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National Vocational Beach Lifeguard (NVBLQ)


The NVBLQ is a great example of awarding bodies working together to form a standardized internationally recognised qualification (other sports take note!). It complies with International Life Saving Federation and is offered by RLSS and SLSGB. Its endorsed by the RNLI.

The course covers beach lifeguarding, life support & first aid, ocean skills and pool skills.


The awards allow you to work as a lifeguard on most UK beaches. As an example, you can work for the RNLI with NVBLQ.


  • Over 16 at assessment
  • Good fitness, tread water for 2 minutes. Dive to 1.5 meters. Swim 200m in 5 minutes. You must be able to swim 400m in 8 minutes for assessment

Getting it

  • It’s a 40 hours training course with assessment at the end. Normally delivered over 5 days.
  • You can find RLSS course here
  • You can find SLSGB course here. You pay your registration fee here and then get in touch with the course provider

Finding a course is hard work. Neither website makes it easy. Lots of providers don’t seem to be actually running the course they say they are. I suggest getting in touch with lots of providers to find a course that’s running.


5-day course costs about £280

Revalidation – 3 days and about £200. Needs to be done every 2 years