SLSGB Surf/Beach Lifeguard Qualification

The SLSGB Surf Lifeguard Qualification is an essential qualification for those hoping to work on beaches in the UK or further afield. It’s a physically demanding course including swimming and running to set times as well as manual handling of casualties and equipment. It is widely regarded as the gold standard qualification amongst the beach lifeguarding community.

The minimum guided learning hours for the course of 40 hours and can be taught intensively, over a 1 week period, or extensively over a period of 3 months

The following pre-requisites apply to all learners attending this course:

  • Must be 16 years old or over on the first day of the course
  • Must be able to swim 400m in 8 minutes or less (7 minutes and 30 seconds or less for Surf Lifeguard)
  • Hold a current SLSGB membership  


This is an instructor lead course with a mixture of practical and theory-based learning. Theory sessions will be delivered in the classroom environment with the use of PowerPoint presentations and open discussions between learners and instructors. Practical sessions will be delivered on the beach, pool and on land. Each learner will receive an SLSGB Beach Lifeguard Manual which can be used during the course and is theirs to keep post course.

Topics covered during the course are:

  • Beach environment theory – waves, tides, rips etc.
  • Patrolling as a lifeguard
  • Conscious and unconscious casualty rescues using a rescue tube and a rescue board
  • Rescue extraction of casualties with suspected spinal injuries
  • Communication systems including use of radios and lifeguard signals
  • Adult, junior and baby CPR
  • Adult, junior and baby choking
  • Unconscious casualty management
  • Treatment of medical conditions, wounds etc…
  • How to work efficiently and effectively as part of a team and much more….

On the last day, you will be assessed by an external assessor on the knowledge and skills you have learned throughout the course, this will include:

  • Timed swim in the pool of 400m in 8 minutes or less (7 minutes 30 seconds or less for the Surf Lifeguard)
  • Timed run of 200m in 40 seconds or less
  • Sea based tube rescues
  • Sea based board rescues
  • CPR and choking (adult, junior and baby)
  • Unconscious casualty management
  • First aid scenarios
  • Extraction of a suspected spinal casualty from the sea
  • Beach environment, lifeguard techniques communication systems and first aid theory

Sea temperatures can vary depending on the time of year, hence so does the kit you will require as part of your PPE. You’ll need to bring the following with you each day in order to participate in this course:

  • Full length wet suit (minimum of 5/4/3mm essential during the months of December, January, February & March)
  • Neoprene boots/shoes (essential during the months of December, January, February and March)
  • Neoprene gloves (essential during the months of December, January, February and March)
  • Neoprene hood/beanie (essential during the months of December, January, February and March)
  • Running shoes/trainers
  • Swimming costume
  • Plenty of food, water and suncream



Get in touch with the team at Blue Response to enquire about a group booking for SLSGB Surf or Beach Lifeguard Qualification.

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