Introduction to Pool Lifeguarding

Pool lifeguards work as part of a team to keep a close watch over the pool and its users in order to anticipate potential problems and act to prevent them, identify emergencies quickly and take appropriate emergency action and first aid where necessary.

The National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ 8th Edition) meets all the criteria required for the training and certification of pool lifeguards and is accepted by most swimming pools as the benchmark qualification needed to work as a lifeguard. The qualification is recognised in the National Qualifications Framework as the Level 2 Certificate in Swimming Pool Supervision and Rescue and can be used as evidence when working towards a number of S/NVQ units.

The NPLQ was updated in 2012, when the Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS) released the 8th edition of the qualification.  The 7th edition qualification is still valid for those who became qualified before December 2012, however all courses and renewals are now based on the 8th edition.  By December 2014, all pool lifeguards will hold the updated qualification.


The course includes three main sections:

  • The lifeguard, swimming pool and supervision
  • Intervention, rescue and emergency action plan
  • CPR, AED and first aid

You will take part in both wet and dry training sessions and will also build communication, team work and fitness skills during the course.

Courses are run regularly in the North East, ranging in price from around £180-£250.  All courses can be found on the RLSS course finder at  NSVL courses will be advertised on the courses page.


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