Pool Sessions - qualifications?

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bigbird
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Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by bigbird »

What qualifications are typiocally requested by local councils for rental of their swimming pools for canoeing? We've a long history of debate with our local council about what's appropriate, but the current story is they want an NPLQ which typically takes 5 full days training and only lasts 2 years, which is a significant effort for a small club to attain and to maintain. In the past, they've accepted a First Aid Cerificate and a Canoe Safety Test (a lot less effort and time to get hold of and to maintain), and I also see a BCU Lifegaurd certificate which I think applies to an existing the Canoe Safety Test to make it more applicable for an indoor pool environment.

I'd like to discuss further with our council, so it would be helpful if I'm armed with the typical policies of other councils nationwide. Do the BCU/SCA have a policy that we could quote to the council on appropriate qualifications?

Cheers

Iain

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morsey
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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by morsey »

Afraid you are staring down the barrel. NPLQ is standard, if you do not have a member with the qualification you have to hire a lifeguard. Think you have been pretty lucky for them to accept canoe safety test.

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bigbird
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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by bigbird »

Fair comment, a little "by the book", but fair. However, if that's the case, just what's the point of the BCU Lifegaurd Course? Surely it's redundant if the NPLQ is the standard across the board?

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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

The BCU have a policy document on this.

http://www.canoe-england.org.uk/media/p ... 20V2-1.pdf

Haven't read it.

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morsey
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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by morsey »

Think of it as if there are three types of lifeguards: Pool, Beach, Canoe. They have different training and assessment and work in different environments and run to different practices. BCU lifeguard is not really an award designed for canoeists who want to hire a pool. It is essentially for providing lifeguarding patrol from a canoe/kayak outdoors. Canoe and Beach lifeguards are closer than the pool lifeguards. If you saw the David Walliams Thames Swim on TV you would have seen Herts BCU Lifeguards providing safety cover for the swim.

It is nothing new by the way, ten years ago councils were expecting NPLQ, or at a push Pool Bronze with first aid and in house training.

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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by garya »

You may have any number of qulifications including NPLQ but you still need to be assesed by the local pool manager and know the local procedures and where the alarms are as well as first aid room.

The pool will also need you to be tested or have staff training for there records and audit reasons. They need this to show that all staff are current in case on an incident.

The procedure we follow when hiring a public pool is to hire the pool including one lifeguard. We have an aggreement the we will have designated coaches will cover the in water rescuses and session. They will signal the lifeguard if any assitance is required from them.

We also did session with just the lifegurads so they understand what we do and can perform simple swimer to boat rescues. this has helpped a great deal in promoting understanding and smooth working together.

I know it is frustrating but local public pools are bound by lots of H+S legislation and rules, ie ? what if a spectator falls in or one of thier own staff ? even the local scuba club must have a pool lifeguard sitting in the chair when they are in the water ??

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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by Garry »

The advice above is very different from my own experience and the results of the research I did when we last changed pools. When I researched this I looked at the HSE guidelines on the use of pools and they were very clear that lifegaurd cover should be appropriate to the activity being undertaken in the pool, and should be as recommended by the national governing body of the sport. As such it seems that an NPLQ lifegaurd is NOT suitable for cover of canoeing in the pool environment as they are not familiar with canoes, paddlers and relevant rescue techniques. Instead you should have a BCU lifegaurd (FSRT) with relevant understanding of local procedures e.g. Fire exits, first aid kits etc. Worth checking this is still up to date in SHE latest doc on use of pool, but armed with that info you may, like us, save yourself a lot of money by using your own lifegaurds in the pool.

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bigbird
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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by bigbird »

Thanks for all the comment. It doesn't quite add up to present a consistent story, really, though, although Garry's last post seems to point the way I'd like to go.
The BCU Policy document mentions this :
The BCU Provides five levels of Coaching award with additional endorsements for first aid, lifesaving, and the use of the swimming pools it is the BCU’s considered opinion that paddlers trained and coached within its own scheme, more than adequately provide for the safe participation of individuals in canoeing activities taking place in a swimming pool environment.
Where lifeguarding responsibilities only are required, the minimum qualification is Pool Lifeguard plus BCU Canoe Safety Test or a BCU Coaching Qualification. This could be provided by one individual, or through shared responsibility.
Note that it says "Pool Lifeguard" not specifically NPLQ. There's no mention anywhere else on that policy to clarify that. However, given the other information on the BCU Lifeguard's site, this is more likely to be the BCU Lifeguards qualification...
http://www.bculifeguards.org.uk/files/a ... sement.pdf
which says:
This award is an endorsement to the Canoeing Safety Test to provide the additional skills and knowledge necessary for providing safety cover and lifesaving rescue skills during a canoeing
session in a swimming pool.
which is contradictory to morsey's statement that BCU Lifeguard qualifications are not relevant to the pool.

I'm thinking that the BCU Policy and BCU Lifeguard documents are sufficient to present to the council as adequate cover, and much less effort than the NPLQ course, which looks like an HSE licence to print money through policy making.

Anyone got any direct experience of using BCULifeguard qualifications for this purpose?

Cheers

Iain

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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by garya »

Our local authrity and the leisure company they subcontract too wanted to follow this process.. since it is there pool we have to play by their rules.

The site has mutiple pools, a specator and a gym so thier are other members of the public on site with children who could wonder out of the wrong door and into our session. So the need to have the pool staffed with a life guard is understandable. When not in use they lock it off to the public. We have got quite a few new members over the years from people wonder in from the rest of the centre and wanting to have a go.

