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Surf Life Saving GB Qualifications

SLSGB is a search & rescue charity with 7,000 volunteers who patrol many of our beaches. They are a very reputable awarding body of qualifications and work closely with the RNLI and all their qualifications are recognised nationally.


All of the following awards are trainer assessed (meaning the person who trains you also assesses you!) Lifeguarding awards need more regular revalidation

  • Level 1 First Aid – 8 hours
  • Level 2 Intermediate First Aider 16 hours.
  • Tube Rescuer – 4 hours of delivery plus experience. Teaches you to use tubes in rescues. Full Spec
  • Rescue Board Paddler – 4 hours of delivery experience. Teaches you how to use a rescue paddle board. Must have Tube Rescuer. Full spec

All the below qualifications include Level 2 Intermediate First aid.

  • Beach Lifeguard Support – 25-hour course. Enables you to deliver first aid and support lifeguard. You only go up to your knees in water. Full spec
  • Surf Coach Safety & Rescue – 25-hour course.Tailors for surf coaches. Focuses on surfboard rescue rather. Full Spec

The following 3 awards have the same amount of delivery hours but have some differences highlighted below.

The difference between Surf Lifesaver and Surf Lifeguards are:

  • Surf Lifeguard has a swim time of 7.30 minutes and has Oxygen & Spinal Extraction.
  • Surf Lifesaver has no Oxygen or Spinal Extraction, the timed swim is slower (9.30 minutes). It includes some pool based practical
  • NVBLQ is nationally recognised unified standards. Recognised by the RLSS & SLS Wales. The timed swim is 8 minutes and there are no Oxygen or Spinal Extraction.

Surf Lifesaving Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

They have RPL process to fast track individuals for certain awards. Most of this is for their coaching & assessor awards. More info here