Published 4 November 2014

Potential lifeguards across the UK are now able to apply for financial support to fund their National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) thanks to the announcement of approved funding from the Skills Funding Agency.

The funding, which is available until July 2015, provides a major impetus for those thinking about a career in lifesaving or the wider leisure industry. Applications are now open for approved training centres (ATCs) who are registered with the Skills Funding Agency, with funding available to those aged 16 to 18-years-old and for those who are currently unemployed and meet certain eligibility criteria.

Administered by IQL UK, the trading subsidiary of the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the NPLQ is the most awarded lifeguard qualification in the UK. Through IQL UK, the UK’s largest awarding body for qualifications of this type, over 44,000 NPLQ’s are awarded annually.


The NPLQ, which is the prerequisite for lifeguarding jobs, provides candidates with key life skills which can be used both in and away from the pool-side. The course covers the fundamentals of first aid including CPR as well as developing leadership and responsibility, essential for future career progression.

Tara Dillon, Executive Director of IQL UK said: “Becoming a lifeguard not only provides a great base wage, it also provides a great stepping stone for a career in the leisure industry, with many management staff starting their careers with an NPLQ qualification.”

For St. Vincent Sixth Form College in Gosport, Hampshire the availability of funding for students has been welcomed by college tutor and National Training Assessor, Eddie Seaborne MBE.

He said: “The awarding of skills funding will have a tremendous impact on our sports and PE students who can now access the NPLQ qualification, a fantastic asset to any aspiring leisure professional. We hosted one of the first pilot courses at the college in 2013, which was very successful and all candidates have managed to secure employment as lifeguards.

“The availability of the funding means I can host another NPLQ course over the next few months and I intend to open this up to a wider audience, such as those currently seeking employment at Gosport’s job centre.”

Tara Dillon, Executive Director of IQL UK added: “The announcement of available funding for the NPLQ is fantastic news and we are excited to equip a new batch of lifeguards with the skills that save lives and ensure the safety of the public.”

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