Policies and Procedures

Swim Ireland Education are committed to ensuring the highest level of compliance and best practice surrounding the booking, delivery and awarding of aquatic education. As such Swim Ireland have a number of policies and procedures available for information and guidance.

Candidates – individuals who have booked a place on a Swim Ireland course or CPD

Review date 31 August 2022

Policies

Education Team Operating Hours

Standard operating hours for Swim Ireland Education team are Monday – Friday 9am-5pm.

Queries can be sent by email to education@swimireland.ie or by phone 01-6251120.

If a team member does not answer their phone, please leave a voicemail so they can follow up with you directly.

Acceptable communication methods are phone calls or email, staff will not engage with individuals via text message, WhatsApp, or social media.

Qualification timeline

All candidates who have completed a virtual classroom course prior to the 31 August 2022 have until the 1 March 2023 to fully complete their qualification (i.e. course practical). After this, charges will apply.

Any candidate booking/ commencing a Swim Ireland Education course from the 1 September 2022 will have one calendar year to complete all steps of their qualification. When that calendar year has passed, candidates will need to rebook the course at the currently advertised rate.

Swim Ireland courses consist of three steps – e-Learning module, virtual classroom and practical. Each step must be completed in order.

Candidates are required to submit coursework and documentation through STEP within 7 days of course completion (virtual classroom or practical).

Late fees will apply for any candidates submitting work after the seventh day.

Late fees are applicable as follows - €50 for 1st week and €10 per week thereafter.

From day 7 to 14, tutors will review and provide any necessary feedback to candidates as required.

Tutors are required to submit all course documentation (including course completion forms, invoices, and feedback forms) to the Swim Ireland Education team within 21 days of course completion.

Candidates who submit coursework by the required deadline can expect their qualification/ credential to be added to their personal profile 21 days after final day of course.

Qualifications/ credentials will not be awarded where late fees are outstanding.

Payment, cancellations, and refunds

All courses must be paid in advance.

Invoicing is only permitted to prior approved facilities.

To generate an invoice, the payment fee is required to be a minimum of €325.00.

If the invoice is not paid within 7 days, the respective candidate/s will not be permitted to attend the course.

Candidates who inform Swim Ireland Education of cancellation 28 days or more prior to the start date of the course will be entitled to a full refund of booking fee (exclusive of 2% surcharge).

Candidates who inform Swim Ireland Education of cancellation between 28 and 15 days of the start date of the course are entitled to a 50% refund of booking fee (exclusive of 2% surcharge).

Candidates who inform Swim Ireland Education of cancellation within 14 days of the start date of the course will not be entitled to a refund.

The cost of events and courses are exclusive of a 2% credit/debit card payment surcharge, which is non-refundable.

In the case of exceptional circumstances, please contact Swim Ireland Education.

Course transfers

After booking an event, candidates are permitted one transfer opportunity to the same event on a different date.

You must contact the Education team a minimum of 48 hours (Monday-Friday) prior to the event start date to be entitled to a one-time transfer.

Transfer requests 48 hours or less prior to course start time will not be accepted and will be treated as a cancellation.

You will be charged the full event fee for any subsequent transfers.

Only in the case of exceptional circumstances can further transfers be facilitated.

Transfers are only permitted between events of the same course type.

Conflict of interest

Swim Ireland has a duty to ensure that any possible conflicts of interest are effectively managed. This policy provides guidance on how to manage actual or perceived conflicts of interest.

A conflict of interest can occur when an individual has competing interests or loyalties, for example, a tutor assessor has an immediate or extended family member or friend on their course.

In the first instance candidates should avoid situations that may create a conflict of interest. At times this may be unavoidable, candidates should then declare any conflict of interest with the Education team education@swimireland.ie.

The Education team may then take steps to address this, such as appointing an alternative tutor assessor to assess candidate(s) or candidate(s) may be offered place on an alternative course.

Immediate family – Spouses or partners, parent and child, siblings.

Extended family – Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and candidates related through marriage or partnerships.

