This is aquatics


State of the Industry

Each year Royal Life Saving Society Australia produces the State of the Industry report to provide an important measure of safety standards in aquatic facilities across Australia. Based on the results of Aquatic Facility Safety Assessments (AFSAs) conducted across Australia, the State of the Industry report provides the opportunity to benchmark the performance of the industry standard - RLSSA's Guidelines for Safe Pool Operation (GSPO).

The AFSA has twelve sections. Each section consists of a number of criteria directly relating to the application of the GSPO in an individual aquatic facility. Depending on the varied infrastructure at each aquatic facility; different sections and assessment criteria are activated or deactivated as they apply.Cover of the State of the Industry 2012 Report

The sections of the AFSA are as follows:

  1. Administration
  2. First Aid
  3. Technical Operations
  4. Facility Design
  5. Spa Pools
  6. Dive Pools
  7. Water Slides
  8. Wave Pools
  9. Rivers
  10. Water Features
  11. Supervision
  12. Programs

Key findings

  • Safety standards across Australia have continued to improve with mean compliance of 84.3% in 2012
  • Since 2008 Royal Life Saving has assessed 408 aquatic facilities across Australia. More than half (57%) of those facilities have undertaken an assessment only once.
  • Administration in aquatic facilities has reported a 9.1% increase in mean compliance over the last five years
  • Compliance in Technical Operations has remained relatively consistent over the past five years with mean compliance of 79.9% in 2012 highlighting the need for additional focus from aquatic facilities for improvement
  • Mean compliance for remote facilities was 14.7% below the five year average (83.2%) for all facilities at 68.5%


  • Regular in-service training for Lifeguards covering emergency procedures; initiatives; resuscitation; oxygen equipment; first aid and rescue skills are likely to have the most significant contribution to increasing compliance of aquatic facilities in the AFSA
  • All aquatic facilities should prepare a risk assessment for the storage of chemicals and review every 12 months.
  • All facilities should undertake an AFSA annually to ensure continual improvement of management standards and practices as part of a strategy to reduce risk and prevent drowning in Australian aquatic facilities