Swim England is bringing in new guidelines for its affiliated clubs in a bid to show those clubs have the highest standards of safe and effective practice in place. The Stronger Affiliation process is being introduced so new and existing members know clubs are well run and that their personnel have the necessary safeguarding checks in place to ensure members’ safety. For further information please visit – https://www.swimming.org/swimengland/stronger-affiliation-process/
What will it mean for your club?
If your club is already SwimMark accredited, your club just needs to maintain accreditation. Clubs that have not completed SwimMark will have to provide six pieces of evidence to remain affiliated to Swim England on an annual basis. The six pieces of evidence are:
- Approved Club Constitution
- Risk Assessments
- Club Personnel Record (to include qualifications, valid DBS and approved Safeguarding training) – including information on the Coaching & Teaching Register
- Safeguarding and Protecting Children and Time to Listen certificates for the Club Welfare Officer.
- Welfare Officer compliance statement
- Club Chair compliance statement
If a club provides all of the above information, then it will be compliant for Swim England changes in 2021. Further guidance can be found on the Stronger Affiliation Matrix. Failure to meet this new minimum standard of compliance will result in a club being suspended temporarily or permanently from Swim England at the beginning of 2021.
What are the next steps for your club?
All clubs that are currently SwimMark accredited will not have to provide the six pieces of evidence as they have already met this standard as part of their SwimMark accreditation process. However, this is under the proviso that the club’s SwimMark accreditation is maintained.
Clubs which do not have SwimMark accreditation will need to complete the Stronger Affiliation process. The next online live webinar to demonstrate how clubs can complete the Stronger Affiliation process will be held on Monday 18 May, 7pm-8.30pm. To book your space, email firstname.lastname@example.org providing your name, club name and your position within the club. You will then be emailed a link to access the live webinar. This is currently the last Stronger Affiliation webinar that the Swim England South West Region has scheduled, however the Region will consider scheduling further webinars based on demand.
When is the deadline for completion?
All non-SwimMark clubs will be able to submit evidence for Stronger Affiliation to an online portal from 1 June 2020. All evidence will need to be uploaded by 16 November 2020 so that it can be checked and approved by the Swim England South West Region ahead of the national deadline of 1 December 2020.