How To Become A Pool Lifeguard

Ages 16 + Years

IQL UK is the awarding organisation, regulated by Ofqual, Qualifications Wales, CCEA in Northern Ireland and accredited by SQA Accreditation in Scotland. It is the industry standard for all pools in Ireland and the UK and is recognised worldwide.

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.

Course Pre-requisites

  • 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

National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ)

Benefits of Becoming a Pool Lifeguard

  • Excellent starting point for a career in the leisure industry
  • Opportunity for career progression, as most leisure managers start off as Pool Lifeguards
  • Varied working hours
  • Work within a team
  • The NPLQ is recognised around the world, so potential to work and travel
  • Great way for students to fund studies
  • Learn essential life skills, including First Aid and CPR

How The Programme Works

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 & Rescue & Emergency Action Plans 

Element 1: Intervention & Rescue

Element 2: Rescue of a Casualty with a Suspected Spinal Injury

Element 3: Emergency Action Plan

Section 3

CPR, First Aid & AED

Element 1: CPR

Element 2: First Aid

Element 3: AED



About The Assesment

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. You must successfully pass all three to gain your qualification.

The assessment is split into three sections:

Practical pool assessment

Theory Assessment for all 3 sections

Practical First Aid & CPR assessmen

This course is open to all swimmers who meet the criteria above.

Course instruction is provided by Leinster Lifeguard Acadamy.

Course Certification is provided by the RLSS UK.