Guideline review date: 28 October 2021
This guideline is provided to support schools in implementing the
managing risks in school curriculum activities procedure.
CARA planner must be used for the specific school context in conjunction with this guideline considering additional risks, hazards and controls and including environmental, facility, equipment and student considerations.
For activities beyond the scope of this guideline, complete a CARA record using the
CARA generic template.
This guideline relates to student participation in snorkelling during daylight hours in a swimming pool or open-water environments as an activity to support curriculum delivery. Snorkelling activities may include swimming on the surface of the water using snorkelling equipment, or breath-hold diving and swimming below the surface.
Note: This guideline does not include snorkel diving in underwater caves or wrecks, free diving (breath holding for as long as possible and/or diving to the greatest depth possible), activities involving competitive events (e.g. underwater hockey etc), adventure racing or spear fishing.
Depending on the scope of this activity, other risk assessments may be required when planning. Curriculum activities encompassing more than one CARA guideline (e.g.
power boating while
swimming in locations other than pools) must comply with the requirements of all CARA guidelines appropriate to the activity.
For activities conducted at a non-Department of Education venue, and/or when engaging external expertise (e.g. charter company), request written risk assessment advice detailing
safety management systems, vessel registration, safety and communications equipment and crew qualifications and attach it to this CARA record.
For activities conducted off-site, schools must comply with the
school excursions procedure.
High risk: Snorkelling undertaken in a swimming pool.
Extreme risk: Snorkelling undertaken in locations outside a swimming pool.
If any requirement cannot be met, the activity must not occur.
If any other safety recommendation cannot be met, modify the activity (or elements of it) and/or identify and use the hierarchy of controls to implement alternative control measures to meet or exceed the minimum safety standard.
All risk levels
Recreational diving, recreational technical diving and snorkelling—code of practice 2018, Australian adventure activity standard and
Snorkelling Australian adventure activity good practice guide is required when planning this activity.
Queensland Government Zoning and designated areas must be consulted for restricted areas.
Permits and permissions are required to be obtained as necessary (e.g.
Australian Government Marine park permits and activities,
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority).
Prior consultation is required with local authority (e.g. lifeguard service,
marine park managers) for local advice, emergency support mechanisms and additional supervision requirements to ensure participant and public safety.
Participants must adhere to all rules and advice communicated by local lifeguard service, facility operator/owner and any safety signage at the facility/location.
Participants must not snorkel alone.
Open wound management must occur before, during and after the activity. Consult
Infection control guidelines and Queensland Health’s exclusion periods for infectious conditions poster for first aid and hygienic practices.
Confirmation of student water safety and swimming competence is required prior to participation. The process is determined by the school and must consider the specific aquatic environments in which the activity will take place. Consult the Sequence of competency
water safety and swimming education program for support in determining age-appropriate suitability and consider student self-rescue skills in the specific aquatic environment.