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02 May 2019

STA launches all-inclusive pool lifeguarding qualification
BY Tom Walker

The award has been designed to streamline the ongoing training needs of lifeguards

The award has been designed to streamline the ongoing training needs of lifeguards

The Swimming Teachers' Association (STA) has introduced a new lifeguard qualification, which it says is the first to align lifeguard and first aid at work revalidations.

Launched following a long consultation with industry groups, the Level 2 Pool Lifeguard award includes a new 3-year revalidation process – designed to consolidate and simplify the revalidation of lifeguards in the future.

It is hoped that the new qualification will also streamline the ongoing training needs of lifeguards in line with the latest health and safety recommendations.

Currently, as per the previous recommendations, additional lifeguard training is generally organised monthly, which – in an industry that employs a mix of part-time, full-time and seasonal personnel – has been notoriously difficult to organise.

Pool operators have voiced concerns that the monthly requirement often leads to a situation where lifeguards who cannot attend a training update have to miss shifts (and income) until the next session.

In turn, it also creates staffing issues for the employer.

STA is breaking with the tradition in order to help employers and lifeguards create a more flexible ongoing training programme.

Instead of monthly training sessions, STA has now stipulated that the 24 hours of required training for revalidation can be pre-planned in advance and organised at times that suit the needs of the leisure facility – opening up the possibility for bi-monthly or even quarterly training over the three-year period.

Kaylë Brightwell, head of qualifications at Safety Training Awards, STA’s awarding organisation said: “In developing this new qualification, we have torn up the rule book and listened to what employers really want.

"Yes, the qualification covers all the aspects of lifeguard and first aid training you would expect, but we’ve gone one step further to create an all-inclusive qualification – one that reflects the real role of a pool lifeguard.”

“By changing and simplifying the revalidation process and aligning it with First Aid at Work, will also significantly help operators – it will make the process far simpler.

"More significantly for employers will be the way we’ve re-structured the on-going training needs for lifeguards – from experience of working in a leisure facility, I know that operationally it will make the process so much easier to plan and administer.”



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