The SwimSafer Stages was an initiative set up by the National Water Safety Council in collaboration with SportSG back in 2010. The purpose of the programme was to provide a basic water safety knowledge for people of all ages, with varying abilities, to be safe in a open-water/pool environment. The programme was later revised in 2016, and a newer syllabus, SwimSafer 2.0, was published in 2018.
The SwimSafer 2.0 programme aims to teach swimming proficiency and water survival skills to children to minimize drowning incidences in a fun manner. The six-stage programme syllabus covers the use of all six swim strokes, namely freestyle/front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke, survival backstroke, sidestroke, and buttery. In addition, relevant and useful survival skills will also be taught in each stage of the programme, and work progressively towards the next stage.
An Introduction to Water Skills
The objective is to develop confidence and independence in the water, learn general and deep-end water safety. Techniques taught include the forward and backward movement, safe entry and exit and personal water safety.
Fundamental Water Skills
General skill development including unassisted step entry into the water, sculling, feet first surface dives, personal water safety skills as well as water safety in aquatic environments. One of the goals is to achieve 25 metres of continuous swimming.
Personal Water Survival and Stroke Developmental Skills
Entry skills such as the stride jump will be taught. Skills include sculling, underwater skills and putting on a personal flotation device (PFD) whilst in water and swimming with it. One of the goals is to achieve 50 metres of continuous swimming.
Personal Water Survival and Stroke Improvement Skills
Development of learner’s stroke techniques is a focus here, along with coordinated breathing in deep water. This stage sees the introduction of throw rescues and more personal survival skills. One of the goals is to achieve 100 metres of a variety of strokes.
Intermediate Personal Water Survival and Stroke Refinement Skills
Fundamentals of diving will be introduced. Development of personal survival knowledge will continue with a situational context of swimming quickly away from a sinking boat. Learners will be required to demonstrate efficient stroke techniques by swimming a variety of strokes over 200 metres within a given time frame.
Advanced Personal Water Survival and Swimming Skills Proficiency
Learners will be required to perform a variety of strokes with efficiency over 400 metres within a given time frame for each stroke. Personal survival skills like making use of clothing to make a personal flotation device and swimming with them, putting on a life jacket in water and demonstrating the Heat Escape Lessening Posture technique will be taught.