PDF copy of a flowchart outlining the stages of our judicial process. Judicial Flowchart


Written Reasons

Appeal Committee Decision:

PDF download

Following the above decision click here for a response by the Swim England Board.