Royal Life Saving ACT and the Safe Waters ACT working party have set a goal for 75% of all ACT children to achieve Level 4 Swim and Survive before they leave primary school.  The skills required to achieve this level have been identified through the National Swimming and Water Safety Framework as the minimum level for swimming and water safety skills for Australian Children.

The Minister's Swim and Survive Certificate was developed to provide a benchmark or goal based around the Swim and Survive Level 4 for ACT Primary School Students. It offers the minimum level of skills and confidence required as outlined in the National Swimming and Water Safety Framework for students to be safe in and around water.


The Minister's Swim and Survive Certificate creates a localised brand to generate community awareness and profile within the ACT, as well as providing an aspiration goal for ACT students and families. Additionally, benchmarking the progress or students' achievements against The Minister's Award across the ACT population allows the identification of target communities or individuals at risk.

The Minister's Swim and Survive Certificate is aligned to the Royal Life Saving Swim and Survive Program,  specifically Level 4, and is awarded to all students who successfully achieve the competencies and complete the in-class Water Smart program.

It is hoped that this approach will influence schools to offer Swim and Survive lessons for their students and encourage parents to enroll their children.  The overall aim of this initiative is to encourage the community's recognition of the Ministers Swim and Survive Certificate as the minimum swimming level for children to achieve before they complete Primary School.


Students awarded the Ministers Swim and Survive Certificate need to demonstrate an ability to confidently perform the following water safety knowledge and skills:

1. Water Safety Knowledge
Answer questions about dangers in the aquatic environment -  online 

2. Swim
Swim 50 meters freestyle
Swim 25 meters survival backstroke

3. Continuous Survival Sequence
Dressed in t-shirt and shorts, students need to: 
Enter the water safely
Float, scull and tread water for 5 minutes
Remove t-shirt and shorts
Swim for 5 minutes using a combination of survival strokes
Exit the water safely

4. Rescue Skills
Throw a rescue flotation aid to a partner at 5 meters distance and instruct the partner to kick to the edge.

All these skills are linked from the Royal Life Saving Society Swim and Survive Level 4 certificate. 


Students are assessed for the Ministers Swim and Survive Certificate during the ACT Department of Education's Swimming and Water Program which is run by Royal Life Saving ACT.  This program provides schools with a two week (10 day) intensive swimming and water safety program. All programs are run by Austswim qualified staff members from Royal Life Saving ACT.


Royal Life Saving promotes the Minister Swim and Survive Certificates through various channels including the Royal Life Saving ACT website, brochures available to all participating ACT Primary Schools, Certificates and media events. It is estimated that approximately 1500 children will complete the Ministers Swim and Survive Certificate this year with even higher numbers in the years to come.

For further information on the Minister's Swim and Survive Certificate or the ACT Primary Schools Swim and Survive Program, please contact the Royal Life Saving ACT office by phone: 6260 5800 or email:

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