Swimming coaches in Australia have a three-tier education and accreditation system which allows coaches to grow and develop by undertaking online modules and in-person workshops, completing time on the job and receiving mentoring.
Accredited coaches must agree to a Code of Behaviour, satisfy the working with children requirements, hold membership of the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association and undertake ongoing professional development.
International courses and course attendees from overseas have a modified set of requirements, but must meet the Australian requirements to coach in Australia. It is expected that all coaches from Development level or above will mentor lower level coaches and that one potential role of any coach is to assist, under guidance, higher level coaches.
A pre-requisite for entering the coaching pathway is gaining a Swim Australia Teacher of Competitive Swimming (SAT CS) accreditation or similar. This can be gained via attendance at a SAT CS course or through application for SAT CS Recognition of Current Competency (RCC).
A Swim Australia Teacher of Competitive Swimming has the competence to teach junior Swimmers (i.e. Swimmers 12-years and younger) who are in the early stages of the competitive swimming development (advanced learn to swim, mini squads, junior squads and recreational swimming squads) and/or assist a suitably qualified and accredited coach in the delivery of competitive swimming programs for age group (i.e. 13-18 years) and open Swimmers (training squads).
A Development (previously Bronze) coach creates experiences which focus on the benefits of developing skills and increasing fitness. Their enthusiasm and encouragement provide extra motivation for participants to develop a love of swimming and sustain this interest over their lives.
An Advanced (previously Silver) coach brings out each swimmer’s ability by identifying individual needs and planning and implementing suitable training programs based on individual swimmer needs. They implement support systems that develop the individual swimmer’s physical and psychological fitness and maximises their performance.
A Performance (previously Gold) coach develops people and structures to sustain success for swimming. They do this by balancing data and information with intuition and experience to make accurate evidence-based decisions under pressure. They trust their swimmers to take responsibility for their own performances, and they welcome feedback. More information on the new education courses and related accreditation levels can be found here.
Swim Australia Teacher Accreditation is valid for four years from the date of issue and Swimming Australia Coach Accreditation is valid for three years.
Teachers are sent a reminder by email 4-8 months before expiration of accreditation. Further reminders are sent by upon expiry if a Teacher has not renewed.
Coaches are also recognised and celebrated for their achievements in the pool. The levels of coach recognition are Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.