SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure, Learning and Wellbeing, hosted a celebration event at the House of Commons on 21st November to welcome the creation of a new Register dedicated to the aquatic industry.
The Register of Aquatic Professionals (RAPs) has been developed by the SkillsActive Board and key industry partners; STA, ASA and RLSS.
RAPs, which is independently operated by SkillsActive, builds on the success of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) and will be piloted in January 2013. Driving improved professionalism in the fast-growing aquatics sector, RAPs will deliver:
- A single qualification entry point for the workforce.
- Career pathways based on quality assured training.
- Recognition for professionals within the aquatic industry.
- Registration subject to continued professional development (CPD).
- A public search function enhancing public and employer confidence in the quality of wet-side professionals.
Building on the successful model first established with REPs, entry levels and categories for RAPs will be based on the job roles and qualifications held by each individual. The framework will provide verification that those working in the sector are fully qualified to perform their role and will also offer assurance to operators and the public that individuals on the Register hold qualifications that are fully compliant to industry standards.
Ian Taylor, Chief Executive of SkillsActive, says: “RAPs marks a significant development for the aquatic industry and supports employers, individuals and the general public. For the 160,000 people who currently work in the industry including Swimming Teachers and Lifeguards, it provides clarity and consistency across the sector.
He continues: “This ground-breaking initiative could not have happened without Government skills funding and we are delighted to be joined today by a number of MPs and officials from the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) along with distinguished athletes from the sport of swimming.”
Members of RAPs will be required to complete annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to ensure their skills remain in line with industry standards. This will be tracked by the activepassport™ system.
The event, which was hosted by Natalie Sawyer from Sky Sports News and sponsored by James Clappison MP, heralded the first major initiative directly relating to the Olympic and Paralympic legacy following the London 2012 Games this summer.
For further information about RAPs, please visit www.aquaticregister.org.