Places Leisure has signed an exclusive three-year partnership with the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), to deliver an exceptional lifeguard qualification to support their blended lifeguarding approach across its portfolio of swimming pools.    

The operator, which runs 71 swimming pools across the UK and employs more than 2,000 lifeguards, has invested in technology in most of its pools to support lifeguards and help them provide a safer service.

The new long-term partnership with the UK’s leading water safety will give Places Leisure staff access to the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ), the sector’s most robust lifeguarding qualification and the most recognised lifeguard qualification in the UK and Ireland. Continually reviewed to meet the needs and demands of the leisure sector, the NPLQ combines lifeguard education with advances in technology to give lifeguards all the skills they need to reduce risks.

“We are the pioneers of blended lifeguarding in the UK leisure sector. In an ever-changing world, we are always looking at better and more effective ways to deliver a quality and safe service. For us, it is all about the use of technology alongside lifeguards to add an additional layer of safety,” says Andy Read, Head of Safety at Places Leisure.

The organisation will benefit from other RLSS UK qualifications, such as First Aid at Work and Automated External Defibrillator (AED), all of which are regulated and endorsed by CIMSPA, as well as ongoing guidance and support from the charity, which includes access to RLSS UK’s Operator Steering Group.

“Lifeguards are our biggest employee base and it’s crucial that they are trained to the highest standards, which is what this long-term partnership with RLSS UK will deliver,” says Leanne Maher, Lifeguard Lead and Safety Training Support Manager at Places Leisure.

Jo Talbot, Director of Commercial Operations at RLSS UK, says: “It’s important to us that we support and work with operators to develop and evolve our training and qualification offering to meet industry changes and demands, especially with technology, to ensure the safety of the millions of customers who enjoy swimming.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Places Leisure for another three years. They have a significant presence across the UK, so it’s fantastic that they are prioritising the safety of their customers and staff.”