Private and most school pools are a lot easier than public pools in this respect as you are the only people in the building. Shop around locally and see what is avaliable.

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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by garya »

FSRT plus HSE first aid with CPR shold be fine and cover all the skills you need.

Also do all your risk assesments and write up a set of standard operating procedures so that you have them to hand out when asked questions. If you have everything prepared and have thought of and covered all the bases you should be good to go and can run the discussion to your own agenda. Visit the pool you want to use and do the risk assement an planning there.

Things to look at are :

The lead coach in charge of saftey should remain on the pool side at all times so they have a good view of the whole session and can signal and respond if required.

-- Maximum number of boats in pool
--Novice to coach/helper ratio in the water 1:3 should be maximum
--Depth of water, new slopping beach type pools may require helmets, deeper areas of pool may be restricted to competent paddlers
-- Sectioning of part of pool with floting lane marker for novices so that all coaches and novices are in there own depth to make rescues easier and faster (1.2 meters is good)
--Capsizng near to edge ( head injuries)
-- Boat and kit cleaning ckeck and facilites
--Care of pool tiles and surounds from damage by paddles and kit
--Emergancy prcedure for sommoning lifegaurd help or using poolside alarm system

Just some ideas of some things we have in ours beside other stuff. hope it helps, it is usually a wider disscussion than just the rescues but also should cover general saftey of the session to prevent accidents and care for the pool so that it is not put out of action through damage to tiles or the filter system.

Gary A

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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by mpooleman »

We are not and never have been required to have NPLQ, the requirement has always been for lifeguards to have "National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches"

The Training and Test can be done in 1 day and lasts a couple of years. I used to hold my NPLQ and it is just a slimmed down version of that.

Our pool is not a council pool though, it is a local commuity pool (registered charity)
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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by morsey »

bigbird wrote:which is contradictory to morsey's statement that BCU Lifeguard qualifications are not relevant to the pool.
I said BCU lifeguard is not really an award designed for canoeists who want to hire a pool. Your link is for a pool endorsement not the BCU lifeguard award.

Council pools the standard is NPLQ that's just the way it is, not my rules. Non council pools is a whole different ball game.

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bigbird
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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by bigbird »

I'd like to understand where the supposed policy of all councils for NPLQ is set.
The HSE document:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg179.pdf
does not specify a qualification at all, merely a list of bodies that could help in specifying this, including the BCU and the SCA. In fact, it leans towards the policy for specialist sporting activities to be set by the national bodies of those sports (as mentioned earlier in this thread). This would lead someone following this route towards the BCU policy of a Pool Endorsement on a Canoe Safety Test and a First aid Certificate, not NPLQ.

So, how has this policy for NPLQ come about? Is there a national policy for this anywhere (central government, maybe)? I find it hard to accept that all councils have coincided on the same qualification without specific guidance from above or elsewhere.

Does anyone know?

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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by BaldockBabe »

We use a council pool (sub-contracted) and do not have a NPLQ. We have argued that canoeing qualifications are far more useful.

When we did have an incident in the pool (collapsed while playing polo) I did far more first aid then the centre staff did when they finally arrived!

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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by Randy Fandango »

It's worth remembering that a pool is the one paddling environment where you will almost certainly be dealing with paddlers not wearing BAs so whilst paddling specific rescue training and awards are going to cover most eventualities, there is a chance of having to deal with scenarios not within their remit -- for instance fishing someone off the bottom of a 12ft 6 pool.
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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by jen2706 »

At uni I think we used to be allowed the safety cover to be CST/coaching quals as long as everyone was wearing a BA. That meant that there was no chance of anyone ending up at the bottom.

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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by chriscw »

There is a pool endorsement for the FSRT, that includes operating procedures and is specific to the pool where you work. Getting someone who is authorised to assess it can be a problem.
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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by eeonz »

The one thing that has caused the most porblems in the past is the type of practise people are doing. It may be worth zoning the pool in someway, so that people aren't landing carthweels on top of people rolling up for the first time!
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Re: Pool Sessions - qualifications?

Post by lesf »

We run our sessions in the council pool and have a long standing relationship with them, and provide our own poolside safety cover. Although I think the pool has similar arrangements with the swimming clubs that use the pool to provide their own safety cover.

Sessions are run by club coaches.

In addition we provide one person for each session as pool side safety cover who does not get involved in coaching. These have the BCU Lifeguards 'Pool Endorsement' to the CST / FSRT and is specific to the pool as it covers the pools normal and emergency operating procedures, and rescuing a dummy from the bottom of the pool - but can be easily transfered to another pool with a session on their operating procedures and repating the rescue if the pool is deeper. In addition to the having an FSRT / CST you need a 8 hr first aid certificate.

The award can be assessed by a CST/FSRT assessor who holds a current Pool Endorsement - as we use this awards we have these within the club and are curently training a new batch of member to do pool safety (as the pre-requisite is FSRT/CST they don't have to be coaches - but they usually are).

Full details are at: http://www.bculifeguards.org.uk/files/a ... sement.pdf

At the start of each years pool sessions we run training / assessment and a refresher session, as well as having a run through of the pool operating procedure with the pool manager.

Of course the real issue is convincing your pool manager and their H&S people that this is the appropriate award.

Les

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