The ASA National Plan uses three stroke descriptors as explained below:

Basic Technique - easily recognisable, resembling the movement pattern of the four main swimming strokes and associated skills.

Efficient Technique - smooth, controlled, technically correct movement patterns of the four main swimming strokes and associated skills; stroke should comply with ASA law.

Effective Technique - the efficient technique as described above is modified to assist in the achievement of set goals e.g. a timed swim; number of strokes to cover a set distance; stroke should comply with ASA law.

Level 1 - This level is for the Non swimmer developing confidence and being at ease in the water. The main outcomes involve moving around in the water quite freely, submerging and opening the eyes, floating and using kicking actions to travel through the water.

Level 2 - Still a Non Swimmer and further developing confidence the child should be happy using floats. Continuing with the skills learnt in Level 1 the outcome here is to be able to swim 5 metres on the front and back without the use of aids.

Level 3 - In this level the emphasis moves from initial confidence, to building a sound basis for the techniques taught in the next levels. Working towards jumping in with confidence, kicking 5 metres proficiently, swimming 10 metres Front Crawl and breathing to the side.

Level 4 - Starting to become completely at home in the water. Developing control of breathing and beginning to experiment with different methods of propulsion. Swimming 10 metres back crawl, kicking 5 metres Butterfly and picking up objects from the bottom of the pool.

Level 5 - This level focuses on building competence in the basic swimming strokes, emphasising streamlining. Introduction to treading water, sculling and somersaults. Aim is to kick 10 metres Front crawl, Back crawl and Breaststroke.

Level 6 - Further development of the basic swimming strokes with an emphasis on the importance of good streamlining and breath control. Introduction to diving. Aim is to swim 10 metres Front Crawl, Back Crawl and Breaststroke showing basic technique with regular breathing.

Level 7 - The aim here is essentially to consolidate the aquatic skills and to develop the kicking and pulling learned in the previous levels, along with controlled breathing, so that pupils can swim competently, using correct basic techniques on the three main strokes over a distance of 25 metres. Also aims to be able to kick using an efficient leg action on Front Crawl, Back Crawl and Breaststroke.

Level 8 - Following on with the skills learnt in Level 7 pupils are now asked to swim 25 metres on Front Crawl or Back Crawl and Breaststroke or Butterfly showing efficient technique. Also aims to swim 50 metres continuously on any stroke showing basic technique and 10 metres Butterfly. In addition turns and essential safe practices for diving are introduced.


After achieving Level 8, swimmers are encouraged to continue through the Club training programme.


Level 9 - Once an acceptable degree of basic competence is achieved in the fundamental skills at Level 7 and 8 it is time to prouse of the pace clock for start time and rest periods.

Level 10 - This level provides the development of a greater awareness and expertise in personal water safety and survival swimming. Aim is to swim continuously for 150 metres showing efficient technique, perform a Front Crawl Tumble turn and turns used in an Individual Medley.

Level 11 - As well as the further development of the main swimming strokes, this level acts as an introduction to the early stages of training in competitive swimming, provides a basis for swimming as part of a healthy lifestyle and continues with some more advanced activities in the other disciplines. Aim is to swim continuously for 10 minutes using 2 different strokes and changing every length between an alternating and simultaneous stroke. Ability to use the pace clock.

Level 12 - The development of both basic aerobic swimming endurance and of swimming speed are integrated in this level. Aim is to demonstrate an Individual Medley from a racing start, demonstrate racing starts for all strokes including transition to the stroke. All swimming should now be showing efficient technique.


Note 1 - After achieving Level 8, swimmers are encouraged to join the Club training programme.

Note 2 - Lane allocations are indicative and may vary to reflect numbers at each level.gress to the development of more efficient swimming at this level. Aim of this level is to swim 2 x 50 metres continuously on 2 strokes showing efficient technique throughout and 2 x 25 metres on the other 2 strokes, efficient technique. Also correct turns for Butterfly, Back Crawl and Breaststroke.