About RAPs

About RAPs

As a Charitable body The Register of Aquatic professionals ("RAPs") seeks to both advance public education and health within the Sports and Recreation Industry. As part of its objectives RAPs aims to ensure that Aquatic professionals who are registered on the Register maintained by RAPs should both establish and maintain proper standards of ethical and professional conduct in providing their practice in aquatic and swimming instruction and activities. In these circumstances persons who are registered with RAPs will, as a part of their membership of the Register, be expected to adhere to these standards of ethical and professional conduct and will at all times adhere to its provisions.


Physical activity in the water can contribute positively to the development of individuals. It is a vehicle for physical, mental, personal, social and emotional development. Such development is enhanced if the individual is guided by an informed, thinking, aspiring and enlightened aquatic professional operating within an accepted ethical framework as a professional. The role of an aquatic professional is to:

  • Identify and meet the needs of individuals.
  • Improve performance or ability through programmes of safe, effective and enjoyable aquatic sessions.
  • Act to save lives and promote the safety of all activities.
  • Create an environment in which individuals are safe and motivated to maintain participation and/or improve performance.
  • Conform to ethical standards in a number of areas – humanity, relationships, co-operation, integrity, advertising, confidentiality, safety and personal standards.

This Code of Ethical Conduct (the Code) defines what good practice is for professionals in the aquatic industry by reflecting on the core values of rights, relationships, responsibilities, standards and safety. The term 'professional' is used in a qualitative context in this Code and does not necessarily imply a paid position or person. The Code applies to both employed and self employed professionals but where professionals are employed the Register accepts that employed Aquatic professionals will be subject to the codes of practice and employment rules of their employers and will, in determining compliance with this Code of Ethical Conduct, have careful regard to any such employment rules and in particular whether or not, in the case of any complaint being made the professional concerned has or will be subject to any internal investigation by his or her employers. With that in mind any complaint received will be referred to the employer. Aquatic professionals on RAPs accept their responsibility to people who participate in aquatic activities; to other Aquatic professionals and colleagues; to their respective aquatic associations, professional bodies and institutes; to their employer; and to society. When practising, members must also hold adequate liability insurance.


The content of this Code of Ethical Conduct applies to all those involved within the sport of Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Open Water Swimming, Synchronised Swimming and Life Guards and Life Saving, Pool Plant Operating and Aqua Exercise.


If you are a member of the:

  • Amateur Swimming Association (ASA)
  • Royal Lifesaving Saving Society (RLSS)
  • Swimming Teachers Association (STA)

You will also be obliged to adhere to the relevant Code of conduct/guidelines and procedures.


Each of the above organisations will inform RAPs if there is evidence that this Code of Ethical Conduct has been breached for investigation by the Register of Aquatic Professionals.


Check vetting and barring

For the purposes of this document, anyone under the age of 18 (under 16 in Scotland) should be considered a child.


There are five principles to the code. 

Principle 1: Rights

'Aquatic professionals should deal openly and in a transparent manner with their clients. They should at all times adopt the highest degree of professionalism in dealing with their clients' needs.'

Compliance with this principle requires Aquatic professionals to maintain a standard of professional conduct appropriate to their dealings with all client groups and to responsibly demonstrate:

  • Respect for individual difference and diversity.
  • Good practice in challenging discrimination and unfairness.
  • Discretion in dealing with confidential client disclosure.

As part of these principles members registered with RAPs should seek to ensure that the contractual arrangements they have with their client(s) are clear, transparent and unambiguous. Although RAPs cannot and will not seek to adjudicate or deal with private contractual disputes (which should be dealt with by members and their clients) RAPs will nevertheless seek to ensure that Aquatic professionals do maintain a proper regard to dealing with and addressing concerns raised by their clients. If a dispute shall arise between a member of the public and member registered with RAPS the member of the public shall in the first instance seek to resolve that dispute with the RAPs member. Only if that matter cannot be resolved or the dispute reveals a lack of proper professional conduct would RAPs seek to intervene to correct any lack of professionalism shown. RAPs itself has no jurisdiction to actually resolve such a dispute.

