If you work at a school with water-based co-curriculum activities - including swimming lessons - it is essential that you take all the appropriate precautions to ensure pupils, staff, and visitors remain safe whilst participating in activities and visiting your facilities. These measures include ensuring staff hold the relevant qualifications, and water safety plans and procedures are in place.

Qualifications – for staff and sixth-form pupils

National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (NARSTC)  

Our National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (NRASTC) is a supervision and rescue award for swimming teachers, coaches, or instructors working during programmed activities, such as swimming lessons. It is suitable for teachers working in a wide range of swimming pools where the water is deeper than the teachers’ standing depth and meets the individual site’s risk assessment.

Course content includes; the teacher, swimming pool and class management, intervention rescue and emergency action, CPR, and First Aid with approximately 14 hours of training plus external assessment. Training hours are extended if integrating Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) or AED training.

National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ)

Our National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) is the most awarded pool lifeguard qualification in the UK and Ireland, with more than 90 per cent of all pool lifeguards qualified through RLSS UK.

The NPLQ is great for your older students to achieve and is a fantastic springboard for a range of careers - from the emergency services and the military to the leisure sector - and we know of many successful and even famous people who boast of being a lifeguard on their CV! Our #IStartedAsALifeguard gives a flavour of where being a lifeguard can lead. 

The NPLQ course requires a minimum of 36 hours of training, followed by a theory assessment and practical pool, First Aid, and CPR assessment. The qualification is open to anyone that is 16-years-of-age at the time of the assessment. 

After First Aid, CPR, and pool rescue tuition, your students will feel proud to know how to save a person’s life. They’ll also develop many critical and transferrable skills such as communication, leadership, responsibility, and working as part of a team.


Does your school have water on or around its grounds?

Whether the water takes the form of a: fountain, pond, stream, or lake directly on your grounds, or a river running alongside or a nearby body of water - if the water is accessible to your students, visitors, staff, or the public, as a privately or charitably funded school (not administered by local government) you have responsibilities for water-related safety and may be liable. Recognising your accountabilities for managing water-related-safety is the first step, and the RLSS UK Consultancy Service team can help you with the rest:

  • Risk Assessment
  • Training, Capability, and Qualifications
  • Operational Planning 
  • Public Rescue Equipment
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Integrated Water-Safety Plan
  • Advice
  • Event Safety

Our team is here to help you create a safer environment for your community, provide peace of mind for parents and ensure the safest provision for your students.

To discuss water safety consultancy for your school, click here to request a call.