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Applications for the Head Coach vacancy have now closed - thank you very much for your interest.


Head Swimming Coach

Organisation:  Portsmouth Northsea Swimming Club

Contract Type: Permanent

Qualifications:  Coaching Swimming: Level 3 Award, Senior Coach Certificate or equivalent  

Working Hours:  Full time

Location: Portsmouth

Salary: £30,000-£34,000 depending on experience and qualifications

Closing Date: 27 November 2020 23:59

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Portsmouth Northsea swimming club was founded in 1927 and over the years has gone from a modest start to being one of the leading clubs in south east England, competing and winning medals at county, regional, national and international level.

The Club takes children from learning to swim right through to National competitive squads - currently training over 300 swimmers in over 80 sessions per week, across 4 main pools including the 50m Olympic sized pool located at the Mountbatten Centre. 

  • We take great pride in our work with the local community and our very successful Learn to Swim Programme, run in a number of locations throughout Portsmouth designed to encourage swimmers of all abilities to enter a competitive environment with enjoyment being the main focus.
  •  We compete on the local, regional and national stage and during this time the club has seen members selected for international representation at junior and senior level, including competing at Olympic Games, and has produced two world champions & an MBE. 
  • The club is led by an entirely new committee with a fresh vision for Portsmouth Northsea to be a Swimmer Centred, Coach Led, Committee Supported club. We have an ambitious plan to develop the club and take it to the next level.

We are looking for a Head Coach with a passion and enthusiasm for competitive swimming. The successful candidate will be responsible for overseeing and delivering the coaching programme with the support of the current dedicated coaching team, coaching the Senior Performance/ National squad, working on technique and development of advanced skills and performance. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone looking to develop and expand their current role. The role is full time, approx. 37-40 hours per week. The successful candidate would be expected to work at pools in Portsmouth and surrounding Hampshire area.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Hold Swim England/ASA minimum Level 3 qualification in Swimming coaching 
  • Have substantial relevant experience and success in similar post at a performance level and evidence of successful achievements within the last two years
  • Have a high technical understanding to design and produce detailed swim sessions for specific squads
  • Be willing to keep up to date with future developments in swimming and share this knowledge with the rest of the coaching team
  • Demonstrate a strong ability to motivate and coach swimmers, working closely on technique development
  • Work closely with coaches, swimmers, parents, committee and volunteers to continue to grow working relationships
  • Attend appropriate competitions and swimming camps
  • Excellent admin skills and computer literacy to complement the role.
  • Have necessary permissions to work in the UK


  • Hold Swim England/ASA Level 3 Swimming Coaching Certificate, Senior Coach Certificate or equivalent
  • Child Safeguarding Certificate from Swim England approved training provider
  • Desirable - Lifeguard qualification
  • Desirable - relevant degree in: Health Science, Sport Coaching, Sports Management, Sports Science or equivalent


  • £30,000-£34,000 per annum dependant on experience and qualifications

To find out more about the club and role please contact our Vice Chair (Ryan Clay) at [email protected].

How to apply

Please send a CV and covering letter to [email protected].


Job Description and Person Specification


Post title: Head Coach

Swimming Club: Portsmouth Northsea Swimming Club (PNSC)

Region: South East 

Post responsible to: Portsmouth Northsea Committee – Vice Chair 

Second reporting officer: Portsmouth Northsea Committee – Chair 

Posts responsible for: Swimming Coaches, Strength & Conditioning (S&C) Coach, Learn to Swim Lead and teachers

Post base: Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth (main base)

40 hours per week, flexible working hours

This role will also include coaching at our other pools in the local area and travel as required. Administrative tasks will be expected to be performed within the office at the Mountbatten Centre or remotely (flexible daily office hours can be agreed).

Job Purpose:

  • Lead and develop the team of coaches.
  • Direct, lead and grow the Portsmouth Northsea Club Swimming Programme from Learn to Swim to Performance Swimming. The Head Coach is responsible for the day to day coaching, management and operation of PNSC.
  • Oversees all aspects of the Portsmouth Northsea competitive swimming programme, including having full direct coaching responsibilities for the Senior Performance/National squad.
  • A key enabler of the club vision, the Head Coach will set an inclusive culture that empowers all coaches and members to perform at their best.

