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Victorian Water Safety Certificate (VWSC)

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  • A knowledge of swimming and water safety can reduce a child’s drowning risk and provide them with skills that may one day save a life.

  • The VWSC is part of the Victorian Government Swimming in Schools Initiative which supports the delivery of quality swimming and water safety education.

  • The Victorian Curriculum requires students to demonstrate the competencies of the VWSC by the time they leave Year 6

What is the VWSC?

Water safety is as simple as … VWSC!

The Victorian Water Safety Certificate is a Victorian Government initiative, which identifies the knowledge and skills required for students to safely enjoy water-based activities in aquatic environments.

The certificate establishes and evaluates minimum swimming and water safety competencies for primary school students.

The competencies focus on:

  • Water safety knowledge
  • Rescue skills
  • Survival sequences
  • The ability to swim a continuous distance of 50 meters.

The Victorian Curriculum requires students to demonstrate the competencies of the Victorian Water Safety Certificate by the time they leave Year 6.

Swim Certificate

VWSC is endorsed by the Premier and is the peak certificate for primary school students.

The VWSC can be awarded by schools and by aquatic centres.

Schools and aquatic facilities can use the resources provided in the School Swimming and Water Safety Toolkit and on this web page to plan, assess and award the VWSC to students as part of their school swimming and safety program.

A range of funding options are available to support schools to deliver school swimming and water safety programs. For more information on funding options view the Toolkit.

Please contact LSV on schoolswimming@lsv.com.au if you have any questions or would like assistance

What are the competancies?

To receive the VWSC, students neet to achieve the following competancies;

Water safety knowledge

  • Answer questions on issues relating to water safety knowledge

Swim

  • Swim competently for a continuous distance of 50 metres
  • Swim to include 25 metres of freestyle and 25 metres of one other stroke, demonstrating sound breathing and stroke technique

Continuous Survival Sequence

  • Dressed in a t-shirt & shorts, students need to;
    • Enter the water safely
    • Float, skull and tread water for 5 minutes
    • Remove t-shirt and shorts
    • Swim for 5 minutes using a combination of survival strokes
    • Exit the water safely

Rescue Skills

  • Demonstrate an effective reach rescue and one of the following;
    • Throw a rope to a person at least 5 metres from the side of the pool and pull them to safety, OR
    • Throw a buoyant object to a person at least 5 metres from the side of the pool and instruct them to safety.

Awarding certificates & accessing support resources

FREE Toolkit, FREE Resources & FREE Certificates!

The VWSC can be assessed and awarded as part of a school or aquatic facilities normal swimming education program provided the students meet the competancy requirements.

LSV has created a suite of FREE resources that schools and aquatic factilities can use to deliver quality school swimming and water safety programs aligned to the VWSC.

FREE Toolkit – The Toolkit has the information you need to plan your swimming and water safety program.

FREE Resources – This web page contains links to downloadable PDFs and information for schools, aquatic facilities and parents.

FREE Certificates – You can order certificates FREE using the online platform.

Plan & run your program



Please contact LSV on schoolswimming@lsv.com.au if you have any questions or would like assistance

Important information for schools

VWSC is a Victorian Curriculum requirement.

The Victorian Government has invested $23 million in school swimming and water safety education.

This funding provides a contribution towards the costs of programs for Government and Catholic primary schools.

Funding can be used to support any year level.

Schools have the flexibility to use the funding for practical swimming and/or water safety education. This decision should be determined based on the needs of their student population.

LSV have created FREE resources – the VWSC Toolkit and the information and downloadable PDFs contained on this page to assist schools and aquatic facilities to develop and deliver quality school swimming and water safety programs which align to the capabilities of the VWSC.

Schools Can:

  • 1. Access the Toolkit and the resources in the links below to plan their program and include the VWSC assessment

  • 2. Work with their local aquatic provider and request the VWSC is awarded

  • 3. Seek assistance from LSV by contacting schoolswimming@lsv.com.au

  • 4. Order FREE certificates for students that meet the competancies of the VWSC

Information, resources & downloads for schools:

  • VWSC Overview and information sheet
  • VWSC Road map & step-by-step guide
  • Mapping H/PE curriculum to the VWSC
  • Ideas to promote the VWSC in your school
  • Posters, flyers digital tiles and marketing material
  • Guide to preparing students for the VWSC Q&A sheet
  • VWSC Q&A sheet for students
  • Lesson plans and classroom ideas
  • Celebration and recognition ideas

You can also download these resources from the Toolkit

Schools can also access the Swimming and Water Safety Section of the Victorian Curriculum Website

Please contact LSV on schoolswimming@lsv.com.au if you have any questions or would like assistance

Important information for aquatic facilities

Working with Schools

Aquatic centres play an important role in swimming and water safety education and in the VWSC initiative.

The majority of schools partner with local aquatic facilities to deliver their swimming and water safety programs.

Aquatic facilities can provide schools with the assistance and guidance to run their swimming and water safety and education programs.

Aquatic facilities can also order certificates on behalf of schools for those students who meet the VWSC competancies.

Access the School Swimming and Water Safety Toolkit for resources to assist with planning a school swimming and and water safety program which meets Victorian Curriculum requirements.

Speak to your local schools about running swimming and water safety education programs and awarding the VWSC.

Aquatic facility programs

Aquatic facilities can also award VWSC certificates as part of their own water safety and swimming programs.

The competancies for the VWSC can be assessed as part of the aquatic facilities swimming education program.

Awarding the VWSC provides an important additional certfication that students can receive from aquatic centres.

Access the Toolkit and the resources below to see how to map the compenancies and award certificates.

View the support resources below for tips on marketing, assessing and awarding the VWSC.

Information, resources & downloads for aquatic factilies:

You can also download these resources from the Toolkit

Please contact LSV on schoolswimming@lsv.com.au if you have any questions or would like assistance

Important information for parents

Why is the VWSC Important for your child?

Development of knowlegde and skills relating to swimming and water safety can significantly reduce a child’s drowning risk.

The VWSC assesses the minimum competiances that children are expected to achieve before the end of Year 6.

Demonstrating these competancies is a Victorian Cirriculum requirement.

PLUS, swimming and water safety skills have demonstrated benefits on a child’s health in terms of social, psychological and physical well-being and are an important foundation in enjoying a lifetime of aquatic activities.

How does the VWSC work?

The Victorian government has provided funding to Government and Catholic primary schools to contribute to the costs of running the program.

Schools and aqautic facilities can plan their swimming and water safety edcation programs and include the VWSC assessment.

Schools and aquatic facilities can then order the FREE certificates and award them to students that meet the competancies.

Aquatic facilities can also award the VWSC to students who meet the competancies in aquatic centre swimming programs.

What can I do to support my child?

Find out if your child’s school swimming program works towards the VWSC capabilities.

Ask your aquatic facility to support your child achieve the VWSC capabilities.

Ensure your child has regular, on-going swimming practice in a range of aquatic environments.

Reinforce water safety knowledge at home; including how to recognise aquatic hazards, what to do if in danger and how to help others stay safe in, on and around water.

Information, resources & downloads for parents:

You can also download these resources from the Toolkit

Please contact LSV on schoolswimming@lsv.com.au if you have any questions or would like assistance

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