United States Swim School Association

Code of Ethics 

Preamble

The United States Swim School Association (USSSA) is an association of quality swim schools and educators devoted to aquatic education promoting lifelong safety, health and enjoyment.  The Association serves to provide resources to assist its members in achieving their goals in the learn-to-swim business.  Members of the USSSA operate in various capacities and within various relationships, each of which imposes different categories of ethical duties.

(1)  Members of the USSSA serve children, individuals and families across the United States and abroad and in that capacity, foster personal relationships that inherently rely on competency, trust, friendship, integrity, and professionalism.  The high degree of trust and confidence placed in our expertise and integrity, imposes particularly high standards of ethical conduct upon members of the USSSA toward their students, communities, and the public at large.

(2)  In addition, members of the USSSA operate in the public sector and serve in communities alongside other swim schools and other businesses.  In this public capacity Members owe ethical duties to the-Learn-to-Swim Industry, individual swim school peers, and the United States Swim School Association.

(3)  Lastly, Members provide and support viable employment relationships within their individual schools and these relationships impose reciprocal duties of care between swim schools and their employees.

The USSSA Code of Ethics serves as a public statement of good faith and ethical practices.  The Code serves to guide members on program operation, teaching practices, employment practices, and industry expectations.  Membership in the association denotes acceptance in and agreement to abide by the Code of Ethics.

Statement of Core Values

The USSSA’s core values are to provide members with opportunities for learning and sharing for members of the USSSA; help maintain high ethical and professional standards in the learn-to-swim industry; provide business development education for members; promote the importance of quality learn to swim programs; and represent the interests of the association in the Learn-to- Swim Industry.  This Code of Ethics has been adopted to assist the association in upholding these core values, in particular, that of maintaining high ethical and professional standards in the learn-to-swim industry.

USSSA members’ ethical behavior should result from their personal commitment to engage in ethical practices.  This Code of Ethics provides guidelines to assist members in making ethical choices in their operations.  It provides information about conduct and behavior that have ethical implications. This Code also sets for procedures for reporting potential ethical violations as well as the process of review of claims and the procedural responses available in response to ethical claims and violations.  This Code of Ethics sets forth values, ethical principles, and ethical standards to which members should aspire and by which their actions can be weighed. This Code cannot guarantee ethical behavior nor can its guidelines capture the unique complexity involved in every individual situation.  Further, this Code is not meant to replace, but rather to augment, ancillary and more specific resources of ethical conduct, including personal sources, legal sources, individual facility sources, etc.

Code of Ethics

I.  Members’ ethical duties to students, staff, families, and general public: 

A.  Safety

(1)  Members shall, at all times, operate their schools with the utmost regard and concern for the health, safety and well-being of the students,                      staff,  families and general public.

(2)  Members shall be proactive in maintaining their facilities so that they are clean and safe for students, staff, families and the public.

a.   Members shall adhere to all local, state and federal guidelines with respect to health, safety and well-being including but not limited to                             health and safety codes, building codes, fire codes, the American Disabilities Act, and other guidelines and regulations that affect the safety                     of the facility and its operations.

(3)  Members shall ensure that all personnel and potential personnel are properly screened, trained, and qualified to work with the public, in their                various capacities, and particularly with children.

a.  Members shall ensure that teachers are screened, trained and qualified to teach the courses, age groups and types of students assigned –                           and that assistant teachers are screened, trained and qualified to assist in the courses, age groups and students assigned.

b.  Members shall ensure that the screening of all staff who have direct contact with students, particularly minor children, includes a criminal                      background check related to prior criminal convictions involving sexual misconduct.

c.  Members shall not have, nor employ individuals who have, a prior criminal conviction that directly relates to the potential safety of                                   students, staff, families and guests at the swim school, including but not limited to criminal convictions for sexual misconduct, assault,                             battery, kidnapping, sexual exploitation, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and other crimes involving the safety and well-being                         of students, children, staff and the public.

(4)  Members shall not employ teaching methods that deliberately and/or repeatedly subject a child or student to pain, or unnecessary and/or                       unreasonable fear or distress.  While embracing and accepting a wide variety of teaching methods and practices, the USSSA does not endorse                 or accept any teaching method or curriculum that is based in whole or in part on aggressive teaching objectives or methods that incorporate,                   encourage or tolerate the infliction or suffering of pain; or unnecessary, unwarranted fear, distress or danger.

B.  Quality

(1)  Members shall strive to provide quality lessons and excellent service through employing standards of excellence in all aspects of aquatic                          education, including but not limited to hiring, training, continuing education, curriculum development, customer service, student                                      progression, communication, interpersonal relations, etc.

C.  Respect

(1)  Members shall treat students, families and the community with the utmost of courtesy, respect and professionalism.

(2)  Members shall respect and be responsive to the individual differences and needs of students and families and the community.

(3)  Members shall meet all legal, ethical and moral obligations in serving individuals and groups with different needs, abilities and challenges.

(4)  Members shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex or national origin, in the process of accepting, teaching, or interacting                     with students and families and the public.

D.  Honesty/Integrity

(1)  Members shall treat students, customers, families and the public with honesty and integrity in all communications and dealings.

(2)  Members shall not mislead students, customers or the public through false, exaggerated or misleading claims, statements, advertising,                            promotions, or recommendations related to but not limited to the swim school’s services, history, individual employees’ or owners’                                   experience or achievements, pricing, location, scheduling, or competitors, etc.

