SwimSafer Test Items

Here are the Test Items for the SwimSafer Test. (Had tried to put it in table form initially but can’t seem to do it on the forum due to my little IT knowledge)  Stage 4 is also known as Bronze, while stage 5 is known as Silver and Stage 6 is known as Gold. However, let me stressed again, this SwimSafer program is very different from the NASSA test. Thus, please do not think that if your kid has passed NASSA Bronze, he will be able to do SwimSafer Silver. It is perfectly alright for him to be allocated to a lower stage under Swimsafer if he can’t do the items in the program.

Some parents have asked if they are able to train and register their kids for the test on their own without training under a coach. It is highly unlikely that most parents will be able to train their own kids for Swimsafer. Eg. there are quite a number of rescue skills to be taught which the parents are unable to let their kids practise in a public pool without a coach. The lifeguards will not allow the usage of life jacket or rope without a coach.

I think I must be one of the most Kiasu swimming coaches around. I have started teaching some of my students the new test items even though the program will officially launch in July. I think majority of the other coaches had not started teaching the new program or even attended the instructor course yet at this point in time.

As I had predicted, majority of my students are very excited when doing the part with the life jackets and rescue skills. They are also pretty happy with the part that they do not have to do timings with pyjamas anymore and have much shorter distance to swim. Well, most people will definitely be happy .

A lot of us like variety and new interesting experiences. SwimSafer is able to provide more of this as compared to NASSA. In my opinion, the new SwimSafer program is much less strenuous than the previous NASSA test. However, there are certain items that are not easy for some of the kids. For eg, sculling without kicking is pretty difficult for young kids. They also have to demonstrate a forward and backward sommersault in the water in stage 4.

At this moment, I will continue to gather more feedback and further analyse the new program again after some more classes. Will post the updates again if they are significant!

SwimSafer Test Items

Stage 1

Entry and Exit
Enter the water safely and confidently with slide in entry and exit using ladder and from pool edge

Scull and Body Orient
1)Recover from a face down float or glide to a standing position
2)Recover from a back float or back glide to a standing position
3)Introduction to Flotation survival technique

Underwater Skills
Submerge in waist depth water, open eyes and blow bubbles

Movement / Strokes
1)Forward movement 10m
2) Introduction to backward movement 5m

Survival Skills
1)Support body in an upright position and signal distress
2)Grasp a floatation aid thrown for support
3)Be pulled to safety
4)Wearing clothing, correctly fit a PFD, jump into the water, float 30s and then climb out of deep water

Rescue Skills
Nil

Knowledge
1)Rules of behavior in, on or near the water
2)Water safety knowledge at a swimming pool

Stage 2

Entry and Exit
Perform a step-in entry

Scull and Body Orient
1)Demonstrate sculling in an upright position for 10s with arms only
2)Demonstrate the ability to change direction on command

Underwater Skills
1)Search for and recover an object in chest deep water depth.
2)Demonstrate a feet-first surface dive

Movement / Strokes
25m forward movement – Any stroke

Survival Skills
1)Swim wearing clothing for 15m
2)Demonstrate flotation survival technique for 1min
3)Correctly fit a PFD, jump into the water and swim for 5m and climb out of deep water

Rescue Skills
Nil

Knowledge
Water safety rules in various aquatic environment

Stage 3

Entry and Exit
Perform a stride/straddle entry

Scull and Body Orient
1)Demonstrate sculling in a horizontal position for 10s with arms only
2)Demonstrate the ability to change direction on command
3)Demonstrate reverse action

Underwater Skills
In chest deep water, swim through hoops on pool bottom 2m apart

Movement / Strokes
Swim 50m continuously
(25m using either Breaststroke or Front-Crawl
25m using either Backstroke or Survival Backstroke)

Survival Skills
1)Swim wearing clothing for 25m
2) Demonstrate ability to correctly fit a PFD in the water

Rescue Skills
1)Throw a flotation aid to a partner at 3m distance and instruct to kick to the edge
2)Perform a reach rescue using a rigid aid and pull a partner to safety

Knowledge
Principles of personal survival

Stage 4 (Bronze)

Entry and Exit
Enter water using a compact jump

Scull and Body Orient
Demonstrate a backward and forward somersault in the water

Underwater Skills
1)Search for and recover an object in 1.5m of water depth
2)Demonstrate a feet-first surface dive

Movement / Strokes
Swim 100m continuously
(25m Front-Crawl, 25m Breaststroke, 25m Backstroke, 25m Survival Backstroke or Sidestroke)

