Can a first aid qualification be included in the NPLQ programme?
Yes, provided that the trainer is also an HSE approved FAW Trainer. The NPLQ syllabus incorporates sufficient material to cover the syllabus for the Emergency Aid Certificate. A full HSE First Aid at Work Certificate can be included within the programme but this will extend the course. Full details are available by contacting IQL UK Ltd.
Can people begin training as lifeguards before they are 16?
If I lose or damage my NPLQ certificate can I get it replaced?
Can a candidate wear goggles?
Can a candidate with a hearing disability take the NPLQ?
A lifeguard should have a good level of physical fitness. A lifeguards level of hearing and vision should be appropriate to the environment in which they are working. For further details see IQLs Equal Opportunities Policy.
Can a depth endorsement be changed on the NPLQ card?
Can an NPLQ expiry date be extended if a candidate has not completed the relevant 20 hours worth of training during 2 years?
Can I use an NPLQ as a pre requisite for an open water award?
Unfortunately no, the NPLQ does not include much of the preparation needed for open water work (e.g. water safety, survival in water). The candidate will have to complete or previously held a Bronze Medallion before the open water element however we would accept a current NPLQ instead of a life support award.
Can the NPLQ expiry date be extended without going through the renewal process?
Does passing the NPLQ automatically gain you membership and insurance through RLSS UK?
Does the three assessments rule apply to the RTSSD?
How can I transfer my qualification to a UK NPLQ?
Unfortunately RLSS UK is unable to transfer any qualification over to the NPLQ without attendance at a course. We advise you to find out where any courses are within your area (either on the courses page of our web site www.rlsscourses.org.uk or ask at your local swimming pool).
How long have candidates got to complete the award?
How many hours can you work poolside in one session? Is there a recommended length of time a lifeguard should be on poolside and how long a break before they go back to poolside?
The RLSS UK Lifeguard manual states that "No one on duty at the poolside for a long time can be expected to remain alert." RLSS UK recommends that you spend no longer than 60 minutes at the poolside and in exceptional circumstances, no longer than 90 minutes in the pool hall itself." However it would also be the decision of the pool operator based on a full and thorough risk assessment process to decide how long someone should spend on poolside.
How many staff members can attend an ongoing lifeguard training session with one Trainer Assessor?
I am on prescription medication; will this affect my ability to get a job?
The best advice we can give you is to see your GP and give them a copy of the Personal Performance Record and Assessment Matrix off our web site. Your GP will then be able to use these to make the required assessment. The Personnel section of the council you are planning to work for would also be able to give you further advice.
I have a candidate that wants to attend my NPLQ course who holds a current NBLQ. What hours & skills will I be able to use as approved prior learning?
I have a member of staff who has just informed me that they are pregnant and is unable to retake their award prior to the expiry date. What can we do?
When they return back from maternity leave, you can put them through a competence based assessment to see if they need any training. If this has been completed by an NPLQ Trainer Assessor (TA) then this training can be added to their training over the past 2 years. Once they are competent and have at least 36 hours of training by an NPLQ TA at an Approved Training Centre then they can be presented for assessment in the usual way. The details will have to be entered on a white new candidate form before being sent to RLSS UK for processing.
I have a question about the Approved Training Centre scheme
I have just passed my NPLQ and I would like to use it in America. Is it transferable?
The best advice I can give you is to contact an employer in America and they will be able to let you know if they will accept our NPLQ or you will have to attend a short course to gain their qualification. If you currently hold an NPLQ qualification and you are seeking to work as a lifeguard outside of the UK then you can apply for an international certificate. In order to apply for your international certificate please complete the attached form and send this back to IQL
Is it illegal to work as a lifeguard without insurance?
Is the NPLQ (National Pool Lifeguard Qualification) the required qualification for swimming pool supervision and rescue?
The NPLQ has been designed to meet the requirements set out in the HSE publication "Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools" (the leisure industry guidance for pool safety) but it would be the decision of the operator to decide to accept any qualification (through the risk assessment process) or any potential lifeguard. The NPLQ is regarded as the gold standard in terms of UK lifeguarding qualifications and is recognised internationally.
