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We have traditionally tested pupils for ASA awards (National Awards and Distance Awards) as part of our programme delivery.
When we polled our clients in 2006, the majority we unconcerned about achieving an award (particularly one that was of little relevance) and preferred to use the time effectively in having their pupils learn to swim.
Since the poll (September 2007) the ASA have changed the award process and we have as yet been unable to evaluate whether it is useful or not.
We have evaluated the Awards (NPTS) and they are (in general) inappropriate as a measure of ability (especially beyond out JP2/JI! levels)
There are no real alternatives nor an award process that we feel are of benefit to our pupils.
So, in the interst of our pupils, we do not offer awards as an integral part of our teaching programme, but we can test pupils on a "by request" basis if it helps.
Most clients made a preference to be tested using Floaters awards linked to the SwimCare programme rather than ASA (or other) awards.
We would like to develop this (based on a real test of (multi-function distance and technical skill), but it is uneconomic to do so, unless we have sufficient teaching provides delivering the SwimCare Programme.