Children, Young Persons and Vulnerable Adults

  • Every Person who appears on the register shall take all such steps as are necessary to fully comply with any and all laws and all legal principles and best practice concerning the care and treatment of children, young persons and vulnerable adults and shall ensure that they fully comply with any such laws, principles and practices.
  • Children, young persons and vulnerable adults must never be subject to any form of treatment that is harmful, abusive, humiliating or degrading.
  • All reasonable steps must be taken to promote the interests and well-being of children, young persons and vulnerable adults and protect them from harm, discrimination or degrading treatment
  • All children, young persons and vulnerable adults have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

Principle 2: Relationships

'Aquatic professionals will seek to nurture healthy relationships with their customers and other aquatic professionals'

Compliance with this principle requires Aquatic professionals to develop and maintain a relationship with customers based on openness, honesty, mutual trust and respect and to responsibly demonstrate:

  • Awareness of the requirement to place the customer's needs as a priority and promote their welfare and best interests first.
  • Clarity in all forms of communication with customers, professional colleagues and medical practitioners, ensuring honesty, accuracy and cooperation when seeking agreements and avoiding misrepresentation or any conflict of interest arising between customers' and own professional obligations.
  • Integrity as an aquatic professional and recognition of the position of trust dictated by that role, ensuring avoidance of inappropriate behaviour in customer relationships. Any consensual relationship between persons of full age would not, however, be considered inappropriate.

Children Young Persons and Vulnerable Adults
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 states: "It is an offence for a person aged 18 years or over to involve a child under that age in sexual activity where he or she is in a specified position of trust in relation to that child. This includes those who care for, advise, supervise or train children and young people.

  • No sexual relationship should exist between any young person aged 17 or below and the coach/teacher
  • (Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, the grooming of a child for the purposes of developing that relationship into a sexual one is a criminal offence)
  • All members who work with children, young persons and/or vulnerable adults must obtain a DBS clearance (formally known as CRB) and must be updated every three years or upon commencement of a new post
  • All Members shall ensure that any concerns regarding the safeguarding of children, Young persons or vulnerable adults shall be dealt with expediently and appropriately and in accordance with the Laws, principles and best practice regulating those matters

Principle 3: Personal Responsibilities

'Aquatic professionals will demonstrate and promote a responsible lifestyle and conduct'

Compliance with this principle requires Aquatic professionals to conduct proper personal behaviour at all times and to responsibly demonstrate:

  • The high standards of professional conduct appropriate to their dealings with all their client groups and which reflect the particular image and expectations relevant to the role of the aquatic professional working in the aquatic industry.
  • An understanding of their legal responsibilities and accountability when dealing with the public and awareness of the need for honesty and accuracy in substantiating their claims of authenticity when promoting their services in the public domain.
  • An absolute duty of care to be aware of their working environment and to be able to deal with all reasonably foreseeable accidents and emergencies – and to protect themselves, their colleagues and clients.
  • Members who received fees must keep proper accounts
  • Respect the spirit of the sport adhering to the rules and laws in and out of the pool, incorporating the concept of friendship and respect for others.
  • Promote the positive aspects of the sport and never condone the use of inappropriate or abusive language, inappropriate relationships, bullying, harassment, discrimination or physical violence.
  • Promote the reputation of the sport and never behave or encourage or condone others to behave in a manner that is liable to bring the sport into disrepute

Principle 4: Professional Standards

'Aquatic professionals will seek to adopt the highest level of professional standards in their work and the development of their career'

Compliance with this principle requires Aquatic professionals to commit to the attainment of appropriate qualifications and ongoing training to responsibly demonstrate:

  • Engagement in actively seeking to update knowledge and improve their professional skills in order to maintain a quality standard of service, reflecting on their own practice, identifying development needs and undertaking relevant development activities.
  • Willingness to accept responsibility and be accountable for professional decisions or actions, welcome evaluation of their work and recognise the need when appropriate to refer to another professional specialist.
  • A personal responsibility to maintain their own effectiveness and confine themselves to practice those activities for which their training and competence is recognised by the Register.
  • Advertising by members shall be accurate and professionally restrained and shall not display affiliation with an organisation that falsely implies sponsorship or accreditation by that organisation.
  • The welfare, care and treatment of children, Young persons and vulnerable adults shall be prioritised above winning or achieving goals.

Principle 5: Safe Working Practice

'Aquatic professionals will systematically prepare for all activities ensuring the safety of their clients is of paramount consideration'

Members must ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to provide a safe environment and all activities are in accordance with the appropriate regulations, or best practice if there are no regulations, and be appropriate for the age, experience and ability of the participants. Compliance with this principle requires Aquatic professionals to maintain a safe environment for all clients and at all times and to responsibly demonstrate:

  • A responsible attitude to the care and safety of client participants within the aquatic environment
  • and in planned activities ensuring that both are appropriate to the needs of the clients.
  • An appropriate ratio of instructors to clients within any group sessions to ensure that at all times the safety of all clients is paramount.
  • All clients have been systematically prepared for the activity in terms of safety including the safe use of equipment and pool safety rules

Children, Young Persons and Vulnerable Adults

  • Ensure all concerns of a child safeguarding nature are referred to the appropriate individual/organisation
  • To ensure that any and all issues or matters concerning or related to the safeguarding of children, young persons or vulnerable adults are referred to the appropriate individuals and or organisations or as the case may be regulatory bodies.
  • Activities must be appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of the young person.

We are committed to safeguarding the privacy of our website visitors; this policy sets out how we will treat your personal information.


(1) What information do we collect?

We may collect, store and use the following kinds of personal data:

(a) information about your computer and about your visits to and use of this website, such as your IP address, geographical location, browser type, referral source, length of visit and number of page views;
(b) information relating to any transactions carried out between you and us on or in relation to this website, including information relating to any purchases you make of our goods or services;
(c) information that you provide to us for the purpose of registering with us (including qualifications, training);
(d) information that you provide to us for the purpose of subscribing to our website services, email notifications and/or newsletters;
(e) any other information that you choose to send to us;


(2) Cookies

We use cookies on this website. A cookie is a text file sent by a web server to a web browser, and stored by the browser. The text file is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. This enables the web server to identify and track the web browser.

We may send a cookie which may be stored on by your browser on your computer’s hard drive. We may use the information we obtain from the cookie in the administration of this website, to improve the website’s usability and for marketing purposes. We may also use that information to recognise your computer when you visit our website, and to personalise our website for you.

Most browsers allow you to refuse to accept cookies. (For example, in Internet Explorer you can refuse all cookies by clicking “Tools”, “Internet Options”, “Privacy”, and selecting “Block all cookies” using the sliding selector.) This will, however, have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites, including this one.


(3) Using your personal data

Personal data submitted on this website will be used for the purposes specified in this privacy policy or in relevant parts of the website.
We may use your personal information to:

(a) administer the website;
(b) improve your browsing experience by personalising the website;
(c) enable your use of the services available on the website;
(d) send to you goods purchased via the website, and supply to you services purchased via the website;
(e) send statements and invoices to you, and collect payments from you;
(f) send you general (non-marketing) commercial communications;
(g) send you email notifications which you have specifically requested;
(h) send to you the ezines and other marketing communications (relating to our business or the businesses of carefully-selected third parties which we think may be of interest to you by post, by email or similar technology (you can inform us at any time if you no longer require marketing communications to be sent by emailing us);
(i) provide third parties with statistical information about our users – but this information will not be used to identify any individual user;
(j) deal with enquiries and complaints made by or about you relating to the website; and

We will not without your express consent provide your personal information to any third parties for the purpose of direct marketing.


