About the Swimming Pool Emergency Rescue Award  

Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools states:  

“When the pool is in use, there must be a safe system of work to identify a person in difficulty and ensure that a rescue can be performed. For example, in the absence of lifeguards, there should be designated ‘on-call’ competent staff to respond immediately to deal with any emergency. They should be suitably trained and capable of reaching the poolside in time to perform a rescue and provide emergency first aid if the alarm is raised.” Paragraph 113 of the HSE publication 

The Swimming Pool Emergency Rescue Award is designed for individuals who have a responsibility to respond to a swimming pool in the event of an emergency, by performing a rescue, or assisting a lifeguard team.  

The Swimming Pool Emergency Rescue Award is not intended to replace a lifeguard qualification, such as the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ). The NPLQ includes more detailed training and content to prepare someone to supervise a swimming pool directly.  

Who can complete Swimming Pool Emergency Rescue training?  

Any staff employed at the venue, e.g. 

  • Receptionists
  • Spa hosts
  • Chefs
  • Waiting staff
  • Housekeeping
  • Maintenance staff
  • Duty managers
  • Gym staff  

What are the prerequisites? 

  • Be able to swim on front and back 
  • Be able to surface dive to the deepest part of the pool and climb out without help and without using steps or ladders (where venue design permits)
  • Be ages 16 or older at the beginning of the course  

Course content  

The Swimming Pool Emergency Rescue Award is 12 hours in duration and deliverable within two days.  

 Topics covered during the course include; 

  • Section One – The Emergency Rescuers Role, Pool Safety Operating Procedures and Safety Information
  • Section Two – Responding to an Emergency and the Emergency Action Plan
  • Section Three – CPR, First Aid and AED  

 For more information, email [email protected] or call us at 0300 323 0096. 


To achieve the Swimming Pool Emergency Rescue Award, candidates must pass a formal assessment, where trainees demonstrate the skills and knowledge learned in the form of a practical assessment.  


Renewal candidates may renew their award within the period of validity of their existing Swimming Pool Emergency Rescue Award stated on their certificate. To requalify, candidates will need to complete the course and assessment as a new candidate.  

Book on a course  

To find your nearest Swimming Pool Emergency Rescue Award courses, visit RLSS UK Course Finder or email us for more details at [email protected]. 

Next steps 

If you’ve enjoyed completing your Swimming Pool Emergency Rescue award, the next step for you to consider is completing a lifeguard qualification such as the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ), National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ) or Open Water Lifeguard Qualification (OWL), or you can find information on all the courses we offer by clickinghere.