Pool Lifeguard Practising Certificate



Pool Lifeguard Qualifications

Skills Active and the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) are pleased to offer the Pool Lifeguard Practising Certificate (PLPC). All pool lifeguards in New Zealand must hold a current PLPC. This is the minimum qualification required to work as a lifeguard. The PLPC is also part of the National Certificate in Recreation and Sport - Aquatics (Pool Lifeguard) Level 3.


How to become a Pool Lifeguard

There are two stages in the process to become a pool lifeguard:






Eligibility requirements:

To train as a pool lifeguard in New Zealand you must be at least 16 years old on the day you begin training.


Pool Lifeguard Brochure

PLPC NZRRP Re-registration Form

Pool Lifeguard Gateway Enrolment Form

Click here to download a copy the Learning and Assessment Plan for this qualification.

Click here to download a copy of our Training Agreement.

What does the training and assessment cover?

Stage 1: Training and Assessment includes:

  • A swim test
  • Understanding the roles and responsibilities of pool lifeguards
  • Understanding aquatic supervision techniques
  • Demonstrating aquatic rescue techniques for casualties in a range of scenarios.

On completion of stage 1 you will gain the Pool Lifeguard Skills Award and unit standards 27540 and 27542.

Stage 2: On job-validation includes:

  • Completing a facility induction
  • Completing the Pool Lifeguard Logbook which covers:

           - Recording at least 20 hours of poolside supervision
           - Completing facility inspections
           - Dealing with hazards and risks in an aquatic facility
           - Supervising pool areas and aquatic activities/events
           - Leading two simulated major emergency responses.


On completion of stage 2 the trainee lifeguard will gain the Pool Lifeguard Practising Certificate and unit standards 27499 and 27543. Once a lifeguard holds a current PLPC and First Aid certificate they can count towards your facility’s PoolSafe lifeguard supervision ratios.


To remain current the PLPC must be re-registered every two years by doing the Pool Lifeguard Re-registration assessment on NZRRP.


National Certificate in Recreation and Sport - Aquatics (Level 3) with strands in Pool Lifeguard, Swim Education, and Pool Operations





To further the skills, knowledge, and career options for your lifeguards, lifeguard training can be completed as part of a National Certificate in Recreation and Sport - Aquatics. This qualification includes the PLSA and PLPC and also some other essential workplace skills that could help them be more productive and get ahead in their careers. