Sample Swim Test Policy

Swim testing is an important step to making sure all swimmers are safe in your aquatic facility. When creating a swim test policy we recommend using two colors—green and red—to represent swimmers and non-swimmers. By keeping your swim policy simple, it will eliminate confusion for lifeguards. Rather than focusing on tracking, managing and determining a swimmer’s color, lifeguards can focus on actively scanning the water.

Below is a sample swim test policy:

Green swimmers may swim unattended in deep water if they are able to:

  1. Swim 25 yards (or the length of your pool) with:
    1. Their face in the water
    2. Without goggles
    3. Using some sort of a stroke without stopping and hanging on the wall or putting their feet on the ground
  2. Tread water for 1 minute
  3. Jump into water over their head and resurface
  4. Extricate themselves from the pool

Red swimmers must wear lifejackets at all times, or be within arms reach of a parent or guardian (unless they are actively engaged in a swim lesson or working on swim skills with a parent or guardian). Red swimmers are not allowed in the deep water. These swimmers would be considered your non-swimmers or emerging swimmers. A few other characteristics of these swimmers are:

  • They are unable or unwilling to complete a swim test
  • They are not shallow water competent
  • The shallow water level is higher than their armpits