Swimming in the great outdoors and in cold water is becoming increasingly popular, with reported links to improved mental health and wellbeing on top of physical fitness improvements, more and more are turning to open water venues, triathlons, and events to get their thrills! A result of this has meant the demand for qualified lifeguards to offer safe environments for swimmers has grown with it. 

The Open Water Lifeguard qualification from the RLLSS enables candidates with no previous lifeguard experience to become qualified in an Open Water setting. The qualification can be used to supervise and provide rescue cover for planned, organised and risk assessed activities in still, non-tidal water.

Who should attend?

  • Open Water Swimmers wanting to gain extra safety skills and maybe work or volunteer at events
  • Outdoor Instructors wishing to gain extra skills
  • Anyone with an interest in getting into the outdoor or swimming industry
  • Those wishing to learn rescue techniques and first aid skills in open water


Every candidate attending an OWL course must: 

  • Be 16-years-old or over at the time of assessment
  • Be competent and confident in open water
  • Be able to submerge under the water confidently
  • Before the course, candidates must be able to swim at least 400 metres in a pool/ open water swimming continuously on their front, and showing urgency
  • Able to submerge under the water confidently
  • Must complete minimum guided learning hours
  • Successfully complete the course assessment

Course Content

The OWL enables candidates with no previous lifeguard experience to become qualified. By attaining this qualification candidates will have been assessed as competent to provide supervision and rescue cover for planned, organised, and risk-assessed activities in open water still, non-tidal.

The Open Water Lifeguard Qualification, delivered over three days, is valid for two years and is independently assessed. The candidate manual and trainer resources help the Open Water Lifeguard Trainer Assessor deliver through the three sections:

  • Section 1 – The Open Water Lifeguard, environment, hazards, and supervision
  • Section 2 – Responding to an emergency and taking action
  • Section 3 – CPR and First Aid

New candidates: 18hrs + Assessment
Renewal candidates: 10hrs + Assessment 

This course is 3 days long.  

Cost: £200 per person 

For more info and to book, please click this link