Help students achieve their Victorian Water Safety Certificate

Schools can teach water safety at any time of year. To find out more, we look at the experience of Roxburgh Park Primary School

The Victorian Government and Life Saving Victoria have updated the Victorian Water Safety Certificate to align with the National Swimming and Water Safety Framework, which was revised in 2020.

The Victorian Water Safety Certificate describes specific water safety skills that students need at the end of primary school, including skills focused on water safety knowledge, rescue and survival.

The updated certificate has 2 new competencies:

  • underwater: surface dive, swim underwater and search to recover an object from deep water
  • lifesaving: respond to an emergency by demonstrating DRSABCD (Danger, Response, Send, Airway, Breathing, CPR, Defibrillation) and the recovery position.

Students who achieve the certificate will meet Level 6 of the swimming and water safety education component of the Victorian Curriculum F-10, Health and Physical Education.

Please consider the updated certificate requirements in your 2022 swimming and water safety program and assess students against the VWSC competencies, so they can get a certificate.

Bringing water safety to the classroom at Roxburgh Park Primary School

The Life Saving Victoria website has case studies exploring how schools are delivering swimming and water safety programs. Roxburgh Park Primary School provides a great example of supporting a diverse group of students to achieve their certificates.

The school teaches students about water safety through swimming lessons for all grades, along with an open water learning program at the beach for students in grades 5 and 6.

Beyond this, students participate in a range of learning activities, including:

  • digital activities with green screens, Sphero (programmable robots) and drones to solve water safety challenges
  • practising 'reach and throw' rescue skills
  • quiz and questionnaire activities to test water safety knowledge for the certificate.

Along with promoting water safety, the program gives students the chance to develop maths and digital skills while practising rescue skills.

Feedback from the school community has been positive, with parents and carers who attend the swimming lessons enjoying the chance to see their child develop water safety skills.

Achieving the certificate in 2022

Life Saving Victoria has produced water safety resources to help you understand and assess the certificate. Order certificates from the online portal when your students achieve their certificate.

In 2022, all Victorian government primary schools, Specialist schools, and English language schools have access to more funding for swimming and water safety education programs.

Schools should schedule programs early for swimming lessons in 2022.

If your school is yet to schedule a swimming and water safety program for 2022 or is struggling to find space at your local aquatic facility, consider scheduling programs in terms 2 or 3. 

While autumn and winter are not the traditional times for swimming, your local aquatic facilities may have more space for large groups in the middle of the year. Indoor aquatic facilities are climate controlled so students will be less chilly as they get in and out of the pool.

Find out more

For more ideas about teaching your students about swimming and water safety, refer to Life Saving Victoria.

For further enquiries, contact Liz White, Statewide Swimming Coordinator:

You can also contact Life Saving Victoria: