education and development image, two coaches standing by a swimming pool

Education & Development

There are numerous courses available with Swim Ireland, in a number of different categories. The categories available are Qualifications, CPDs and Commercial. For queries relating to Qualifications, CPDs and commercial please contact the Swim Ireland Education Team.


The term ‘qualifications’ refers to the courses run within the Swim Ireland Education department which lead to a qualification as a teacher or a coach. The qualifications are mainly available at Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 is the introductory level to teaching or coaching and is 35 hours long. Level 2 qualifies people to teach or coach unsupervised and is 68 hours long.

The following course disciplines are available in the qualifications area:

Teaching Aquatics; Coaching Swimming; Coaching Water Polo; Coaching Diving; Coaching Synchronised Swimming

The qualifications are available at Level 1 and Level 2 and Coaching Swimming is available at Level 3.

One must have a Swim Ireland Level 1 qualification (or equivalent as deemed by the Swim Ireland Awarding Body) in the appropriate discipline before doing a Level 2 course. For example in order to do a Level 2 Coaching Swimming course, you must hold a Level 1 Coaching Swimming course.

CPD stands for Continuous Professional Development and is useful for people seeking to gain their Swim Ireland License, or for those who simply want to up-skill in an area of interest. CPD seminars are available in a number of areas, including stroke technique, teaching people with disabilities and teaching/coaching skills.

Swim Ireland courses are available throughout the year in all areas of the country. You can find the complete list of upcoming courses registered with Swim Ireland here.

Swim Ireland courses and CPD seminars are available nationwide, and once a leisure centre or a club is accreditied with Swim Ireland, they can run courses too. This means that if you are interested in a particular courses or seminar being held near you, it is possible that this will happen.

Licensing was introduced for Swim Ireland Teachers & Coaches in 2009. The purpose and benefits of licensing are not only to help raise, maintain and regulate standards of practice and help professionalise certain aspects and areas within the aquatics but also to help Swim Ireland reward and recognise those working within swimming both as volunteers and paid professionals for their achievement of qualifications.