Saffron and Surf Life Saving NSW secure ‘Highly Commended’ Blended Learning Solution at AITD Excellence Awards

The Bronze Medallion and Surf Rescue Certificate, which is a unique blend of wet, dry, on-the-job and innovative digital learning, has shown to be a winning combination.

As one of the prominent lifesaving programs across Australia, training over 10,000 lifesavers per year, Surf Life Saving NSW and Saffron have developed a human-centred, design-thinking based approach to increase learner confidence and application in key skills areas.

Saffron, in collaboration with SLS as well as numerous volunteers and SMEs, responded by developing a digital solution that tackled the key areas of concern. The blend was designed to scaffold learning and application. It utilises digital mediums to increase skills acquisition and includes a cutting-edge microphone interaction, designed to simulate a radio, that allows learners to record themselves, play the recordings back and ascertain whether they have used the correct procedural words and techniques.

Noorie Sazen, Saffron’s CEO, remarked, “We are thrilled to have been recognised in AITD’s Excellence Awards with a ‘highly commended’ blended learning solution. Working alongside Surf Life Saving NSW to break boundaries, create new technologies and utilise them within our solution – is a reward for us, but increasing lifesaver confidence and enabling safer beaches across Australia is the real achievement”.

Prior to recognition from AITD, the program had been widely praised by users and trainers alike, with 94% of learners reporting the course was engaging and held their interest. Additionally, the course was repurposed to facilitate Surf Life Saving NSW’s “Living Room Lifesavers” program – in response to the COVID-19 restrictions this year.

Louise Cooke, Surf Life Saving NSW’s Membership and Community Programs Manager, noted “The team is incredibly proud to have the organisation’s work in this space recognised externally – we worked hard and collaboratively with our volunteers and partners to create an evidence-based blended program which could be flexibly delivered to meet the needs of Surf Life Saving. With the support of hundreds of passionate volunteer trainers and assessors across Australia, we are confident that the program will result in more confident lifesavers, translating to better outcomes for the beach-going public.”

For more information on the AITD Excellence Awards and their rigorous judging process click here.

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