Why a swimming certificate?

Obtaining an international swimming certificate is no easy feat and there’s good reason for this! Obtaining a swimming certificate ensures that children swim safely and can cope in our water-rich world. After all, water is everywhere around us and accidents happen. In addition, when it gets hot we all cool off in swimming pools, lakes, rivers and seas, where there is of course the possibility of drowning. This is why it is extremely important that children have good swimming skills to be able to save themselves.

Today’s requirements are a lot stricter than in the past. But why is this? And why are there three international swimming certificates these days? Everything is in a state of flux and so is swimming education. We are happy to explain the reason for the new certificate structure, the well-known Swimming ABC of the Netherlands, and why children need to learn to swim properly.


In order to increase the quality of swimming education, the reasons for learning to swim were examined. So why is learning to swim properly so important and what can one do with his or her swimming certificate in the future? Studies indicate the following reasons:

  • Safety / being able to survive in water
  • Recreational swimming as leisure activity
  • Being able to take part in other water-rich activities, such as competitive swimming, snorkelling and sailing
  • For health reasons

Converted into objectives:

Two main objectives can be derived from the abovementioned reasons. The main objective is of course swimming safety, which is very important to be able to save yourself in the water. All over the world recreation often takes place by the water (fishing), on the water (such as sailing), under water (such as snorkelling) and especially in the water (wild swimming, cooling off). As water is of importance all over the world and because everyone should be able to swim throughout their lives, swimming education is based on the two main objectives:

  • A high degree of swimming safety
  • An introduction to leisure activities (by, in, on and under water)


Main objectives converted into 11 basic elements:

The two objectives of swimming education mentioned above are therefore the thread of the swimming trajectory. In a logical build-up of the three international swimming certificates the objectives are the final goal, but a learning path must take place to get to this final goal. This is why the objectives are divided into 11 basic elements, namely:

  1. Getting into the water, for instance jumping, pencil dive, dive (head first) and a somersault.
  2. Breathing
  3. Turning
  4. Swimming under water & orientation
  5. Floating on stomach & back
  6. Treading water
  7. Survival
  8. Moving forwards, such as the breaststroke, back stroke, breast and and back crawl

The eight basic elements are interwoven by experts in the Netherlands and are therefore taught for each certificate. During the swimming trajectory, the exercises are of course made harder and harder, so the main objectives are mastered at the end of the swimming trajectory.

International swimming certificates with a standardisation:

Certificate requirements have been drawn up in order to be able to assess the quality of eight basic elements. The requirements for the Dutch Swimming ABC therefore comprise the skills a child must master to be able to swim safely in a swimming pool or other waters. With predefined certificate requirements, Swim Academy Turbo can create the swimming trajectory in such a way that a constructive thread goes through the whole swimming trajectory. Naturally, until the child masters the skills and is allowed to take the test.

Through the logical build-up of the Dutch Swimming ABC, the pupil becomes a little more skilled after obtaining each swimming certificate and is therefore safer in the water. Swimming technique is not always the main focus. It mainly concerns moving safely and freely in the water in all situations one can end up in. The logical build-up of the Swimming ABC is therefore related to the main objectives of swimming education: a high degree of swimming safety and an introduction to the leisure activity.

In four pools we train children for the complete ABC diplomas.

Pool 1 (blue)

  1. Going into the water, underwater orientation, breathing, in short, the child must be comfortable in the water.
  2. Floating on the back and stomach position.
  3. The single backstroke.
  4. The well-known breaststroke (arm and leg stroke).
  5. Front and back crawl leg stroke.

Pool 2 (red)

  1. 10 metres independent breaststroke combination (arm and leg stroke) with a swimming belt
  2. 5 metres front crawl leg stroke with breathing
  3. 5 metres back crawl leg stroke

Pool 3 (green)

  1. Here the complete international A certificate requirements are taught/improved, go to Officially Recognised column certificate requirements.
  2. If you want to reduce the A certificate then your child can take part in our Turbo swimming lessons at our recommendation, go to Officially Recognised column see swimming lessons explanation column where you can find what Turbo swimming lessons entail(we currently only provide Turbo swimming lessons in the Netherlands).

Pool 4 (golden)

  1. Here the complete international B and C certificate requirements are taught/improved, go to Officially Recognised column certificate requirements.
  2. Do you want to reduce the B or C diploma, then your child can take part in our Turbo swimming lessons if we recommend this. Go to the Officially Recognised column and see swimming lessons column (We currently only provide Turbo swimming lessons in the Netherlands).