Hosting a Course

Clubs/ facilities must register courses through the Swim Ireland website.

A minimum of eight weeks’ notice is required. Given the demand we have for courses we recommend allowing 16 weeks lead time when organising a course.

Club/ facility candidates must have active Vetting NVB/ Access NI and Safeguarding Level 1 prior to course registration.

Courses are advertised weekly to tutors. When a tutor shows interest in a specific course in a specific location, then planning will be brought further.

Clubs/ facilities are not permitted to approach tutors directly.

Virtual Classroom Attendance

All Virtual Classrooms will be hosted on a Swim Ireland Education Zoom platform and will be delivered by a Swim Ireland tutor.

You will be provided a link to the Zoom session 24 hours prior to course commencement.

The requirements for awarding a certificate at the end of a Virtual Classroom course are:

  1. Video cameras should be on – if you have a problem with your camera, you must let the tutor know when you join either through the chat function or by verbally informing the tutor
  2. Depending on the course, polls will be posted throughout the course – you must answer all the polls; this is used as a check of attendance
  3. Breakout rooms will be used for group discussions – you must join the breakout room; this is used as a check of attendance
  4. Attentiveness is based on trust for any virtual classroom; however, if participants do not take part in the polls or the breakout rooms, the participant may be removed by the tutor for non-attendance and the participant will not receive the certificate of attendance for the course.

Please note, recipients of this Zoom link are not permitted to share it with third parties except with the express permission of Swim Ireland. Certification will not be available to non-registrants.

100% attendance for all modules are required. Candidates logging in late or leaving early will be required to re-sit the full module before awarding of virtual classroom.

Under special circumstances a candidate may attend a module of another course. The candidate must contact the Education team to make this request with a minimum of 24 hours' notice (Monday-Friday) prior to missing the module.

When a candidate is assigned to the respective module of a new course, the candidate must contact the Education team, by 12 noon (Monday-Friday) to receive access to the course. The responsibility of receiving the link sits with the candidate and the Education team will not initiate contact with the candidate to provide access.

The candidate will be allowed a one-time transfer for the module missed. If the module is not completed after this transfer the candidate will be required to pay and sit in on a full course.

The candidate must contact the Education team about the missed module prior to the end date of the course.

If more than one module is missed the candidate must re-sit the full course.

Work should be submitted to the original course for the original tutor to assess their work.

If the transferred module is after the 7-day completion mark of their previous course the candidate must inform the Education team that work has been submitted. The Education team will then contact the tutor with this information and the tutor has 7 days after being contacted to correct all necessary work. Late fees will apply (see above).

All courses operate as a classroom environment, candidates must be in a quiet, private room with no distractions when completing the course. Attending a course while driving a vehicle is a serious health and safety risk to the candidate and other road users and will result in expulsion from the course.

Parents/ carers of candidates age under 18 are responsible for ensuring that their child is supervised.

All information shared within the course between fellow candidates and tutor will be kept confidential and all candidates will be respectful of each other and the tutor.

If additional help is required, please contact the Education team and the necessary resources will be provided upon request.

Course Practical

All candidates over 16 years of age must have active Swim Ireland Vetting NVB/ Access NI and Swim Ireland/Sport Ireland Safeguarding Level 1 credentials in place on their Swim Ireland profile to attend a course practical. Candidates are responsible for ensuring they apply in good time to ensure attendance at preferred course practical.

Course candidates are provided with a Swim Ireland t-shirt which should be worn on course practical. Bookings within 1 week of course date are not guaranteed to receive a t-shirt or a t-shirt in a size of their choosing.

Attendance for the full practical course is mandatory. This includes the pre-practical Zoom time and all pool time hours.

If any pool time hours are missed the candidate must sit a new practical course. Only under exceptional circumstances and within our cancellation policy timeline will a candidate receive a transfer for this course.

Course Locations

All courses require a minimum of 10 candidates for the course to go ahead.

Note: split courses are an exemption to this rule.

Candidates must be willing to travel to course practical's being set up by Swim Ireland. Swim Ireland is unable to guarantee a practical course will be hosted in a facility nearby.

