National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ), it is just the beginning!

Many people we know started their careers as Lifeguards and their journeys have taken them to fantastic futures, don’t take our word for it, see for yourself:           


Simon Blackadder, Leisure Centre Manager

"I started my career as a lifeguard, I was attracted to it as the weekend and evening shifts and flexibility of the role suited my needs at the time.  Since then I have been in a number of positions within the company and I am now General Manager of an £11.5million facility that attracts over 400,000 customer visitors every year.  Lifeguarding is a great career path as it is rewarding and allows you to develop skills including communication and people skills."


Grace Webb, TV Presenter 

Grace Webb is the Presenter of the CBeebies series, ‘Grace’s Amazing Machines,’ and was an educator on the highly anticipated ‘BBC Bitesize Daily,’ but, she started her career as a lifeguard at her local swimming pool. Talking about her time as a lifeguard, she said that she enjoyed the training aspect of the job and supporting the community. To read Grace’s full story click here.


Andy Marsh, Chief Constable

“You wouldn’t believe the skills I learnt as a lifeguard, the doors it opened and the fun I had. During my 4 years as a beach lifeguard, I developed valuable life skills including; excellent communication skills, dealing with conflict, critical decision making and leadership skills. I also enhanced my personal developments skills including; focus, discipline, and personal achievement. Lifeguarding is a very sensible decision for anyone starting their career.”


Antony Coia, Prison Officer, HMP Barlinnie, Scottish Prison Service

“My experience as a Lifeguard supported me in being a Prison Officer as I learnt the skills of working in a team, assisting the public and being observant. I also gained experience in dealing with members of the public, resolving issues, and helping them where required, or even just being there to talk to someone.” Antony started as a Lifeguard, read how his career developed and how lifeguarding helped him by clicking here.  


Luisa Petta, Nurse at Southampton Children’s hospital 

I started as a lifeguard and now work as an intensive care nurse at Southampton Children’s Hospital. The lifesaving skills I learnt at South Worcester Lifesaving and Lifeguarding Club, have been a great basis for those that I needed to become a paediatric nurse in a busy ICU. Some of the key skills I learnt as a lifeguard are, communication, compassion, and the ability to listen and I use these often when supporting the children and their families on a busy ward. For Luisa's story during COVID-19 click here


Tristan Smith, Mounted Police Officer

“I was looking for a job that could take me forward in my application for the police. I chose lifeguarding and it was a fantastic decision – I was challenged, I had responsibility and I learnt invaluable lifesaving and people skills.”


Andy Carter-Weston, Paramedic (HART Team)

“The core First Aid skills I learnt as a lifeguard really helped me during the ambulance service assessment process. The life skills I learnt from dealing with emergency situations in the pool; being able to engage and talk with members of the public and make people feel at ease, have been vital in the job that I do today.”


Jo Talbot, Commercial Director, RLSS UK 

“I’m proud to say that I started my career in the sector by doing an apprenticeship in leisure and training as a lifeguard. Twenty years on, and now as Director of IQL UK and RLSS UK Qualifications at the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), I’ve never been more passionate about lifeguarding and drowning prevention. I can honestly say that the skills and knowledge I gained as a lifeguard, have been invaluable throughout my entire career and have undoubtedly led me to my current role as Director - positioning RLSS UK as market leaders for water safety qualifications and the go-to organisation for drowning prevention education.”


Michael Loveless, Operational Support Officer

“I learnt many skills as a lifeguard that have helped me with my career in the police service, especially dealing with the public, first aid and resuscitation.  These skills have been really valuable especially during training, in my dealings with the public and also at incidents.”


Caroline Peters, Chief Superintendent

"When we are looking for potential recruits for the police force, we are looking for many skills you can gain as a lifeguard. These include excellent communication skills, both verbally and aurally; and the confidence to adapt those skills to particular situations, from people simply needing directions to people who are very distressed. Lifeguards also have good fitness, discipline, and clarity of thought for quick decision making in a variety of scenarios. However, the biggest skills are team working and team building so that everybody knows their role and how to meet the objective." 


Tara Dillion, CEO of CIMSPA

I started as a lifeguard and have worked in the sport and physical activity sector for 30 years and know that there has never been a more exciting time to enter it.  Over the past few years, the sector has expanded from being solely focused on teaching a sport or lifeguard at a swimming pool to treating patients referred by a doctor, improving an athlete’s performance or improving the life skills and physical literacy of children and the opportunities for career development are now endless. 


Dan Jacklin, Consulting Director, SLS Management Consultancy

“I started as a Lifeguard aged 16, then trained further to become an RLSS TA and then NTA. Drawing on over 10 years' experience in leisure, involving several senior management safety, training, and entrepreneurial roles, I now support the RLSS UK with commercial leisure safety consultancy. I also support the Court and parties considering, or in the process of, litigation with regards to commercial wet leisure issues (primarily in personal injury/crime/employment cases) in the UK, Ireland and increasingly in travel law cases across the globe. I have always enjoyed working and training with RLSS UK. The most valuable skill I have gained is being able to do CPR and being able to help others to prevent drowning is incredibly rewarding.” Follow Dan’s career pathway below.


RLSS UK is the leading provider of Lifeguard training, with more than 40,000 Pool Lifeguards qualifying with an RLSS UK National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) every year! For more information on the NPLQ, click here

An apprenticeship in leisure could take you on a journey to an amazing career. You could earn whilst you learn, gain valuable qualifications to equip you to progress and build a bright future.

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