PLEASE NOTE: This page is archive information - please visit the COVID pages for the most up to date guidance. 

Updated 19 January 2021

Qualification Expiry Dates

We are very aware of the challenges that coronavirus (COVID-19) is still causing, and RLSS UK remains committed to supporting all of our members, qualification holders, and customers throughout this period.

We understand that renewing qualifications and awards is difficult at this time, but it is worth remembering, everyone will need to be qualified to get back to work as and when required.

For more information about qualification and award extensions please click here

Adaptations to the Administration of Assessments

To facilitate an increased number of assessments when Centres reopen, and to support the requalification of staff and safe operation of facilities, the following adaptations to the administration of assessments have been approved via the VTQ Extraordinary Framework.

These adaptations are designed to reduce the administrative burden on Centres and Assessors whilst maintaining robust assessment standards during this short period only (06/07/2020- 31/12/2021):

1. Theory Assessment Papers

For assessments which include theory Assessment Papers (NPLQ only), the adaptations are:

  • The course trainer may invigilate and mark the theory assessment question papers.
  • Theory assessments may be invigilated at a ratio of 12 candidates to one invigilator (the Trainer or an Assessor)
  • The independent assessor is required to verify the correct marking of each theory assessment question paper and countersign the paperwork before the results are reported to IQL UK via the normal process (Assessment Form or online forms).

2. Four Consecutive Assessment Rule

For qualifications which permit an Assessor to complete a maximum of four consecutive assessments for the same Trainer, this rule will not apply during this period.

3. Requirement for CPD for renewal of some qualifications

For qualifications that require CPD hours to allow a candidate to complete a renewal assessment (NPLQ/ OWL and NRASTC LIGHT/ NRASTC), there are 2 changes:

The period in which CPD hours will be collected.

This has been extended in line with extended qualifications. For example, if a candidate holds an NRASTC that was due to expire on 5 January 2021, this has been extended to expire on 31 May 2021. CPDs can be collected from 6 January 2019 (when the NRASTC was awarded) through until 31 May 2021.

The amount of CPD hours required to collect prior to renewal assessment.

Due to the closure of the leisure industry for a huge proportion of 2020 and now the start of 2021, we have reviewed the requirement and have temporarily amended the requirement for the duration of 2021.

  • NPLQ holders will need 10 hours of CPD prior to a renewal assessment in 2021.
  • OWL holders will need 5 hours of CPD prior to a renewal assessment in 2021.
  • NRASTC LIGHT/ NRASTC holders will need 3 hours of CPD prior to a renewal assessment in 2021.

The guidance and syllabus must be followed with the following changes:


10 hours Continued Professional Development from the date of previous assessment covering content from the NPLQ syllabus:

  • In-water swimming pool rescue skills (at least 2 hrs)
  • CPR (at least 2 hrs)
  • First Aid (at least 2 hrs)
  • Lifeguard theory (at least 2 hrs)


5 hours Continued Professional Development from the date of previous assessment covering content from the OWL syllabus:

  • The Open Water Lifeguard, environment, hazards and supervision (at least 1 hr)
  • Responding to an emergency and taking action (at least 1 hr)
  • CPR and First Aid (at least 1 hr)


3 hours Continued Professional Development from the date of the previous assessment covering content from the syllabus:

  • The Teacher, Swimming Pool and Class Management (at least 1 hour)
  • In-water swimming pool rescue skills (at least 1 hour)
  • CPR, AED, and First Aid (at least 1 hour)

RLSS UK strongly advises that candidates complete online, ongoing training available, and attend a refresher session with competency assessment prior to the renewal assessment.

Please note- the requirement for ongoing training and competency assessment remains the responsibility of the Employer and they are to ensure the lifeguard or swimming teacher is competent to carry out their duties.

All other assessment requirements remain the same.

The ATC/Ps should include information on the course records when these adaptations have been applied. This is required for the auditing process.

This policy expires on 31 December 2021.

Should you have any questions, please e-mail [email protected].