E.  Confidentiality

(1) Members shall honor, respect and proactively safeguard confidential information related to students and customers, including but not                        limited to personal confidential information, identity information, medical information, financial information, sensitive information, etc.

II.  Members’ ethical duties to the Learn-to-Swim Industry, other swim schools, and the United States Swim School Association:

A.  Members owe a duty of care to represent the Learn-to-Swim Industry in a respectable and professional manner by providing quality swim                       lessons in a safe, productive and positive environment.

B.  Members shall be proactive in procuring and maintaining knowledge, education and competency in matters related to swimming, teaching                     swimming, relevant and current laws and standards of care in business operations, and other areas of import to the responsible and ethical                     operation of the member’s swim school and to the professional relationships within the industry and the USSSA.

C.  Members shall be reciprocal ambassadors and educators, willing to uplift the industry and the USSSA through sharing, assisting, educating,                    and informing the public, other members and the general membership of the USSSA.

D.  Members shall not engage in unfair or unethical business practices or actions, including but not limited to acts of unfair competition, fraud,                  deceit, unfair business practices, deceptive advertising, breach of fiduciary duty, embezzlement, infringement of intellectual property rights,                    defamation, etc.

E.  Members shall not have – nor employ individuals who have- civil or criminal convictions, judgments, decisions, verdicts or settlements                            (including mediation and arbitration) acknowledging or accepting responsibility of actions – related to lack of integrity or ethical standards                       including but not limited to matters involving unfair competition, fraud, deceit, unfair business practices, deceptive advertising, breach of                      fiduciary duty, embezzlement, infringement of intellectual property rights, defamation, etc.

III.  The Employment Relationship:  Duties of care owned by members/owners/employees to their employees.

A.  Members shall maintain an honest, fair and equitable employment relationship with employees and shall treat all employees with                                     professionalism and respect.

B.  Members shall adhere to local, state and federal laws and regulations applicable to employers and/or related to the employment relationship.

C.  Members shall honor, respect and proactively safeguard confidential information related to employees, including but not limited to personal                   confidential information, identity information, employment information, medical information, financial information, sensitive information, etc.

Process of Handling Claim of Unethical Conduct

(1)  Reporting Process

(a)  Who may file a claim?

Claims may be brought by USSSA members, non-affiliate swim schools, students, or any individual or entity in standing to be affected by potentially unethical conduct of a member of the USSSA or sincerely interested in the USSSA’s commitment to helping maintain high ethical and professional standards in the learn-to-swim industry.

(b)  Format to submit a claim

Claims of unethical conduct must be submitted through use of the USSSA Notification and Complaint of Unethical Conduct Form.

(c)  Submit claims to:

United States Swim School Association

ATTN: ETHICS COMMITTEE
admin@usswimschools.org
Tel: 480-837-5525

United States Swim School Association
7100 E Cave Creek Rd., Ste. 109
Cave Creek, AZ 85331

(2)  Review Process and Timeline

(a)  Within 3 business days of receipt of a claim of unethical conduct, The USSSA shall email or fax one copy of the claim to the Ethics Committee Chair and one copy to the Respondent.  The Respondent shall also receive a Notice of the Claim, a copy of the USSSA Code of Ethics, and instructions regarding submitting a response.

(b)  The Respondent has 10 calendar days to provide a written response to the claim.  Responses are submitted to the United States Swim School Association via email or fax:

United States Swim School Association

ATTN: ETHICS COMMITTEE
Office@usswimschools.org
Tel: 480-837-5525

United States Swim School Association
7100 E Cave Creek Rd., Ste. 109
Cave Creek, AZ 85331

(c)  Within 3 business days of receipt of the Response, the USSSA shall forward the Response to the Ethics Committee Chair via electronic transfer or fax.  If the Respondent does not provide a timely Response, the USSSA shall notify the Ethics Committee Chair that a Response was not submitted so that the Ethics Committee may review the claim (without the Response) in a timely manner.

(d)  The Ethics Committee Chair shall email or fax the Claim and Response (if one was received) to the members of the Ethics Committee for review.

(e)  Within 10 days of receiving the Response (or notice from the USSSA Office that a timely response was not submitted) the Ethics Committee shall review the claim, provide a summary of the matter, and present a determination of action to the Association office.

(f)  Within 3 days of the Committee’s decision, the Association office shall inform the claimant and respondent in writing of the Committee’s decision via email or fax.

(3)  Appeal Process

(a)  Either party may appeal the Ethic Committee’s decision.  Appeals are considered by the USSSA Board of Directors.

(b)  An appeal must be presented to the USSSA (address above) within 10 days of the Association’s notice to the parties of the Ethic Committee’s determination.

(c)  Appeals must be in letter format, no more than 1 page, and must present evidence that the Ethics Committee operated under a mistake of facts, or operated under a mistake in interpretation or application of the Ethics Code.

(d)  Within 3 days of receipt of the appeal, the Association Office shall provide the opposing party with a copy of the appeal via email or fax

(e)  The opposing party then has 10 days to submit a one page written response to the appeal to the USSSA office.

(f)  The Board of Directors, at the next Board Meeting, shall review the original claim, the original response, the Ethics Committee’s recommended action, the appeal, and the response to the appeal and shall, and shall then vote to either uphold, set aside, or amend the Ethic Committee’s decision.

(g)  Within 5 days of the Board’s decision, the Association office shall inform the claimant and respondent in writing of the Board’s final decision via email or fax.