How to become a lifeguard in the UK

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How to become a lifeguard in the UK
Lifeguarding is a huge responsibility but can be a very fulfilling job. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Lifeguarding is a popular way of making money for young people and is a common entry level position in the leisure industry. The responsibility of being a lifeguard is not to be taken lightly and requires both discipline and concentration to perform in this role. As a lifeguard you will also be required to learn some key life skills such as CPR and first aid skills. In the UK to be a lifeguard you will need to obtain an NPLQ (National Pool Lifeguard Qualification) through IQL UK which is part of the Royal LIfe Saving Society.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Swimming Costume
  • Shorts
  • T-Shirt

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  1. 1

    Sign on for a lifeguard qualifying course. The Royal Life Saving Society have a list of courses with their location on their website.

  2. 2

    Practice swimming. During the lifeguarding exam there will be timed swims that need to be performed. To make sure you will pass this easily it will help to have plenty of practice swimming before you do the course.

  3. 3

    Research First Aid and CPR. You will be taught about these by your instructor in greater detail but having a basic knowledge of First Aid and CPR will give you an excellent head start towards successfully passing your exam.

  4. 4

    Swim in a T-shirt and shorts. You will need to check with your pool first but if you explain that it's for your lifeguarding qualification they should have no problem with it. This will simulate the drag effect of wearing clothes you will experience when swimming in your exam.

  5. 5

    Familiarise yourself with potential safety hazards in the swimming pool area. This will be a part of your exam and knowing what these are before taking the course will make passing a lot easier.

Tips and warnings

  • Swim without goggles, when you're lifeguarding you won't have time to put your goggles on before saving someone's life and you are not allowed to wear them.
  • When Lifeguarding remaining alert at all times is crucial. If a swimmer were to drown on your watch and you are found to have acted negligently you will face a prison sentence.

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