Education & Development

FAQ’s for the Education Department

What courses are available?

We have Qualification, CPD Workshops/Seminars and Safeguarding courses available. If you have a question about a course that is not answered below 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
  • Teacher of Disabilities
  • Adult & Child
  • Aquafit

Please be aware that Coaching Swimming is currently the only qualification that has a Level 3.

Level 1 courses in Teaching Aquatics, Coaching Swimming, Coaching Water Polo, Coaching Diving and Coaching Synchronised Swimming are 35 hours long and Level 2 courses in the same disciplines are 68 hours long. 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 qualification.

Level 1 courses are made up of 2 Units, Unit 1 being generic across all disciplines and Unit 2 being discipline specific. Each Unit is made up of both theory and practical hours, as detailed here.

Level 2 courses are made up of 6 Units, Units 1-3 being generic across all disciplines and Units 4-6 being discipline specific. Like Level 1, there are theory and practical components of each Unit, as detailed here.

The unitised structure of Swim Ireland courses makes it easy for candidates to qualify in a number of different disciplines. A candidate who holds a Level 1 Teaching Aquatics certificate would only need to do a Level 1 Unit 2 Coaching Swimming in order to gain a Level 1 Coaching Swimming certificate for example. A candidate with a Level 2 Coaching Swimming certificate would only need to do Units 4-6 of a Level 2 Teaching Aquatics course in order to gain that qualification.

CPD seminars

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 skills.

WIS and Learn to Swim Courses

Courses run under the auspices of Women In Sport and the Learn to Swim are the Child Learn to Swim, So Swim, the Adult Learn to Swim and Swim a Song for toddlers and their parents.

When are the courses available?

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 also make course timetables available online, and the timetables can be accessed in a number of ways, including this link here.

Please note that the upcoming courses list contains ALL courses and CPD seminars registered with Swim Ireland at a given point in time. We cannot speculate on the location of upcoming courses or take bookings or enquiries for courses not registered with Swim Ireland.

Where are the courses available?

Swim Ireland courses and CPD seminars are available nationwide, within the Swim Ireland Accredited Centre Network.

Course and seminar costs

There are standard prices for all Swim Ireland courses and CPD seminars. From time to time there may be discounts for members on Swim Ireland courses, and they will be displayed in the upcoming courses page. Courses run are priced on a course by course basis however information about any courses being run will be listed within Upcoming Courses/Seminars page. 

How do I register for an Education course/seminar?

To register for a Swim Ireland Education department course/seminar please visit the Upcoming Courses/Seminars page. Once you have chosen your course you can book online or contact the Education Team. Payment can be made for Swim Ireland courses online, by credit/debit card, cheque, postal order, or bank transfer.

Is there an application form that I need to fill out before a course/seminar starts?

No, there is no official application form to fill in before you attend a course or a seminar. Booking for courses/seminars is online or by phone with the Education Team.

On the first day of your course or before your seminar starts, the tutor will hand you a form that will need to be filled in which will ask for your details. Please ensure that all details on this form are correct, as incorrect details will delay the issue of certificates and may result in you not receiving your certificate or the certificate not being issued at all.