Swimming Certificates

History of Swimming Certificates in Singapore

Lets take a look into the history of Swimming Certificate in Singapore back to the days of 1980s till the current year 2021.

In Singapore, there are a few types of swimming certificates. These achievement certificate that meant to inspire you, and motivate you to achieve to another level of skills and abilities and as an endorsement that you could do and complete the task with confident and proficiency.

Some schools has their own inhouse certificates, but the goal behind is still the same- to inspire and motivate learner to go far. It would be a good preference for school children to obtain a recognized swimsafer certificate so that they can enrol in other outdoor aquatic sports such as canoeing, wind surfing, biathlon, triathlon and many others. Usually a Bronze award onward would be their preference for such activities, depending on the organizing vendor.

National Survival Swimming Certificates Award (1979 to 5th July 2010)


(Abstracted) – The course is adapted from the STA Survival Test (UK), introduced in Singapore in 1979. It is designed to educate and create awareness of basic water survival skills to ensure an individual’s safety during an emergency.

The test simulates the sinking of a ship laden with passengers and goods. For eg, the speed swim tests your ability to escape 100 m from the whirlpool that a sinking ship usually creates. “Survivors” are also expected to make floats with their clothes in order to keep afloat while awaiting rescue.

All of the SSC’s 28 swimming complexes offer the tests, with the exception of the Gold Star test, which is available only at Toa Payoh, Queenstown, Jurong Town and River Valley Swimming Complexes.

Many of the private swimming pools and clubs with standard 50 m or 25 m lap pools also participate in the NASSA Swimming Certification scheme, and actively conduct training lessons and tests for each proficiency level of NASSA. Any SSC-licensed (Singapore Sport Council) swimming instructor will be qualified to take you through the necessary preparation. 

The roadmap for National Swimming & Survival Award (NASSA) consist of 2 modules. FIrst module would be the LTSD (Learn to Swim Development) Which consist of 2 to 3 certificate in this order- Beginner, Intermediate, Elementary Level 1, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Gold Star.

Beginner Learn to Swimming Certificates Award

The first of the learn to swm award was similar to Swimsafer stage 1 activities except we need to be able to swim at least 25m at that time in the shallow pool. Here we have some early days swimming certificates of the Learn to swim program.

NASSA BRONZE Swimming Certificates Award

NASSA-Bronze-Award
NASSA Bronze Swimming Award

NASSA Bronze Swimming Certificates Award Testing Criteria :-
1. Effect an entry from the side of the pool by a straddle or tuck jump.
2. Swim 50m.
3. Demonstrate ability to drown-proof for 1 minute.
4. Tread water with both arms for 3 minutes.
5. Undress in water and demonstrate ability make float with attire.
6. Swim 400m using any strokes.
7. During the course of this swim, the participant must execute 1 dive, legs first. (The dive must swim submerged for at least 5m)
8. Climb out from the deep end of the pool without the use of steps or assistance. 

NASSA SILVER Swimming Certificates Award

NASSA Silver Swimming certificatesAward
NASSA Silver Award

NASSA Silver Swimming Certificates Award Testing Criteria :-
1. Effect an entry from the side of the pool by a straddle or tuck jump.
2. Swim 100m within 4 minutes.
3. Demonstrate ability to drown-proof for 1 minute.
4. Tread water for 1 minute with 1 arm, the other arm at back of body.
5. Immediately after, tread water with both arms for 3 minutes.
6. Undress in water, make float with attire and use it to swim 25m using legs only.
7. Re-inflate if necessary.
8. Swim 200m using backstroke, 200m using sidestroke, 400m using front stroke (breastroke/freestyle).
9. During the course of this swim (front stroke), the participant must execute 1 dive head first, and 1 dive legs first. (Each dive must swim submerged for at least 5m)
10. Climb out from the deep end of the pool without the use of steps or assistance. 

NASSA GOLD Swimming Certificates Award

NASSA Gold Award
NASSA Gold Swimming Award

NASSA Gold Swimming Certificates Award Testing Criteria :-
1. Demonstrate a compact jump.
2. Straddle or tuck jump into the deep end of the pool, and swim 100m within 3 minutes.
3. Demonstrate ability to ?drown-proof? for 1 minute.
4. Tread water with 1 hand waving and held up for for 1 minute. The raised hand may be changed no more than 5 times.
5. Immediately after, tread water with both arms for 5 minutes.
6. Undress in water, make float with attire and use it to swim 25m using legs only.
7. Deflate float in water and inflate again before swimming another 25m with the float using legs only.
8. Swim 300m using backstroke, 300m using sidestroke, 400m using front stroke (breastroke/freestyle), within 45 minutes.
9. During the course of this swim (front stroke), the participant must execute 2 dives head first, and 2 dives legs first. (Each dive must swim submerged for at least 5m)
10. Climb out from the deep end of the pool without the use of steps or assistance. 

