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    National Pool Lifeguard Qualification

    Next Course: 2024 - exact dates TBC

    If you would like to be notified once we have the details of the next course please register your interest by emailing:

    The NPLQ is widely accepted at swimming pools in both in UK and Ireland as the premier pool lifeguard qualification for the leisure industry.  RLSS UK’s National Pool Lifeguard Qualification is internationally recognised, which means you can travel and keep working as a pool lifeguard around the world! 

    Over 33,000 lifeguards gain the qualification every year, it is generally seen as the best pool lifeguard qualification in the world, offering skills that can be used throughout life.  Lifeguarding offers a great, rewarding and potentially long-term career in leisure. Working as a lifeguard is often the first step at the start of a career in the industry.

    It is not a lonely job as you never work by yourself, you could be part of a team of 3 to 8 lifeguards depending on the size of the pool/leisure centre. You will meet and work with new people from fellow lifeguards to customers.  

    As a lifeguard, you will make new friends amongst your work colleagues and customers. You will also gain people's respect from working in a responsible job. Lifeguards are the everyday hero of the leisure centre.

    Being a lifeguard is the ideal qualification for students wishing to work during their school/university term and travel during the holiday. It can also be a very flexible job, Leisure Centres often open from 6.00am - 11.30pm so lifeguards can often choose when they want to work.

    During your lifeguard training you have to learn CPR, First Aid and how to use an AED. CPR and First Aid are great skills to have under your belt and ones you can add to your CV! They are also essential life skills that may come in handy and possibly used to save someone’s life.

    The NPLQ qualification is valid for two years and provided the holder continues to work and attend training during this time they can renew the qualification. Many leisure centres and swimming pools pay for their staff to renew the qualification.  A lifeguard must train at least once a month and have 20 hours of training sessions verified by an IQL trainer in order to renew their qualification.

    All our courses are taught by professional RLSS UK trainers who have extensive experience in their field and work in the leisure industry. 

    The current price for the NPLQ is only £280.00 including text book and an initial examination fee. Anyone failing a section of the course either the multiple choice paper or the practical test and wishing to retake the exam will have to a pay a £35.00 (payable in advance) reassessment fee.  

    Click on the RLSS video below to find out more about the job.


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    Attendance must be 100% in order to take the exam. Course time is 47.50 hours (includes 10 hours of self study time set by course tutor). 

    Time exemptions may apply to holders of the following awards:

    • Current RLSS UK National Beach Lifeguard Qualification (12 hours)
    • Current HSE Approved First Aid at Work or Occupational First Aid Certificate (9 hours)
    • Current STA NARS (PL) Qualification (9 hours)

    Candidates who wish to claim exemption MUST provide the course trainer with the original certificate(s). NPLQ requirements are that you must be:

    • 16 years old on the day of the exam
    • Friendly and outgoing
    • Have excellent communication skills
    • Fit and healthy
    • Responsible
    • Willing to work hard
    • 100% attendance on the course
    • Able to swim 50 metres in under a minute
    • Able to swim 100m without pausing
    • Able to swim 100m on your back without pausing
    • Able to dive from the surface of the water to a depth greater than 1.5 metres.

    The course is examined by an independent external assessor. The NPLQ exam consists of an hour multiple choice question paper. The exam also consists of a series of practical demonstrations by the candidates in Lifeguarding skills, First Aid and CPR. The candidate must pass all the sections to qualify as a lifeguard.

    Candidates with special needs can apply for reasonable adjustment or a special consideration. Candidates must make the trainer aware of this as early as possible to allow for time to put any extra arrangements in place prior to the assessment.   

    If you would like to join the course please download the enrolment form below and return it to the pool together with payment. Kimbolton School Swimming Pool accepts either debit/credit cards or cheques. Cheques should be made payable to 'Kimbolton School'. 

    Bookings can also be taken by phone, payment has to be taken at the time using either a debit/credit card.

    NPLQ Enquiries and Bookings

    Pool Reception