Frequently Asked Questions About Swimming Teaching

Have a question about becoming a swimming teacher? Or perhaps you’re an existing swimming teacher and have a question about your job?

Have a read through the FAQs below to see if your question is included. If these FAQs don’t answer your question, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you.


How many learners can I teach from the poolside if I hold the STA Award in Swimming Teaching qualification?

An STA Award teacher can teach up to 10 non-swimmer/beginner learners unsupervised when teaching from poolside. For more information regarding the capabilities of STA Award swimming teachers, please visit the qualification webpage.

When teaching in the water, how many learners can an STA Award and Certificate qualified teacher take?

STA recommend a maximum ratio of 6 learners to 1 swimming teacher. This recommendation must coincide with a risk assessment where the pool size, depth, shape and leaners age, ability and needs are taken into consideration as the ratio may need to be reduced to ensure safety and effective teaching.

For STA Baby and Pre-School qualified teachers, STA recommend a maximum ratio of 12 adults and child pairs to 1 baby and pre-school teacher. This recommendation must coincide with a risk assessment where the pool size, depth, shape and leaners age, ability and needs are taken into consideration as the ratio may need needs are taken into consideration as the ratio may need to be reduced to ensure safety and effective teaching.

Do I need a lifesaver on the poolside when I am teaching swimming?

STA teachers should hold a suitable lifesaving qualification when a designated lifesaver is not present.

If a swimming teacher does not hold a lifesaving qualification, a qualified lifesaver must be present on poolside at all times.

When teaching in the water, there must always be at least one person on the poolside who is competent to respond:

  • A swimming teacher who is teaching on the poolside alongside the teacher in the water may be this competent person as long as they are qualified
  • The swimming teacher in the water may be the trained person, however there must be someone on the poolside who can respond and initiate the emergency action plan. A risk assessment should also be conducted to determine who rescues the swimming teacher in the water if something happens to them.

If I hold the ASA Level 1 Award in Teaching Swimming qualification, can I attend an STA Certificate in Swimming Teaching course?

The ASA Level 1 Award in Teaching Swimming qualification is not an acceptable pre-requisite for the STA Certificate in Swimming Teaching. Candidates will need to complete the STA Award in Swimming Teaching first.

What do I need to do to become a swimming teacher?

To get started in becoming a qualified swimming teacher, you can attend an STA Award in Swimming Teaching course. Before attending your course, you will need to fulfil some pre-requisites which are listed on the STA Award in Swimming Teaching’s qualification webpage.

What do I need to do to become a baby and pre-school swimming teacher?

To get started in becoming a qualified a baby and pre-school swimming teacher, you can attend a Baby and Pre-School Award course. Before attending your course, you will need to fulfil some pre-requisites which are listed on the Baby and Pre-School Award’s qualification webpage.

I’m a baby and pre-school swimming teacher and the parents/guardians of my pre-school learners in my lesson are on the poolside instead of in the water. Am I still qualified to teach them?

If teachers want to teach pre-school learners with the accompany adult on the poolside instead of in the water, they will need to hold either the STA Award in Swimming Teaching or the STA Certificate in Swimming Teaching qualification.

My child is 9 years old and a beginner learner, what class should they go into?

Swimming lessons are split into ability groups rather than age groups. Therefore, a beginner class will be the most suitable for a beginner learner.

What do I need to do to be able to train others to become swimming teachers?

The STA Aquatic Tutor Status course trains those with the appropriate pre-requisites to deliver and assess STA’s aquatic qualifications within their discipline.

How many CPD points do I need to maintain occupational competency?

As per STA’s Code of Practice (available for free here ), STA recommends that teachers gain 1 CPD point per year, and that each year these are gained through differing methods (for example, through practical teaching one year, then by attending a seminar the next year).

STA provides a range of methods for swimming teachers to gain CPD, please click here for more information.

I have a swimming teaching qualification certificate issued outside of the UK. How do I gain recognition for this qualification with STA?

In order for recognition of your swimming teaching qualification to be considered, you will need to:

  • Submit a letter of recognition to STA
  • Complete an application form, which will be provided by STA
  • Provide copies of your qualification certificates
  • Provide the complete course syllabus for your qualifications, in English

This Way to STA’s First Virtual Conference – Bookings Now Open!

X