We are driven to do everything we can to help our qualification holders, Members, Trainers, and the Leisure industry, through COVID-19 (coronavirus), this joint challenge that we face. 

It is our commitment, over this period, to provide support, guidance, electronic resources, and development opportunities, so that everybody involved with RLSS UK can continue and recover, with the least possible disruption after lockdown.

Online access

We have moved most of our support functions online and our online shop, RLSS Direct, continues to operate.

We have introduced an online e-learning platform and rolled out free, ongoing training carrying CPD points, for all National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) holders. We have made 10 modules freely available throughout the duration of lockdown so that training does not stop completely, and members can quickly re-skill themselves. Over 50,000 CPDs have been awarded to date! The online, ongoing training is an enormous success and will become a benefit of membership when the industry reopens.


For our qualification holders, we worked hard and fast to negotiate and quickly confirm that all qualifications due to expire between 16 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 are extended by three months. This will be reviewed if the government lockdown continues.

For our industry, we recognised that being flexible about renewals is an element that will be crucial for the sector moving forward and we are constantly working with our partners to develop clear guidance and support, to help all ATC/Ps once the industry opens back up.


We are preparing guidance for our SHOUT venues and aqua park providers.

We are working with Swimming Pool Operators to create clear guidance for operating swimming pool safely once the Government allow leisure centres to open.

Collaborations with Swim England and CIMSPA are taking place to ensure our expertise is used to support the industry.


For our members, we are offering exclusive member benefits such as heavily discounted EduCare training for skill and CV development (in partnership with Creative Sport & Leisure), and delivering resources such as a fantastic series of short videos, William Henry Lectures where members share lifesaving teachings.

Trainers, Assessors, Instructors and Clubs

For our Trainers, Assessors, Instructors and Clubs, we have issued Health & Safety guidance and best practice on delivering training remotely so that courses can get back up and running, we’ve also shared guidance  for performing CPR during COVID-19, in accordance with the Resuscitation Council UK. There are also ongoing development opportunities such as the discounted Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET), (in partnership with Active IQ).

We have launched a short survey so that we can fully understand the impact of COVID-19 on clubs. This will aid us to work with partners to provide guidance and support - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FXG9VDH

For everyone

RLSS UK remains committed to reaching people with water safety messages to help ensure everyone can enjoy water, safely and ultimately, reduce the number of people who drown in the UK and Ireland. 

With Government guidance telling us to stay at home and holiday opportunities unlikely for 2020, people are inevitably spending more time in their homes and gardens, and when the temperatures rise, they’re enjoying paddling pools, hot tubs and residential swimming pools.

As ever, we continue to issue free guidance including enjoying water safely in the home. Each year there are still a number of drowning fatalities that could be avoided, if people were aware of the short, simple steps to take, to make their homes safer.

We've dramatically increased engagement and activity across all social media channels, including many free, downloadable water safety resources for Rookie Lifeguards so our lifesavers of the future can continue their learning during closures.

We’ve kept in touch with regular, digital communications and updates, including messages from our President, Mark Smith and CEO, Robert Gofton, and we've maintained digital production of our Lifesavers magazine, a benefit of RLSS UK membership packed with news stories from across our lifesaving community and the leisure industry.

For the future

As soon as lockdown is lifted, there will be an influx of people going to open water sites and the coast, particularly if the weather is good, increasing the risk of potential incidents and drownings.

In preparation for this inevitability, we have also launched, Lifesaver – Lifechanger a four-module, online water safety toolkit aimed at giving families the confidence to be in, on and around water safely. Valid, pertinent training for all the family, not just for when lockdown is lifted but for years to come. Over 5,000 families have taken part in total to date and counting!

For now

Although we have furloughed about 70% of our workforce, under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in response to the effects of COVID-19, we are proud to have delivered and continue to deliver, uninterrupted customer service levels, with response times for incoming enquiries remaining high.

For you

We are here to support our members and the industry and driven to do everything within our power to help our communities through the challenging times we all currently face.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Stay well.