Swim Ireland require that all aquatic activities involving children and young people must be supervised. An individual should avoid being alone with a child and it is the responsibility of adults to ensure adequate supervision is provided for any activities in accordance with best practice requirements as described in these procedures. For any activity the welfare and safety of the child must be put first. 

There must be a pool/dry-land supervision rota for coaching and teaching activities. Providing a rota system for a parent/lifeguard/leader to supervise each teaching/coaching session for children reduces the risks to both children and adults and ensures someone is on hand for any emergency that might arise. 

The following points must be observed:

1. The rota must be organised in advanced and communicated to all involved – this can be via a Club website, noticeboard or accepted method used by the Club

2. An individual on the rota is responsible for their own replacement in the event they cannot fulfil their obligation

3. Contact details for all individuals on the rota should be available to coaching/teaching staff concerned

4. The coach/teacher must be able to rely on the parent/supervisor being present, some sessions take place at more vulnerable times e.g. early morning pool sessions

5. The parent/supervisor should arrive at a reasonable time before the session starts and must remain with any teaching/coaching staff until all the children are collected.

6. The responsibility lies with the parent to be on time to collect their children in line with the codes of conduct.

7. The parent/supervisor should have a full view and hearing of the pool area; this cannot be achieved by sitting high up in a stand or behind protective screens or glass.

8. The parent/supervisor should not interfere with the coaching or teaching of the session. If the parent/supervisor has any concerns these should be brought to the Club Children’s Officer or dealt with immediately if a child is in imminent danger. 

The supervisor must:

1. Ensure an attendance record for the session is kept – this can be kept with the coach and should be signed by the coach and supervisor

2. Take note of children leaving and returning to pool, e.g. a child should return to the pool after visiting the toilet

3. Allow the coach/teacher freedom to get on with the session – sometimes coaches or teachers need to feedback to individuals on one to one basis, this should be in open view

4. Take note of any problems that occur – refer child related issues to the Club Children’s Officer/all other issues to Committee, usually the secretary

5. Have temporary access to children’s contact details in cases of illness or emergency or in the event the session is cancelled

6. In cases of emergency, help the coach/teacher by being an extra adult to supervise children or to assist with a response to the emergency


For more details, please read our Supervision Policy