Petition for PAS 520 successful outcome
BSI (British Standards for Industry group) have agreed to reconvene the steering group for PAS 520 in order to review the list of amendments provided by the Swimming Teachers Association (STA). The adequate safeguarding of infants in the teaching of early swimming is paramount. We welcome the positive response of BSI in support of inclusivity. Thanks to all the signatories of this petition for rallying to demand a fair and open process in the development of national, European and international standards for the sector of industry related to swimming with infants.
'We do, of course, fully support the goal of making the PAS as inclusive as possible, which is why we have agreed to begin a process to reconvene the Steering Group to review the comments as provided by the STA. We intend to ask the STA to nominate a suitably qualified representative to the sit on the Steering Group to represent the views with respect to comments submitted on behalf of its members.’
Matt Bellamy, Project Manager BSI. 5 February 2016
The national baby swimming policy of the STA related to submersion, which is cited as a reference document in the PAS, was drafted in 2004 with an input from Birthlight, updated in 2012, and has just been reviewed for a fresh update. The 2016 STA baby swimming policy, which is planned for launch in April, will supersede the 2012 document as a reference point for the industry standards to be developed by the British Standards for Industry group (BSI) on the basis of the PAS 520. The quality of water, the regular disinfection of pool equipment and toys and rigorous procedures and record keeping are certainly pre-conditions for the safeguarding of infants in the teaching of early swimming. Whether the use of the ‘ double nappy’ is the only way to ensure water quality remains open to debate but it is currently dominant in this sector of industry and invites further improvements in the prevention of water soiling. Standards about teaching qualifications and about modalities of teaching parents and infants in water need to unequivocally acknowledge the STA nationally recognised qualification in the UK and the IFSTA qualification internationally. Since a large number of qualified STA parent & baby teachers - quite a few of them also Birthlight qualified - have gained considerable experience over more than a decade of teaching parents and infants in water in the UK and abroad, comments from STA could not be ignored and a review of the PAS 520 document to consider these comments is excellent news. We welcome a review process leading to industry standards based on the inclusive, fair and open policy guidelines endorsed by the British Standards for Industry group (BSI).
Please send comments to us, your feedback is important at this point in the process, thank you!