Qualifi Level 4 Diploma in Leading and Developing Teaching Swimming and Aquatic Programmes Qualification Information


Currently, swimming teachers qualify at level 2 and there are some but limited Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities after completing the qualification.

This new Level 4 programme is designed with the latest research, thinking, and best practice to extend your knowledge, develop your understanding, and apply your learning into your environment. This builds upon your competence from your Level 2 qualification from an approved Awarding body to practice as a Swimming teacher.

Qualification Aim

The purpose of the programme is to provide the opportunity for individuals to forge a career in swimming teaching by seeking a greater knowledge, understanding and teaching practice in the leisure and swimming industry, and to support the individual's development into senior positions. The programme aims for the following:

 1. To strengthen the learners' levels of knowledge, skills and experiences to deliver a higher quality of swimming and aquatics teaching
 2. To develop the learner's ability to lead and manage the work of others in the workplace
 3. To develop the learner's ability to recognise and reflect on the process of personal learning and development that encourages their self-reflection, analytical and transferable skills into other areas


This Qualification comprises of 9 units.

  Unit 401: Principles of Leading and Managing Teaching in Swimming and Aquatic Environments
  Unit 402: Principles of Learning and Teaching in Swimming and Aquatic Environments
  Unit 303: Leading Learning and Teaching Practice in Swimming and Aquatic Environments
  Unit 304: Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment
  Unit 305: Developing Customer Care Practice in an Aquatic Environment
  Unit 406: Leading Professional Development Practice in Swimming and Aquatic Environments
  Unit 319: Assess occupational competence in the work environment
  Unit 420: Developing Research Enquiry Practice
  Unit 321: Principles of Leading and Managing a Swimming Programme


Entry to the qualifications will be through centre interview (normally this should include portfolio of work put together) and the candidates will normally be expected to hold the Level 3 Certificate in Teaching Swimming and Aquatic Programmes (or be given exemption) to be accepted on to the Level 4 programme. The requirements include:

  Learners must be at least 18 years of age at the time of registration for the qualification
  Hold any of:
   o Swim England Level 2 Teaching Swimming or equivalent
   o STA Level 2 Certificate in Teaching Swimming or equivalent
  Must hold Level 3 academic qualifications (equivalent or higher)
  Must currently be or previously lead a learn-to-swim programme to complete the elements of the modules
  Have literacy and numeracy to at least Level 2 to function on this programme
  Referees from the employer (or equivalent) are positive and demonstrate teaching is recognised to be of a quality standard
  The learner must demonstrate the intellectual capability to study and ability to produce a portfolio of evidence.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Any other qualifications (overseas and earlier pre-QCF qualifications) will be considered on an individual basis for entry and relevance to each unit. Candidates who have completed similar training and a qualification at Level 3, may be entitled to exemption from attendance on the course sessions. For any learners who have attended training similar and certified at level 3 may be able to receive partial Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). These cases will be assessed on an individual level.

Any learners who hold the equivalent of the Swim England Advanced Teachers or Level 3 in Managing Delivery of swimming Programmes, may be suitably assessed for RPL and an individual learning plan will then be issued.

Any previous or current Swim England Educator or STA wishing to upgrade to the qualification may be able to complete the portfolio without attending the core-unit course sessions.

A fast track assessment only option is available for the core units subject to:

  Minimum of 2 years of teaching experience in swimming or related aquatic discipline
  Currently hold a swim coordinator or equivalent role
  Able to put together and submit a portfolio of evidence within 6 months of acceptance on to the programme


This qualification is assessed through a learner produced portfolio of evidence and marked internally.


On successful completion of this qualification the learner will be awarded the Qualifi Level 3 Certificate in Teaching Swimming and Aquatic Programmes (RQF).

Next Steps

Completion of the Level 4 Diploma in Leading and Developing Teaching Swimming and Aquatic Programmes has a credit value and can offer progression and exemption to other qualifications including those from Qualifi or one their University partners as part of a Foundation Degree either in the UK or USA.

For programme dates and applications go to the course diary.

"Excellent course that made the long journey worthwhile. I enjoyed this course very much and have gained considerable knowledge and understanding." - ASA/UKCC Level 2 Certificate for Teaching Aquatics - February 2012
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