NVBLQ – National vocational beach lifeguard qualification


The NVBLQ is the new beach lifeguard syllabus that we will be following at Atlantic coast lifeguards. The syllabus is still in its review stage and will be updated accordingly over the next year but here are some of the practical elements you will be trained and assessed on during the course

Pool practical elements

  1. Fitness test – 400metre in front crawl, non stop in no more than 7 min 30 sec
  2. 25meter front crawl approach – demonstrate a release from front – 25 meter cross chest carry – secure casualty
  3. 25meter front crawl approach – demonstrate a release from behind – 25 meter long arm tow – secure casualty
  4. 25meter front crawl approach – demonstrate a stand off
  5. 25 meter search technique – retrieve casualty form pool floor 2 meters – tow unconscious casualty to standing depth and preform in water resus
  6. Shallow water spinal technique – head splint


Beach practical elements

  1. Demonstrate flag signals to another lifeguard
  2. 200 meter sprint run carrying rescue tube – enter water to swim depth – swim 100 meters front crawl to conscious casualty, rescue – return 100meters to shore- secure casualty – sprint run 200 meter – answer first aid questions
  3. 50 meter sprint run carry rescue tube – enter water to swimming depth – swim 25 meters to an unconscious casualty – rescue and return to shore safely – along with another lifeguard drag to a point of safety and preform BLS for 2 min – action for vomiting – recovery position
  4. Using a rescue board – rescue a conscious casualty 200 metres from shore – ask casualty to get off and demonstrate an unconscious casualty rescue – return home with said casualty unconscious – land casualty and with help demonstrate a carry to a point of safety, commence BLS
  5. Without rescue aids swim 50 meters past waist dept. and rescue a conscious casualty and return to shore


The course is intensive so having a strong swimming background is a must and having surfed a few times will help you enormously!

The pool timed swim of 400 meters is an individual swim and is up to the candidate to prepare before coming onto a course – this is a pass/fail – it is up to the candidate to make sure of this before you register for a course. It must be swam in front crawl and continuous.