To avoid injury to either a candidate or a casualty, the wearing of spectacles in the water, by a candidate or their casualty is not permitted. The care of spectacles is the responsibility of the wearer at all times 

Spectacles may be worn during theory assessments, for non-aquatic practical assessments and to view practical assessments in the water. When used to view practical assessments, they may be passed to another person for safekeeping before entering the water. Spectacles should NOT be passed to the Assessor at any time. 

Contact Lenses 

Contact lenses may be worn for training and assessment at the discretion of the candidate. The RLSS UK recommends that candidates seek advice from their doctor or optician as to the suitability of any corrective eyewear, to be worn in the water 


Where a candidate elects to wear swimming goggles, these should comply with the British Standard specification for surface swimming goggles BS ISO 18527-3:2020. Swimming goggles, including those with ophthalmic prescription lenses, may be worn by candidates and casualties for most water-based activities at the wearer’s own risk, in accordance with the relevant assessment syllabus: 

Goggles may be worn by candidates during both training and assessment for Lifesaving awards.  

Goggles are not permitted to be worn by candidates undertaking vocational award/qualification assessments: 

  • The role the candidate will undertake with the award/qualification requires them to respond immediately to emergencies, including to rescue and recover a casualty. Goggles can frequently become or can be knocked loose when rescuing a casualty. 

  • By allowing the use of goggles it would inhibit the prompt rescue of casualties from the water.  

  • Awarding a Lifeguard/Responder qualification/award to those unable to pass the assessment without the use of goggles would be misleading to potential employers and could place the public and the lifeguard at risk. 

Therefore, for the qualifications/awards listed below candidates may wear goggles during training sessions if they wish, but the assessment must be conducted without candidates wearing goggles for the aquatic tests (unless otherwise stated in the qualifications guidance and syllabus): 

  • NPLQ
  • OWL
  • NRASTC Light
  • ER Pool
  • ATPRA Light 

Trainers are responsible for ensuring that participants in their charge are aware of the relative risks associated with the wearing of goggles including how to put them on and remove them. 


For safety reasons jewellery, including body piercings and other than a plain band-style ring, should not be worn for any aspect of in-water training or assessment or where casualty handling may present a risk of injury. The removal and safekeeping of any jewellery are the responsibility of the wearer. 

Wearing a wristwatch may be important for lifeguards when on duty. During the training and assessment of contact rescues, wristwatches present a small but significant injury hazard; candidates and casualties should not be permitted to wear a wristwatch during training and assessment.