Qualifying Awards and Training
There is no National Governing Body for these activities, although the recently formed British Rock and Water Association (BRAWA) now exists to provide training and promote best practice. To undertake these complex and diverse activities safely with groups requires a hybrid of mountaineering, swiftwater and surfing competencies and experience supplemented by specialist and usually site-specific training.
This, to all intents and purposes places these activities outwith the scope of most staff within council establishments.
Combined rock and water activities in some form are often included in the itineraries of activity providers. All approved external providers who offer these activities as part of their programmes will have met the council’s requirements in terms of their safety management arrangements and procedures.
Qualifying Awards for working at water margins and swimming in natural waters
All swimming activities must be supervised by a competent and experienced leader who is confident that their fitness and skills are such that they can affect a rescue if a swimmer gets into difficulty. The leader must hold a current and appropriate lifesaving or water safety and rescue award. Awards currently recognised as a minimum standard are:
1. Still water lochs/lochans: SLSA Emergency Surf Aid & Rescue Award & RLSS Bronze Medallion with Bronze or Silver Cross (open water component)
2. Rivers: SLSA Emergency Surf Aid & Rescue Award & RLSS Bronze Medallion with Bronze or Silver Cross (open water component)
3. Sea: SLSA Emergency Surf Aid & Rescue Award
SLSA = Surf Lifesaving Association of GB. For more information: http://www.slsgb.org.uk/
RLSS = Royal Lifesaving Society. For more information:: http://www.lifesavers.org.uk/
Holders of current National Governing Body coaching awards in other recognised watersports in which lifesaving techniques and water safety and rescue training form an integral part of the training syllabus may also supervise swimming activities in natural waters. Holders of these awards should check with the AAC regarding the validity of their training for their planned swimming activity.
Aberdeenshire Council provides water safety and awareness training for staff. This training is strongly recommended for staff who will be working at or near water margins which may include shallow water wading. This training is not appropriate for the supervision of planned swimming activity.