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Regulation of the Aquatic Leisure Industry- IWS Consultation

17 May, 2017

Dear Members,

You may be aware from recent media reporting and the subsequent statement from Minister Coveney, that Irish Water Safety (IWS) have been tasked with researching and consulting with the industry and the public with regard to the regulation of the aquatic leisure industry. Ireland Active have had preliminary discussions with IWS to discuss the European regulatory landscape and any potential impact regulation may have on the sector whilst at the same time welcoming potential appropriate regulation of the sector.

The White Flag National Quality Standards provide a mechanism for facilities to meet much of the anticipated regulation and many of our members have been striving to raise standards in the industry in the absence of a regulatory standards framework. We would recommend that members adhere to the White Flag criteria in preparation for any future regulation of the sector.

Ireland Active will be taking a lead on the engagement with IWS and the Department and will keep our members up to date as the consultation process progresses over the coming period of time. We intend to hold a series of member meetings during the consultation process and will communicate to members as dates are set.

In the meantime if you have any feedback or comments on the regulation of the sector please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind Regards,

Conn

 

Relevant reference documents:

IS EN 15288-1 Safety Requirements for Design
IS EN 15288-2 Safety Requirements for Operation
Ireland Active/IWS/Swim Ireland Swimming Pool Safety Guidelines
White Flag National Quality Standards

 

IWS Press release (including Minister Coveney’s statement):

Ronan’s legacy should lead to a regulatory framework for the Aquatic Leisure Industry

Following the inquest in to the tragic drowning of Ronan Kennedy at the Red Barn Quality Hotel in Youghal two years ago the Dublin Coroner made two crucial recommendations to Minister for Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government, Simon Coveney, T.D., That there should be a dedicated lifeguard on duty at all times at swimming pools and the lifeguard should not be a person engaged in other supervisory duties. To recommend to the relevant Minister that a dedicated water safety inspectorate is required to formulate regulations and ensure their implementation. Today Minister Coveney has issued a statement as follows: “First and foremost, the Minister would like to extend his deepest sympathies to the parents and family of three year old Ronan Kennedy who died in such tragic circumstances. The Department understands that the Coroner is to contact the relevant Minister to recommend that a dedicated water safety inspectorate is required to formulate regulations and ensure their implementation. On receipt of the correspondence, the Department, together with other stakeholders, will consider how best to progress this matter. In the meantime, Minister Coveney has indicated that he will provide funding support for Irish Water Safety to assist it in reviewing best practice in other European countries with a view to informing the development of an appropriate regulatory framework for Ireland” Irish Water Safety welcomes this decision and will commence its research in to this matter. We have many helpful and useful contacts throughout Europe that can assist us develop a viable regulatory framework that will operate efficiently in Ireland within the Aquatic Leisure Industry. This is a legacy that will turn this tragic drowning in to a positive regulatory framework that will help prevent similar tragedies in the future.

 

Lifeguard Qualifications

It should be noted that lifeguard qualifications only apply to the depth of water that the qualification is awarded at. For example IWS Level 1 pools to a depth of 1.5m and IWS Level 2 pools greater than 1.5m depth.

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