National Aquatic Industry Safety Awards
Excellence in Facility Management
Ashburton Pool and Recreation Centre
Nominated By:
Contact Details
8 Warner Avenue

The Ashburton Pool and Recreation Centre (APARC), is a large recreation centre, it was built in 1993, since this time it has played an important role in the promotion of health and wellbeing within the local community.

During 2015-2016 the Centre underwent a renewal which saw the inclusion of additional change room areas, as well as a general updating to facilities.


Ashburton Pool and Recreation Centre has a workforce of more than 200 employees, the majority of which live in the local are, are aged 16 – 25 years and employed on a casual bases.

A result of these factors is a large amount of staff turnover, this ongoing turnover of staff has helped to develop the Centre’s proactive approach to safety. This proactive approach is achieved by ensuring that policies and processes are focused on continual improvement; an example of this was when the Centre received a Life Saving Victoria Audit Score of 100% for the Platinum Pools accreditation process, an increase from 96.40% result achieved in 2017.

Future Plans

The Centre plans to continue to lead the industry with regards to facility management, to ensure that at all times patrons, staff and the local Boroondara community are being provided with industry leading practices.

What it means

Winning this award would provide great recognition to the team for their work and commitment to the providing patrons with safest and best imaginable experience every time they come into the Centre. The award would also assist in supporting their ongoing efforts, by confirming that a commitment to safety is important and recognised by peak industry bodies. Within the team the message that safety is everyone's responsibility and should never be just an after thought, is discussed regularly and is reflected daily in our policies, processes and people, this award would assist us to keep safety at the forefront over everyone's mind.

Criteria 1

Describe how the nominee has provided a valuable contribution to their aquatic facility (e.g. assisted with training programs, mentored other lifeguards and trainees, gained additional awards, assisted with public relations events etc.).

The Centre has introduced RDFI membership bands to all swimming lesson members, these wristbands must be worn by participants while in the centre and have been coloured to reflect the Watch Around Water policy;
• Aged under 5 – Yellow wrist band – guardian must be in the water with the child
• Aged between 5 and 10 – Red wrist band – guardian must be actively supervision child

Inscribed on the respective wristbands, are the messages highlighted above, the wristband and message serve as an ongoing reminder to guardians what their supervision responsibilities are while visiting the Centre. The policy is supported by internal signage, as well as reception staff, lifeguards and duty managers engaging patrons in ongoing aquatic based education.
As part of the Centre’s continual improvement framework, we have:
• Engaged Life Saving Victoria to conduct monthly aquatic safety mystery visits. The purpose of these visits is to assess lifeguards against the GSPO and the Centre’s lifeguard deployment plan. Each visit produces a report, which management use to analyse and address trends and inform the content of staff education and development sessions.
• Implemented an Emergency Response Training (ERT) process. Through this process duty managers assess staff through work-based emergency scenarios. The intent of ERT’s is to promote a culture of ongoing learning, these conversations allow duty managers to identify areas where additional education and training may be of benefit to the staff member.
o Between July 2017 and March 2018 the centre has completed 252 ERT scenarios.

Criteria 2

Describe (and provide evidence) of improvements and/or achievements made in Facility Management over the past 12-18 months

Over the past 12 – 18 months APARC has placed a major focus on improving and strengthening the lines of communication between management and the casual workforce. This focus has seen the development and implementation of a more robust processes regarding how management oversee and monitor the work of staff, including the number of audits and checks they complete.
This has resulted in:
• The Centre moving away from paper based checklist to electronic checklist that are completed using a tablet, on the iAuditor platform.
o Moving these checks to an electronic platform allows completed checklists to be monitored by managers in real time, dramatically decreasing the timeframe between issues being identified and addressed.
• Developed and implemented a Daily Whole Facility Audit completed by management.
o This process ensures that management is actively engaged in what is occurring within the Centre on a daily basis. It also means that any actions not in line with our processes are identified immediately.
• Developed and implemented a feedback response system that allows patrons to highlight areas of concern that they would like to see addressed. The centre has a 48 hour timeframe in which we must reply to any feedback received and ongoing communication regarding safety and facilities issues are communicated to members via our noticeboard.

This increased focus on reporting lines, over the past 18 months has seen:
• The overall number of near misses reported increase, demonstrating the staff are confident of what, when, how and to whom they need to report.
• 10 near misses have been reported, pleasingly none of these incidents have escalated into a major/critical incident. Indicating that staff are appropriately trained in how to respond to incidents and manage them effectively, ensuring they do not escalate.
• No major incidents have occurred in or around the aquatic areas.

Criteria 3

Describe how the nominee has shown commitment to aquatic safety through Facility Management

APARC has shown an ongoing commitment to aquatic safety through the following management processes:
• Implementation of iAuditor system to conduct daily audits related to the centre’s aquatic environments.
o Completing daily audits electronically has decreased the time it takes for identified issues to be addressed. It also provides the Centre with valuable data to identify and address recurring issues and trends.
• Further developed the centre’s relationship with Life Saving Victoria;
o The implementation of monthly ‘mystery visits’ conducted by Life Saving Victoria. This process has seen the Centre make a $10k investment into the ongoing education and development of our lifeguard team.
o LSV conducts quarterly lifeguard training that all guards must attend in order to continue to be rostered.
o LSV reviews and make recommendations regarding the centre’s lifeguard deployment plan annual.
• The implementation of quarterly reviews of Lifeguard Deployment Plan by all lifeguards, this process see lifeguards review the plan and sign off that they understand the plan and their function in it.
• The completion of 252 Emergency Response Training between July and March 2

Criteria 4

Describe what barriers have been encountered by the nominee in Facility Management and how have they been overcome

Over the past 12 months the Centre has seen significant changes to its senior leadership team. The departure of key personnel within the Centre had the potential to derail the culture of continual improvement established within the Centre. However, the effort and attention placed in succession planning and developing robust reporting systems (detailed above) has demonstrated that the Centre’s approach to safety is not tied to personnel, instead it is ingrained in our systems and processes, proving that even with the movement of staff our commitment to safety has not been disrupted.
The Centre has more than 200 employees. This coupled with the seasonal nature of the industry, means that there is a large turnover within the casual workforce. The Centre has taken a proactive approach to this issue by investing in the development and implementation of robust policies and processes regarding reporting and communication. This approach has allowed the centre to develop a strong culture of ‘ownership’ when it comes to safety issues, as well as the team always being on the hunt for a better way to do things through our continual improvement framework.