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Lifeguard Award Training

Training: training for the Lifeguard Award takes place over 10 sessions (90-120 mins) with a theory and practical component.

Locations: sessions take place at either the Pāpāmoa Surf Club or Fulton Swim School (15 Market Place, Pāpāmoa).

Pre-requisites: 14 years old or above and a member of a surf life saving club.

Lifeguard Courses
2023/2024 Season

The first lifeguarding training course of the season starts in October 2023.

CLICK HERE to view the courses available for the 2023/2024 summer season.

Surf Lifeguard Award

The Surf Lifeguard Award certifies that the holder has the skills and knowledge to be a Surf Lifeguard, and is the first step on the Surf Life Saving New Zealand Lifeguard pathway.

Exam components

  • 400m pool swim under 9 minutes
  • Run-Swim-Run in the surf
  • Tube rescue in the pool and surf
  • First Aid and CPR
  • Communication signals
  • Radio communication
  • Theory questions
  • Rescue tows and releases

Topics covered 

  • Introduction and risk management
  • The physical environment 
  • CPR
  • First Aid 
  • Roles and responsibilities 
  • Surf Lifeguard skills and knowledge 
  • Communication 


At the completion of the qualification candidates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of health and safety issues relevant to Surf Life Saving members.
  2. Describe the features of the surf environment.
  3. Identify and describe the roles and responsibilities of a Surf Lifeguard.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of effective communication.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of effective scanning techniques and victim identification.
  6. Perform retrieval of underwater objects.
  7. Perform releases and tows in an aquatic environment.
  8. Demonstrate Surf Life Saving signal communication and demonstrate knowledge of graphic communication.
  9. Communicate using a two-way radio.
  10. Perform a tube rescue.
  11. Provide resuscitation (no unit standards).
  12. Provide first aid (no unit standards).
Contact Details

For more information on anything to do with lifeguarding, please email