Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question about Total Swimming? Chances are we have covered it below! Our FAQ section is a comprehensive rundown of the questions we are asked the most.


What happens at my child’s 1st lesson?


Once you proceed onto poolside you will be greeted by our instructors. Just let them know you are new and they will have you on their registers. The children will meet their instructor, who will then assess their swimming ability throughout the lesson to ensure that they are in the right class.

The first couple of sessions are all about getting your child comfortable in the water, meeting the other children and getting them excited for the journey ahead.

Is Direct Debit the only way to pay for lessons?


Yes. We have listened to customer feedback and had a lot of requests for smaller payments to help manage fees. Direct Debit will allow customers to spread the cost of the fees and specify which date payment is taken each month to work around them. This will now be a monthly payment to cover lesson costs. *Please note, there will be an additional cost of 32p per transaction for this payment method.

How do I cancel my Direct Debit?

How do I cancel my Direct Debit?


You can decide to cancel your Direct Debit agreement with us at any time, however, we require a 30 day notice period from your chosen payment date. Your Direct Debit agreement needs to be cancelled either through Total Swimming Academies or with our Direct Debit provider, Harlands. If you cancel through your bank without letting us or Harlands know, it could be classed as a failed payment, and then you would be charged a £25 administration fee.  

I have more than 1 child swimming with you, is the process different?


No. When you set up the Direct Debit agreement each swimmer will have a unique ID number to them so regardless of how ever many children you have with us the process is very simple to use.

Can I choose when my payment is taken?


Yes. You can choose whichever day you wish for your Direct Debit payment to be taken.

Why am I paying over 12 months when the venue I attend closes for holidays?


This is to ensure that payments are kept smaller and spread evenly throughout the year. This will allow customers to budget far easier.

Price Increase? Why has the price gone up for my lessons?


There was a planned price increase for some of our venues for January 2018. We held off introducing this until we were ready to introduce Direct Debit.

What happens if I have insufficient funds on my payment date?


If your payment fails, our Direct Debit company – Harlands – have an automatic charge of £25. However if you contact us or Harlands in advance to advise that there may be insufficient funds in your account on your chosen payment date, then we can support you with this and aim to stop the charge.

Total Swimming Academies customer service: 0161 764 2224 

Harlands customer service: 01444 224 791

How do I cancel my Direct Debit?

You can decide to cancel your Direct Debit agreement with us at any time, however, we require a 30 day notice period from your chosen payment date. Your Direct Debit agreement needs to be cancelled either through Total Swimming Academies or with our Direct Debit provider, Harlands. If you cancel through your bank without letting us or Harlands know, it could be classed as a failed payment, and then you would be charged a £25 administration fee.

How should I prepare my child for a lesson?


It's great to let your children know what they will be doing as part of their swimming lesson. Tell them they will have a new teacher (whose name will be on your confirmation email), tell them how much fun they will have learning a new sport, and why it is so important for them to learn to swim.

Please arrive to the venue approximately 10-15 minutes before the class is due to start to give you time to find your bearings and get changed. Proceed onto the poolside just before the session is about to start.

Don’t forget:

  • Swimming costume or tight fitting trunks
  • Towel
  • Swimming hat (for children with long hair) - some venues have a compulsary policy for children to wear a hat
  • Goggles (not compulsary)
  • No jewellery
  • No armbands – we provide alternative floatation devices
  • Children shouldn’t swim on a full stomach; please don’t allow your child to eat anything substantial one hour before the session
  • If your child is feeling sickly, unwell or has an upset stomach it is not advised they attend lessons

What should my child expect from each lesson?


Each lesson will be structured so that it is productive and fun for your child, regardless of what ability level they are at.

Children will be warmed up for the first 5 minutes of their lesson, followed by a 20 minute focus on key swimming and technical skills, before a 5 minute fun activity at the end.

My child is of a lower swimming ability, will their lessons be different?


Children in our foundation groups who are unable to swim independently will benefit from our instructors delivering the lesson in the water for confidence and support. At this level we also use floatation devices such as arm disks, swimming noodles and kick floats to ensure the children can be independent in their swimming, to aid travel and movement in the water and, more importantly, they are safe.

The foundation classes will focus on short, repetative swims to ensure they are reinforcing all of the skills they are learning. Swimming long distances at the start of their swimming journey is not beneficial, as the children tire and their skill breaks down.

How many children are in each class?


Classes have a maximum of 6 children per instructor.

Advanced abilities have 8 children per instructor.

