Water Safety | Scottish Swimming

The highest safety standards are essential in any type of outdoor or open water swimming. Every year around 400 people drown in the UK. Scottish Swimming takes safety very seriously at all events and only advises open water swimming in safe and supervised locations.

Scottish Swimming safety advice applies to both open water training and competition. All venues and events must undergo a risk assessment and safe operating procedures must be developed based on this, with the event being supervised by a trained and competent person.

The trained and competent person must be

Qualified“: In almost all cases, this will be a qualified security officer for competitions, or a qualified security representative for training or single club events, where the numbers are smaller and the abilities of athletes better known.

Competent”: Capable within the scope of the task required and also aware of the limits of his abilities and not exceeding these limits.

Registration and license

Scottish swimming requires all open water training at club, district and national level to be recorded. Record your open water training.

Competitions involving more than one club must be licensed. The license form and tips for running competitions can be found on the Important Documents page.

Orientation and training

Guidance for organizations such as clubs and districts on safe open water training, events and risk assessments is available on this page. There are also editable templates you can use to create your risk assessment, standard operating procedures, and emergency action plan. The Open Water Committee will organize training sessions and webinars available on our course calendar.

The Open Water Committee also organizes training for safety representatives and security guards. More information is given in the Technical Officials section of the site.

We also have useful links on this page to partners we work with on boating safety, including the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) and Open Water Rescue.


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