Swim England

A nation swimming

Help us to shape the future values and vision of Swim England at our roadshows

Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan 2022

Our Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan or ‘DIAP’ lays out the work that we will be doing across the areas of equality, diversity and inclusion in 2022. Following the update of the UK Code for Sports Governance in December 2021, we are committed to producing an agreed DIAP in line with our strategy and publishing a progress update annually.

Whilst we await further guidance from Sport England to be published we recognise the need to communicate our plan as to how we intend to make progress in 2022. This is split into general or ‘core’ work in this area and then the 3 areas of ‘Disability’, ‘Race & Ethnicity’ and ‘LGBTQ+’. We have chosen these in order to address the specific demographics that we know are most underrepresented within our aquatic sports. It is worth noting that many actions aren’t mutually exclusive and there will therefore be crossover between the demographics listed.

Please find a brief overview of all of the actions within the plan below. The plan is not intended to be exhaustive but highlights numerous significant work areas that will impact on inclusion. It runs from May 2022 – April 2023 as we await further guidance on production of a formal ‘DIAP’. In order to keep our members up to date with the work we’re doing we will also ensure quarterly updates are published in September 2022, January 2023 and May 2023 respectively

If you have any questions or for further information please contact [email protected]

Core Work

Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP)

Creation of a DIAP that meets the Sport England criteria and aligns with our wider organisational strategy, due to be published in early 2023.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Our existing plan was published online in April 2022. We continue to work to this whilst we wait further guidance as to the standardised process that will be used from 2023.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – We are still in much the same position, awaiting further guidance on the standardised process for our DIAP. We have continued to use this plan in the interim, reviewing it monthly as part of our inclusion working group and publishing updates quarterly via our website.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – This quarter we have begun to shape our long-term DIAP. Steps have included: the submission of a Partner Support Questionnaire to Sport England’s chosen agency, a triage meeting with an assigned Consultant and the creation of a draft DIAP. We expect to complete this this by Sept 2023 with the new DIAP published in full. In the mean time we will continue to work towards many of the activities on this plan and have added a range of further activities internally. If you have questions about these please contact [email protected].
EDI Position Statement

Clearly articulate our intent with regards to addressing the current inequalities within aquatics.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Swim England will continue to adhere to our ‘Public Commitment Statement’ which includes reference to our position on inclusion. This can be viewed here.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – Completed in Q2.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – Completed in Q2.
Maintain ‘Advanced’ Level of Equality Standard

As holders of the highest level of the existing Equality Standard we will look to maintain this level, or the equivalent, following the standard’s review in 2022.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Similarly to the DIAP, we await further guidance as to the new structure of the standard.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – As above, we await further guidance as to the new structure of the standard.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – Whilst we are now aware of the structure of the new standard we continue to await its launch, at which point we will complete it in full.
Inclusion Hub

A hub will be created on the Swim England website including all of the relevant material that exists across this space. Examples include: Our policies, our projects and our partners. The hub will contain information to assist everyone involved in delivering aquatics including teachers, coaches, clubs and volunteers.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – An internal hub has been created and launched on our new learning platform, the Aqua Hub. The content is currently being adapted for an external audience with a view to publish later in 2022.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – The external hub or ‘Inclusion Toolkit’ has been created and is being reviewed internally ready for publication via the Inclusion Hub this quarter.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – The decision was made to move from an Inclusion Toolkit page to a full ‘Inclusive Club Guide’. All of the information from the toolkit has been moved to this guide and it will be published in full in August 2023.
Recruiting for Diversity

Development of a recruitment strategy which will see us increase the diversity of our employed and voluntary workforce.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Our People Development department have completed the data analysis of our existing recruitment process and identified the stage(s) that may present barriers to diverse applicants. Solutions have been created and we will look to pilot the new process in the first half of 2023, details of this will be published via our website.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – The ‘Diversity Confident’ pilot project has been created and was launched on the 16th January 2023. This will see our commitments from ‘Disability Confident’ extended to ethnically diverse applicants. Therefore, any applicant that is from either of these demographics and meets the essential criteria for a role will be guaranteed an interview. To find out more please contact [email protected].
  • May 2023 (Q4) – Since January we have been applying our ‘Diversity Confident’ principles via all of recruitment opportunities. The pilot will run until the end of June 2023, at which point we will review to determine what aspects to continue and what could be amended.
EDI Policies

