Swim Lesson Instructors (Do you let outside instructors provide lessons at your facility)?

Does anyone have a policy (written if possible) that dictates who is allowed to teach swim lessons at your facility (private or group)?

All of our instructors employed at our facility have their WSI and we offer private and group lessons throughout the year.

How do you handle a parent who is paying another individual (who may or may not have their wsi) to teach their kid how to swim in our facility and use our equipment? 


We do not allow outside personal trainers who are not employed by us into our facility to provide 1-1 contact...and we feel it should be similar with the lesson situation since we offer both personal trainers as well as private lesson instructors.


Any input would be appreciated!

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We do not have a written policy, but just like personal trainers we do not allow outside individuals teach swim lessons at our facility.  The reason is insurance.  If anything were to happen, unlike our paid staff, outside instructors are not covered by our insurance.

We also do not allow people to teach privates in our facility, unless employed  by the city.  It is a building use policy actually.  Basically, does not allow someone to use city facilities to make a profit.  Example, you can not hold a tupperware party in our rec. center if your intentions are to make sales/profits.



1.  Letting an outside person teach when you already offer a similar program competes with your program. If someone is casually teaching their own child during a public swim time you don't really have any control over that but if they are meeting someone else here thats a risk management issue. (What happens when there is an allegation of inappropriate touching or any other complaint... not a ball of wax you want to deal with)


2.  Outside groups, even scout leaders, church youth groups etc. who want to come to our facility and have an activity need to file a certificate of insurance so that they are responsible for their participants.  Same kind of deal as Stephanie posted.

I have some comments on the comments:


1.  Unless you grant them exclusive use of your pool during certain periods, and you neglect (yes neglect) to provide lifeguards, I don't see how insurance comes into play.  While they may be allocated a portion of the liability for an incident, the pool as the license-holder and probably the deepest pockets, will certainly be involved at least financially.  If they don't have exclusive use of the pool, but teach during open swim periods, as I have often seen, you don't have any more control over them than any other swimmer.


2.  I think Faron has the best option.  A policy that you can't make a profit in city facilities seems to make the most foolproof sense.  It gives a concrete and easily measurable standard to which you can hold someone; and it applies uniformly (I hope) to all city facilities.


3.  I think it would be hard to legally enforce a policy that a child can't meet someone at your pool.  What if the next door neighbor took their child to the pool and invited a friend.  Would you prevent that?  I don't think any reasonable governing body would give you that kind of authority. Inappropriate touching is one of those nebulous things you have to deal with.  There are behaviors that can be used by pedophiles and identified by staff.  There are perfectly normal people doing the same activity.  You have the difficult job of sorting out what seems suspicious and alerting authorities, or not.  Preventing the situation where inappropriate behavior might be a, perhaps, remote possibility seems somewhat shaky to me.  I doubt a high percentage of private swim instructors are pedophiles, of course they might be, but do you punish the whole for the sins of a few?  If you are involved in aquatics for any length of time, you will hear someone complain about one of your own swim instructors inappropriately touching while teaching their child to swim.  Were they holding them in a float or feeling them up?  You'll also hear that the instructor was not holding on tight enough.  Besides, isn't this whole issue a parental responsibility.  They are paying the person for the lessons.


I think some kind of conduct agreement with a group coming to the pool is an excellent idea.  A city nearby began that policy several years ago when there was a drowning of a daycare child during open swim.  Unfortunately the pool guards didn't see him on the bottom.  Unfortunately, the daycare has some fairly strict supervision requirements based on their licensing as a daycare, that was also neglected.  The city began setting standards of conduct for groups using the pool to help avoid this type of accident.  I think they identified the problem and zeroed in on a solution.  They cannot say no groups can come, but they also realize the group has a responsibility in addition to the lifeguards.  I'm not sure requiring proof of insurance is really much protection, since again the pool is the license holder and has the responsibility. Requiring a standard of conduct is enforceable, and groups that violate that can and are excluded from using the pool.  One method is of only percieved value, while the other can be enforced using concrete and objective criteria.


Sorry I sound so negative, but for some reason, this is somethng we end up dealing with several times a year.  My favorite is allowing an outside swim team to use the pool, by themselves, when the pool is not officially open and there is no one from the pool staff supervising, lifeguarding or even there.  If somethng happens, where does this put the pool, who has the responsibility for guarding and supervising the pool when it is in use.


Our policy is in line with others outlined here, we do not allow anyone but our staff to teach at our facilities especially  if they are chargin a fee to the person they are providing instruction for. I cannot control a father teaching a friend or child how to swim during open swim, in fact it is a good thing to see, but not professionals using our facilities for their profit, they need to rent a lane or space if they want to teach, if they (or any one else) do rent space we request a certificate of insurance naming our City as additionally insured, it is a commonly accepted best practice.
We have a written policy along the lines of "no use of the pool for private gain" which I can send you.


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