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Royal Life Saving Calls for Nominations to the National Aquatic Industry Committee

Following the conclusion of the previous term of the National Aquatic Industry Committee (NAIC), Royal Life Saving Society - Australia (RLS) is seeking nominations for the next term and phase of the NAIC into the 2021-2023 period.

The NAIC has the goal of strengthening the health, safety and viability of aquatic facility ownership and operations across Australia and is responsible for the development and endorsement of industry initiatives such as the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations (GSPO), National Aquatic Industry Workforce Profile, Economic Benefits of Aquatic Facilities Report, and other national research and advocacy initiatives.

RLS aims to increase the swimming and water safety skills across the Australian community, support the aquatic industry to promote safety and prevent drowning in aquatic facilities. RLS has been working with the aquatic industry for over 125 years to facilitate leadership, support programs and services delivery and assist with raising the profile and standing of the Industry nationally and internationally.

To strengthen industry engagement and involvement, RLS established the NAIC to lead the research, review, and development of the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations (GSPO). First published in 1992, the GSPO is a set of detailed specifications and recommendations establishing best practice in design and operations of aquatic locations nationwide.

With the guidelines applying to over 1077 aquatic facilities and more than 1176 swim schools and their reference in numerous coronial and legal proceedings, the GSPO forms the definitive national industry standards written and authorised by the industry for the industry.

In addition to guidelines for lifeguarding, swim teaching, aquatic facility design and operations, the GSPO also contextualises relevant laws, policies and standards for aquatic facilities, including:

  • National and State/Territory legislation and regulations

  • International and Australian Standards

  • Building Code of Australia

  • Safe Work Australia Codes of Practice

  • Australian Resuscitation Council Guidelines

  • Australian Quality Training Framework

“There are few things more important to a community than the local swimming pool. It provides a venue for fun, fitness, lessons and work, especially but not only for young people.” says RLSSA CEO, Justin Scarr.

“If you want to contribute to safety culture, career development, risk management and approaches to measuring community impact of facilities, then joining the NAIC presents a great opportunity to lead, and contribute to advocacy, research and guidelines.”

“We have a proud history working with the aquatic industry, government, schools and the community, and would encourage committed and passionate aquatic industry professionals to join us in this vital work.”

The role of the committee is to:

  • Develop, review and authorise the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations

  • Facilitate debate and advocacy for the future directions of the aquatic industry

  • Develop and champion the National Aquatic Industry Development Strategy

  • Review and make recommendations to various groups including in the areas of Skills, workforce development, employment, safety

  • Communicate and advocate the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations

Speaking of the reformation of the NAIC, Belgravia Leisure CEO, Nick Cox says, “The aquatics industry in Australia has a strong record of prioritising safety and we are extremely proud of being a part of the industry as employers of choice.”

“The next phase of the NAIC continues to recognise the importance of national advocacy and unites the industry to provide leadership for important initiatives such as drowning prevention through education.”

The NAIC achieves its objectives by:

  • Enhancing the standing and reputation of the aquatic industry through the establishment and enforcement of universal and minimum guidelines for safe and sustainable aquatic facility operations

  • Improving the understanding of the aquatic industry through coordination, communication and consultation between the aquatic industry and peak bodies

  • Maintaining a robust evidence base for managing risk in aquatic facilities through research and evaluation

  • Developing frameworks and resources that improve the capabilities of the aquatic industry

  • Coordinating and regularly communicating to the aquatic industry.

“We see the work of the NAIC as an important part in telling a story to government that our industry is united, organised, dedicated and committed to enhancing community wellbeing outcomes,” says YMCA Victoria CEO Carolyn Morris.

“We are an industry that employs over 67,000 Australians, especially young Australians, and those that need flexible work for parenting or study reasons. Often our people work in aquatics to make a positive impact in their community.”


It is recognised that the aquatic industry and aquatic facility management comprises a diverse web of stakeholders and organisations who span important areas, ownership and management models. As such, the NAIC’s membership is a multi-stakeholder model which aims to reflect the diversity, and vibrancy of the aquatic industry. To fill any gaps the NAIC convenes taskforces who work on specialist areas and priority issues.

The previous NAIC consisted of representatives from:

  • Royal Life Saving Society – Australia

  • Representatives from national swimming-based organisations

o Swimming Australia

o Australian Council for Swimming and Water Safety Teachers (AUSTSWIM)

o Australian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA)

  • Representatives of state entities with a focus on aquatic facility management

o Aquatics and Recreation Victoria (ARV)

o Aquatic Recreation Institute (NSW)

o Leisure Institute of Western Australia Aquatics (LIWA)

  • Representatives of local government

o Brisbane City Council

  • Representatives of facility managers

o Club Group

o Belgravia Leisure


o Sea Lyons Aquatics

“Members of the NAIC are appointed for a two years term, and requires a firm commitment of your time and expertise to the work of the NAIC,” says RLSSA National Manager – Aquatics – RJ Houston.

“Selection will be based on a variety of factors to ensure that the NAIC has diverse and skilled representation, including; across geographic locations, urban and regional; large, medium and small operators, and commercial learn to swim centres and businesses.”

“To ensure the NAIC membership represents the depth, breadth, and scale of the industry we are seeking applications from a number of stakeholders including designers, builders, owners, operators, peak bodies, training organisations and government agencies.”

Some of the priorities to be confirmed by the committee in 2021 include:

  • Setting the National Aquatic Industry Strategy

  • Setting a national industry agenda for ‘bouncing back from COVID-19’

  • Determining the national advocacy and research needs of the industry

  • Reviewing and updating existing GSPOs where relevant

  • Developing and authorising new guidelines where relevant

“The work of the NAIC to date has been a positive case study in industry groups working together for the betterment of the entire industry nationally,” says LIWA Executive Steve Good.

“We have been proud to contribute to the creation of national industry standards on behalf of the industry in Western Australia that ultimately enhance community wellbeing across the country.”

“We look forward to the continued work of this group in continuing to enhance the standing of industry nationally and advancing the industry’s interests.”

To nominate for a position on the NAIC:

1. Please complete this nomination form; and,

2. Submit to:

Nominations close Friday 12 March 2021.

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