Updating of all EDI policies, including our core equality policy, to reflect changes in language and approach since their initial publication.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – The review of the core Equality Policy is ongoing and will be published in late 2022. All supporting policies such as our Commitment to Dignity policy have been updated and published.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – The Equality Policy has been reviewed and will be released in line with our new organisational strategy in Q4.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – The Equality Policy has been finalised and is due for imminent release.
Aquatic Champions

Creation of training to increase awareness of wider aquatics opportunities and pathways. To be delivered as part of our ‘Peers on Poolside’ project (see below).

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Both the content and training have been created. Steps are being put in place to trial this with appropriate audiences.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – This has been launched within the ‘Peers on Poolside’ projects that are currently being delivered (see below).
  • May 2023 (Q4) – As with January, training has been developed and is being delivered in Birmingham and Black Country. We are currently looking at how best to embed the training within projects that are not funded.
Map Key Stakeholder Groups

Analyse and review our current stakeholder engagement groups. Aim to build upon this network and focus on new opportunities/stakeholders with a focus on equality, diversity and inclusion.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – The initial phase has been scoped but work on final mapping is ongoing.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – No further work has been completed following the completion of the initial mapping document. This will form a part of the new strategy and engagement which is due for release later in 2023.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – Following the release of our new strategy, ‘Access Aquatics’, stakeholder mapping is ongoing. We are currently finalising a pilot Partnership Agreement that we hope to use with other groups and organisations moving forward. In order to identify other groups we also recognise a need to work more closely with Local Authorities, improving both our visibility and impact. To this end we are building a new relationship with the Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association (CLOA).
Swimwear Guidance

Publish updated guidance on permissible swimwear within our competitions. Ensure this includes specific reference to period swimwear.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Guidance has been published alongside the launch of our Certificate of Exception. Full details can be found here.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – Completed in Q2.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – Completed in Q2. Reminders were also provided as part of the Transgender and Non-Binary Competition Policy implementation process.
Diversity within the Talent Pathway

Collect baseline data of the demographics within our talent pathways. Improve level of insight via on boarding of athletes and our membership system.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – A talent ‘club’ has been set up for each discipline via our membership system Integra. Internally, this allows for the accurate capture of demographic data for all of our coaches and athletes at a talent level.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – All Talent squads including athletes and coaches/TM’s have now been uploaded to Integra by discipline following the selection of new athletes to programmes. Over the next quarter, we will analyse the data from this group to enable us to get a better understanding of any gaps in the information and to identify the demographic make-up of our programmes for the current cohort.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – Losing the Head of Performance Operations and a number of the discipline leads has impacted the work in this area over the last quarter. We have therefore not had the dedicated time to evaluate data in any depth, notwithstanding any work independently monitored by current leads.
Diversify and Improve Brand Awareness of the Recruitment Academy

Increase visibility of the Institute of Swimming ‘Recruitment Academy’ as a means to increase diversity of applicants.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Work is ongoing and this is seeing a large increase in delivery. We have moved from 20 Academies at the start of the year to 79 as of September 2022. A full list of live opportunities can be found here.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – A new suite of marketing resources with increased diversity has been created to support the Recruitment Academy in reaching wider audiences. Recruitment Academies, like the one in Nottingham, are now positioned to meet the needs of the partners in recruiting teachers in general but concurrently increasing the number of applicants from ethnically diverse backgrounds, with increased emphasis where the operator specifically wants to target diversity in their workforce.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – With regards to the wider Recruitment Academy, the Institute of Swimming have created a new suite of marketing assets to reach underrepresented groups which are now utilised across the Academy and various other projects. Adding to the targeted intervention work in areas like Nottingham, Bradford and Birmingham we have seen a big increase in ethnically diverse applicants, currently sat at 19% of all applicants (2023 to date) in comparison to 8% of applications received in 2022.

