Last week, the National Aquatic Industry Committee communicated it's confirmed renewed position on Lifeguard qualification/licence extensions. The committee endorsed the following:
Extension periods for Pool Lifeguards now mirror the length of their associated lockdown (example: 12 week lockdown equals 12 week extension)
Extension periods for Swim Teachers remain at a maximum of 4 weeks where the Swim Teacher has been in lockdown for a period of 7 days or more
Extension periods for Aquatic Program Instructors remain at a maximum of 4 weeks where the instructor has been in lockdown for a period of 7 days or more
All extension periods will commence from the date aquatic facilities are able to reopen.
NSW has been harshly affected by this second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and this announcement was welcomed by an industry desperate to get back on it's feet. Craig Roberts, General Manager of Drowning Prevention and Education at Royal Life Saving NSW said "The National Aquatic Industry Committee's statement and renewed position has provided some reassurance across the sector. Pool managers and their teams can now plan a little more confidently knowing that the requirements for requalification are more flexible."
Royal Life Saving is planning for the increased demand in training and update courses once Government vaccination targets are met and communities start to open back up again across NSW and the ACT. Penny Hodgers, General Manager of Capability and Capacity at Royal Life Saving NSW said, "Royal Life Saving has training opportunities already scheduled until the end of the year. We strongly encourage all affected Lifeguards and Swim Teachers to book into an update course as soon as it is practical to do so. Our fee-free transfer policy will ensure nobody who has to reschedule a course due to COVID will be financially penalised". With the majority of centres expected to reopen at similar times, those who leave their qualification renewal until the last minute may experience fewer course options.
CLICK HERE to read more about the extensions and view the full position statement.