As a swimming teacher, you will be used to equipping children and adults with essential skills to keep them safe in the water. But have you ever considered what would happen if, during one of your lessons, one of your students was in difficulty? Would you have the confidence and the skills to help them or even conduct a rescue?

This unsettling scenario is why so many swimming teachers supplement their qualifications with the RLSS UK’s National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (NRASTC).

Swimming teachers have a duty of care to the participants in their sessions to ensure they remain safe and able to react in an emergency. The widely recognised NRASTC supervision and rescue award enables swimming teachers, coaches, and instructors to provide a level of safety cover during their programmed sessions by giving them the skills to supervise and the knowledge to perform a rescue and administer first aid care following an incident.

NRASTC is suitable for teachers working in a wide range of swimming pools where the water is deeper than the teacher’s standing depth and meets the individual site’s risk assessment. The award is open to anyone aged 16 years and above who can swim a minimum of 20m on their front and back and climb out of the water unaided without using steps or ladders.

Whether you deliver lessons for children in a school, run parent and baby classes in your local leisure centre or work independently for a swimming school, there is a NRASTC award to suit your needs.

Designed to suit your needs

NRASTC award development was in consultation with some of the RLSS UK's key stakeholders, including Swim England, Water Babies, national leisure providers and operators, swim schools and more than 1,000 RLSS UK Trainer Assessors.

The award is available in two formats to meet the requirements of today’s swimming teachers, coaches, and instructors – NRASTC and NRASTC LIGHT. Completed over two days, the full NRASTC is the total solution for swimming teachers and coaches responsible for the supervision, rescue and first aid cover for their programmed session. Including, for example, Water Babies swim teachers working independently in a pool with no lifeguard cover.

After this comprehensive training, swimming teachers and coaches can assess risks, recognise casualties, and get casualties out of the water to make a recovery. They have the skills to perform CPR and the confidence to manage a range of casualty situations ranging from those with spinal injuries to those who suffer medical conditions like asthma and diabetes.

NRASTC LIGHT does not include the first aid elements of the full NRASTC award and, as such, takes just one day to complete. This award is only suitable for swimming teachers and coaches who work in a venue with qualified lifeguards or first aiders who can respond quickly in an emergency.

Sallie Walters, Broom Swim School, said: “All our swimming teachers hold a RLSS UK NRASTC certificate, and we regularly complete ongoing training for proficiency in the lifesaving skills taught. The course is fun and engaging and provides reassurance for me - as the owner and founder of the business - and the parents of the children participating in the swimming lessons and ensures that the teachers can prevent dangerous incidents from happening during lessons and react quickly and without panicking if they do. I believe that all swimming teachers and coaches should gain this certificate.”  

The NRASTC certificate is valid for two years, and holders can complete a one-day renewal course before the expiration of the award.

Click here to find a NRASTC course near you

Click here for more information about other RLSS UK Qualifications and Awards 

Click here for information about pool safety equipment