Spring Term 2020 – SwimWay Instructor Training

On Sunday 11th January 2020, the SwimWay Team met up for the termly instructor training meeting. An opportunity for everyone to touch base with one another, have a rundown of the term ahead and most importantly catch up with the Health & Safety refresher course.

Health & Safety

Our resident Health & Safety Consultant Dave Perry was on hand as usual to impart his wealth of knowledge!

NOP & EAP Procedures

Groups were split into two teams and questioned on a number of NOP & EAP procedures. These were selected randomly from all the pools within the SwimWay portfolio. Each team (consisting of around 5-6 instructors) were given a time limit for the various questions asked. They had to work together to write down the procedures, in progressive order, as close to the updated NOP/EAP as possible.

At the end of the session, the points were added up and the winning team was announced. Most of the procedures were answered satisfactorily by all teams. However, there were a couple of areas of weakness. This is why it is so important to run these sessions. They help everyone to continually build on their knowledge and understanding of SwimWay Health & Safety operations. Staff were urged to thoroughly review and know their NOP’s & EAP’s for every site, not just those they worked at. This is important in case they had to cover at a pool they don’t normally work at.

Practical CPR Refresher

Following this NOP/EAP session was the practical CPR refresher course. This time the focus was on two-person CPR with at least three changeovers. This was to simulate a real-life incident where instructors would need to do this until the paramedics arrive (average response time for LAS presently slightly over 7 minutes). 

Two staff were placed at each mannequin (adult, child & infant). The first rescuer informed their colleague to call 999 etc., after which the first rescuer carried out CPR for two minutes. Then the second rescuer took over for another two minutes, after which another changeover was made. The same process was repeated for each mannequin as instructors were rotated. Pocket masks were also used and several instructors commented that they found this useful. The main benefit not only being to prevent cross-infection but also provide air/breaths to mouth and nose.

Operational Procedures

Upstairs the other half of the team were sitting down with SwimWay MD Dan Pastor and Head of Swimming Tamsin Watt. They ran through logistical and operational procedures and responsibilities when employed by SwimWay.

Welcome Back!

First off, Dan welcomed the team back after the festive break. He introduced the two new team members Joao Garrido and Jonathan Camacho. It’s always sad to see old staff members leave, but it is also good to get new blood into the team! Joao and Jonathan have had a great start to the term, and are already building up a dedicated following of students and parents alike!

Striving For Excellence

He then took everyone through important term dates through the year, all of which can always be found on the SwimWay website. He also spoke about some of the pools which have been performing extremely well over the past couple of terms. This is due to many things like refurbishments, customer service and general demand. However, we would be nowhere if it wasn’t for the excellent work from our instructors. They are the face of the company and their performances reflect our drive for excellence.

He highlighted the importance of personal responsibility when working at a SwimWay site. We value team members who go above and beyond to continually help raise our standards. It is important to be mindful of everyone’s methods and learn from one another.

Tamsin then took over, starting with a recap of a few things she has spoken about in the past:

  • SwimWay Stages – ensuring the correct exercises for the correct stages are taught
  • Methodology – teaching techniques for various strokes
  • Customer Care – making families feel welcome, being able to give them appropriate advice
  • Being Prepared – knowing your schedule, the stages of your lessons, how to use course pro, directions
  • Health & Safety – from NOP and EAPs to important numbers you might need, no detail is too small
  • Safeguarding & Child Protection – SwimWay policies now available on the website

She then spoke in depth about two main points: incidents at the pool, and the use of kickboards in SwimWay lessons.


Kickboards are the only floats SwimWay uses in our lessons. We only start using them when they start working towards stage 2 (usually around 3.5-4 years of age). This is because it is when they are strong enough, and less likely to chew on the float (creating a choking hazard). Tamsin discussed how to correctly hold a kickboard in line with the SwimWay methodology. She also went through when it is not suitable to use a kickboard.


We try to avoid health and safety incidents at all costs. However, inevitably they will occur. We work hard to ensure our instructors:

  • Are always prepared
  • Know our procedures
  • Can always locate necessary equipment to deal with various incidents
  • Know how to perform a pool test
  • Have easy access to contact information and know who to call for which incidents
  • Understand how to respond, what questions need to be asked and what answers need to be given

Kick Back & Relax!

Following the meeting, the team went to the local pub (Queen Adelaide), for a quick drink. Those doing dry January were happy to see a wide selection of non-alcoholic beers available! We love the opportunity to chat casually after these meetings, creating a comfortable and happy working environment for all!

Click here to learn more about SwimWay’s termly team meetings and health and safety policies.