(4) Other disclosures

In addition to the disclosures reasonably necessary for the purposes identified elsewhere in this privacy policy, we may disclose information about you:

(a) to the extent that we are required to do so by law;
(b) in connection with any legal proceedings or prospective legal proceedings;
(c) in order to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights (including providing information to others for the purposes of fraud prevention and reducing credit risk); and except as provided in this privacy policy, we will not provide your information to third parties.


(5) International data transfers

Information that we collect may be stored and processed in and transferred between any of the countries in which we operate in order to enable us to use the information in accordance with this privacy policy.


(6) Security of your personal data

We will take reasonable technical and organisational precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information. 
Of course, data transmission over the internet is inherently insecure, and we cannot guarantee the security of data sent over the internet.
You are responsible for keeping your password and user details confidential.


(7) Policy amendments

We may update this privacy policy from time-to-time by posting a new version on our website. You should check this page occasionally to ensure you are happy with any changes.

We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.


(8) Your rights

You may instruct us to provide you with any personal information we hold about you. Provision of such information may be subject to the payment of a fee (currently fixed at £10.00).

You may instruct us not to process your personal data for marketing purposes by email (to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) at any time. (In practice, you will usually either expressly agree in advance to our use of your personal data for marketing purposes, or we will provide you with an opportunity to opt-out of the use of your personal data for marketing purposes.)


(9) Third party websites

The website contains links to other websites. We are not responsible for the privacy policies or practices of third party websites.


(10) Updating information

Please let us know if the personal information which we hold about you needs to be corrected or updated. Personal details may be amended in the ‘update you profile’ area of the RAPs website.


(11) Contact

If you have any questions about this privacy policy or our treatment of your personal data, please email RAPs ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or write to us by post to RAPs, 2nd Floor, 8 Grosvenor Place, Belgravia, London, SW1X 7SH.


This privacy policy is based on a template created and distributed by

RAPs is an independent public Register which:

  • Provides a system of regulation to ensure that individuals working in the aquatic industry meet agreed National Occupational Standards (NOS), which describe the knowledge, competence and skills of good practice
  • Recognises the expertise and qualifications of individuals
  • Offers assurance to consumers and employers that all registered aquatic professionals are appropriately qualified and have the competence to perform their specific roles

The Register is owned and operated by SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure & Well-being.

RAPs also receives support from the industry and is governed in partnership with; The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) and The Swimming Teachers Association (STA).


RAPs Members:

  • Hold recognised and approved qualification(s)
  • Are recognised as industry professionals
  • Are committed to ongoing professional development
  • Are legally covered to practice by appropriate insurance
  • Adhere to a Code of Ethical Conduct


How RAPs works

Entry levels and categories for RAPs are based on the industry agreed National Occupational Standards (NOS), which define the knowledge and skills needed.

All Members of the Register will be required to complete Continual Professional Development (CPD) ensuring their skills continually meet industry standards (set by SkillsActive). This will be tracked and monitored by the activepassport™ system.


RAPs Objectives

  • Drive professionalisation of employees in the aquatic sector
  • Support training needs and career development of those working in related roles, including; swimming teachers, coaches and instructors, lifeguards, pool managers and pool plant operators
  • Provide verification that those working in the sector are fully qualified to perform their role
  • Offer assurance to operators and the public that individuals on the register hold qualifications that meet the relevant training standards set out by the HSE guidance document Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools (HSG179)
  • Support:
    • The ASA’s Whole Sport Plans for 2013 – 2017 which will focus on improving the quality of their workforce and increasing participation in swimming
    • The RLSS and The STA’s mission to reduce deaths by drowning and ensure that everyone knows how to swim and survive in water
  • Respond to the Skills Protocol Employer Leadership Group (SPELG) report highlighting sector-specific needs, including the demand for creating a single qualification structure.

For more information on RAPs please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Careers with RAPs

The Register of Aquatic Professionals (RAPs) is owned by SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure and Well-being.


If you are interested in working for RAPs, then we’d like to hear from you!


Follow this link to view all current vacancies with RAPs and SkillsActive here.

The Register of Aquatic Professionals (RAPs) FAQs


Here you can find answers to all frequently asked questions about various aspects of RAPs.