Survival Skills
Dressed in swimwear, shorts and t-shirt, demonstrate 3min swimming slowly using any appropriate swim stroke, changing each min

Rescue Skills
1)Perform a throw rescue using an unweighted rope over a distance of 6m
2)Wade to a person and deliver a flotation aid in deep water
3)Approach in “Ready” position

Knowledge
Principles of water craft safety

Stage 5 (Silver)

Entry and Exit
Demonstrate a dive entry (crouching)

Scull and Body Orient
Keep face above the water for 60s sculling with hands only

Underwater Skills
In 1.5m of water depth, swim through hoops on pool bottom 3m apart

Movement / Strokes
Swim 200m continuously
(50m Front-Crawl, 50m Breaststroke, 50m Backstroke, 50m Survival Backstroke or Sidestroke)
Efficient stroke techniques must be used

Survival Skills
1)Dressed in long pants and long sleeved shirt, enter deep water, submerge feet first
2)Swim underwater 3m
3)Scull, float for 3min waving for help intermittently
Clothing might be removed
4)Fit PFD, swim 25m and climb out

Rescue Skills
Using a Buoyant aid, accompanied (non-contact) rescue of a person 15m from safety

Knowledge
Recognising an Emergency

Stage 6 (Gold)

Entry and Exit
Demonstrate a standing Dive

Scull and Body Orient
Keep face above the water surface for 60s using legs only

Underwater Skills
1)Search for and recover an object in 1.8m of water depth
2)Demonstrate equalizing of ear/nose

Movement / Strokes
Swim 400m continuously
(100m Breaststroke, 100m Front-Crawl, 100m Backstroke, 100m Survival Backstroke or Sidestroke)
Efficient stroke techniques must be used

Survival Skills
1)In long pants, long-sleeved shirt, shoes & socks, enter deep water, swim 5m underwater to escape a sinking boat
2)Swim 45m, remove shoes &Swim slowly 50m, signaling for help
3)Remove clothing, fit PFD, swim 100m,
HELP technique, climb out

Rescue Skills
Using a suitable buoyant aid, tow (non-contact) rescue of a person 10m from safety

Knowledge
Principles when performing a rescue

Thanks for sharing :)

Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

Great Info and personal insights !

Thank you for the information and your personal thoughts on the programme.

As we are moving into June, are there more information about the new swimsafer test admin procedures ? Will there be Swimsafer bronze/silver tests in July 2010 ?

Big fish

Big fish

Protest against Swimsafer?

Hi Bigfish,

With every program, there are usually pro and con. The swimsafer has a wider scope and actually look great in theory. It is quite interesting and the kids will get to learn more things about safety. I like the emphasis on getting a good strokes. However, it is quite difficult to get a common standard practically.

Giving an example, currently the NASSA test is held mainly in the 20+ public pools. Even for NASSA test, there are varying test standards among the test centres. Now, under the swimsafer program, students are to be tested by another swimsafer instructor that is not teaching the students being tested and there are over 800 registered swimming instructors. I think you can guess how much the standard is going to vary. Getting a good coach is even more important then!

Some instructors also lament the reducing of the distance that the kids need to swim and that there are no timings involved. They feel that this might be a lower standard.

There are also quite a number of practical issues regarding the implementation of this program especially on weekends.

Well, I think with every new program, there might be problems, Maybe we should just see how it goes in the first few months and see if the problems might be resolved and the program improved.

very informative. Thanks

very informative. Thanks for sharing

Swim coach wants us to protest

My swim coach wants us to protest against the abolishment of NASSA, what is all the fuss about? I thought the new programme is better?

Thank you bubblesnsplashes.

Thank you bubblesnsplashes. πŸ™‚

Recommended age for Stage 1

The Swimsafer program was planned with the assumption that a child is 6 years old when he first start to attempt it. However, there is no rule stating that a younger child cannot attempt stage 1 if he can do all the test items.

In my opinion, a child age 4 plus onward can prepare for stage 1. However, not all will be able to do so at this age.  I had tested out some items on my toddlers class yesterday. Out of 4 kids, 2 of them can do the back float required in stage 1. 1 of them is almost there and need perhaps another lesson. Suprisingly, the usually most confident and best swimmer was afraid of doing the back float while the weakest swimmer was able to do it within the lesson.

