National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ)

Surfing Croyde Bay is proud to be offering RLSS National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ) in partnership with Coastal Adventures from our hub in here in Croyde Bay.

RLSS UK has teamed up with Surf Life Saving Association (SLSA) Wales to offer the NVBLQ – a national standard for beach lifeguarding. The National Water Safety Forum and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) endorse the NVBLQ. On completion, candidates will have the skills and knowledge to protect the public at the beach.

the Award

The RLSS are the leading provider of the national vocational beach lifeguard award. 

On this course you gain the skills needed to work as an RNLI lifeguard and it serves as a high level outdoor activity instructor first aid award.

You must hold an ILS recognised qualification to work as a surf instructor, coasteering guide or RNLI beach lifeguard in the UK. This qualification also allows you to work in a water safety team at events such as triathlons and open water swims.

What is involved when taking the NVBLQ beach lifeguard course?

You’ll spend at least 40 hours on the course. You will take part in a practical assessment of beach theory, life support, first aid, open water, and pool swimming.

Your course has four core modules:

  • Module 1 – Beach Lifeguarding – Knowledge and Understanding
  • Module 2 – Life Support and First Aid
  • Module 3– Ocean Skils
  • Module 4 – Pool Skills

The course is physically demanding, and you will be tested on swimming set distances in set times as well as lifting weights on the beach.


During this exciting course you will gain the knowledge and skills required to provide professional beach patrolling and surf rescue services.

Alongside this you will learn basic life support, practical first aid protocols and gain theoretical understanding of these topics. The Surf Lifeguard course is physically demanding and will include swimming, paddling rescue boards, running and lifting. We will teach you a variety of units throughout 40 hours of guided learning using the latest and best training resources available. All units must be successfully passed to attain the qualification.

  • You must be at least 16-years-old or over at the time of the assessment.
  • You must be generally fit.
  • You must be able to surface dive to a depth of 1.5 metres.
  • You must be able to tread water for two minutes.
  • You must be able to climb out of deep water unaided and without steps.
  • You must be competent at swimming in the open ocean.
  • You must be able to swim 200m in a pool in under 5 minutes.
  • You should have had experience paddling a surfboard or paddleboard.

The National Water Safety Forum and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) endorse the NVBLQ.

RLSS UK, SLS GB, SLSA Wales all recognise the NVBLQ as the national standard for vocational beach lifeguarding.

The certificate is valid for two years.

You must be able to swim 400 metres in a pool in eight minutes or less using a continuous front stroke with urgency.

You are assessed on the following:

  • Beach Lifeguard and First Aid Theory
  • Life Support and First Aid
  • First Aid Practical
  • Ocean Skills
  • Pool Skills

You must be able to demonstrate your ability to apply the theoretical and practical skills above in a beach environment.

slsgb surf lifesaving croyde devon