RLSS UK Lifeguard Qualifications

Royal Lifesaving Society National pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ)

The RLSS UK National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) is the most awarded lifeguard qualification in the United Kingdom and Ireland that complies with the industry guidance contained within the HSE Generally, the NPLQ is a recruitment requirement for a number of jobs from Pool Lifeguard to Centre Manager. On successful completion of the course you will be fully qualified to work as a Pool Lifeguard.

The NPLQ course duration is 36 hours with an optional bolt on element of Automated External Defibrillation which is 1.5 hours. The course comprises of physical training and theoretical classroom work, followed by a practical in-water and out-of-water assessment on pool rescue, first aid, CPR and lifesaving skills. The qualification is internationally recognised and is incorporated on the Qualifications Framework at Level 2.

The NPLQ is valid for 2 years from the date of issue and a further 20 hours of ongoing training and competency assessment must be completed before a lifeguard can renew their qualification prior to the expiry of their existing award. We offer this course from a number of venues within the East Midlands area, please see our course calendar for scheduled courses dates and venues.

The NPLQ covers all elements of Pool Rescue Techniques, Lifeguarding Theory, First Aid and CPR. The course is physically demanding and will include swimming to set times, lifting casualties and diving to the deepest part of the swimming pool. Training and assessment for the NPLQ is in three sections and all must be successfully passed to attain the qualification.

Section 1 – The Lifeguard and the Law, Swimming Pool Supervision
Element 1 – The Lifeguard and the Law
Element 2 – Swimming Pool, Hazards and Control Measures
Element 3 – Swimming Pool Supervision

Section 2 – Intervention and Rescue and Emergency Action Plans
Element 1 – Intervention and Rescue
Element 2 – Rescue of a Casualty with a Suspected Spinal Injury
Element 3 – Emergency Action Plan

Section 3 – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, AED and First Aid
Element 1 – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Element 2 – First Aid
Element 3 – Automated External Defibrillation (AED)


Every candidate attending a NPLQ course must be 16-years-old at the time of taking the NPLQ final assessment and be able to:

  • Jump / dive into deep water
  • Swim 50 metres in less than 60 seconds
  • Swim 100 metres continuously on front and back in deep water
  • Tread water for 30 seconds
  • Surface dive to the floor of the pool
  • Climb out unaided without ladder/steps and where the pool design permits

Learner Registration

All learners are also required to register for a society number using the link provided below, learners must add this to their course enrolment form (issued at the point of booking) a minimum of 7 working days prior to course commencement and return to us in PDF format via email within this timeframe.

If you already have an existing society number from a previous course, please use that instead of registering for a new number.

Learners will not be accepted on courses without registering for a society number, as we cannot generate the course assessment materials without learner registration being fully completed.



Assessment for the NPLQ takes place at the end of the course. It determines your knowledge and understanding of the principles of working as a pool lifeguard and assesses your ability to apply the skills and knowledge in a work-related environment.

The assessment is split into three sections:

  • Practical pool assessment
  • Theory Assessment for all 3 sections
  • Practical First Aid & CPR assessment

within the initial course costs, one attempt at all assessments is included, should candidates require reassessment, additional assessments may be available dependent on the circumstances of reassessment, re assessment is at the discretion of the course instructor & assessor. There may be an additional cost to the learner should reassessment be required.

Please note this course is not an attendance-based course, learners must be successful in all elements to qualify as an RLSS UK Lifeguard

NPLQ Generation 9 accredited details with Ofqual and Specification

The National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) is the marketing name for this qualification – its ‘accredited title’ as listed with Ofqual is: IQL Level 2 Award in Pool Lifeguarding, Intervention, Supervision and Rescue qualification number 603/3309/1

Note. the minimum number of credits required to achieve a ’pass’ = 5 credits

This qualification is made up of the following units:

  • Unit 1 – Swimming Pool Safety Operation and Supervision unit number J/617/0924 credit value = 2
  • Unit 2 – Pool Lifeguard Emergency Rescue Skills L/617/0925 credit value = 1
  • Unit 3 – First aid, illness and Injury Management in a Pool Environment R/617/0926 credit value = 2

Lifeguard Staff Training

We offer Lifeguard Training for existing lifeguards from your workplace. Some of our clients have included North West Leicestershire District Council, Green Bank Leisure Centre, The Snow Dome, Loughborough University. Sessions comprise of 1 Hour water based training & 1 hour theory based training. All sessions contribute to the 20 hours required to renew the NPLQ qualification.

Course Calendar Book Online
Lifeguard Training Course

RLSS National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers & Coaches

Whether you help out with the local swimming school lessons or coach the GB Olympic squad, your number one priority must always be the safety of swimmers in your charge.

NRASTC is the leading safety supervision award for swimming teachers and swimming coaches. This course provides all the basics to enable you as a coach or teacher to provide basic rescue & life support skills in a swimming pool environment. This is not a substitute for the NPLQ. The handbook includes all the information necessary to undertake, train and assess the National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches. Handbook includes a Candidate Assessment Form. It is also recognised in ‘Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools’ as being appropriate for those supervising programmed activities.

The minimum candidate age for this qualification is 16 years.

Course Calendar Book Online
RLSS Lifeguard Qualifications

Aquatic Therapy Shallow Pool Rescue Award (ATSPRA)

RLSS UK’s Aquatic Therapy Shallow Pool Rescue Award (ATSPRA) is a supervision and rescue qualification for therapists, teachers and support staff working on the poolside or in the water during activities such as aquatic therapy or therapeutic exercise/play.

The qualification is suitable for use in shallow pools where the rescuer will not be required to swim to perform a rescue, with water no deeper than the rescuers chest depth.

Course Calendar Book Online
Free Poolside Safety Training Course

Free Safety Around Water Training for Schools

Elite Training solutions has teamed up with the Royal Life saving society to help children & young adults stay safe in and around water for more information on staying safe around water please visit www.rlss.org.uk

Elite Training Solutions are pleased to announce we are offering free educational training for schools nurseries, colleges,to promote safety in & around water.

Our training can be tailored for ages 3-11 years or 11-15 years of age. We use a mixture of fun interactive training, video and group activities to ensure all children & young adults know the dangers and how to stay safe in and around water. Please see a sample selection of video’s we use as part of our educational training.

If you would like us to provide free educational training to your school or nursery please contact us on the below methods.

Educational Training lasts aproximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Course Calendar Book Online
Free Poolside Safety Training Course

National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (NRASTC)

NRASTC is a supervision and rescue award for swimming teachers, coaches and/or instructors working during programmed activities, such as swimming lessons. It is suitable for teachers working in a wide range of swimming pools where the water is deeper than the teachers’ standing depth and meets the Individual sites risk assessment.

Course Calendar Book Online

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