Updated 17/09/2020 

Please note that we have managed to negotiate an extended period to access the funding and you now have until 5pm on Friday, 9 October 2020 to order packs, and, Friday, 30 April 2021 to return assessment forms to RLSS UK.


We are delighted to announce that we have partnered with CIMSPA (The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) to access grant funding, for essential training. The aim is to support requirements for around 11,000 new and existing employees to be qualified; enabling more swimming pools to open and operate.

The funding is part of CIMSPA’s recently launched scheme, ReTrain - a £1.5m training initiative designed to retool the sport and physical activity workforce - funded by The National Lottery through Sport England.

With a recent CIMSPA survey indicating that up to 6% of the activity workforce (30,000 people) are planning to leave the sector, ReTrain will be a vital resource to support employers by providing free training for staff and enabling them to work in new roles. This will help employers in England to continue providing valuable sport and leisure services to their local communities, with a particular focus on areas of social deprivation.

All training covered by this grant will be delivered, by RLSS UK’s Approved Training Providers (ATPs) and Approved Training Centres (ATCs). Funding has been allocated dependent on previous purchases of qualifications.

The qualifications funded are:

  • Level 2 National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ)
  • National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (NRASTC)
  • National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches LIGHT (NRASTC LIGHT)
  • Emergency Response Pool (ER-Pool)
  • Level 3 First Aid at Work (FAW)
  • Level 3 Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW)
  • Level 3 Paediatric First Aid
  • Level 3 Emergency Paediatric First Aid
  • Level 2 Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
  • Level 2 Award in Basic Life Support and Management of Anaphylaxis

Robert Gofton, Chief Executive Officer of RLSS UK, commented:

“Along with many other industries, the leisure sector has been hit hard by COVID-19. We have been doing everything we can to support swimming pools, venues and attractions through this difficult time and whilst they reopen. We hope that this funding will provide yet more support, to ensure their future existence and prosperity. We are fully aware that our sector not only provides jobs, and an opportunity for people to get fit but also teaches valuable life skills that can save lives not only during the working day but anytime, anywhere. 

Thank you to CIMSPA and the team at RLSS UK for their hard work in securing this grant from Sport England and, we are urging all Approved Training Centres and Providers that have received an email and are eligible to take advantage of it as soon as possible.”

 Jo Talbot, Commercial Director, RLSS UK, said:

“The physical and mental benefits of exercise, and particularly swimming, have been well documented even before this recent pandemic. However, never has there been a more important time to get fit and be healthy, as it is proven to be an excellent way to fight COVID-19. This funding not only ensures that people have a place where they can do that safely, but it also provides employment, at a time when it is particularly needed. This funding is for sites in England, but we are working hard with other funding bodies to try to secure similar grant opportunities in the other parts of the UK and Ireland.”

Eligible lead Co-ordinators for each Approved Training Provider and Approved Training Centre will have received an email detailing their allocation of the grant. To not miss out, orders must be placed online by 5 pm of the 21 September 2020 and, the qualifications must be delivered and received by RLSS UK no later than 15 December 2020.

Additional qualifications are available for funding through the ReTrain scheme, for more information, visit www.cimspa.co.uk/retrain.

All enquiries should go directly to RLSS Direct on 0344 824 3440 or [email protected]


Information for Pool Plant Operators

If you need Pool Plant Operators, you can also take advantage of the £1.5 million allocated in Phase 1 of the ReTrain training initiative funded by The National Lottery through Sport England.

All training provided through ReTrain must be delivered by CIMSPA Training Provider Partners.

Our partners, Institute of Swimming, who deliver courses for Pool Operators including the Pool Plant Operator Certificate, are an approved supplier of the scheme. Their courses cover everything you need for the safe maintenance of swimming pools, spas and other water features.

For more information about the Pool Plant Operator Certificate, visit https://www.rlss.org.uk/pool-plant-operators

To apply for fully-funded training, click here https://www.cimspa-retrain.uk/