My Beach

In May 2017, on the back of a national review, Surf Life Saving Australia President Graham Ford AM announced the progression of several key initiatives aimed at removing barriers to participation in Surf Life Saving. Focused broadly on Surf Sport and Education based actions, the initiatives required National and State level commitment and were fully supported by Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA). At the time of this communication, the initiatives were being processed through the National Advisory Chairs and the associated Advisory and Management Committees with the aim of implementation prior to the commencement of this season.

With the season now started, and all major activities underway, I feel it is now appropriate to provide a progress update on each initiative (following). It is with some pride that I can state SLSWA, as your state representative body has acted to its full capacity to facilitate the implementation of several initiatives this season. Progress has been achieved with some whilst on others unnecessary barriers will remain in place for this season. SLSWA will continue to advocate for the introduction of these measures and I will provide further updates as progress is made.

Implemented in WA and Nationally

  1. Develop a clearer pathway for the transition from the Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC) to the Bronze Medallion. This process was already being utilised by several States. Following consultation with SLSA for clarity regarding the Surf Rescue Certificate to Bronze Medallion requirements, SLSWA has developed a new transition process that is currently being trialled and reviewed and is due to be communicated to members in the near future once finalised.
  2. Develop an easier pathway for returning members. For returning members that have not requalified for over three years there is the option of undertaking the In-Depth Proficiency process. Details of this process are available in SLSA Circular “02/17-18 (Version 2.0) SKILLS MAINTENANCE (PROFICIENCY) REQUIREMENTS FOR 2017/18 SEASON” posted in the Members Portal 31st July 2017. The In-Depth Proficiency process is available to be used by SLSWA clubs and members.
  3. Include the option for Bronze Medallion candidates to undertake the IRB Crew award during Bronze Medallion training. The requirements for Bronze Medallion candidates to undertake IRB Crew award was recently finalised nationally and was communicated to members through SLSA Circular “33/17-18 IRB Crew Training Alongside the Bronze Medallion” on 21st November 2017 and is also available on the Members Portal. IRB Crew training can now be delivered by SLSWA clubs when conducting a Bronze Medallion course providing the requirements outlined in the Circular are covered.
  4. Allowing new members to compete in non-championship competition, prior to the gaining of the SRC or Bronze Medallion, utilising the existing Policy 1.02 “come and try” with a water proficiency requirement and agreed time to complete the award. An amended circular was distributed on 28 November on the Member’s Portal.
    SLSWA has had several clubs enquire about their members/competitors who are either a brand new member, or transitioning from Nipper to SRC, or SRC to Bronze, requesting to be entered into carnivals. We have instructed them that as long as the club maintains internal records confirming that they have completed the course pre-requisites (eg. 400m swim in under 9 minutes and run-swim-run in under 8 minutes for the Bronze Medallion), then SLSWA will permit their entry into any competition until such time as they complete their award.
  5. Implement a patrol exemption for Junior Activity Members (SRC). In Western Australia and nationally, this exemption has always applied for U14s that are competing in their own (U14) age group. This exemption will continue for the 17/18 season. At a national level, there was some discussion around U15s also being exempt from patrol and WA agreed with this position. This was however rejected by SLSA.
  6. Delegation of the annual award requalification process to Patrol Captains under the supervision of the Club Assessor. The ability to do this already existed at a national level. At state level, SLSWA Circular 24, 2017/18 “Skills Maintenance – Delegation Process” details how clubs can delegate annual requalification requirements. This circular was communicated to SLSWA members through the Club News email on 12th September 2017 and is also available on the Circulars and Bulletins webpage. This process aligns with national requirements and is available to be used by SLSWA clubs when delegating requalification tasks.
  7. Simplification of the current policy 5.04 and guideline to give clarity to the membership. SLSA released an updated Policy 5.04 on 31 August. The version available on the SLSA Member’s Portal is as of 31 August 2017 which is what we have been referring our clubs to use. The 31 August version of the policy provides 3 options for accruing patrol and or service hours. SLSWA have given clubs the choice to utilise any of the three options available to their members at their discretion. Option A is a member just does 16 hours of patrol. Option B is a member does 8 hours of patrol and 8 hours of service for the club, as determined by the club. Option C is a member does 16 hours of service for the club, as determined by the club. SLSWA are not dictating what the definition of service hours is, SLSWA are allowing clubs to determine this definition.
  8. Australian Championships review involving investigation of additional enhancements for the Aussies and including the creation of a multi-disciplined Athlete Panel to help inform the decisions of the Safety Emergency Committee and open engagement with Team Managers in decisions. SLSA action item.

    Implemented in WA only

  9. Review of the framework for composite teams to participate in Surf Sport. Implementation being considered at national level for 2019 with a supporting framework
    At the WA level, WA has modified the Combined Club Teams Policy. Going back as far as 2006, WA created and have been using a Combined Club Teams Policy and permitted clubs to combine with some restrictions based on an average of the previous two state championships point scores. In 2017, after reviewing feedback from clubs, WA allowed any club to combine at general carnivals and points that are earned were based on the split of clubs in the combined team to encourage participation by all clubs. For the State Championships, the original policy still applies, which restricts combined teams to the smaller clubs.

    Not Implemented

  10. Full review of the Bronze Medallion curriculum to ensure the content being delivered is relevant to what is required of our frontline Surf Lifesavers. The review of the Bronze Medallion curriculum is a national project being undertaken by SLSA in line with the scheduled release of the 35th edition Public Safety and Aquatic Rescue Training Manual for the 2019/20 season. The review process is underway, and nominations will be called for from the membership in the new year for an editorial panel to assist with the process.