Race & Ethnicity

[England] Swims

Working towards the ‘Capture’ element of Sporting Equals’ Charter we will deliver a targeted insight campaign into the barriers preventing ethnically diverse communities from accessing aquatics. This insight will be used in the development of our next organisational strategy, and shared with the sector.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Working with over 100 partner individuals and organisations the campaign brought in 4000+ responses. As planned, this insight is currently being shared with partner organisations and has been considered as part of our strategy development.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – Our Insight Team have been working hard to analyse and share the insight from the project. This has included presentations to stakeholders such as Clubs, Operators (Pools), Local Authorities, Active Partnerships, Industry Partners, Supporting Organisations and Commercial Partners. Alongside the Headline Findings, a collection of “spotlight on…” reports, looking at individual ethnic and faith communities have all been published on our website, enabling the research to be accessible to all.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – Our dissemination of the research continues. Not only the insight focused on ethnicity and faith groups, but also those with Long Term Health Conditions who don’t currently swim. Findings from the research our continuing to impact decision making within Swim England, and influence partner (i.e. pool operator) plans. Our new relationship with the Muslim Sports Foundation, created in the development of the project, continues to grow in strength, and they have recently supported our new strategy launch.
Educator Workforce Diversity

Increase the diversity of our educator workforce by offering a minimum of 8 tutor training bursary places to those from underrepresented groups.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – 4 funded places for tutor training have been provided to date.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – As above, 4 funded places have been provided to date. With the next training cohort due in April 2023 we will ensure the remaining 4 places are rolled over and distributed.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – No further funded places have been distributed. Places will be rolled over and we continue to work to identify trainee tutors that are eligible for the bursary and able to meet the ambassadorial commitments.
Anti-Racism Statement

Produce and publish an anti-racism statement. Training to be delivered to workforce with regards to identifying potential racist abuse and language and what to do if a complaint is received.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Our statement has been published and can be viewed here.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – Completed in Q2.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – Completed in Q2.
Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting

Establish an ethnicity pay gap reporting process to be produced annually alongside our existing gender pay gap reporting process.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Work is yet to begin on this objective. We will look at how it can be tied in with our existing gender pay gap reporting process.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – In line with the reporting timeframes for the Gender Pay Gap, Swim England will also analyse pay of our employed, casual and self-employed contractors in respect of Ethnicity. The report will be shared and discussed with our Remuneration Committee in March 2023.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – As above.
Institute of Swimming – Addressing underrepresentation in the workforce

Working with new partners we will look to use non-traditional routes and initiatives to increase the relevance of aquatics as a potential career.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – To date we have engaged with Street Games on collaborative work to reach underrepresented groups. Our Commonwealth Games legacy project, Inspire 2022, has also provided opportunities to work with other stakeholders in the area to increase the diversity of our workforce. Work is ongoing to identify further partners and opportunities.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – The IOS is now working collaboratively with the Muslim Sports Foundation and working on active projects in several places. New marketing resources (digital imagery and videos) have been created to support outreach to attract interest from ethnically diverse communities, which will add to our growing suite of resources to increase diversity on our courses.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – The work completed as part of our efforts to diversify the Recruitment Academy (see above) are helping significantly with this objective. Relationships with partners such as the Muslim Sports Foundation have been pivotal to the shift in learners we are now seeing, from 8% to 19% with regards to learners from ethnically diverse communities.
Peers on the Poolside

Utilising our existing ‘Recruitment Academy’ model we will fundraise and provide training for individuals from ethnically diverse communities to become swimming teachers.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – 3 projects have now started in the West Midlands. We are looking at opportunities for case study creation in order to raise awareness of the project, fundraise and launch programmes in other locations.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – We now have 4 different projects running in Nottingham, Bradford, Birmingham and the Black Country. Bradford and Nottingham are funded by the operators whilst in Birmingham and the Black Country funding has been provided by the Inspire Project. Projects are ongoing with learning being gathered to assist with future work. In Birmingham and the Black Country we are being supported by the Active Partnerships and the Muslim Sport Foundation.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – Work is ongoing in Birmingham and the Black Country and we are now taking learning from Nottingham and Bradford to assist with the search for further target areas. We are currently looking to establish further community partnerships to enhance our offer.
London Legacy Project – Phase 1

Providing free swimming lessons within a targeted area in order to address the sessions missed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – The project was delivered successfully earlier in 2022 with 70+ children from low income households receiving free swimming lessons.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – Completed in Q2.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – Completed in Q2.
London Legacy Project – Phase 2

