Assist participants with a disability during aquatic activities

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to assist participants with a disability to safely enter and exit the water and to provide appropriate support during aquatic activities.


This unit applies to those who conduct activities such as learn-to-swim and water familiarisation classes in swimming pools or confined natural shallow water venues.



Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes of a Unit of Competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the Required Skills and Knowledge section and the Range Statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the Evidence Guide.

1. Identify participant needs.

1.1. Identify the characteristics of the participant group.

1.2. Identify and assess suitability of environmental features according to the needs of the participant group.

1.3. Identify entry and exit requirements and appropriate entry and exit points.

1.4. Assess the degree and type of support required by the participant group according to organisational policies and procedures and relevant legislation.

1.5. Report any unsuitable environmental features or entry and exit points according to organisational policies and procedures.

2. Provide support.

2.1. Advise participants and caregivers of the location and appropriate use of resources.

2.2. Provide information and demonstrations to participants and caregivers on safe exit, entry and support in the aquatic environment.

2.3. Seek and respond to questions or feedback from participants and caregivers.

2.4. Provide the appropriate type and level of support.

2.5. Observe participants' response and adjust or refine the support provided as required.

2.6. Respond to participants or caregivers experiencing difficulties, according to organisational policies and procedures and relevant legislation.

3. Review the support.

3.1. Respond to participant and caregiver concerns, feedback and questions as required, according to best practice principles of aquatic activities.

3.2. Report on resources and aspects needing further emphasis, attention or intervention in future sessions according to organisational policies and procedures.

3.3. Review own performance and identify areas needing improvement and appropriate strategies as required.

Required Skills

Required skills

communication skills to:

provide clear instruction

confirm understanding

request and respond to participant and caregiver questions and feedback

problem-solving skills to identify and address participant support needs and the appropriateness of environmental features for the participant group

ability to perform basic water rescue techniques.

Required knowledge

legislation and organisational policies and procedures that ensure the safety of clients, other facility users and staff

best practice principles of aquatic activities to respond to concerns, feedback and questions

support techniques and their application to different participant requirements to enable safe and appropriate support

location, use and care of equipment

first aid and water rescue techniques to enable appropriate responses to participants or caregivers experiencing difficulties.

Evidence Required

The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of the following is essential:

delivers concise information, explanations and demonstrations to ensure safe exit and entry and provides support appropriate to the needs of the participant group

provides appropriate support and responds to participant feedback and any difficulties experienced by participants

applies organisational policies and procedures and relevant legislation to ensure safety of participants and other facility users

reviews own performance and addresses any areas requiring modification or improvement.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

provision of support appropriate to the disability of the participant group during multiple aquatic activities to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance

access to a swimming pool or confined natural shallow water venue

access to safety equipment relevant to local regulatory and organisational requirements

access to appropriate clients.

Method of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

observation of candidate instructing, monitoring and adjusting water familiarisation, buoyancy and mobility skills according to the needs and characteristics of participant groups and organisational safety requirements

oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of the suitability of environmental features as they relate to participants needs

third-party reports from a supervisor detailing candidate's performance on the job.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

SISSSCO101 Develop and update knowledge of coaching practices.

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the Unit of Competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the Performance Criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Characteristics of the participant group may include:

physical disability

intellectual or sensory impairment



body type and composition


Environmental features may include:







available water space.

Support may include:

hands on torso

hands to hands

back hold in vertical or horizontal positions

short arm hold


carry hold

hip hold

prone hold

prone side hold

assisted exits.

Organisational policies and procedures may include:

occupational health and safety

reporting procedures

communication protocols

AUSTSWIM Limited Teachers Code of Conduct policy

swimwear and personal protective equipment.

Relevant legislation may include:

occupational health and safety

duty of care

working with children

Disability Discrimination Act 1992


Caregivers may include:



integration aids


Resources may include:

flotation devices


reaching poles

pool safety equipment

instructors and equipment.

Best practice principles of aquatic activities may include:

accepted preventative practice adopted throughout the aquatic industry to minimise safety hazards or risks

Instructors code of conduct policies developed by the peak bodies responsible for the teaching of swimming and water safety

the culture of swimming and water safety.

Appropriate strategies may include:

formal training


peer support.


Community Recreation

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.