About The Rookie Lifeguard Programme

The Rookie Lifeguard programme is a fun and exciting lifesaving awards scheme aimed at children aged 8-12 years, teaching self-rescue, survival, rescue and lifesaving sport skills.

As well as teaching children lifesaving skills, Rookie Lifeguard is a great tool to retain swimmers in the higher levels of your swimming lesson programme (for up to three more years as they progress through the awards).

A child can enter a Rookie Lifeguard course at any point and progress at their own pace. 

The Rookie Lifeguard programme can considerably increase your swimming and pool-based income by retaining swimmers and attracting new customers to your centre or pool.

Download The Rookie Lifeguard Getting Started Guide

4 Steps To Starting Your Rookie Lifeguard Courses. 

The awards are normally completed as 10 x 30-minute classes, although the award can be delivered over any timeframe to suit your centre’s requirements.

This short guide will show you how to start your Rookie Lifeguard Programme in just one week by following four simple steps.

STEP 1 - Qualify Your Staff To Deliver The Rookie Lifeguard Awards

It is quick and easy to qualify your staff to deliver the Rookie Lifeguard programme, and most of your team will not be required to complete any further face-to-face training:

NPLQ Trainer Assessors (TAs)
Complete an online Opportunity for the qualification (£10) under the 'Awards and Training' tab, then the Online Learning sub-tab in your RLSS UK Account (powered by tahdah), and then purchase an optional hardcopy Rookie Lifeguard Instructor Manual pack (£49) with everything you need to deliver Rookie Lifeguard in one folder from RLSS UK Shop.

Swimming Teachers
Level 2 Swimming Teachers who hold (or have held) an approved lifesaving/lifeguarding qualification from the list below complete an online Rookie Lifeguard Instructor Application for the qualification (from £10*) under the 'My Details' tab in your RLSS UK Account; if you don't have an account, you will need to create an account at rlssuk.tahdah.me/account/registernew and then order a Rookie Lifeguard Instructor Pack (£49) from RLSS UK Shop.

Approved lifesaving/lifeguarding qualifications:

  • Approved lifesaving/lifeguarding qualifications:
      • RLSS UK National Lifesaving Academy Bronze Star or Bronze Medallion
      • RLSS UK Survive & Save Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award
      • RLSS UK Heritage Bronze Medallion, Award of Merit
      • Bronze Cross, Silver Cross, or Distinction
      • RLSS UK National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ)
      • RLSS UK Emergency Response Pool (ER-Pool)
      • RLSS UK National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ)
      • RLSS UK National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (NRASTC)
      • RLSS UK National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (NRASTC Light)
      • STA Safety Award for Teachers

    Other Staff
    Your NPLQ Trainer Assessor or Lifesaving Academy Tutor (with Rookie Lifeguard Instructor status) can deliver Rookie Lifeguard Instructor courses to qualify any other member(s) of your staff.

    *If you hold a Swim England Level 2 Swimming Teacher qualification or Swim Ireland Level 2 Swimming Teacher qualification, you are eligible for the discounted rate of £10. For other qualification holders, the cost will be £15. 

    STEP 2 - Add the Rookie Lifeguard Programme To Your Pool Timetable

    The RLSS UK Rookie Lifeguard programme awards are the best way to maximise and retain swimmers from your learn to swim or swimming lesson programme. To make the most of this opportunity, it’s a great idea to position the lifesaving awards at the latter stages of your swimming lesson programme.

    STEP 3 - Advertise Your New Rookie Lifeguard Courses With RLSS UK

    Free advertising:

    • Courses can be advertised on RLSS UK Course Finder www.rlss.org.uk/find-a-course
    • Use the free downloadable posters available in your RLSS UK Account (powered by tahdah) in the Resources & Documents tab, Rookie Lifeguard folder, then Marketing folder. 

    STEP 4 - Award Certificates and Equipment 

    Certificates, woven badges, and stickers are awarded by the Rookie Lifeguard Instructor at the end of the course (just like swimming lessons). Awards are available from RLSS UK Shop.

    Most pools already have all of the equipment that they need for this programme:

    • Rescue ropes
    • Buoyant aids (swimming floats)
    • Reaching rescue poles
    • Torpedo buoy 
    • Submersible objects

    Equipment is available from the RLSS UK Shop.

    Download The Rookie Lifeguard Getting Started Guide