Course practical's can be held midweek as well as at weekends, candidates must keep this in mind and consider the next available course if these dates do not suit.

We aim to advertise any courses six to eight weeks in advance and any courses with a shorter lead time are on request of clubs or facilities.

Courses are organised based on demand, dependent on the end of virtual classroom dates.

Appeals against Assessment Decisions

An appeal applies solely to assessment outcomes If a learner feels there is a justified reason for disagreeing with the assessment made by the Course Tutor Assessor, the following procedures should be adopted:

All appeals should be written and submitted to the Head of Education within 10 days of completion of the assessment, stating the grounds of the appeal

Grounds for appeal are i) Did not achieve the outcomes ii) Not all assessment outcomes completed

Appeals will be reviewed by the Appeals Panel 4. The Panel will respond to the appeal within 21 days, with a copy of the response sent to Head of Education.

Swim Ireland Education Appeals Panel may:

  1. Confirm the original assessment
  2. Recommend that reassessment take place
  3. Considering the above the learner may:
  4. Accept the decision of the Appeal Panel
  5. Request a reassessment

A fee of €150 will be charged where a practical reassessment is requested by the candidate

Assessment

Swim Ireland expects Tutor Assessors to ensure that candidates are made fully aware of the criteria against which their progress and success will be judged.

All candidates should be made aware of:

  1. The timing of assessment
  2. The criteria against which they will be assessed
  3. The method/s by which they will be assessed
  4. The outcome of assessment and the reasons for that outcome
  5. The cost of any formal re-assessment opportunities

This is underpinned by the following principles:

  • All assessments will be carried out in a fair and equitable way, without prejudice or favour
  • It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure understanding of the assessment criteria and standards before presenting for assessment. The candidate has the right of appeal against any outcome
  • Assessed work will conform to the required outcomes set by the Swim Ireland
  • An assessment plan will be agreed with the candidates showing when key assessments will be carried out and completion deadlines
  • Assessment dates and deadlines may be altered by the Tutor Assessor according to operational need or re-negotiated with learner/s according to individual circumstance
  • By prior agreement candidates may present work for assessment outside the assessment plan
  • The assessment criteria and how these will be applied should be made known to candidates
  • Any changes to assessment deadlines will be agreed and recorded with the Education Office by the Tutor Assessor prior to the end of the course
  • Extensions will not be granted beyond 12 months
  • External Examinations and Assessments are set by Swim Ireland and should be conducted according to the criteria set for the qualification.

Process for Assessment

Assessment will take the following form:

  • Continuous (formative) assessment of the practical teaching/coaching by the Tutor Assessor
  • Assessment of the Learner Assessment Portfolio by the Tutor Assessor
  • Oral questioning by the Course Tutor Assessor
  • Summative assessment is carried out at the end of the course
  • If the candidate is attending a blended course some assessment may be completed by examination online

Reassessment

Reassessment in the practical aspects of the course will be conducted in the workplace.

This should be in the centre where the initial assessment took place or at another approved centre agreed by Swim Ireland and the candidate.

The candidate will be required to demonstrate competence at the requisite standard in all the aspects which the Tutor Assessor had indicated require further attention.

All arrangements for practical reassessment must be made by the candidate with the Swim Ireland Education Office Manager, who will also be responsible for ensuring that all relevant Swim Ireland conditions are met.

Re-assessment of the Learner Assessment Portfolio will be through submission to a person designated by Swim Ireland.

The cost of re-assessment of practical teaching/coaching will be €150 for the allocated Tutor Assessor, organised through Swim Ireland Education. Full payment is required in advance of any re-assessment.

Complaints – Education courses

Swim Ireland is committed, in its service provision, to offer standards of the highest quality while aiming to comply with all regulatory requirements.

Whilst every care is taken to ensure high quality standards, we acknowledge that there may be occasions where we fall short of expectations and candidates are not completely satisfied. One of the ways in which we can continue to improve our service is by listening and responding to the views of our customers and stakeholders and responding positively and putting mistakes right.

