How to become a lifeguard in the UK

If you’d like to become a lifeguard, you’ll be aware of the swimming proficiency you’ll need to achieve and the fitness levels you’ll need to exhibit, but what qualifications will you need? Finding out how to become a lifeguard in the UK isn’t difficult because there’s lot of information out there, but we've got a breakdown of the qualifications you'll need to get your dream job.
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Royal Life Saving Society UK

These are the people to get your qualification from. The society offer several qualifications, but the most commonly achieved one is the RLSS UK National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ). This qualification complies with industry guidelines contained within The Health and Safety Executive’s 'Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools' publication. This is normally a requirement in a lot of pool lifeguard roles, so it’s a qualification you should look into. For more information go to rlss.org.uk.

National Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NBLQ)

If you’re thinking of becoming a lifeguard for a beach, you’ll need the National Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NBLQ). This is the accepted standard qualification in the UK and Ireland. There are five elements taught on this course all of which are important for working in open waters. The elements are: lifeguard theory, resuscitation, pool and open water work. There are some additional modules that cover paddlecraft, personal fitness and personal water craft.

International Life Saving Qualifications

When you’re working abroad, you’ll need a different qualification in order to get work. You’ll be able to apply for an International Life Saving Qualification if you already hold either of the two previous ones. The process takes up to six weeks to achieve, but you’ll be able to get the international equivalent of the UK qualification you hold.

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