Engage with ethnically diverse communities within Haringey to increase awareness of the value of swimming for all generations. Focus on learning to swim and the introductory ‘Start’ programmes across our aquatic disciplines.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Sessions are currently being delivered with community partners, the project remains in progress.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – Unfortunately, as a result of an unexpected pool closure the Learn to Swim sessions have been postponed and are yet to be rescheduled. It appears the closure is more permeant than initially thought. This is affecting the conclusion of the project, in particular the Adult Learn to Swim programme of which we planned for 4 groups. The pool will continue to be monitored with a view to restart if and when it reopens.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – Pool where the adult Learn to Swim sessions (the last remaining part of the project) were being delivered unfortunately remains closed due to a flood. The operator we are partnered with are investigating alternative venues to host the remaining 2-4 sessions, and are aware this is a priority for us to enable the programme to be finalised and evaluation completed.


Water Wellbeing Programme

Increase awareness of our ‘Water Wellbeing’ programme and the accreditation process. The programme involves a range of components related to swimming with health as a primary focus.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – The accreditation has been launched with several pools already beginning the process. To support this our ‘Introduction to Supporting Swimmers with Long-Term Health Conditions CPD’ has also been launched with the first cohort of learners starting in September 2022.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – 18 pools have completed the Water Wellbeing accreditation process, with 152 additional pools having started and are aiming to complete the process in 2023. This will equate to over 20,000 hours of personalised support being made available to people with long term health conditions or impairments in 2023. 126 health-related qualifications and CPDs were completed by Water Wellbeing pools during the process of accreditation.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – 146 sites are now accredited with a further 43 working towards accreditation. 42 more who have expressed an interest in starting the process.
    852 health-related qualifications, learning experiences and CPDs have been completed by Water Wellbeing pools during the process of accreditation. This can be broken down into 1,523 participants to date, with an estimated 3,500 participants expected by end of 2023.
Inclusion 2024

Improve inclusive school swimming and water safety practice for pupils with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Increase engagement of pupils with SEND in school swimming and water safety more widely.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Building on the successes of Inclusion 2020, 16 ‘lead inclusion schools’ have been identified, increasing from the initial cohort of 8. Our ‘Supporting Pupils with SEND in School Swimming’ CPD has been created and is currently being delivered to schools. Other activities include the completion of our swimming assessment tool for new lead inclusion schools and the ongoing delivery of webinars to the stakeholders involved. More information about the wider project can be found here.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – The 16 lead inclusion schools have an established community of best practice to share learnings and insight, to create solutions to overcome barriers to support children with SEND in school swimming and water safety delivery. 265 delegates have completed webinars to support with appropriate learnings. 118 delegates completed the Supporting Pupils with SEND in school swimming CPD to give school staff the skills and knowledge to provide inclusive effective school swimming provision.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – To improve the School Swimming experience for pupils in SEND schools, Water Safety Assemblies were produced by Swim England and delivered to the lead inclusion schools.

    Swim England’s Water Wellbeing Specialist is currently producing recommendations as to how swimming and aquatics can support schools in achieving the UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines of 20 active minutes for disabled people.

    Furthermore, we recognised that bitesize learning opportunities needed to be provided given the many responsibilities that school staff hold. As a result, the SEND Inclusion CPD was broken down into 3 x 20 minute sessions to make it more accessible.

    Year 2 Evaluation will be possible from the 31st July 2023. However, we can already report that 6,411 young people with SEND started on their learn to swim journey and have been equipped with key water safety advice. 49,816 young people in total have received lifesaving skills.

