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About the National Vocational 


The NVBLQ is recognised and promoted by RLSS UK, SLS GB, SLSA Wales as the national standard for vocational beach lifeguarding. It complies with the International Life Saving Federation beach competency framework, is offered by all three organisations and endorsed by the National Water Safety Forum and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The NVBLQ course is a minimum of 40 hours long followed by a practical assessment on beach theory, life support, first aid, swimming pool practical and open water practical. 

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


  • The NVBLQ is internationally recognised, so potential to work and travel

  • Work within a team

  • Great way for students to fund studies

  • Learn essential life skills, including First Aid and CPR


Every candidate attending a NVBLQ course must:

  • Be 16-years-old or over at the time of the assessment

  • Have a good level of fitness

  • Surface dive to a depth of 1.5 metres

  • Tread water for two minutes

  • Climb out of deep water unaided and without steps

  • Be competent at swimming in the sea

  • Before the course, candidates must be able to swim at least 200 metres in a pool (of recommended length 25 metres, but no less than 20 metres) in five minutes or less

  • For the assessment, candidates must be able to swim 400 metres in a pool (recommended 25 metres, but no less than 20 metres) in eight minutes or less using a continuous front stroke and showing urgency


The NVBLQ covers all elements of beach lifeguard theory, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first aid, pool skills and open water skills. The course is physically demanding and will include swimming to set times and lifting. The NVBLQ is comprised of four modules and all must be successfully passed to attain the qualification.

  • Module 1 – Beach Lifeguarding – Knowledge and Understanding

  • Module 2 – Life Support and First Aid

  • Module 3 – Ocean Skils

  • Module 4 – Pool Skills


The NVBLQ assessment takes place at the end of the course. It determines your competence, skills and knowledge of working as a beach lifeguard and assesses your ability to apply the skills and knowledge in a beach environment.

The assessment is split into five elements:

  • Beach Lifeguard and First Aid Theory

  • Life Support and First Aid

  • First Aid Practical

  • Ocean Skills

  • Pool Skills


Beach Lifeguards may renew their qualification only within the validity of their existing qualification. Lifeguards are recommended to engage in continuous training to ensure they are ready for duty.

Book on a COURSE


To see when we are next running an NVBLQ course please click here 

or email us for more details


"thank you! It was a fun but very professional course. I have learnt so much and enjoyed it thoroughly. I would highly recommend your course to anyone planning to train in this role.


I have a new found respect for beach lifeguards as I had no idea what the role entailed and the knowledge, skills and responsibilities they have and will go to the beach with my eyes open in a different way now! You must be very proud of your Ryde beach lifeguard team."

March 2022


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