National Pool Lifeguard Qualification

The National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) is a recruitment requirement for a number of jobs within the leisure industry from Pool Lifeguard to Centre Manager. This qualification is also recognised internationally, so you can use it at several places abroad if you are thinking of working in summer camps.

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
Section 2 – Intervention and Rescue and Emergency Action Plans
Section 3 – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, AED and First Aid

Forthcoming dates

NPLQ courses 2023


24th – 29th July 2023
David Lloyd, Ipswich


7th – 12th August 2023
David Lloyd, Ipswich


14th – 19th August 2023
Bottisham Sports Centre


21st – 26th August 2023

Culford Sports Centre, Bury St Edmunds


23rd – 28th October 2023
David Lloyd, Ipswich


23rd – 28th October 2023
Culford Sports Centre

To book a course or make an enquiry please use this form, or email


The NPLQ course duration is 36 hours and is split over 3 units.

The course comprises of physical training and theoretical classroom work, followed by a practical in-water and out-of-water assessment on pool rescue, first aid, CPR and lifesaving skills.

The qualification is internationally recognised and is incorporated on the Qualifications Framework at Level 2. The NPLQ is valid for 2 years from the date of issue and a further 20 hours of on-going training and competency assessment must be completed before a lifeguard can renew their qualification prior to the expiry of their existing award.

Pre Requisites

Every candidate, prior to commencement of training for the NPLQ must:

  • Be 16 years of age at the time of taking the NPLQ assessment;
  • Be able to meet the following basic fitness criteria:-
  • 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

Other Aquatic Training

National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (NRASTC)


A necessity for any swimming teacher, this course assists those with responsibility for supervising swimming groups and activities to identify hazards, prevent accidents and take appropriate emergency action where required.

Full details …

On-Going and Additional Training


We also provide additional NPLQ training as recommended by the RLSS and the IQL for lifeguards who need to top up their training hours or require a renewal or competency assessment

Full details …

Emergency Response (Pool)


The Emergency Response Pool Programme is designed to assist designated staff to respond to an emergency within the swimming pool environment when the alarm has been raised. This qualification can be utilised for staff who work at shallow pools where constant supervision is not needed.

Full details …