Integration of Para-Swimming Pathway

Integration of our Para-Swimming and Swimming pathways. Ensuring delivery material is cross-referenced across the entirety of the pathway and highlight where, integration can be developed and where specialisation is required.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – From the very positive learning experiences of the 2021/22 season, the Talent team have now developed a pathway that fully integrates disabled and non-disabled swimmers. This is evident from County level through to our performance squad. Coach Inductions for the County & Regional pathways have been delivered by the Talent team where integration is covered and guidance and best practice is discussed. A detailed delivery plan has been created to include technical aspects such as the Optimum Athlete Development Framework, Sports Science and Sports Medicine. Development opportunities have been mapped out for all swimmers, regardless of disability.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – The Swimming Talent team have been implementing the Delivery plan produced last season and from Sep-Dec held a series of Pathway initiatives that have been fully integrated, NAGDP (13-14yrs) NYDP (15-16yrs). This has been in the form of 1 day Camps, 3 day camps, Online inductions, face to face screening and also online parent drop in sessions. The Swimming Talent team are in the final preparation of planning an international experience competition for our YPS (18 and under) that will be fully integrated.
  • May 2023 (Q4) -The Swimming pathway continues the embedding of integration between Para and Olympic swimming. All of our camps this season have been fully integrated from Regional age group development to our Youth performance squad. We have carried our integrated online workshops, 1 day camps, 3 day camps and international competitions. We recently attended an integrated meet in Kungsbaka Sweden, operating as an integrated Commonwealth Games Team would to educate and prepare swimmers and staff alike for Victoria 2026. Our resources have become more representative with infographics and videos showcasing a blend of Para and Olympic elite swimmers.
The Ripple Effect

Funded by the Spirit of 2012 this 18-month project aims to increase the inclusivity of our volunteering pathway by co-producing solutions with volunteers from a range of national disability sports organisations. The solutions identified will be implemented within the existing pathway to ensure a sustainable impact for current and future disabled volunteers.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – A Project Officer has been employed and the project has expanded to include all 7 National Disability Sports Organisations (NDSO’s) as partners. Next steps include the identification of volunteers, updating of resources and identification of the first volunteering opportunities.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – The Ripple Effect has engaged a total of 32 volunteers, the vast majority of which will be testing the volunteer pathway in Swimming. 50% of these participants have now successfully completed their Time Keepers qualification. Next steps will be to connect the volunteers to local clubs and identify suitable volunteering opportunities.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – 32 volunteers are currently engaged in the project. 4 of these volunteers have already completed their Timekeepers qualification and have begun to undertake their J1 qualification. Volunteers are also starting to engage with National events with 3 volunteers due to undertake roles at British Masters. Feedback from UK Deaf Sport and British Blind Sport have suggested a number of adaptations that need to be made to engage volunteers with sensory impairments.
Certificate of Exception

Update the ‘Certificate of Swimming Disability’ to make the application process easier for disabled competitors. Furthermore, consider how the certificate can be amended to also take into account swimwear exceptions.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – The Certificate of Exception was successfully launched in May 2022 and has significantly simplified the process for applicants. This has already seen a 10% uplift in applications. Work is ongoing to raise awareness of the certificate further. More information about the launch can be viewed here.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – The Certificate was launched in Q2 and continues to be used across swimming competition. Work is ongoing to identify if the certificate can be used within other disciplines.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – Uptake of the Certificate remains consistent. We continue to promote the Certificate wherever possible and will also ensure it is referred to within the Club Inclusion Guide, due for release later in 2023.

Update the organisation’s ‘PoolFinder’ tool to include categories such as pool lifts, Water Wellbeing accreditation and hydrotherapy pools.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – With the Water Wellbeing accreditation launching in recent months, work is ongoing. Accessibility filters such as ‘pool hoists’ are available and work will continue to add in the other data identified above.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – All Poolfinder updates have been completed. Users can therefore search for their closest hydrotherapy pool, closest pool with a pool hoist or lift, or closest pool with specific ‘dementia friendly’ sessions or aquatic physiotherapy.
    These are available at swimming.org/poolfinder.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – Completed in Q2.


Transgender Competition Policy

Review and update our existing policy taking into account prevailing research in this area and the Sports Council Equality Group guidance.

  • September 2022 (Q2) – Following a stakeholder and member consultation in August 2022, we are currently drafting an updated policy. This will be shared with relevant groups within our governance structure for feedback on implementation.
  • January 2023 (Q3) – The policy has been reviewed based upon feedback from the Consultation and with the assistance of our discipline leadership groups. We expect to implement this within Q4. As part of our wider commitments in this area, we have also begun the review process of our internal ‘Transitioning at Work’ policy.
  • May 2023 (Q4) – The policy was launched at the start of April with a view to implement from the 1st September 2023. Following the launch, explanatory webinars were carried out with 500+ stakeholders from across our sports. These include: Regions, Clubs, Welfare Officers, Officials etc. We continue to work towards the publicised implementation date, ensuring that systems (both internally and externally) are ready.