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Water Safety

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 and is also internationally recognised. The NPLQ is an excellent starting point for anyone looking for a career in the leisure industry.


The NPLQ course is a minimum of 36 hours long followed by a practical assessment on pool lifeguard theory, pool rescue, first aid and CPR. There is also the option to obtain additional qualifications during an NPLQ course.


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

Subjects covered:

The Lifeguard & the Law

Swimming Pool, Hazards & Control Measures

Swimming Pool Supervision

Intervention & Rescue

Emergency Action Plan

Rescue of a casualty with suspected spinal injury


First Aid

Automated External Defibrillation

National Rescue Test for Swimming Teachers/Coaches

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.

Subjects covered:

The Teacher, swimming pool and class management

Intervention rescue and emergency action

CPR and first aid

Emergency Pool Response

The ER Pool qualification and courses are administered by RLSS UK and the minimum contact training time for this course is 14 hours with a maximum of 8 hours contact time per day, excluding break periods and changing time. Structured training will be in accordance with the syllabus.

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.

ER Pool is Level 1 equivalent qualification.

Subjects covered:

Pool safety theory

Life Support

Emergency first aid and management of water rescue skills