Swim Ireland (SI), the National Governing Body for Swimming in Ireland is currently implementing some significant changes to the way in which courses leading to a SI qualification will be delivered and verified. These changes began in September 2009. Candidates wishing to achieve a SI qualification will only be able to do so at a Centre accredited by the SI Training and Delivery Body.
In 2009, SI introduced a new Education Programme with a new qualification structure for teaching and coaching qualifications. The SI qualifications are in line with the requirements of both that of Coaching Ireland and the United Kingdom Coaching Certificate, which means that these qualifications sit on the UK National Qualifications Framework (NQF). This will mean that the SI qualifications will be recognized as an equivalent to those being delivered in the UK.
There are now five different aquatic disciplines that people can gain their qualifications in. These are Level 1 and 2 for Teaching Aquatics, Coaching Diving, Coaching Water Polo and Coaching Synchronized Swimming and Level’s 1, 2 and 3 for Coaching Swimming. The following information relates to Accredited Centre’s who wish to be approved by SI for the delivery of the above qualifications.
Any organization in Ireland (North and South) may apply to become Accredited Training Centre. An accredited centre can be a pool facility or a club and can become accredited by SI to deliver the new SI qualifications, subject to meeting the approval criteria. All Accredited Centre’s will become part of an important national network developed for the delivery and assessment of training, leading to a SI qualification.
How to Become an Accredited Centre
Anyone wishing to become an Accredited Centre needs to be able to demonstrate that they meet the centre criteria and complete the Accredited Centre Application Pack. This criteria includes having access to the appropriate wet and dry side facilities, having the appropriate policies and procedures in place to deal with a range of issues like complaints, and health and safety concerns, having the appropriate insurance to cover the running of a course at the facilities you may be using and to be able to handle and protect documents that need to be secured under the data protection act.
The benefits to becoming an Accredited Centre are:
- Accredited Centres will be accredited to deliver and assess qualifications leading to SI qualifications as of 1st September 2009.
- SI Accredited Centres will be provided with a certificate recognising their approved status.
- All Accredited Centres will be advertised on the SI website and prospective candidates will be directed as appropriate.
- Candidates wishing to achieve an SI qualification will only be able to do so at an Accredited
- CSI will provide each Accredited Centre with regular communications. Accredited Centres will be part of a nationally recognized qualification network.
- Accredited Centres will be recognised by National organizations: The Irish Sports Council & Northern Ireland Sports Council as working in partnership with SI.
- Candidates achieving SI qualifications through Accredited Centres will benefit from any external funding received by SI.
- Accredited Centres and candidates will benefit from an improved profile as a result of working in partnership with SI.
- Candidates receiving SI qualifications will be recognized throughout the UK as having in receipt of a relevant qualification.
The initial application process has been designed to make the application straightforward and quick. The process will be paper based in the respect that it will not require a visit for initial approval to be granted although SI retains the right to visit any centre as part of the approval process. At any time approval can be withdrawn with immediate effect should the detail provided as part of the application process subsequently be found to be incorrect.
If you are interested in becoming an Approved Centre for the delivery and assessment of courses leading to a SI Certificate we request that you complete the ‘Accredited Centre Pack’. Once completed please return it to the SI office as indicated.
Ensuring quality is an important aspect of any business or service and is critical to effective training and development. The SI Centre Accredited Centre process will build upon the excellent provision and practice which already exists and will be used to direct potential candidates to places where quality delivery and assessment can be guaranteed.
If you have any queries regarding the above please do not hesitate to contact your Swim Ireland Education Team.