Partnership Approach to Water Safety (PAWS)

PAWS is a multi-agency approach to improving water safety that combines the knowledge and experience of those individuals and organisations in our communities that best understand, and can manage, risks in and around water.

It is a Partnership of equals sharing the responsibility for identifying and addressing water safety risks in the area.

PAWS looks at three aspects of water safety:

  • Prevention

Pro-active activities that reduce the likelihood of a water emergency occurring by raising awareness of safety issues, and by educating the public on how to be safe in and around water.

  • Improved Response

Effective response to water emergency incidents through multi-agency exercises and training the public how to react to incidents safely via the Waterside Responder Scheme.

  • Review

Implementation of the Drowning & Incident Review (DIR) after significant incidents to ensure learning from water emergency incidents to gain an understanding of the contributory factors and make interventions that may prevent similar events from occurring.


Water safety is a complicated subject that will require the input and co-operation of many organisations and individuals to address.  PAWS provides a clear framework that makes the process of co-ordinating local drowning prevention efforts easy to manage.


If you wish to find out if there is a PAWS group in your local area, or you are looking to establish one, please contact us on info@WaterSafetyScotland.org.uk where our team will provide full support.


PAWS updates