For every course, Swim Ireland will:

Provide a clear and structured process which highlights how a candidate can make a complaint and, if it is not resolved satisfactorily, take the next steps to escalate the complaint further.

Swim Ireland will ensure that:

  • Making a complaint is as easy as possible
  • Complaints are treated as a clear dissatisfaction with our service
  • The right response is provided, i.e. an explanation, apology and/or action taken
  • Complaints are reviewed to improve service

How to make a complaint

Informal process

Swim Ireland recognise that candidates who are dissatisfied will want a problem to be addressed as quickly as possible, especially when on an educational course where their main intent is to learn.

Firstly, an informal approach will be taken to try and resolve the concern quickly, keeping matters low-key and enabling mediation between the complainant and the individual to whom the complaint has been directed. For this to happen, the complainant is encouraged to talk to the Tutor.

For a reasonable outcome to be achieved an explanation, an apology or another desirable outcome may be required.

For review and evaluation, and to reduce the chances of another similar complaint happening, it is suggested that a note of the informal discussion is made by the Tutor including the time, date, and location of the discussion.

If a concern cannot be satisfactorily resolved informally, the formal complaints procedure should be followed.

Formal process

Stage 1

Formal complaints are to be submitted using the Swim Ireland Complaint Form, placed in a sealed envelope, and marked for the attention of the ‘Swim Ireland Education Complaints Panel’, who will assume responsibility for the initial investigation.

The Panel will acknowledge the complaint in writing within five working days of receipt, record details on the complaints register and begin investigations into the cause of dissatisfaction.

A response, inclusive of explanation and resolution, will be provided within 28 working days of initial complaint acknowledgement. To ensure a fair and thorough investigation, the duration will depend on the nature and severity of the complaint received.

If there is still not a satisfactory outcome received, then further investigation will be required.

Stage 2

The Swim Ireland Education Complaints Panel will identify an appropriate member of Swim Ireland Senior Management to review the complaint for further investigation.

Acknowledgement of further investigation will be provided to the complainant in writing within five working days of receipt of the stage 2 complaint. The complainant will also be notified of the individual responsible for the investigation.

The chosen member of Senior Management will conduct a further investigation into the cause of dissatisfaction. Upon cessation of investigations, the member of Senior Management will communicate directly with the complainant and provide an explanation or resolution. This will be communicated to the complainant within 30 working days of receipt of the stage 2 complaint.

The duration of further investigation will depend on the nature and severity of the complaint, and, at this stage, the complexity of the response required. In some cases, the investigation may take longer, and in such instances, the complainant will be notified of the revised timescale.

Review

Where the outcome of a complaint leads Swim Ireland to discover areas for change, Swim Ireland will endeavour to make the required amendments to ensure the complaint, or similar complaint, does not occur in the future.

If required, relevant communications will be sent to any other candidate who may have been affected to mitigate, as far as possible, the effect of the identified cause.

Equal opportunity statement

‘Equal opportunity is about celebrating difference and diversity and as such providing a swimming structure that can respond to this in a proactive and positive manner’.

The aim of this policy is to help all staff and volunteers and members in our Aquatic Community develop their full potential and ensure that the talents and resources of the workforce are fully utilised. It is important to note that Swim Ireland is opposed to all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination, both direct and indirect.

Swim Ireland is committed to the promotion, principle, and practice of equal opportunities across all its aquatic disciplines, both as an employer, provider and as a facilitator of such practices by all its members. In our work with key partners, such as swimmers, clubs, teachers, coaches, officials, and administrators, we will advocate our policies.

Swim Ireland’s Vision is to ensure that Irish Swimming is a ‘sport for life and for all’. To work towards achieving this vision we need to do the following:

Swim Ireland is committed to work towards ensuring that swimming is accessible to the many, rather than few.

Swim Ireland recognises the need to acknowledge the diversity of provision that is required to ensure people, regardless of their race, sex/gender, ability, age, sexual orientation, and social economic background, can access swimming and develop at a level that is appropriate to them.