Key accountabilities/primary responsibilities

Head Coach (25% of time):

  • Develop a whole club annual training and competition programme based around the principles of the optimal athlete development framework with ongoing refinement; understanding and considering budget constraints.
  • In conjunction with the coaches, PNSC Committee and Swim England Talent Team develop a 5 year strategic plan for the club. Deliver against agreed key performance indicators the progress against the strategic plan.
  • Produce an annual club performance plan, identifying the targeted number of qualifiers, finalists and medallists for county, regional and nationals.
  • Ensure that the appropriate level of coaching (swimming and S&C) is available for all squads.
  • Ensure a cohesive, progressive squad culture is in place, which will maximise swimmer potential for transition to the senior squads as appropriate.
  • Support and mentor coaches to develop a cohesive and effective coaching team. Develop a continuous professional development (CPD) education programme to enhance existing coaching skills and maintain an ongoing succession plan. Implement a mentoring system for the coaching team to include regular visits to each squad.
  • Assist squad coaches as required to develop detailed programmes suitable for their squads, which will inspire and motivate young swimmers to develop their potential within the sport. These programmes are to include:
    • Progressive practices for each squad
    • Appropriate land training / S&C
    • Squad targets and plan for each cycle
    • Targeted swimming meets, including contribution to PNSC Arena League team
    • Reason for changes in participation levels.
  • Support the Welfare Officer and Welfare Team with any welfare issues with either swimmers or coaching staff as required.
  • Promote an inclusive and safe culture, advocate the highest standards of welfare and safeguarding and ensure that all club members adhere to the Club’s Code of Conduct and Wavepower guidelines.
  • In conjunction with the committee, foster excellent relationships with National and Regional Governing Bodies as required.
  • In conjunction with the committee, foster excellent relationships with our pool providers and Portsmouth City Council, ensuring optimum pool time allocation and to proactively help with any operational and infrastructure issues.
  • Foster excellent relationships with feeder programmes and talent lane programmes to drive to increase swimmer numbers particularly at the lower end of the club.
  • Attend meetings as required, primarily:
  • Committee meetings and Annual General Meetings
  • Chair monthly meeting with all coaches (to be minuted and provided to the Committee)
  • Local Area Network (LAN) meetings
  • Solent Network
  • Regular meetings with line manager
  • Periodic Portsmouth City Council Sport Council meetings
  • Periodic meetings with regional coaches forum
  • Liaison with University of Portsmouth and outreach with local schools
  • Promote and market the club and represent it externally. Recruit junior and senior swimmers into the club with a view of growing membership in line with the business plan and the agreed target for the year. Support the recruitment activities:
    • School visits
    • Collaboration with Mountbatten Centre (BH live) swim school
    • Collaboration with external swim schools and other clubs
    • Support to Talent lanes
    • Support and promote inclusion of disability, BAME and LGBT swimmers

Senior Performance / National squad coaching (55% of time):

  • Plan and deliver high quality sessions, planning sets that will accommodate the different needs of each type of swimmer; for example taking into consideration sprinters, mid and long distance specialists.
  • Develop and maintain a positive and focused training environment conducive to the development and wellbeing of all swimmers within the squad, inspiring confidence and self-belief
  • Lead swimmers and coaches at swimming competitions and training camps.
  • Perform 1-2-1 meetings with each swimmer (away from pool side) for every training cycle to ensure you are aligned on aspirations and goals. Produce personalised training programmes and objectives for each cycle.
  • Maintaining records of swimmers’ training/ competition attendance and performance.
  • Support swimmers through injuries and personal and academic situations, which may impact their ability to train or compete.
  • Maintain regular communication with parents via email and face to face contact.
  • Support Swimmers and Parents Meeting for Performance swimmers at the beginning of the season and at the start of subsequent training cycles.
  • Support organisation of social events for the squad, promotion of the club social events and encouragement of squad participation.
  • Regularly share squad and swimmers’ successes and training sessions on social media, in conjunction with other coaches and committee members.

