Taking the Cold Plunge!

The ASA are very excited to reveal the launch of our brand new and industry leading qualification - the

ASA Level 2 Award in Coaching Open Water Swimming (QCF)

As a leading provider of aquatic qualifications in England the ASA is recognised by employers for setting the industry standard in providing learners with the knowledge and skills to perform successfully within their chosen environment.


Earlier this year it formed a successful and collaborative partnership with British Triathlon and Swim Smooth to develop a sustainable pathway for learners to gain specialist knowledge, skills and experience in coaching open water swimming through quality, innovative and modern learning resources.


The Level 2 qualification provides Level 2 swimming and triathlon coaches the specialist knowledge to deliver coaching sessions in an open water environment, raising the quality of delivery and ensuring the safe and effective practice in such a specialist area. It is also supported by Skills Active as a high quality and specialised qualification and accredited onto the Qualifications and Credit Framework.


To complete this qualification coaches will need to have ASA Level 2 Swimming Coach or 1st4Sport Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Triathlon.


The course will be completed through our innovative ePortfolio system - Pebblepad, which as a lifelong learning tool, contains modern and adaptable resources, eLearning and technical knowledge with the support of a dedicated assessor providing feedback and guidance. In addition a one day tutor led face to face course will supplement learning including formal and practical assessments. The new qualification covers 3 units of knowledge, which will equip coaches to:


- Understand open water swimming participation

- Understand the sport specific skills in open water swimming

- Know about relevant equipment related to swimming in open water

- Understand the structure of open water swimming sessions

- Understand the coach-participant relationship for open water swimming sessions

- Understand the health and safety considerations and good practice for open water swimming

- Know how to manage risk in relation to delivering open water swimming sessions

- Be able to plan a series of Open Water sessions

- Be able to conduct effective Open Water swimming sessions

- Be able to monitor participants performance during an open water swimming session

- Be able to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of delivery and own performance


ASA/British Swimming Workforce Projects and Partnership Manager, Kelly Gaffney said “At a time when swimming in open water has had a lot of publicity and is rapidly growing in terms of participation, swimming and triathlon coaches now have the an excellent opportunity to be formally recognised for their knowledge, skills and safe practice. For the first time, two National Governing Bodies of sport have come to together with a common objective, tying in with our experts as Swim Smooth the project has been a successful collaboration which we hope will continue for many years to come”.



Find out more about British Triathlon here

British Triathlon Coaching Development Manager- Paul Moss, said,  “Working in partnership with the ASA and Swim Smooth in the creation of an Open Water Coaching pathway is an important addition to the qualifications on offer in the British Triathlon coaching system. This innovative, industry leading award is a first for both British Triathlon and the ASA, and will be a qualification that will strengthen what our coaching workforce will have to offer to triathletes of all abilities. We look forward to working with both the ASA and Swim Smooth in the implementation and ongoing development of this qualification and the career pathway in open water coaching”.

Find about more about Swim Smooth here

Adam Young and Paul Newsome from Swim Smooth said “Coaching open water swimming has long been a passion of ours at Swim Smooth and we’re very excited to be contributing our coaching methods and resources to the creation of this unique new qualification. Thanks to the strength of this partnership between the ASA, British Triathlon and ourselves, the learner pathway is going to make a huge contribution to the standard of coaching available to open water swimmers and triathletes across the UK.”

Don't miss out - get started now!!

4 available courses TO BOOK NOW!!


Eligible coaches can book their place on the programme which will be officially launched on Monday 2nd September, where they will gain access to the pre-course eLearning and portfolio system to learn and reflect in their own environments and at their own pace, followed by a face to face assessment day at one of the following locations:


Friday 20th September     @     National Watersports Centre, Holmepierre Pont, Nottingham


Sunday 22nd September  @     Parc Bryn Bach, Tredegar, South Wales COURSE NOW FULL


Friday 27th September     @ Beach at Bude/Bude Sea Pool, Cornwall COURSE CANCELLED


Friday 4th October            @     The Blue Lagoon, Womersley, North Yorkshire


All days will be 9.00 - 4.00pm and further details, and booking click here


After these courses, due to the season of participation in open water in the UK, further courses will be made available where coaches will be able to complete their eLearning over the winter months, completing their attendance at an assessment day in Spring/Summer 2014


Don't Delay.....The limited places will go fast for such an exciting programme is a rapidly growing discipline!



To find out more information and to book a place on the courses available click here 

or for further information contact us on iosadmin@swimming.org or National Programmes, Katrina Dent on 01509 640463.


Frequently Asked Questions


I have done other training in open water swimming coaching – Do I have to undertake this qualification? 


This is completely your choice, if you would like to have a national qualification in this area and be recognised formally for your skills and competency by the National Governing Bodies British Triathlon and ASA then we would recommend undertaking this programme. It will also be a stepping stone to future learning in this area.


What is the cost of the qualification?


The cost of the programme is £325 per person


What does the cost of the qualification include?


The cost includes:


- Learner registration with the ASA Awarding Organisation


- IoS Customer service booking support and guidance


- Lifelong Pebblepad portfolio account with access to all the open water resources, and materials needed for your qualification and more


- Dedicated assessor to guide you through the eLearning assessment tasks, providing you with feedback and support


- Access to the learner community forum for you to share your thoughts, ideas and best practice with your peers


- Final face to face assessment day where you will recap your eLearning knowledge, meet your peers and share thoughts and ideas, and deliver and be formally assessed in a practical session with your assessor, receiving 1-2-1 personal and face to face feedback and



- Quality assurance


- Certification


How is the new qualification delivered?


The new qualification is a blended programme of pre-course eLearning and portfolio collation and assessment, plus attendance at a face to face 1 day programme with a qualified and licensed ASA assessor including a formal practical assessment and professional discussion.


I am ASA Level 1 qualified, can I register for this qualification?


The minimum pre-requisite for this qualification is ASA Level 2 Coaching Swimming, or 1st4Sport Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Triathlon. If you don't have your Level 2 qualification, go to www.theiosonline.com or www.triathlonengland.org to find out more information on available programmes

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