Introducing SwimMark accreditation for clubs


Formerly called swim21, SwimMark accreditation is Swim England’s quality standard for clubs.  It recognises high standards of governance, sustainability and effectiveness. Any affiliated Swim England club can apply for the accreditation, regardless of your club’s size or the disciplines you deliver.


What is SwimMark about?

  • Creating the best possible swimming experience for all
  • Raising the quality of aquatics provision across all areas
  • National Sport England Clubmark recognition for great quality clubs

There are three modules clubs can aspire to: SwimMark Essential Club, SwimMark Network, and SwimMark Performance.


SwimMark Essential Club

This is the primary module for clubs, helping you to achieve good governance, grow membership, develop volunteers and ensure your activity is sustainability and in line with your club objectives. It is accredited every two years.

Club Essential documents

You can access all documents needed to attain Essential status in the Swim England library here. These documents will help you understand what you need to do to become a SwimMark Essential club.

You can find out which clubs have completed the SwimMark Essential Club module here.


SwimMark Network

This module encourages clubs to work collaboratively across a localised area.  This approach helps athletes to maximise their potential and be retained in the sport.  It also increases volunteer opportunities and helps to raise the standards of teaching and coaching.

The Network accreditation lasts for two years and consists of three elements:  a development plan, a training needs analysis and a signed terms of reference.

Your club must achieve the SwimMark Essential Club accreditation before it can become a SwimMark Network member.

You can find out which clubs have completed the SwimMark Network module here.


 SwimMark Performance

The Performance module provides a benchmark for clubs coaching and developing high-level athletes across the four sports (swimming, diving, water polo and synchro).

Clubs need to demonstrate that athlete pathways, the physical environment, quality coaching practices and support services are all in place for athletes to reach the pinnacle of their aquatic sport.  Performance standards are measured by England Programmes.

Depending on the discipline, there are a range of elements to complete to attain the Performance level.  Once achieved, the accreditation will last for two years.

Your club must have achieved SwimMark Essential Club and be actively engaged with SwimMark Network accreditations to achieve your Performance accreditation.

You can find out which clubs have completed the SwimMark Performance module here.

General Club Benefits

  • Access to a development tool for club improvement including the production of a Club Development Plan


  • Identification of workforce training needs to improve club operation.


  • Develop an effective club management structure with clearly identified roles and responsibilities.


  • Access to a range of Swim England templates and policies, following best practice and improving all areas of the club.


  • Greater number of appropriately qualified volunteers, who are safe to work with children and young people, with defined role descriptions.


  • Enhanced quality of coaching / teaching delivery and general improvements to workforce quality.


  • Prioritised support from Swim England staff.


Financial Benefits


  • 5% discount on Swim England Awards and discounts at Swim England Club Conferences and events.


  • County Association Grants / Bursaries – the North East region will consider applications from clubs who are SwimMark accredited or working towards their accreditation.


  • Some pool providers offer a discount to SwimMark clubs. The Swim England National Club Survey findings (2015) indicate that the average pool hire rates of £18.60 per lane versus average of £15.48 (17% less) for SwimMark accredited clubs.  This provides a saving of some £3000 per annum.


  • Accreditation can help with eligibility towards sports specific funding pots (e.g. County Sports Partnerships / Sport England- Small Grants Fund).

SwimMark FAQs

Here at the North West Regional Office we get asked a variety of questions to do with the SwimMark accreditation. We have compiled answers to the most frequently asked.

Should you need anything else, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.



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