Open Water Awards

The RLSS has a few open water awards and qualifications covering all who may be working in or near open water or for those wanting to learn some open water rescue techniques. Award names that are underlined, indicate more information is available on the award by clicking on the award name.

Bronze Cross – This award teaches those aged 14+ all the skills, judgement and knowledge required to be safe in open water environments and to affect a rescue in such environments. The award builds candidates fitness levels so that they can cope in the harsher open water environment. Candidates taking this award must have a current Life Support award or higher, and must hold or have held the Bronze Medallion award.

Silver Cross

Silver Cross – This award builds on the knowledge and skills learnt in the Bronze Cross bringing them to a proficient level. This award is required before being able to take the Distinction award and the candidate must have or have held the Bronze Cross before taking their Silver Cross.

Assistant Beach Lifeguard – This award is for those aged 12+ who are interested in beach lifeguarding. The award teaches candidates basic beach lifeguarding skills such as first aid, life support and open water rescue techniques. This is not a lifeguard award.

Beach Lifeguard

National Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NBLQ) – This award is explained in detail on the Specialist Programmes section.

Emergency Response – Activity Supervisor (ER-AS) – This programme is for those supervising open water activities such as Canoe and Sailing Instructors. The award teaches open water rescue techniques and some basic first aid.

Emergency Response – Open Water (ER-OW) – This programme teaches how to use specific rescue aids and how to perform land based rescues in open water environments. The programme is aimed at those working in or near water such as Park keepers, gardeners, marina workers and water bailiffs.

Rescue Boat – Helm and Crew – These awards train candidates, who already have a current NBLQ, how to be helmsmen and crewmen on water rescue craft.