However, for younger kids, there might be some limitations. Firstly, the pool might not be shallow enough for them to stand. There is a requirement for the kids to recover from a float and stand. Some pools have a depth of 1.2m or the play pool of 0.5m. The 1.2m might be too deep for the kids to stand and the play pool is too shallow so I am still trying to figure a best way out. Another limitation is that if the kid is too young and light, he might not be able to control floating in the life jacket. I have 1 student who keep rolling and rolling when he was in the water with the life jacket. It was quite funny. I am also trying to source out toddler’s size life jacket if they are available.

Although there are these limitations, kids can still start swimming lessons when they are 3 years old onward. They can train their psychomotor skills and improve their stamina. The early start will help to shorten the training time needed at a later stage.

I may be starting intensive holiday classes for existing NASSA awards holder to help them convert to the SwimSafer programs and also beginners introduction class to the water.

Scared of putting head in water?

Hi LKVM,

It is actually quite a fairly common fear of beginners. I will need more information such as your child’s age, character and how was your DS trained to put his head into the water to better advise you.

General tips:

1) Get the child comfortable with water splashing down his face and head.

2) Get him to pick up toys in shallow water and putting head close to the water.

3) Tilt his head in such a way that only his goggles and eyes are in the water but the mouth and nose are not. Usually when people see what they are going to experience, they will calm down and listen. It is more of fear of the unknown.

4) Practise blowing bubbles as he might not be able to do breath control properly and aways end up getting water in his nose and thus bad experience which prevent him wanting to try.

5) Don’t give up. If you don’t get him to face his fears and overcome it, it will not go away by itself. There is no magical solutions like "it will go away when he grows up."

Hi KSI, I get what you mean

Hi KSI,

I get what you mean now. At the moment, there is no mention on whether there will be an enforecement of the new certificate. I will update you again if I heard of any enforecement.

There might also be future other Swimsafer modules. From what I have heard, there will be extensions to this Swimsafer programs. The one that is in the work now is Swimsafer Openwater. This is to train kids for safety and knowledge for engaging in water sports in the seas and reservoirs. Thus, it might be a prerequisites in the future to have these certificates if your kids are to engage in water sports.

 

Thanks for your

Thanks for your answers.

really very useful.  When is the recommended age for stage 1?

Thanks again!

Actually my concern is because NASSA is the old system, not sure if it remains recognised by the authorities on swim competency and whether they would enforce the new certificate to be pursued, like a conversion?

If no such thing is required, we are content with the NASSA Bronze.  And should we proceed to to SwimSafe Silver, it would be by choice not because we have to fulfill some requirements set by MOE, get what I mean?

Thank you so much for your replies! πŸ™‚

 

Thats wonderful info

My DS used to love water a lot since few days he hates when the tutor ask him to put his head inside water maybe afraid any suggestions?Thanks

Great Information

Thanks for all the info! My DD was preparing for NASSA Bronze, but would sometimes not have the stamina to swim 400m. Glad to hear that they are no longer required to swim that far for earlier stages.

Answer to KSI's questions

So if my child has an existing NASSA bronze certificate, can we ignore the swimsafe exams or need to take the minimum level for stage 1again?

Answer: Do you mean ignore the whole swimsafe exams which mean even the higher levels like Swimsafer gold or just the basic levels? If your child has an existing NASSA bronze, he can proceed to prepare for the test in Swimsafer Silver. Stage 1 is only a minimum level thus if you achieve a higher test cert, that will also mean you can do the skills in lower levels. (You can also refer to my answers to Smum’s questions.

Answers to Smum's questions

* If the child has attend Bronze in NASSA, the instructor will check what is the next level the child can take under SwimSafer. So it might be stage 3 or it might be stage 4. And the child will proceed to test in that SwimSafer level based on the instructor recommendation.

Answer: I am not sure if you meant by attend Bronze that the child has attained a Bronze cert or is preparing for the Bronze test in NASSA thus I will give the answer to both scenarios.

If your child has attained a Bronze cert in NASSA, he will move on to Swimsafer Silver. I think this is because the authorities do not want the parents and children to feel that they had actually regress and downgrade to a lower level. (Let me stress again the 2 swimming program are very different) However, the child will very likely has not practiced certain skills that are tested in the lower levels such as putting on a life jacket and doing a rescue throw using an unweighted rope. Thus, although the next test is to be Swimsafer Silver, the child will also learn the items that was not previously taught before taking the Swimsafer Silver test.

If your child is currently preparing for the Bronze and will not clear it before July, the instructor will recommend the suitable stages based on his assessment and understanding of the child. As you had mentioned, likelyhood will be Stage 3 or 4.