Managerial / Administrative tasks (20% of time):

  • Day to day leadership, management, development and retention of the coaching team.
  • Support the committee in recruitment of coaching team members.
  • Day to day management to ensure all sessions are covered each week; managing absence from sickness and holidays.
  • Escalation point for parents and coaches. Ability to resolve issues and disputes in a proactive, objective and positive manner.
  • Undertake appraisals for all coaching staff and ensure CPD training needs are met and recorded in line with the agreed delivery plan.
  • Plan and publish coaches timetables for all squads, including any restructure of the squads and pool time during holidays and pool closures.
  • Produce and plan for Swim Stroke Camps, Fun Galas, Club Awards and attendance to Arena, Level X and Junior Leagues.
  • Implement Swim England Swimming Club Awards
  • Produce annual squad transitions plan at the beginning of the season
  • Establish and maintain a swimming database and effective reporting system to record and track individual and squad development and performance.
  • Provide detailed reports monthly to the Committee on achievements against KPIs’ and financial implications against agreed budgets.
  • Contribute material to the Club website, social media and publicity as required.
  • Attend meetings of the Committee, contributing to all areas of discussion and feedback, as appropriate, to the coaches.



Internal & External Relationships and Special Requirements

Liaise with:

  • Coaches, swimmers, parents, committee, pool providers, regional / national swimming clubs, Portsmouth University and other external bodies on matters relating to the club.

Special requirements:

  • A willingness to travel within the UK to attend competitions.
  • A willingness to travel outside the UK to attend training camps and competitions.
  • Flexible hours of work will be required, including early/late/weekend working for training and competitions
  • Excellent communication skills are essential as is the use of confidentiality in data management at all times. The post will require the holder to possess excellent attention to detail, organisational skills, interpersonal skills, ability to deal with conflict in a constructive manner and the ability to quickly develop successful working relationships.




Person Specification




How to be assessed

Qualifications, knowledge & experience

  • Level 3 Coaching qualification
  • Lifeguard qualification
  • Minimum 2-year experience as a head coach, or equivalent
  • Substantial relevant experience and success in similar post at a performance level and evidence of successful achievements within the last two years
  • Substantial relevant experience in working to a high legal and ethical standard at all times, particularly in relation to issues such as child safeguarding and health and safety requirements
  • High level IT skills
  • Knowledge and understanding of financial processes

Relevant degree on:

  • Health science
  • Sport coaching
  • Sports management
  • Sports science



Knowledgeable in “Meet Manager” and “Team Unify” software


Application/ Interview

Planning & organising

  • Able to independently organise activities (schedules, diaries, meeting arrangements, events etc.)
  • Able to prioritise a conflicting workload and multi-task


Application/ Interview

Problem solving & initiative

  • Able to apply specialist knowledge and experience to assess complex situations
  • Able to use own initiative and suggest and implement practical and effective solutions


Application/ Interview

Management & teamwork

  • Able to model an open and positive working environment that thrives on learning and development and empowers staff to reach their potential.
  • Able to manage self and prioritise workload
  • Able to manage a team of full-time and part-time coaches
  • Able to work independently
  • Able to proactively and collaboratively work with Committee



Application/ Interview

Communicating & influencing

  • Able to identify key stakeholders and communicate in a timely and effective manner.
  • Evidence of excellent interpersonal skills
  • Able to speak publicly, able to present at Annual General Meetings and other internal and external meetings
  • Able to respond effectively in a pressurised environment to coaches, swimmers, parents and other stakeholders
  • Able to provide quality, appropriate and timely advice in response to specialist enquiries from coaches and swimmers
  • Able to take minutes at meetings


Application/ Interview

Other skills & behaviours

  • Able to influence and create an inclusive and positive culture and effectively manage disagreement and work to unify competing demands and priorities.
  • Able to interface with relevant external bodies and other swimming clubs. Able to develop good relationships and networking skills
  • Able to organise events and meetings


Application/ Interview

Special requirements

  • Able to travel both within and outside the UK (training camps)
  • Able to work flexible hours as required
  • Able to demonstrate excellent attention to detail.
  • Right to work in the UK.
  • Enhanced DBS check required.


Application/ Interview