Swim Ireland recognises the need to celebrate difference and diversity of provision as a means of creating entitlement and accessibility to our structure.

Swim Ireland recognises that equal opportunity is about recognising that people are different and therefore require different provision.

Swim Ireland as an employer

The organisation will provide employment equally to all, irrespective of:

  • gender, gender re-assignment, marital or family status
  • religious belief or political opinion
  • ability
  • race or ethnic origin
  • nationality
  • sexual orientation
  • age

All full-time and part-time staff and volunteer applicants will be treated fairly. Selection for employment, promotion, training, or any other benefit will be based on aptitude and ability.

The organisation will promote a good and harmonious working environment, where all men and women are treated with respect and dignity. No form of intimidation or harassment will be tolerated. Breaches of the equal opportunities policy and practice will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to disciplinary action.

Swim Ireland wishes to undertake the following with regards to their employment:

Provide full and fair considerations for all job/role and applications.

Assist all our employees to realise their full potential by ensuring that they receive fair consideration of their training and career development needs and promotion opportunities.

Wherever possible modify employment practices and procedures to reduce barriers experienced by members of disadvantaged social groups in seeking and during employment with the Association.

Maintain records in recruitment, training and employment and use this information as a means of identifying areas of inequality.

Require all our employees to undergo relevant training before taking part in recruitment and selection.

Regularly review our recruitment, selection, training, and promotion procedures to ensure that they are fair and reflect current best practice.

Swim Ireland as a Membership organisation

Swim Ireland is committed to encouraging membership from all sectors of the community.

To achieve this, we undertake to:

  • Promote and open and honest culture that values diversity.
  • Communicate widely, ensuring that our messages can be understand and appreciated by all.
  • Positively encourage the involvement of all people, regardless of the gender, race, ability, age, and social background.
  • Work to redress the effects of discrimination.
  • Change attitudes and working practices to ensure that everyone can feel a valued member of the Association.

Swim Ireland as an Awarding Body

In our centre approval process Swim Ireland will ensure that:

  • Approved centres and sites where assessment may take place operate equal opportunities policies that are consistent with best education practices.
  • There is a mechanism in place which will enable anyone who believes they have been discriminated against to raise the matter through the appropriate channels and to have access to the Awarding Body if they feel the matter is not appropriately resolved.
  • Records relating to equal opportunities disputes are retained by accredited centres for a minimum period of 2 years.

Swim Ireland Teachers and Coaches

  • In our training and development of teachers and coaches, we will strive to ensure that accredited centres establish and implement professional and ethical values and practice.
  • Promote and apply the principles and practices of equal opportunities.
  • Promote positive images of people with special needs.
  • Encourage, and where required assist candidates with special requirements to access training provisions.
  • Encourage high expectations and standards of achievement from all they teach.
  • Involve everyone in meaningful and appropriate activity to ensure a quality experience.
  • Help everyone to achieve their full potential.

Swim Ireland Officials and Administrators

In our involvement of officials and administrators we will expect them to:

  • Adopt, promote, and practice the values of the Association.
  • Ensure that participation can be enjoyed by all.
  • Provide meaningful and appropriate experiences which recognise and value the diversity of the participants.
  • Actively encourage the participation and involvement of people from disadvantaged groups of the community.

From Policy into Practice

Swim Ireland recognises that to successfully implement our policies will require the commitment of everyone involved in the Association. People’s attitudes, views and working practices may have to change to ensure that an inclusive agenda is accepted by all and throughout the sport.

The CEO has specific responsibility for the effective implementation of this policy. All Directors, staff and volunteers also have responsibility for implementing aspects of the policy. The organisation expects all Directors, staff, and volunteers to abide by the policy and help create the equality environment that the policy seeks to establish.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The provision of equality of opportunity will be monitored by the collection of information on full-time, part-time, and volunteer staff and applicants. This will include, as a minimum, information on age, ethnic background, gender and status as a disabled person, community background, marital and family status, and may include information on the sexual orientation of members of staff or applicants.