* If the child has not been certified in NASSA, the instructor will review the child capability and recommend the suitable stage for the exam.

Answer: Yes, the instructor will review the child capabilities. Likelyhood will be from Stage 1 to 3. However, as mentioned, even if the instructor recommend stage 3, it is good for the child to learn the other skills in the lower tests before attempting stage 3 because the skills build on each other.

* Can a child do stage 1 and then skip to stage 3?

Answer: Yes, in theory you can take the test in stage 1 and jump to the test in stage 3 because there are no prerequisites. However, the learning should be progressive and without the skills learnt in stage 2, the child might not be able to do the test in stage 3 so it is likely the instructor will still teach the skills in stage 2.

* What is the exam fees for each stage?

Answer: The exam fees are still being worked out but they should be comparable to the NASSA tests. My guess is from $7 to not more than $20.

Thanks!

Thank you for your reply. So if my child has an existing NASSA bronze certificate, can we ignore the swimsafe exams or need to take the minimum level for stage 1again?

Thanks for the information.

Thanks for the information. This is very useful. Can you pls provide advise on below. Thanks!

* If the child has attend Bronze in NASSA, the instructor will check what is the next level the child can take under SwimSafer. So it might be stage 3 or it might be stage 4. And the child will proceed to test in that SwimSafer level based on the instructor recommendation.

* If the child has not been certified in NASSA, the instructor will review the child capability and recommend the suitable stage for the exam.

* Can a child do stage 1 and then skip to stage 3?

* What is the exam fees for each stage?

No prerequisite

The kid does not need to pass every stage. There are no prerequisite. This mean that in an extreme scenario, the kid can go and take Stage 6 without taking any of the previous tests. However, he will need to know and be able to perform the items in the lower stages. This new program is meant to have progressive learning so the kids should go through the levels although they can choose not to go for the test. The higher level skills will need to build on the lower level knowledge that was gained.

I will recommend that the kids go through the tests and get the certificates as a mark of their achievements. The certificates are to mark milestones in their learning journey. At this moment, I believed that the SwimSafer authorities are planning that the certificates will be presented on the spot to the kids after the test instead of waiting a few months. This is to cement the "good feeling" the kids have after passing the test instead of letting the enthusiasm die down.

Thanks for the detail

Thanks for the detail information on the new test.

one question – does the kid need to pass every stage before he can advance the next stage?  Say, can the kid go direct to stage 4 test if he didn’t pass any of the earlier stages?

Minimum stage

Hi KSI,

The child is assumed to be at 6 years old when he first started the swimsafer program. However, he can take the test at a younger age if he can fulfil the requirement.

There was no mention of by what age, he will have to clear the swimsafer stages.

As for minimum stages, it was mentioned that the national water safety council has set a target that everyone must achieve a minimum pass in stage 1. MOE has some seats in that council thus, I think the minimum would be passing stage 1. However, some schools might set a higher standard thus it is dificult to give an exact answer at this moment.

Thanks for ur reply

My DD is in the afternoon session & will reach home by school bus at ard 7pm.

Although Kallang Basin is the nearest public swimming pool, I still need a 10mins bus ride. So I dun want her to be too tired.

Thanks for ur arrangement. Will still keep a lookout on ur schedule.

Thanks

hi
 
Thanks for the detailed information !
 
 
 

Proud Daddy of P1 Boy at Tao Nan School …

What is the minimum stage

of competency a child needs to achieve as required by MOE or school and by what age?

Thanks.

Hi blurbee, I am still

Hi blurbee,

I am still trying to arrange the kallang basin class. The parents are quite keen to start that class but I am having a headache trying to fit in that class on the intended Tue too. Seems like I have some problem shifting my existing classes at around that timeslot and I don’t really want to burn the only night which I don’t teach.

However, in worst case scenario for me, I might end up starting that class around 6.30pm or later on Tue night. Wonder if you will be keen if I happen to do so?

Hi Jiyou2003, You are

Hi Jiyou2003,

You are welcome! I think as for today, only the 3rd batch of coaches are going for the course. Thus, majority of the coaches do not have the details of the tests, only the hearsay from other coaches who had attended.

Your DS coach will advise you in time to come so please don’t worry.

Thank you.

Thank you for the info.

How I wish ur Kallang basin course can start on the weekend. 

Very informative, thanks.Β 

Very informative, thanks.  DS coach has not attend the training yet (as what u mention), so he cant give advise !!

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