Water safety training is critical for any business with employees working in, on, or near water. Not only is it a legal requirement, but it is essential for ensuring your workforce remains safe. Incidents with water can happen quickly and unexpectedly, and the consequences can be severe. Hence, having the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about managing water safety is really important. Click here for Water Safety Advice for Your Business, or click here to read our blog, Why Water Safety Training Matters.

How do I know which water safety training is right for me or my employees? 

What water safety training course you require depends on the nature of your work and your proximity to water. We have created a helpful guide to help you identify which water safety training is most appropriate for your business needs. Click here for our Picking the Right Water Safety Training for Your Business guide.

If, after reading the blog post, you are still unsure which is the most appropriate water safety training, then contact the RLSS UK team at [email protected] or 0300 323 0096 to discuss your specific requirements; the team will be pleased to advise you on the most suitable option. 

What is the difference between NWSMP and NWSMP DEFRA? 

NWSMP is suitable for those working near water, providing safety cover during structured managed activities such as teachers on field trips or Community Safety Wardens. NWSMP DEFRA is aligned with the outcomes and objectives of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) water safety training requirements and is for employees whose work activities mean that they have work responsibilities when working near water and at times of flooding. If you want to know more about which course suits your business needs, visit our How to Pick the Correct Water Safety Training for Your Business guide. 

How do I find a NWSMP DEFRA course? 

NWSMP DEFRA courses run across England, Wales, and Ireland. You can find a RLSS UK NWSMP DEFRA course near you by viewing the RLSS UK Course Finder or find an Instructor by scrolling to the bottom of the NWSMP DEFRA page. 

How do I become a NWSMP DEFRA Trainer? 

To become a NWSMP DEFRA Trainer, you must become an RLSS UK Trainer Assessor (TA) with NWSMP Specialism. You must hold a full NWSMP DEFRA qualification and complete the RLSS UK TA Core qualification, plus two additional training days in the NWSMP specialism. For more information, visit www.rlss.org.uk/become-a-trainer-assessor

Is NWSMP DEFRA suitable for teams working near floods?  

With bad weather set to continue and serious flood warnings becoming the norm, safety around floodwater could mean the difference between life and death. The NWSMP DEFRA water safety course is suitable for a range of employers and their employees, including ecologists, environmental agencies, construction workers, private estates, waterways agencies and trusts, wildlife trusts, Local Authorities/Trusts, Councils and Parish Councils that have teams working near floods, and any other companies that have business activities near water.  

What are the consequences of not offering water safety training to employees?

Recognised and respected water safety training is more than a legal requirement; it’s a crucial investment in the wellbeing of your employees. Incidents can happen quickly and unexpectedly, and the consequences can be severe. It’s imperative, therefore, that organisations take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their employees. To find out more about why water safety training matters, visit www.rlss.org.uk/blog/why-water-safety-training-matters 

How long is the NWSMP DEFRA qualification valid? 

The NWSMP DEFRA certificate is valid for two years. To renew, candidates must attend a one-day renewal course before the certificate expires.    

What type of businesses is the NWSMP DEFRA course suitable for? 

The NWSMP DEFRA course is suitable for workers who may work on, in or near water as part of their role. Depending on the business activities, the module the staff need to complete may vary; modules available include Module 1 - Water & Flood Awareness Training, Module 1 & Annex H - Water & Flood Non-Rescue Operations or Module 2 – Water & Flood First Responder. The types of businesses it is suitable for include but are not restricted to Ecologists, Construction Workers, Groundworkers, Site Managers, Utilities Engineers, Emergency Services, Wildlife Trusts staff, Waterway Agencies, Flood Control Personnel, Watercourse Maintenance staff and Environment Engineers, Environment Agencies, flood technicians and flood response teams, River Water Quality Surveyors. To help you choose the correct water safety training for your business needs, visit our How to Pick the Correct Water Safety Training for Your Business guide. 

How long is the NWSMP DEFRA course? 

The length of time will be dependent on which modules you are attending:  

Module 1 - Water & Flood Awareness Training 4 hours
Module 1 & Annex H - Water & Flood Non-Rescue Operations – 6 hours
Module 2 – Water & Flood First Responder 14 hours  

To find a NWSMP – DEFRA course, visit www.rlss.org.uk/course-finder. 

How much does the NWSMP DEFRA course cost? 

The NWSMP course will usually cost between £150 and £250 (depending on the modules taken, venue and location). To find a NWSMP – DEFRA course, visit www.rlss.org.uk/course-finder 

Do I need equipment or safety clothing for the NWSMP DEFRA course? 

The trainer delivering the course may supply all the equipment and safety clothing you require, but it is worth checking with them before the course   

Will I have to get in the water during the NWSMP DEFRA course? 

Yes, you will be required to enter the water for all NWSMP DEFRA modules except Module 1 – Water & Flood Awareness Training.

What is Annex H of the NWSMP DEFRA course? 

Annex H is a Water & Flood Non-Rescue Operations training module. It is designed for individuals and businesses who may need to support rescue organisations, especially in response to flooding. It also covers general water safety awareness training and basic self-rescue techniques. Click here for more information about Annex H module training.