RLSS UK National Pool Lifeguard Qualification

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 publication ‘Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools’ 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 RLSS UK NPLQ is not just a qualification it can be a stepping stone into a career within the leisure industry.


36 hours with an optional bolt on element of Automated External Defibrilation 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.


Every candidate, prior to commencement of training for the NPLQ must:

  • Be 16 years of age at the time of taking the NPLQ assessment;
  • Be able to meet the following basic fitness criteria:-
  • 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



Training and assessment for the NPLQ is in three sections and all must be successfully passed to attain the NPLQ.


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 – Automated External Defibrillation (AED)

Element 2 – First Aid

Element 2 of Section 3 can include an optional bolt of AED on to the qualification.


RLSS UK NPLQ Course Assessment

Assessment for the NPLQ takes place at the conclusion of a training course for a minimum of 36 hours for new candidates. It determines your knowledge and understanding of the principles of working as a pool lifeguard. The assessment will also determine your ability to apply the skills and knowledge in a work-related environment as they would apply in a swimming pool. Your ability is assessed in a range of lifeguarding skills which enable you to deal with common emergency situations in pools.

The Unit 1 assessment is in four parts:

  • Practical pool assessment
  • Theory assessment
  • First aid assessment
  • CPR assessment

All sections of the NPLQ must be successfully assessed within a 28 day period, and for renewal candidates, within the period of validity of your existing qualification.


Renewal of the RLSS UK NPLQ

Renewal candidates may renew their qualification only within the period of validity of their existing qualification as stated on the insignia.

Candidates must meet the following on-going training criteria before being submitted for a renewal assessment:

  • Provide written evidence of having completed a minimum 20 hours lifesaving, CPR, first aid and competency assessment in conjunction with the undertaking of lifeguard duties within the period of validity of the qualification
  • Hold a current full National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ)
  • Have access to a copy of “The Lifeguard”, available from Lifesavers Direct.
  • Where lifeguards undertake their activities as part of a club or other voluntary group, the same criteria must be applied in order to ensure a consistent standards within the constraints of their reduced responsibilities.

Costs: See FAQ

Aquatic Therapy Shallow Pool Rescue Award (ATSPRA)

This course 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.  


When Emergency First Aid at Work and AED training are integrated with this course the training hours are extended.

Cost: See FAQ


National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (NRASTC)

The NRASTC is a supervision and rescue qualification for teachers working on the poolside or in the water during programmed activities, such as a swimming lesson. It is suitable for teachers working in a wide range of swimming pools, including pools where the water is deeper than the teacher’s standing depth.

When Emergency First Aid at Work and AED training are integrated with this course the training hours are extended.

 Cost: See FAQ

Adult First Aid & Safeguarding courses

Lifeguard Training

Paediatric First Aid

AED – Defibrilator Training

www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=685234475199062&id=100011375465482 ... See MoreSee Less

Sky News ran an item this morning which suggested that butter should be applied to a burn. Please don't do this. 20 minutes of cool running water applied to the affected area is the best immediate first aid and can significantly reduce long term damage. Commenting on this our consultant plastic surgeon Baljit Dheansa said: "It's so important to get good first aid quickly as it can reduce the impact of a burn injury. It could be the difference between dressings and the need for a skin graft. 20 minutes of running water as soon as possible but can be effective even two hours later." We've burns first aid advice on our website - well worth a read ow.ly/C4GG30hWXAt

View on Facebook

May this coming year be a healthy and happy 😃 one to you all🎉🎉🎉🎈🎈🎈🙏-Danny ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Last session of the year - have a good break guys👍⭐️👏🏻🎈🎉 ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook


Show Buttons
Hide Buttons