The Institute of Aquaphobia (IOA) has developed the Certificate in Teaching Aquaphobics (CTA). It aims to teach aquatic & leisure professionals how to understand, identify and by using the Aquaphobic Learning Programme (ALP) treat Aquaphobics, weak and non-swimmers from both a psychological and physical perspective.

The professional development course establishes a swimming teacher an Aquaphobia Coach (A.C) & then an Advanced Aquaphobia Coach (A.A.C) Who then will be able to assess the severity of an individual’s fear or phobia and support them through the recovery process to stress free happy swimming. If you are a swimming teacher, STA or equivalent, who is actively training and wants to increase your skills and revenue, this is a must for you. You will get 5 CIMSPA Points and 1 STA point, for each CTA CPD.

ALP Poster 1

The Aquaphobia Learning Programme (ALP) is a 12-stage step approach to support those with a fear of water, providing them with the confidence, skills and techniques to enjoy the unique freedom that being in water can give.

Distinctive from swimming programmes, AALP focuses on eliminating and desensitising fear, with the physical mechanics of swimming being secondary.

The aim of the programme is to teach a participant how to relax, float, feel happy and in control in the water and reduce all stresses in a safe and careful way.
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Taught by a certified Aquaphobia Coach, each course is tailored to the individual’s personal needs and degree of fear, going at their own preferred pace, so they feel uplifted, encouraged and comfortable to undertake lessons on a regular basis.

When a person has achieved a stage, they then progress on to the next one in sequence, with no set timescale or pressures on the individual they will learn key swimming skills that really boost enjoyment and relaxation.

By going through the 12 steps, participants will grow in confidence and learn the basic principles of: entering, standing, floating, moving and breathing in water.

CTA CPD 1 Aquaphobia Coach

CTA CPD 1 “Aquaphobia Coach” – The educational environment is made up of a 3D leisure centre that consists of a reception area, a classroom, a changing room, café and a virtual pool. Structured within a 3D world, in first person, the Aquaphobia Coach (A.C) is taken through the content engaging with real-life, swimmer characters. Meeting each one in the reception to hear their own stories, how and why, they became Aquaphobic. A.Cs will be directed to the café to undertake an induction using the (ALP) tool kit. There we focus on one main character, Anne-Marie who will become your first Aquaphobia client. Also, travelling to the classroom, to attend each of the 3 key teaching sessions. Try the interactive virtual pool, teach with the avatars. Once you have completed CTA
CPD 1 you can then undertake our advanced CTA CPD 2.

Content Overview – Digital Edition (Online or App download):

Session I
• Introduction to Primary Emotions
• What is Fear?
• What is Phobia and how to understand it?
• The ALP Fear Curve
• Using and interpreting the Personal Ability Range (P.A.R)

Session II
• Primary Emotions
• Mirroring & Marking
• Facial Feedback & Transference
• Sensitisation & Panic
• Pool Based Video Practical
• Sessions Review

Session III
• 5 Categories of Aquaphobia
• Desensitisation
• ALP Circles of Swimming
• ALP Induction Process – Tool Kit
• Self-Help Tools
• Uncontrolled Breathing &
Controlled Breathing
• Introduction to Water-Based Exercises
• Psychological Safety Control
• General Characteristics of an Aquaphobic
• Pool Based Video Practical
• Session Review

CTA CPD 2 “Advanced Aquaphobia Coach”

CPD 2 is a 5 – hour DIGITAL ONLINE F-2-F tutor led training session that further expands upon the theoretical elements of CPD1 in a live online classroom environment, allowing for discussion and an interactive learning experience with up to ten other like-minded swimming professionals. How to interview and prepare your client for their lessons.

This CPD 2 explains how to apply the “theory” into real world practice

Case Studies: Each candidate will be given a case study sheet from a real Aquaphobic person. This gives an in-depth insight into how much a traumatic water related experience has affected that individual’s relationship to aquatic activity and many other aspects of their lives. Each candidate is asked to take on the persona within their case study, pairing up with another attendee and both taking turns to play the role of the Aquaphobic person and then the swimming teacher.

The ALP induction process: Staying in their pairs we undertake the ‘ALP PAR’ Q&A. 25 questions developed with the University of Chichester to give the Aquaphobic swimmer a total percentage figure of how phobic they really are. The ALP Fear Curve: Explains on a single chart the theory behind Aquaphobia and how through the ‘ALP’, swimming teachers can desensitise clients from their phobia. Candidates are required to assess where they think their case studies are on the ‘fear curve’ and consider how this affects their planning & assessment processes.

ALP lesson planning: Using the ‘PAR Q&A’ results, case study, a skills audit form and the ‘ALP teachers 12-stage manual’; Candidates are asked to create an ALP lesson plan appropriate to the needs of the Aquaphobic (played by their partner.)

Pool Test: Please make and send in a “short video” 5 to 10 minutes long) of you undertaking your CPD 2 ALP lesson plan in the pool with a helper or real aquaphobic person (paid or voluntary). Upon completion of this task CTA CPD 2 e-certificate will be issued. Please observe any Covid-19 restrictions.

Any videos must be submitted to [email protected] for
assessment, official certification can only be issued by

Completing the CPD: (An appropriate case study from a previous swimmer/s can be used for post course validation and must be submitted prior to completion of the CTA CPD

About the IOA

The Institute of Aquaphobia aims to help everybody, on a multi-cultural & inclusive basis, who has a fear of water to overcome their worries and concerns and learn to feel happy and relaxed in or around pools, rivers or the sea.

The IOA’s worldwide community brings together people from around the globe, who have a personal or professional interest in helping individuals be free from this life-changing phobia and stresses relating to aquatic events or experiences. You can be a part of this amazing network, either as a member of the public, interested in overcoming aquaphobia or a swimming teacher training to be an Aquaphobia Angel Coach.

The IOA aims, with global partners, to further all aspects of learning that advances scientific research, community networks and best practice by professionals for people, at whatever age, who need to be able to relax with basic swimming skills for personal, social/pleasure, mental and physical health and most importantly life-preservation reasons.

To advance education in the water and using the latest Virtual Reality technology for multimedia, so we can truly reach everybody wherever they are in the world, on their phones or tablets.

Virtual Swimming Pool

The IOA have developed a virtual swimming pool as the ultimate digital teaching companion for your phones, tablets, and devices. This pool is an advanced fully immersive interactive technology, designed by experts from aquatics, psychology, robotics, and exercise science. Users can experience what it is like to be in a leisure centre and go into a swimming pool, in the familiar format of a PlayStation or Xbox game.