Please view the full FAQs below:


FAQs about the Register of Aquatic Professionals (RAPs)


1. What is RAPs?

RAPs is a new independent register for individuals working in the aquatics sector. The register will launch in England initially, with eventual roll out across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


2. Who is developing RAPs?

RAPs is owned and operated by SkillsActive, the not-for-profit Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being. It is being developed in partnership with employers, along with the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), the Swimming Teachers Association (STA) and The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS). The Register forms part of the Skills Protocol Employer Leadership Group (SPELG) recommendations to build on the success of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) and grow the registrations system.


3. Why is RAPs being developed?

RAPs is being developed as a mechanism to support employers, individuals and the general public. An aquatic registration system gives employers and the public assurance that registered individuals hold the relevant professional qualifications required for the job they undertake. For employees, RAPs will provide clarity and structure to training and Continued Professional Development (CPD), supporting the individual to develop within the sector.


4. RAPs is now open for all

RAPs was piloted from January 2013 until June 2013 for selected employers and individuals. The Register has been tested, and is now live for all members of the industry to apply for membership.


5. How will RAPs work?

A number of principles underpin the operation of RAPs including:

  • RAPs membership categories are based upon National Occupational Standards underpinning job roles, and the qualifications held by the individual member.
  • A new fit for purpose sector qualification framework for aquatics that has a single qualification structure for each aquatic role is being developed. This will underpin the operational categories for the register and give clarity to employers regarding the qualifications that are relevant for the aquatics sector.
  • RAPs members will be required to complete CPD to keep their skills and knowledge up to date; this will be tracked and monitored by the activepassport™ system.


6. Which job roles will be able to access RAPs?

Currently 7 job roles will be eligible to join the register. These roles are Assistant Swimming Teacher, Swimming Teacher, Pool Lifeguard, Pool Plant Operator, Pool Manager, Swimming Tutor/Assessor and Aqua Fitness Instructor. Further job roles are being considered and may be added as RAPs develops.


7. Which qualifications are accepted for registration with RAPs?

A number of current and previous aquatics qualifications will give you entry to the register and these are listed on the RAPs registration form. As RAPs develops this list is subject to amendment and regular updates.


8. What if my qualifications are very old?

RAPs will look at each application on an individual basis. If you have older qualifications and wish to register you will be required to send evidence of CPD undertaken and a CV to demonstrate current competence. The difference between the current and previous qualifications has been identified so RAPs will be able to advise if your old qualification is suitable and if any additional training is required to be undertaken.


9. How much does becoming a RAPs member cost?

It costs £38 per annum to become a full RAPs member and £5 per annum for Lifeguard Only membership. If you are already a full member of another SkillsActive Register, your RAPs registratation will incur a £5 administration cost. 


10. What do I get for being a member of RAPs?

Being a registered member signifies that an aquatic professional holds recognised and approved qualifications; is independently verified as being competent in the work place; and is committed to ongoing professional development. Members will also receive a benefits package and regular publications containing latest industry news.


11. How will the registration fees be spent?

SkillsActive is a not-for-profit organisation and therefore registration fees will go towards the delivery of RAPs. Any surplus will be invested directly back into the aquatics industry to support its growth and development.


12. Will I need to complete CPD to maintain my registration?

As an aquatics professional and member of the Register, keeping your skills and knowledge up to date is vitally important. Personal or professional development will support career progression and is an important principle in creating excellence throughout the aquatics industry. You will be expected to undertake CPD to maintain your membership.


13. Do I need to purchase insurance to be on RAPs?

To gain access to the register you are required to demonstrate that you have the relevant insurance for the role you are performing. You may be covered under your employers insurance, have purchased your own insurance from an aquatics body or have your own insurance from an independent insurance company.


If you have not been able to find the information you are looking for on our website or need to get in touch with us for any reason, you can do so here.


Please check our FAQs which may be able to help you before you get in touch with us. 



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2nd Floor

8 Grosvenor Place




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0330 004 0868

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