The collection of information will be consistent with the statutory obligations arising from Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and with the promotion of a culture of rights and responsibilities (stemming from the Human Rights Act 1998).

Progress on the implementation of this policy and the equal opportunities programme will be reviewed annually in consultation with appropriate stakeholders. Periodic reviews of the composition of the workforce will be carried out in compliance with current legislation.

Complaints

Staff or volunteers who believe they have been subject to any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation are entitled to raise the matter through the agreed procedures. All complaints of discrimination will be dealt with seriously, promptly and in complete confidence.

These internal procedures do not replace or detract from a member of staff’s right to pursue a complaint under any relevant legislation. The organisation will make every effort to ensure that staff making complaints will not be victimised. Any complaint of victimisation will also be dealt with seriously, promptly and in complete confidence and may result in disciplinary action against the offender which may lead to dismissal.

Plagiarism

Definition

“Plagiarism is presenting someone else's work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition.” (The Oxford Dictionary)

Examples of Plagiarism

Plagiarism includes but is not limited to:

  • Submitting other people’s work as your own
  • Purchasing or commissioning work from internet sites or agencies
  • Falsifying research results, data, interviews, or other material
  • Copying word-for-word directly from a book, article, journal, website, or other source
  • Copying figures, images, diagrams, pictures without acknowledging sources
  • Copying from notes, essays or lectures of other students or tutors

Academic Integrity

When authoring essays, articles, and other work it is important to show evidence that you have read what other people have written, then used their ideas and arguments to strengthen your own. You should then acknowledge or give credit to the work and ideas of others.

Cite your sources

  • Citing and referencing your sources enables you to demonstrate your research skills and helps your tutor assessor follow up on any sources you have referred to.
  • Within your essay/ assignment you should give credit with minimum detail which is called in-text citing. At the end of your essay/ assignment you will list the full details of all the sources of information (books, articles, websites etc.). This is called a reference list or bibliography.
  • There are different styles of citing and referencing, Swim Ireland don’t have a preference of style, but it is essential to use the same style throughout.
  • Direct quotations require the following information: author, year, and page number (or paragraph number) in brackets.
  • Paraphrasing is summarising a specific section or idea of a previous body of work, in your own words. When citing in-text you should include author and the year in brackets.

Reference management tools

There are many free options to manage citing and referencing. They can allow to save references to an online account and then import them directly into your document, formatted in your preferred citation style. The following reference management tools may be helpful:

Consequences of plagiarism

All alleged instances of plagiarism will be fully investigated. Upon review of the essay/ assignment the tutor assessor will meet with the candidates to discuss concerns.

If plagiarism can be substantiated the candidate will be notified in writing and will required to re-submit an essay/ assignment within 2 months. This will be treated as a re-assessment and a fee of €150 will apply. If the candidate does not resubmit their assignment within 2 months, they will need to resit the course at the full fee.

Appeals

Should a candidate wish to appeal the finding of their tutor assessor they can submit an appeal within 10 days, in line with Swim Ireland’s Appeals Procedure.

Quality Assurance​

Swim Ireland Education conform to the strictest quality assurance procedures;

  • All Tutor Assessors are required to hold a Swim Ireland Licence to practice (renewed annually)
  • Swim Ireland Education Team internally verify all course paperwork submitted
  • Swim Ireland Education Team internally verify all tutors through an onsite visit during practical delivery of a course (minimum of once a year)
  • Sport Ireland Coaching externally verify all course paperwork submitted to Swim Ireland by Tutor Assessors

Education News

Education Contacts

Aisling McKeever

Aisling McKeever

Head of Education

+353 86 061 9508

Csenge Deak

Csenge Deak

Education Support Officer

+353 86 776 5901

Coaching Qualifications

Cathal Rafferty Walsh

Cathal Rafferty Walsh

Education Support Officer

+353 86 035 4986

CPD, Officials, RLSS, Safeguarding and Team Manager courses

Siobhán Molloy

Siobhán Molloy

Education Support Officer

+35386 140 7881

Teaching Qualifications