Schools must consider age, maturity and skill level of students when planning curriculum activities. Consult the sequence of competency found in the
water safety and swimming education program for guidance at each year/band level. Adjustments are required for
students with disability to support access and participation in the curriculum. Consult with the parents/carers of students with disability, or when appropriate the student, to ensure risks related to their child’s participation in the activity are identified and managed.
Schools must consult current student medical information and/or health plans in accordance with the
managing students' health support needs at school procedure. Record information about any student condition (e.g. physical or medical, such as
epilepsy) that may inhibit safe engagement in the activity and include specific support measures within emergency procedures.
Emergency and first-aid
Emergency plans and injury management procedures must be established for foreseeable incidents (e.g. rescue process, provision of CPR and
first aid) and incorporate the advice from local authorities.
Adult supervisors must have:
- emergency contact details of all participants
- a medical alert list and a process for administering student medication
- communication equipment in waterproof containers suitable to conditions (e.g. mobile phone) and a process for obtaining external assistance and/or receiving emergency advice.
Safety procedures must be determined for the location (e.g. water entry, out of bounds areas) and incorporate advice from local authorities,
Inland Waterways as appropriate.
Access is requiried to buoyant and rescue aids appropriate to the location. For example, light-weight poles/water noodles/ropes with a float attached for shallow, calm swimming areas or a rescue tube/board for bodies of water exposed to rips, waves or currents.
Access is required to
first aid equipment and consumables suitable for foreseeable incidents.
An adult with current emergency qualifications is required to be quickly accessible to the activity area. Emergency qualifications include:
HLTAID009 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or equivalent; and
HLTAID011 Provide first aid or equivalent competencies.
Induction and instruction
Induction is required for all adult supervisors on emergency procedures (e.g. hand up for assistance, rescue process), safety procedures (e.g. active supervision, whistle signals) and correct techniques. If the activity is conducted at an off-site facility, induction is to be informed by advice provided in consultation with expertise at the venue.
Instruction is required for students on safety procedures and correct techniques (e.g. buddy up, water entry).
Principals make final supervision decisions for the activity. Sufficient adult supervision must be provided to manage the activity safely (including emergency situations).
Note: Lifeguard services are not considered as supervisors of the activity
For activities with students with a medical condition or disability that may impact on safety during the activity, consultation with parents is required prior to allocating supervision to determine the impact of students’ medical condition or disability on safety during the activity.
The number of adult supervisors required to fulfil emergency and supervision roles must consider the nature of the activity, students’ ages, abilities and specialised learning, access and/or health needs.
Specific roles for supervisors must include recovery, emergency and general supervision roles.
At least 2 adult supervisors are required. Final supervision required to fulfil recovery, emergency and supervision roles must consider the nature of the activity, students’ ages, swimming competence and specialised learning, access and/or health needs.
For activities with a class group of students in years 7–12 who are determined to be water-safe in the activity location (e.g.
surf survival certificate), 1 registered teacher may be sufficient to fulfil recovery, emergency and supervision roles for activities. In this situation, students must be inducted to respond correctly in an emergency by clearing the water, assembling in a safe area and providing assistance (e.g. seeking adult help, summoning an ambulance and/or acting in a support role in resuscitation).
Participants must adhere to all rules and advice communicated by local lifeguard service, facility operator/owner and any safety signage at the facility/location.
Before the activity, all adult supervisors:
- must be familiar with the contents of the CARA record
- must assess
weather conditions prior to undertaking the activity, inspecting the intended location in order to identify variable risks, hazards and potential dangers.
During the activity, all adult supervisors:
- must be readily identifiable
- must be appropriately dressed to perform an immediate rescue at all times
- must closely monitor students with health support needs
- must ensure all students in the water are in sight of at least 1 adult supervisor at all times
- must comply with control measures from the CARA record and adapt as hazards arise
- must suspend the activity if the conditions become unfavourable (e.g. overcrowding, extreme temperatures, thunderstorms), if relevant
- must not allow competitive breath-holding or 'no-breath' underwater games
- must not rely on students to recover a person in difficulty at any time.
Principals make final decisions in determining supervisor capability (competence, relevance and currency) and are responsible for encouraging and enabling school-based activity supervisors to raise their qualifications to improve safety standards.
All adult supervisors must comply with the
working with children authority – blue cards procedure and be able to identify, and respond to, risks or hazards that may emerge during the activity.
A registered teacher
must be appointed to maintain overall responsibility for the activity.
At least one adult supervisor is required to have a current water safety and swimming teacher qualification from a registered training organisation (RTO) or governing sporting body (e.g.
AUSTSWIM) and demonstrate capacity to perform an appropriate rescue procedure including using appropriate rescue aids.
At least 1 adult supervisor is required to be:
- a registered teacher with demonstrated ability to perform rescues appropriate to the location. Examples of demonstrated ability include:
qualifications in physical education or similar; or
a current statement of attainment from a registered training organisation (RTO) or governing sporting body covering
SISCAQU002 – Perform basic water rescues unit of competency; or
current bronze medallion appropriate to the activity environment; or
another method determined by the principal.
an adult supervisor, working under the direct supervision of a registered teacher, with a current bronze medallion appropriate to the activity environment.
Facilities and equipment
The qualified adult supervisor of the activity, in consultation with the principal, determines the requirements for facilities and equipment appropriate to the local context.
Location must be suitable for the activity being undertaken to ensure safe participation and that safety rules and procedures can be followed. Undertake a reconnaissance of new or infrequently used venues to ascertain suitability. Check with the local authority (e.g. local government) for the presence of known water contaminants (e.g. effluent, blue-green algae) or other marine hazards (e.g. stonefish) at the location.
A clearly defined swimming area of an appropriate depth considering student age and ability. Consult the
water safety and swimming education program for guidance at each year/band level. Depending on the location, rope floats or anchored buoys linked with ropes should be used to define the swimming boundary.
Assess suitability of surrounds and reach of water when selecting a location. Consider local water conditions and foreseeable hazards such as;
- tidal flow, currents and turbulence
- use by other watercraft and traffic patterns
- water temperature, depth and visibility
- underwater hazards (e.g. rocks and rapids, turbulence from a waterfall)
- dangerous marine life.
Participants must wear
personal protective equipment as relevant for the location and conditions (e.g. enclosed footwear).
A working emergency signal (e.g. whistle, air horn) must be available.
In open water, a pontoon, boat or float must be in close proximity to students.
school’s sun safety strategy, including appropriate swimwear (e.g. swim shirts), sun protection (e.g. sunscreen) and shade facilities when outside.
Each student must provide their own towel.
If privately owned equipment is being used, principal approval and owner consent/insurance details must be obtained prior to the activity.