WATER SAFETY POLICY AND PROCEDURES: SWIM TEST

Activities involving deep water represent a source of enjoyment and learning, but also a potential risk. It is the intent of the Orange County Council that this inherent risk be minimized by the proper testing of the skill competency of all Scouts and Scouters involved in aquatic activities in accordance to the guidelines delineated in the Guide To Safe Scouting.

Optimally this is best accomplished by the actual testing of each potential participant by competent aquatics personnel prior to engaging in such activities. However this is not always possible to achieve due to factors such as lack of a safe environment to test, inclement weather, or a shortage of certified staff.

For this reason, the Orange County Council has adopted a policy and procedure to allow units to test or be tested separate from the event or facility. This testing can be accomplished either by making arrangements with a Council property’s aquatics staff to perform the swim test and certify the applicants; or the unit can arrange to test its members itself under the supervision of competent Scouters.

In either instance, proper documentation shall be completed and retained, and Swimmer Certification Cards should be issued. These cards are good for one year from date of issue. It is recommended that the off-site testing be done at the beginning of the activity season. Neither Orange County Council nor the facility of any other council is required to accept the cards, and may require its own testing if possible.

The unit testing is to be done by a mature adult (over 21) in accordance to the BSA Safe Swim Defense policy. The minimal training for this tester shall be completion of the Safe Swim Defense Course within the past two years. Life guards and aquatics instructors of recognized organizations (BSA, Red Cross, YMCA) with current certification may also administer the tests.

All test results should be recorded on the Swim Classification Record. A copy of this document should be present with the leadership at any aquatics activity attended by the individuals listed thereon. The original form along with its supporting certification documents should be retained by the unit for at least two (2) years after its expiration.

Swim Certification Cards are to be filled out completely before issuing to the person tested. Blank copies of the card may be picked up at the Volunteer Service Desk at the Wm Lyon Center by the unit’s Health & Safety chair, or a MS Word may be downloaded to allow the unit to print its own cards.[Swim Cert Page 1 and Swim Cert Page 2 are compatible to print on Avery “Clean Edge Business Cards #8837”]