Each stage of the Rookie Lifeguard programme has been divided into three levels and each stage runs roughly for eight to ten weeks. 

Following the completion of each stage, Rookie Lifeguards can receive a certificate, badge and sticker to mark their progress in their own Progress Book.

Quick links 

Progress Book | Bronze Stages | Silver Stages | Gold Stages | Bolt-Ons | Master

Rookie Lifeguard Progress Books

Follow your child’s progress with the Rookie Lifeguard Progress Book!

Progress Books provide a full breakdown of all the skills learnt through the core Rookie Lifeguard programme.

Purchase a Progress Book from our shop

Bronze Stages

Upon completion of Bronze Stages 1, 2 and 3, Rookie Lifeguards should be able to:

  • Enter shallow water safely and confidently and wade
  • Tread water and signal for help
  • Swim continuously in clothing for 50m
  • Swim Lifesaving Backstroke
  • Scull head and feet first
  • Hold the ‘HELP’ position
  • Demonstrate a non-swimmer, weak swimmer and an unconscious casualty
  • Demonstrate a ‘Shout and Signal’ rescue
  • Throw an aid
  • Demonstrate a reach rescue
  • Enter deep water safely and confidently
  • Perform a feet first surface dive and swim underwater
  • Climb out in deep water without using the steps

Silver Stages

Upon completion of Silver Stages 1, 2 and 3 Rookie Lifeguards should be able to:

  • Swim continuously in clothing for 200m on your front and back
  • Demonstrate a reaching rescue
  • Throw a buoyant aid to a casualty 8m away
  • Enter shallow water and wade to a casualty
  • Using a throwing aid, instruct the casualty what to do
  • Using a rigid aid instruct the casualty what to do
  • The support position
  • Tread water for 3 minutes
  • Swimming, surface dives and object recovery
  • Shallow turn and rescue an ‘unconscious casualty’
  • Coil and throw a rope to a casualty 10m away and pull to the side in less than 45 seconds
  • Enter deep water using a straddle jump
  • Demonstrate a fall-in entry into clear deep water
  • Swim 20m continuously with your head out of the water on your front

Gold Stages

Upon completion of Gold Stages 1, 2 and 3 Rookies should be able to:

  • Coil and throw a rope to a casualty and pull to the side
  • Swim 400m continuously in clothing
  • Demonstrate Lifesaving Backstroke, Sidestroke, Breaststroke or Front Crawl
  • Tread water, removing clothing then swim 50m
  • Climb out of deep water unaided
  • Demonstrate fall-in, compact jump or shallow dive
  • Demonstrate a Reverse
  • Demonstrate a Standoff
  • Rescue an unconscious casualty at depth in less than 2 minutes 30 seconds
  • Demonstrate supported rescue breathing whilst waiting for help
  • Demonstrate the support position
  • Demonstrate non-contact rescues
  • Treat for shock
  • Hand signals
  • Using any recognised competitive stroke, swim 400m continuously, in less than 12 minutes

Bolt-on Awards

Life Support

This introductory award looks at emergency treatments of causalities.  It includes CPR, dealing with an unconscious casualty, choking, shock, bleeding and vomiting.

Winter Safety

A work activity book teaching you how to keep yourself, friends and family safe around water, when the weather turns chilly and new dangers appear.

Water Safety 

This award is a fun way to learn how to enjoy the water and keep yourself, friends and family, safe around water. You’ll learn all about the WATER SAFETY Code and explore different water dangers you could find at the pool, beach and even in your own home.

Additional Bolt-on Awards


In addition to the core Rookie Lifeguard programme, there are also Bolt-On Awards. These are there to offer a varied and interesting programme while learning new skills and extend those already mastered. Bolt-Ons can be delivered by any Rookie Lifeguard Instructor.

The Bolt-Ons are

  • Beach Running 
  • Communication
  • Diving
  • Sports (Bronze)
  • Sports (Silver)
  • Sport (Gold)
  • Paddleboard
  • First Aid

Rookie Master Lifeguard Award

Rookie Master Lifeguard Award recognises Rookie Lifeguards who have achieved an outstanding standard through the Rookie Lifeguard programme. Instructors should present the Rookie Master Lifeguard Award to any Rookie Lifeguard who achieves the following criteria:

  • Gold Level 3
  • Rookie Lifeguard Water Safety Award
  • Rookie Lifeguard Life Support
  • Any 3 additional bolt-on awards

Find out where your local Rookie Lifeguard course is

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