SEQ Level 2 Outdoor Swimming Leader Qualification

The SEQ Level 2 Outdoor Swimming Leader Qualification has been designed for experienced outdoor swimmers who want to build on their existing outdoor swimming knowledge and skills by leading others from within the water, a group of up to eight swimmers safely and effectively in sheltered water.

Sheltered Water definition:

Areas of open water (e.g. lakes and lochs) where the winds strength does not exceed Beaufort force 3, to avoid being swept/blown out of a safe working area. Slow moving current less than 0.5 knots.

You will learn about:

  • The different types of outdoor swimming environments
  • How to meet the needs of outdoor swimmers
  • Roles and responsibilities in outdoor swimming
  • The dangers associated with outdoor swimming
  • The type of equipment required for outdoor swimming
  • Key outdoor swimming skills
  • Planning for an outdoor swimming session
  • Leading an outdoor swimming session
  • Evaluating own performance as an outdoor swimming leader

By the end of this qualification, you will be able to confidently risk assess, plan, prepare and lead safe and effective outdoor swimming sessions from within the water, for groups of up to eight swimmers in sheltered water.

“This course is invaluable to individuals taking groups out into open water settings. From risk assessments and session planning, it gives you the tools to run every event to ensure ultimate safety and enjoyment for all participants”

– Jenny Davies, Learner

“This is an exciting development in the Swim England Qualifications suite”

– Richard Smith, Learner

“I was genuinely nervous and the instructors were amazing , so much so I went around the course twice it was amazing! It really helped having someone with me in this different environment as it can throw you. It gave me increased confidence knowing that I had someone with me guiding me through the process, explaining the risks and providing reassurance throughout. I’ve now joined too and it gave me enough confidence to feel I could do it on my own which was what I needed” 

– Sandra, Outdoor Swimmer

Qualification Time

  • 28 hours (of which 21 are face to face guided learning)

Entry Requirements

  • be 18 years of age or older on the first day of the course
  • have experience of open water swimming
  • must be able to swim at least 800 metres continuously on their front in open water


  • Theoretical questions
  • Location and activity specific risk assessment
  • Daily risk assessment
  • Session plan
  • Observation
  • Self-evaluation and personal development plan

This qualification is not graded. You will either pass or be referred.

Next Steps

Once qualified, your next step could be to become a Coach in Open Water Swimming or gain further qualifications in lifesaving and first aid with our partner RLSS UK.

Extend your skill set with one of our CPDs.