Lifeguard Qualifications from abroad
Can I use my Lifeguard qualification from abroad in the UK?
The responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of both employees and members of the public in swimming pools in the UK is that of the employer, the pool operator. It is set out in the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974. This includes the decision on whom to employ as a pool lifeguard. Pool operators rely upon the guidance published by the Health and Safety Executive [HSE], in fulfilling this responsibility. That guidance is contained in a publication, "Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools" , which has a specification for a pool lifeguarding qualification. It is the pool operator who decides if a particular qualification meets that specification.
RLSS UK, through IQL (its specialist pool lifeguarding body), provides a pool lifeguarding qualification, the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification [NPLQ], which meets the specification in the above HSE publication. We recommend that qualification to pool operators. We are unable to evaluate other qualifications.
My NPLQ certificate has a depth of 2 m on it and I wish to work at a pool that is 3m deep. What can I do?
My NPLQ Trainer Assessor is about to expire, can I have an extension?
No, to requalify you will need to re attend the last 3 days of Pool Lifeguard Trainer Assessor course. Please see www.rlsscourse.org.uk for courses within your area.
My son holds an NPLQ and has been asked to lifeguard a neighbours pool birthday party. Is he covered to do this?
We have had an extra candidate on our course whose NPLQ is going to expire within the next couple of days. Can they be assessed on the day they expire and can the assessment forms be sent out before then?
They can be assessed on the day they expire and even if the assessment forms don’t get out to you as long as the assessment criteria has been met then the assessment can go ahead without the assessment forms. Once you receive the forms then you will have to arrange for the assessor to sign the forms after the assessment.
What has to be incorporated within ongoing training and competency assessment?
The HSE published “Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools”, HSG 179 and this document gives the following guidance, page 60:- To maintain the skills and competency of a lifeguard, suitable and sufficient training and competency assessment should be conducted regularly* by qualified training staff and will need to include:
- A fitness programme to include timed swims and towing and rescue methods
- Simulated incident training, working in a team, based on the site-specific (EAP)Emergency Action Plans
- A dive to the bottom of the deepest part of the pool to recover a simulated casualty (manikin)
- The use of poolside rescue equipment
- Revisions to the PSOP (Pool Safety Operating Procedures) due to changed circumstances
- Refresher training in supervision and scanning techniques
*Regularly means as required to suit the circumstances of the pool and sufficient to maintain competency. For example, medical authorities recommend that training in CPR takes place at least monthly. Records of the training undertaken and the objectives achieved for each individual should be maintained and be available for inspection by an authorised person. Ongoing, regular, suitable and sufficient training and assessments should ensure the competency of lifeguards. This should be supplemented by a two-yearly, external test of core or foundation skills, given by a suitably competent person and provided as a means of ensuring the authenticity and appropriateness of the ongoing training programme.
What is the length of validity for the RLSS UK NPLQ?
What is the minimum number of training and competency-based assessment hours for an NPLQ RENEWAL candidate?
A new candidate is 36 hours and for a renewal candidate a minimum of 20 hours training is required. 'Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools' (HSE) provides more general guidance on lifeguard training and competency assessment. For those that have completed other RLSS UK awards like the National Beach Lifeguard Qualifications a maximum of 12 hours can be accredited towards the training time.
Where can I find more details of IQL’s Customer Service Statement and Equal Opportunities Policy?
Where can I get a Lifeguard high chair from?
Lifesavers Direct would be able to supply you with all of the relevant information. Please visit www.lifesaversdirect.co.uk
While I am on holiday my NPLQ will expire. Can I complete the training and retake the assessment when I return?
Unfortunately you will need to hold a current NPLQ to qualify for the reduction in training hours. If you have 36 hours of 8th Edition NPLQ training completed over the previous 2 years with an NPLQ Trainer Assessor (TA) and can show an appropriate level of competency then the TA can present you for assessment. Once you have successfully completed all sections of the assessment then your details will need to be entered on to a white new candidate form before being sent to RLSS UK for processing.
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