Stages and awards
In our swimming programs we teach 16 stages of competence in pool or calm water environments. We also offer 15 stages of competence at surf centres.
The stages are in accordance with:
- the Department of Education Swimming and Water Safety Continuum – Pool (stages 1 to 9)
- Royal Life Saving Society personal survival (stages 10 to 12)
- Royal Life Saving Society rescue awards (stages 13 to 16)
- the Department of Education Swimming and Water Safety Continuum – Surf (stages 1 to 9)
- the Department of Education Swimming and Water Safety Surf awareness and survival (stages 10 to 15).
You can enrol your child if they will be:
- 5 years or more when they start the program
- less than 18 years on the final day of the program you selected.
You can enrol your child in stage 15 at surf centres if they are 12 years old or will turn 12 before the start of the program.
You can enrol your child in stage 16 (Bronze Medallion) at calm water and pool venues if they are 14 years old or will turn 14 in the same calendar year as the course.
Your child’s stage
You need to select a stage when you enrol your child. Review the stages to assess your child’s skills and enrol them in the one which best describes their ability.
To find out what stage your child has achieved, refer to their last certificate or make an assessment using the stages table.
If your child will complete interm swimming after VacSwim enrolments close, anticipate a pass in this program. Enrol them in the next stage for VacSwim.
You can change your child’s stage:
- in WAIVS at any time before enrolments close
- by attending your scheduled lesson on day one
- at the venue on the advertised late enrolment day (where available).
We review children on the first day of class to make sure they are in the appropriate stage.
Stage 15 classes at surf centres and stage 16 classes (Bronze Medallion) at calm water or pool venues are conducted over 2 consecutive lesson times.
|Minimum requirements for children to enter this stage
|No minimum requirements.
|Glide forward and glide backward and recover to a stand.
|Swim 5 m freestyle. Glide backward, kick and recover to a stand.
Water intro awareness
Surf intro awareness
|Swim 10 m freestyle, face in water. Swim 5 m breaststroke kick.
|Swim 15 m freestyle, 10 m backstroke and 10 m survival backstroke.
|Swim 25 m freestyle plus 15 m breaststroke or 15 m survival backstroke.
|Swim 50 m freestyle, or freestyle and one other stroke, continuously.
|Capacity to swim effectively using a range of strokes over 150 m.
|Capacity to swim effectively using a range of strokes over 200 m.
Junior swim and survive
|Effective swimming skills with a sound knowledge and understanding of water safety.
Swim and survive
Surf stage 11
|Effective swimming skills with a developing knowledge and understanding of personal safety and survival skills.
Senior swim and survive
Surf stage 12
|Effective swimming skills including the ability to complete a clothed swim and a sound understanding of personal safety and survival skills.
Surf stage 13
|Sound swimming and personal survival skills, knowledge and understanding.
Surf stage 14
|Sound swimming and personal survival skills, and knowledge plus an understanding of non–contact rescues.
Surf stage 15
|Sound knowledge and practice of water safety and non–contact rescue skills. Effective swimming skills in a range of strokes.
|Capacity to use initiative and conduct a contact rescue
Royal Life Saving Western Australia waives the award fees for children who complete stages 13 to 16 through VacSwim or in-term swimming.
This helps to remove barriers to children participating in lifesaving awards. It also motivates them to strive to achieve their Bronze Medallion.
We are pleased to have Royal Life Saving Western Australia support our swimming and water safety programs.
We can’t guarantee your child will achieve an entire stage when they participate in a program. Children progress at different rates and need to practise their skills.
At the end of a program, children in stages 1 to 9 receive a certificate that indicates:
- the skills they achieved
- if they completed a stage.
Children in stages 10 to 16 receive either a Royal Life Saving or surf certificate.