What qualification does my child’s swimming instructor hold?


All instructors are ASA/STA qualified along with supporting CPD training and other aquatic discipline experience, such as diving or synchro.

Also, a large majority of instructors come from a competitive swimming background and have themselves competed regionally and nationally in the sport.

Has my child’s swimming instructor been DBS or PVG (Scotland) checked?


Yes, all instructors are DBS enhanced checked and are enrolled onto the PVG scheme.

How is my child’s progress monitored?


All children are assessed on a continual basis. The focus will be to learn the skills set out in line with the National governing body award schemes.

Your child’s instructor will record their progress every 3/4 weeks and upload the progress online. The updates are uploaded to your personal online account for you to view.

What swimming award scheme is my child following?


All swimmers in the UK follow the ASA Learn to Swim Framework.

How many awards does my child get?


We give your child the highest award that they have gained, free of charge. 

Some children may not achieve an award, this is common. We test our children to the highest outcomes and ensure they are passed consistently (a minimum of 3 times).

Can I purchase the awards myself?


Yes. If your child receives more than one award, you can purchase them online or over the phone for a cost of £4.

How long will it take for my child to learn how to swim?


All children progress at different levels and speeds,  and this also varies depending on what point your child joins our programme.

The average time for a complete novice to progress through all of the stage awards is 3-4 years. At this point, your child will exceed the National Curriculum Key Stage 2 standard and will be a competent, aerobic swimmer with the capability to perform competitive skills. They will also have the stamina to swim 800 metres and upwards.

How long should my child stay on the course for?


The ASA recommends that swimmers stay on the programme until at least stage 7, where they are deemed to be competent, strong swimmers.

Can my child progress further?


Yes, we can teach your child how to swim to a pre-competitive level.

What if my child is too advanced for their class?


Instructors will monitor your child and decide whether they need to move classes. If you feel like your child is progressing at a faster rate than some children, please chat to us about this.

Movements can be suggested at any point during the course and it is our priority to ensure that all children are working to their full potential and capability.

I want to put my child forward for a swimming club, are they good enough?


Total Swimming Academies are keen to assess our swimmers and see if they are ready to join a club.

We have strong links with the swimming clubs in the local areas in which we operate, so please express any interest in your child reaching club level swimming to their instructor.

We can work with your child to get them to the necessary standard required, as well as arrange trial sessions at your chosen club.

How do I go about speaking to my child’s swim instructor?


If the venue has an administrator on the reception desk, please feel free to raise any issues that you may have with them. The administrator will then feed these back to the instructor.

We request the parents don’t disturb the instructors unless it is essential; we like their time to focus solely on teaching the children.

Alternatively, please email us at or call us on 0161 764 2224 to speak to your regional co-ordinator.

My child has a disability, can they still join?


We aim to be an all-inclusive programme and do what we can to cater to everybody; it is important that we know about ALL medical conditions, no matter how small.

Please contact our customer service team to discuss your individual requirements and possibility of joining one of our classes.

What happens if a session is cancelled?


If a planned session is cancelled, our main priority is to re-schedule the session.

If it is not possible to do so, we will refund you the cost of the lessons cancelled.

How can I book the lessons?


Our simple online booking process allows you to book your lessons in a few clicks. 

Please enter your login details - if you don't remember your username and password, you can reset this using your email address, or email us at and we can send you a reminder.

Scroll to see your academies, review your child's award updates and previous award and payment history.

Please check all your contact details are up to date and manage any future bookings with us.

How do I know what class to put my child in?


Classes depend on ability. Simply choose the ability that your child falls under and reserve the place in that class.

You can check this by using our Ability Matrix.

How can I pay for the lessons?


Lessons are primarily booked online and can be paid for by any major credit or debit card. We can also take phone payments.

Our exclusive payment method is Direct Debit.

Can I pay for the lesson at the centre?


No, no cash or cheques are accepted at the centres. Please ensure that you pay before the lesson.

What happens if my payment is declined or I fail to make a payment?


If you fail to pay monies for any reason, there will be a £25 admin charged instantly to your account. If for any reason you anticipate your payment will be declined, please let us know in advance by calling 01444 224 791 and we will do everything we can to help you avoid the administration fee.

I can’t access my online account, why?


Ensure that you are entering the correct email and password that you registered with.

All usernames are set as the email address that you provide us with when you sign up. Passwords are case sensitive to ensure that you are entering the correct upper case/lower case combination.

You can access your online account at:

For further assistance if you are still struggling, then please contact our customer service team.  


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