Water Competencies Research

Water Competencies Research

Traditionally, swimming ability be taught to prevent drowning. In 2007 the International Life Saving Federation (ILSF), released a position statement regarding ‘Swimming and Water Safety Education’ highlighting the inclusion of water safety knowledge.

New international research (Stallman, Moran, Quan, & Langendorfer, 2017) provides evidence of 15 physical aquatic competencies as well as the integration of cognitive and affective competencies needed to be safe from drowning.

Self-Competencies For Drowning Prevention
  1. Safe entry (entry, surface and level off)
  2. Breath control
  3. Stationary Surface (front and back float, tread water)
  4. Water orientation (turn and roll)
  5. Swimming competencies (on front, back and side)
  6. Underwater competencies (surface dive, swim underwater)
  7. Use of lifejackets (and other flotation devices)
  8. Safe exit
  1. Clothed water competencies
  2. Open water competencies
  3. Knowledge (of local hazards and water safety rules
  4. Critical decision making – assessing and managing the risk
  5. Assess personal competency – to cope with the risk
  6. Recognise/assist a drowning person
  7. Attitudes and behaviours

(Stallman, Moran, Quan, & Langendorfer, 2017. Available at: scholarworks.bgsu.edu/ijare/vol10/iss2/3)

Water Safety New Zealand’s Water Skills for Life Framework incorporates many of these competencies. See watersafety.org.nz/Water+Skills+For+Life