Issue 3.1 (revised summer 2006)
The following is the assessment syllabus for the Beach Lifeguard Qualification. It is designed to test your knowledge and skills on the whole syllabus, however the syllabus of skills taught is broader than the actual assessment.
The qualification is in two main units + specialist add on units:
- Unit 1 - Principles of beach supervision and rescue
- Unit 2 - The application of beach safety management and rescue procedures
- Specialist Unit - Rescue Paddle Craft (primarily use of rescue boards, but rescue skis, malibu boards, canoes and rowing boats can also be taught).
UNIT 1 - Principles of beach supervision and rescue
Element A - THEORY
For the assessment you will need to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following by answering to the satisfaction of the Assessor one question on each of the following topics and an additional two questions selected at random:
- Water Safety
- Accident Prevention
- Hazard Identification
- The Principles of Operating Procedures (NOP/EAP)
- The Principles of Communication Systems
- The Role of the Lifeguard
- Principles and Methods of Rescue
- Observation and Zoning
- Dealing with the Public
- Use and maintenance of Basic Rescue Equipment
Questions and responses will be in accordance with the principles and practices set out in the current RLSS UK publication Beach Lifeguarding.
Element B - LIFE SUPPORT
You will be expected to perform life support skills to an excellent standard.
B1 - Demonstration of assessment and treatment of a simulated unconscious casualty
"This is a demonstration on a live simulated casualty of the correct diagnosis and initial stages of treatment for a person who seems to be unconscious. It will include turning from prone to supine; action for vomiting and the recovery position. You have just come across this person show me what you would do."
B2 - Demonstration of Adult Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
"This is a demonstration on an approved adult manikin of the assessment of a casualty who seems to be unconscious and not breathing, followed by a 2 minute sequence of CPR using the techniques appropriate for a single rescuer. You have just come across this casualty show me what you would do."
B3 - Demonstration of CPR with more than one rescuer on a casualty rescued from the water, using a pocket mask
"Demonstrate CPR with a pocket mask on and adult manikin for a casualty who has been rescued from the water. Demonstrate an efficient changeover to a second rescuer when appropriate. "
B4 - Demonstration of CPR on a child manikin
"This is a demonstration on a child manikin of the assessment of a child casualty who seems to be unconscious and not breathing, followed by a 3 minute sequence of CPR."
B5 - Demonstration of CPR on a baby manikin
"This is a demonstration on a baby manikin of the assessment of a baby casualty who seems to be unconscious and not breathing, followed by a 3 minute sequence of CPR."
B6 - Incident Management
Show competence in the application of life support skills in a staged incident that requires the demonstration, the diagnosis and treatment of two casualties.
B7 - Knowledge and Understanding of Basic Life Support
Answer 1 question on each of the following topics:
- Basic life support sequence
- Differences in life support for adults, children and babies
Element C - FIRST AID
C1 - Knowledge and Understanding
Demonstrate underpinning knowledge and understanding of the following by answering one question from each of the following topics:
- Fractures (including aquatic spinal injury)
- Marine injuries
- Heatstroke and sunburn
- Burns / Scalds
- Hypothermia and cold shock
- Dressings / Bandages
C2 - First Aid Incident Management
This test forms part of Unit 2, the application of lifeguard skills and knowledge.
Element D - Practical Assessment - POOL
D1 - Timed Swim
Swim 400 metres in 8 minutes or less (in swimwear). The time for the first 200m will also be recorded. Goggles may be worn.
D2 - Unconscious casualty rescue
Using a torpedo buoy, swim 100m to a floating casualty who can be considered to be unconscious and not breathing. Demonstrate deep water supported Rescue Breathing and return over 100m to a point of entry. Continue Rescue Breathing on the return. Land with trained assistance and place in the recovery position.
D3 – Personal Safety
Demonstrate two escapes, and two defences.
Rescue of two locked swimmers - taking a torpedo buoy, enter the water and swim up to 10m to two casualties in deep water who are locked together. Effect a rescue and bring both casualties to safety.
Element E – Practical Assessment - BEACH
You must have successfully completed Element D before being assessed for Element E.
E1 - Unconscious Casualty
- An unconscious casualty has disappeared from sight 50m beyond waist depth. A second lifeguard is available to direct the candidate to the point at which the casualty was last sighted.
