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Swimming and Water Park Aquatic Activities Policy


  1. What is this policy about?
    1. This policy supports students’ participation in aquatic activities in a safe environment.
  2. Policy Statement
    1. School based aquatic activities, such as swimming carnivals, are important ways to develop students’ confidence in and around water. They also contribute to health and fitness and a positive school culture.
    2. Principals are responsible for all aquatic activities and adherence to aquatic activity procedures that include completion of and signing a checklist before each event.
    3. Principals will:
      • Appoint and Aquatic Activities Coordinator for each aquatic event
      • Identify unstructured aquatic activities (for example, free swim time or pool play). This includes activities involving specialised water play equipment
      • Ensure a risk assessment and management plan is completed for a proposed event.
      • Ensure they or the Aquatics Activities Coordinator induct all staff and students according to the risk assessment and management plan
      • Ensure swimmers who have not passed the Royal Life Saving Society Survival Challenge Proficiency Test do not participate in unstructured activities in water at or above the student’s waist.
      • Ensure reasonable adjustments are made to the program to ensure all students have access and the opportunity to participate in school based swimming and aquatic activities
      • Provide minimum supervision ratio of 1:20 (teacher: students).
    4. Aquatic activities venues must be ACT Royal Life Saving Society 5 star accredited or provide evidence of compliance with Royal Life Saving Society Guidelines.
    5. The school will record on MAZE student results in the Royal Life Saving Society Survival Challenge Proficiency Test.
    6. Schools will store and retain records of aquatic activity planning and implementation for not less than two years.
  3. Who does this policy apply to?
    1. This policy applied to each aquatic activity run by ACT public schools.
  4. Context
    1. Aquatic activities are an important part of school activities but have risks that must be managed for safety of students.
  5. Responsibilities
    1. Principal and Staff: The principal has specific responsibility for implementing the policy in each school. Aquatic Activity Coordinators, in addition to teachers attending aquatic events, have responsibilities (duty of care in addition to adherence to policy/procedure).
    2. Parents: must complete an aquatic event consent form for children to participate in aquatic activities.
    3. Policy Owner: The Director, Learning and Teaching is responsible for this policy.
  6. Monitoring and Review
    1. The Policy Owner monitors the policy. This includes an annual scan of operation and review. A full review of the policy will be conducted within a three year period.
  7. Contact
    1. For support contact Learning and Teaching Branch on (02) 6205 9204.
  8. Complaints
    1. Any concerns about the application of this policy or the policy itself, should be raised with:
  9. References
    1. Definitions
      • Aquatic Activity Coordinator: is a teacher designated to coordinate swimming pool and water park aquatic based activities
      • Aquatic Activity: is a water based activity.
      • Aquatic Event: is a school program that involves one or more water based activities.
      • Informed Consent: means that parents/carers give consent to their child’s participation in an event after they have been made aware of the details of that event.
      • Royal Life Saving Society Survival Challenge Proficiency Testing: is a five stage test that assesses a student’s aquatic skill level against predetermined criteria.
      • Risk Assessment and Management Plan: is the directorate planning template to support identification and analysis of risk
      • Specialised Water Play Equipment: any apparatus, such as inflatable aqua run equipment and water balls, used as part of an aquatic activity.
      • Swimming Pool: is a commercially operated venue used for aquatic based activities and events, and includes provision for formal swimming race events. The definition excludes a tidal pool or any similar structure where water flow in and out of the area is governed by natural forces.
      • School Swimming Carnival: refers to amateur school swimming competitions consisting of structured swimming events.
      • Unstructured Aquatic Activity: is an activity that is non-directed and does not include planned activities. Free swim time, and unstructured pool play are considered unstructured aquatic activities.
      • Venue: is any swimming pool or water park as defined above.
      • Water Park: is a commercially operated venue used for aquatic based activities and events that may or may not include provision for formal swimming-race events. The definition excludes a tidal pool or any similar structure where water flow in and out of the area is governed by natural forces.
    2. Implementation Documents -
      • Swimming Pool and Water Park Based Aquatic Activities Procedure
    3. Related Policies and Information - Link to relevant strategy documents.
      • Excursions Policy
      • Health and Safety Policy - First Aid
      • Physical Education and Sport Policy
      • Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan
      • Risk Management Framework
      • Safety and Emergency Contingency Plan
      • Sun Protection Policy.

Swimming and Water Park Aquatic Activities Policy: SPWPAA201411 is the unique identifier of this document. It is the responsibility of the user to verify that this is the current and complete version of the document, available on the Directorate’s website at http://www.education.act.gov.au/publications_and_policies/school_and_corporate_policies/A-Z.

Policy Identifier: SPWPAA201411

Published: March 2018

Related Policies and Information:

  • Excursions Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy - First Aid
  • Physical Education and Sport Policy
  • Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan
  • Risk Management Framework
  • Safety and Emergency Contingency Plan
  • Sun Protection Policy