City of Bristol Water Polo is the only Water Polo Club to achieve Swim 21 Accreditation.

What is Swim 21?

Swim21 Club Accreditation is a 'Quality mark', specifically designed for all ASA clubs, which recognises nationally and regionally the clubs that are committed to providing safe, effective and quality services for the benefit of their members.

Swim21 Club Accreditation is the ASA's Club Development model - a planning tool, based on the principles of Long Term Athlete Development, enabling clubs to help athletes, teachers, coaches and administrators to achieve their full potential. It focuses particularly on the needs of athletes - striving to provide them with the best possible support and environment.

Swim21 club Essential is a key module which support clubs to grow membership, develop volunteers and ensure the sustainability of activity in line with the objective of the club. Clubs work steadily towards the attainment of a series of outcomes all of which are seen as essential if the right level of support is to be provided at each stage of an athlete's development.

What do Clubs have to do?

Clubs aiming to achieve Swim 21 standards must first complete an audit of all their programmes and structures against a series of questions that are linked to nationally determined outcomes of good practice.

Then, based on their findings clubs must then produce an Improvement Plan that details the steps they need to take to address the gaps in their provision.

Finally, when they feel these have been addressed, they then apply to become an ASA swim21 Accredited Club by contacting their Regional Swimming Co-ordinator.

How Are Clubs Assessed?

Clubs are then assessed against three distinct criteria:

Compliance (emphasis on good club management)Workforce Development (focus on training and development of people within the club)Athlete Development (concentration on the needs of the swimmer) Initially, clubs went through a process of self-assessment against a range of 'elements' against each of the above criteria and were required to score themselves against these criteria. Evidence was also collected to demonstrate achievement all of the measures and submitted to the ASA for approval by a Swim 21 panel.

However, the criteria for swim21 has been overhauled nationally and the process for obtaining accreditation has completely changed in London making it far less paper based more practical, and more rigorous; involving an 'Inspection' of the club's programmes ; procedures, coaches; health & safety etc., in which swimmers, coaches, helpers and parents are all asked to participate. Each year clubs are required to maintain and update their action plan and submit it to the South East Region and ASA Swim 21 panels for approval.

What is Sport England's Clubmark?

Clubmark is a cross-sport quality accreditation for clubs with junior sections, and signifies the Club's commitment to being a safe, effective and child-friendly sports club.

Swim21 is recognised by Sport England as a Clubmark accredited scheme and therefore all clubs gaining swim21 accreditation automatically receive Clubmark status.

Where do we go from here?

Marlins Swimming Club is very proud of its Swim 21 achievements but it doesn't just end there.

Swim 21 is now fully embedded within the Club and is simply part of what we do; the everyday job of providing a rewarding and challenging environment for our 100+ swimmers a supported by volunteers. Our aim is to continuously develop our swimming programmes and Swim 21 provides the framework for that development.

What is ASA Accreditation?

ASA Accreditation means pools are dedicated to creating the best possible swimming experience for all. It is a kitemark of quality provision for your child.

ASA Accreditation comes in two forms. ASA Learn to Swim Accreditation for Learn to swim providers and swim21 Club Accreditation for club swimming programmes. Every accredited organisation provides high quality, safe, effective, child-friendly services for the benefit of their swimmers and non-swimming members.

It's about putting the swimmers first and ensuring young learners follow the pathway the ASA recognises for training and competition.

"Every swimmer deserves quality teaching and coaching. I swam for many years at an accredited club. I'm delighted to support the scheme." - Olympic medalist Joanne Jackson.


ASA Accreditation and swim21 is also a development tool that allows swimmers, teachers, coaches and those responsible for developing programmes to continually improve.

ASA Accreditation is available in two strands:

ASA Club Accreditation – swim21: This section is specifically designed for all ASA affiliated swimming clubs

ASA Learn to Swim Accreditation: This is for anyone offering a learn to swim programme who is not an ASA affiliated club, for example swim schools, leisure operators and local authorities. Learn more about the process swim schools go through to become accredited here.

Why should I look for an ASA Accredited programme?

Use our Pool Finder to find your nearest pool or club and ask them about ASA Accreditation. ASA Accreditation ensures the programme is delivering quality lessons based on the ASA Learn to Swim Pathway run by fully qualified teachers in a safe and appropriate environment.

How do I know if it's an ASA Accredited programme?

All clubs or programmes that have achieved accreditation are allowed to use the relevant Accreditation logo on their letterheads, promotional material and website. They also receive a certificate from the ASA and window stickers (Learn to Swim only) that they can display at their pool in order to promote their achievement.

What if an organisation isn't accredited?

The opportunity to gain accreditation is available to all ASA affiliated clubs and those offering Learn to Swim or School Swimming programmes. If the site is not ASA Accredited they may still use ASA Awards but they may not be achieving best practice. Be sure to ask if they have ASA qualified teaching staff delivering the programmes and speak to other parents about the quality of swimming lessons in the local area.