- Taking a torpedo buoy, enter the water and swim to a point as directed by the second lifeguard. On reaching that point, submerge and show evidence of having reached the bottom (maximum depth 2m).
- Collect and return the casualty giving supported Rescue Breathing regularly on the return.
- Land the casualty with assistance and carry out two-operator CPR (using an approved face mask) on a recognised manikin for 3 minutes.
E2 - Conscious Casualty
- A conscious casualty is in difficulty in deep water 200m from the point of entry.
- The lifeguard is on land 400m from that point of entry. Taking a torpedo buoy carry out a run-swim-tow rescue of the casualty.
- Run 400 metres, enter the water and swim 200 metres to a casualty and tow 200 metres to a point on land.
- On returning to the beach, treat the casualty for hypothermia, with assistance from the lifeguard team.
Equipment - swim fins are permitted but all equipment must be carried from the start of the test.
E3 - Rescue of two locked swimmers
- Taking a torpedo buoy, enter the water and swim between 15 and 25m to deep water to two casualties who are locked together. Effect a rescue and bring both casualties to safety.
Specialist Unit - Rescue Paddlecraft
Aim: To introduce qualified lifeguards to the basic skills required for handling rescue paddlecraft competently.
NOTE - passing the assessment for this unit is not compulsory to achieve the basic qualification but the skills will be taught using rescue boards and in most cases will also be assessed.
1. Craft Familiarisation:
- Handling elements
- Basic terminology
- Preparing the craft for use
- Preparation of craft for stowage
2. Basic Maintenance:
- Checking and testing craft and personal equipment
- Basic craft repairs
3. Basic paddlecraft handling:
- Prepare for launching
- Controlled launching
- Forward movement
- Reverse movement
- Turning the craft
- Quick stop
- Getting on and off in deep water
4. Rescue paddlecraft skills:
- Recovery of conscious casualty
- Recovery of unconscious casualty
- Supported rescue breathing using a simulated casualty
- Landing conscious and unconscious casualties
- Use of paddlecraft within teamwork
- Communications with other team members
- Hazard identification
6. Bends and hitches
Execute the following bends and hitches and identify their uses:
- Reef knot
- Round turn and two half hitches
Specialist Unit Assessment
1: Rescue a conscious casualty with the paddlecraft from beyond the break (working within local operating procedures and taking into account the prevailing conditions, a distance of no more than 100m)
2: Rescue an unconscious casualty with the paddlecraft (working within local operating procedures and taking into account the prevailing conditions)
Answer one question from each heading and an additional two questions selected at random:
- Safety in use of the craft
- Basic maintenance of the craft
- Basic preparation of the craft
- Aspects of the craft not demonstrated in the practical assessment
Candidates will be accredited with a surf rescue endorsement when the two practical tests are assessed under surf conditions with a regular wave height of one metre and at a venue where surf related pastimes regularly take place.
NOTE - this is weather dependent, however if there is no surf on the day of assessment candidates will be offered the chance to achieve this accreditation at a later date.
UNIT 2 - Application of Beach Safety Management and Rescue Procedures
This unit is intended to take the skills and knowledge acquired during the Unit 1 training and put them into an applied environment that relates to the specific nature and equipment of the venue at which the training is being delivered.
Employment at the training facility is NOT a pre-requisite for completion of the elements of either unit. All participants on a course can complete both of the units at the training venue.
Where a lifeguard goes on to be employed elsewhere, it is a management responsibility to ensure that the relevant site specific training is incorporated into an induction course.
NB - Unit 2 training for NSVL courses will be for Whitley Bay beach, with the option to do site specific training for the very different beaches of Cullercoats, Tynemouth Longsands and King Edward's Bay.
Work within the Beach Safety Operating Procedures at the training and assessment venue to effectively manage an emergency incident.
The test should include appropriate elements of the Normal Operating Procedures as well as the implementation of the Emergency Action Plan in dealing with an emergency. This may not be a mjor emergency but should give the candidate the opportunity to demonstrate a sound knowledge of their role, demonstrate a wide range of skills and utilise equipment available at the site.
The incident may have up to three casualties with lifeguards working in a team situation and should incorporate the following:
- The management of an in-water casualty
- The management of a casualty requiring first aid
Following the completion of the practical tests the candidate will complete the appropriate post-incident paperwork and answer questions to justify their actions to demonstrate their underpinning knowledge of their skills.
END OF ALL TESTS