International Water Safety and Lifesaving Education by ILS

TitleInternational Water Safety and Lifesaving Education by ILS
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsFarmer, ESM, N
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other Numbers02-24
Abstract

­Since formation of the International Life Saving Federation (ILS) in 1994, there has been much work and effort contributed by dedicated volunteers from ILS Member Organisations in the development and implementation of a range of international education tools.

In 1996, the ILS introduced Following formation, ILS identified possible career paths, or lines of work for lifesavers and lifeguards and established a set of International Certificates to identify various achievement levels within each path. Each Certificate requires mastery of ILS-specified core knowledge and skill competencies. The International Certificate concept serves two purposes:

  1. it establishes an international set of criteria that can be used by ILS Member organisations, and
  2. it serves as an international standard or reference, against which existing awards and qualifications can be accredited.

Twenty two (22) member organisations have either access to or have had their own lifesaving certificates certified as at least meeting the ILS standards. The list of ILS lifesaving certificates is increasing each year.

In 2000, the ILS introduced the International Water Safety and Swimming Education Guidelines as an international education standards framework. This framework is essentially a learn to swim and water safety programme formatted with achievement levels. Each level requires mastery of ILS specified core knowledge and skill competencies. The International Water Safety and Swimming Education Guidelines concept serves two purposes:

  1. it establishes an international set of criteria that can be used by member organisations that have no or little own system for the teaching of swimming and water safety, and
  2. it gives a possibility to serve as an international standard or a reference, against which existing learn to swim and water safety education systems can be endorsed as meeting ILS water safety and swimming education standards framework, or not.

The ILS has also been active in developing a number of Position Statements including Use of International Certificates for Employment Purposes. The latest position statement titled “Swimming and Water Safety Education” will be released at WWS 2007.

Learning Outcomes
  1. To understand the work of ILS in international water safety and lifesaving education;
  2. To gain knowledge on how to use or apply the ILS international education standards in both developed and developing countries, and
  3. To gain an understanding of current and proposed education projects that will contribute to addressing the global burden of death by drowning.
References
  • Guidelines for Water Safety and Swimming Certifications, International Life Saving Federation, Leuven Belgium, November 2000
  • Guidelines for International Certifications, International Life Saving Federation, Leuven Belgium, September 2001
  • Position Statement – Swimming and Water Safety Education, International Life Saving Federation, Leuven Belgium, June 2007
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