During my usual gathering session, my friend asks me how I became a certified swimming instructor. I am quite puzzled by his sudden question as all along the time, he did not ask me how I got myself to be certified. Thus, I ask him why. He mentioned that he is interested to become one after his recent stint with a triathlon training session. He is inspired by his coach and wish to follow his footstep of attracting more people into triathlon. Also, he is capable of earning extra income.
In Singapore, there is several accredited swimming association. Below is the breakdown which I know.
Swimming Instructor (Swim Safer Instructor): Certified By Singapore Swimming Association
Austswim Teacher: Certified by Austswim
Swimming Teacher: Certified by Singapore Swimming Teacher Association
As I graduated from Singapore Swimming Association, I am competent to relate my experience. Regarding other associations, I did not graduate from it, thus it will be unfavorable to comment on it. However, these swimming association have a few common criteria: A valid lifesaving certification, valid first aid certificate or cardio pulmonary certificate. The other requirements and information can be found on the respective website.
What is the different between these different swimming accredited instructors? In my opinion, there is no difference. All these swimming instructors have a passion in swimming and want to coach their students to become water competent and hopefully inspire one that may follow their foot step to continue their passion. However, the certification will determine the location where the swimming instructor is licensed to coach.
In Singapore, public swimming complex are under the care of Singapore Swimming Council (SSC).SSC only allow Swimsafer Instructor which are certified by SSA to coach in the pool. For other association certification holders, they are only allowed to coach in private housing with swimming facilities. Swimsafer are also allowed to coach in this premises. Thus, interested applicants may wish to consider Swimsafer certification as you can find majority of the students having their lesson at SSC public pool.
The first step to become Swimsafer is to equip yourself with National Coaching Accreditation Programme (NCAP) which is a theory course which consists of lectures on the fundamental principles of coaching and Sports Science. The course is conducted by Singapore Sports Council (SSC) appointed lecturers. More information can be found on their website.
Next, a valid CPR cert and a lifesaving certification which may be Lifesaving 1, 2, 3 or Bronze medallion which is certified by Singapore Lifesaving Society. Yes, swimming instructor need to know how to save people to deal with emergency cases like your students having difficulty in swimming and struggle for help. Moreover, now Swimsafer instructor is required to impart some of the rescue techniques and theory to the students. Thus, it is advisable to be well equipped in this area. If you did not have the lifesaving certificate, you can go to any public pool and ask the personnel there if there is any available lifesaving teacher there or may call up Singapore Lifesaving Society about your interest. You may also choose to take up lifesaving instructor to enhance your knowledge in this area. Lifesaving Instructor course is conducted by Singapore Lifesaving Society.
After obtaining NCAP Level1, lifesaving certification and valid first aid or CPR cert, you can enrol into swimming instructor technical level 1 course. The criteria consists of swim test to choose swimmers who has achieved a certain competence in their four swimming strokes which consists of breaststroke, front crawl, back and butterfly. If you are selected for the course, you are required to pass their theory and practical test in order to achieve the swimming technical level 1 certificate.
So how long does this process take? A person who has no requirement may take about one year to obtain the certificate. Thus, it will be beneficial to start early if you are interested to join the swimming industry. Remember in order to become Swimsafer Instructor. You need the below certification.
NCAP Level 1 + Swimming Technical Level 1 + Lifesaving Cert + First Aid Cert.