National Pool Lifeguard Qualification Syllabus


This is the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification which will enable you to work as a lifeguard.

Lifeguards benefit from varied working hours which you can easily fit around your other commitments , working within a team and there’s also the opportunity to progress your career within the leisure industry as most leisure managers start off as Pool Lifeguards.

This qualification is regulated by Ofqual

Pre- Requisites
Every candidate attending a NPLQ course must be 16-years-old at the time of taking the NPLQ final assessment and be able to:
  •         Jump / dive into deep water
  •         Swim 50 metres in less than 60 seconds
  •         Swim 100 metres continuously on front and back in deep water
  •         Tread water for 30 seconds
  •         Surface dive to the floor of the pool
  •         Climb out unaided without ladder / steps and where the pool design permits

Duration: This course is normally 5 days (8.30am-5.30pm) plus 4 hours (9.00am-1.00pm). But the hours can be altered and completed over a longer period of time.

£300 per person

Includes training pack and manual

Course content includes:

The NPLQ covers all elements of Pool Rescue Techniques, Lifeguarding Theory, First Aid and CPR. The course is physically demanding and will include swimming to set times, lifting casualties and diving to the deepest part of the swimming pool. Training and assessment for the NPLQ is in three sections and all must be successfully passed to attain the qualification.

  • Section 1 – The Lifeguard and the Law, Swimming Pool Supervision
  • Element 1 – The Lifeguard and the Law
  • Element 2 – Swimming Pool, Hazards and Control Measures
  • Element 3 – Swimming Pool Supervision
  • Section 2 – Intervention and Rescue and Emergency Action Plans
  • Element 1 – Intervention and Rescue
  • Element 2 – Rescue of a Casualty with a Suspected Spinal Injury
  • Element 3 – Emergency Action Plan
  • Section 3 – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, AED and First Aid
  • Element 1 – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Element 2 – First Aid
  • Element 3 – Automated External Defibrillation (AED)

Upon qualifying with the NPLQ, the certificate is valid for two years from the date of successful completion.

Assessment for the NPLQ takes place at the end of the course. It determines your knowledge and understanding of the principles of working as a pool lifeguard and assesses your ability to apply the skills and knowledge in a work-related environment.

The assessment is split into three sections:
  •         Practical pool assessment
  •         Theory Assessment – verbal question and answer session with the assessor
  •         Practical First Aid & CPR assessment

Lifeguards may renew their qualification only within the period of validity of their existing qualification. Lifeguards must meet the following on-going training criteria before being submitted for a renewal assessment:
  • Provide written evidence of having completed a minimum 20 hours lifesaving, CPR and first aid training within the two year validity period. Ongoing training will be provided by the employer.

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