NASSA GOLD STAR Swimming Award

Gold Star Swim Certificate
Gold Star Swim Certificate was issued with a gold medal inscribe with some wording on the back as shown. The medal was neatly capsuled in a box for safe keeping.

NASSA GOLD STAR Swimming Award Testing Criteria :-
1. Effect an entry from a 3m platform with life jacket on and swim to the side of the pool. Climb out and remove life jacket.
2. Straddle or tuck jump into the deep end of the pool, and swim 100m in any stroke within 2.5 minutes.
3. Put on a life jacket thrown in from the side of the pool and remain in ?HELP? position for 1 minute.
4. Swim with life jacket for 50m, then remove life jacket and attire in the water.
5. Swim 500m using backstroke, 500m using sidestroke, 500m using front stroke (breaststroke/Freestyle), within 45 minutes.
6. Climb out from the deep end of the pool without the use of steps or assistance

Why was the NASSA was removed to replace with Swimsafer?

After some 30 years of this program, there is a need to change or focus better on other things. Many find that NASSA Gold Star are very difficult to pass and too much time was spend on swimming lessons. Many feedbacks that the most difficult component was item #5 where swimmers are supposed to swim 1.5km in total at a young age. So the birth of Swimsafer 1.0 was introduced in 2010 to replace NASSA so that kids can focus on other important matter rather than just swimming.

Swimsafer- 5th July 2010

An amalgamated and improved version of the Learn-To-Swim Programme (LTSP) and the National Survival Swimming Award (NASSA), Swimsafer 1.0 will replace both the latter to be the only national water safety programme in Singapore. In addition, a programme that instructs both swimming proficiency and water survival skills is necessary in view of more than 65% of drowning incidences in Singapore (from 2005 to 2008) occurring in the seas, rivers and reservoirs.

On 5th July 2010, SwimSafer was rolled out at public swimming pools. This mean that all instructors teaching at any of the Singapore Sports Council’s (SSC)- Now known as ActiveSg – 28 swimming complexes will have to be SwimSafer certified, as well as conducting swimming classes based on the SwimSafer syllabus. Most Swimsafer Certified coach are in the NROC Database. You can find the details here under Swimming. Below find the sample swimsafer 1.0 certificate. All level come with badges and bronze, sliver and gold come with badges and pins. Notice that the logo was still Singapore Sport Council back then?

Swimsafer 1.0 Certificates (5th July 2010- May 2014)

Swimsafer with Manulife (May 2014- Jun 2018)

In May 2014, Manulife Singapore becomes the first corporation to sponsor a national water safety programme, as it commits some S$1 million to SwimSafer – an ongoing initiative which imparts children with water safety knowledge and water survival skills. SwimSafer is one of the many activities that come under the umbrella of ActiveSG, a key element of the Vision 2030 sports master plan. A new form of skill assessment was carried out to make the assessment more robust. SLSS (Singapore Life Saving Society) was the appointed vendor responsible for arranging the Swimsafer Assessor to do the swimsafer skills assessment for both MOE swim project and private swimming lessons at public pools. The design of the swimsafer certificate was changed with added serial number for better tracing. Below are the sample of the newly design swimsafer certificate with Manualife logo on it.

Swimsafer 2.0 ActiveSG (Jun 2018 to Current Year 2021)

In 2018, the Swimsafer 1.0 was upgraded to Swimsafer 2.0 where some changes were made. Singapore Life Saving Society return the Swimsafer responsbility back to Activesg to wholly control the Swimsafer program in Singapore. All the coaches went for recertification and updating of the new assessment system in placed. Swimsafer 2.0 went Digital in that year 2018 when the E certificate was born. Everything went online from E Cert in Activesg App to doing the Swimsafer Quiz. That has help reduced Administration and manpower in managing the system. Below are some of the sample of our Current Swimsafer 2.0 swimming certificates. As the e certificate go digital, there is no need to print the physical certificate anymore. You can download from the activesg app of your respective account. Click here to check how to download e cert from activesg app successfully.

How do I book a swimsafer test?

You can check out on our page “Swimsafer Registration Test 2021”. It is open to public and our inhouse students. The test details will be out soon. Stay tune.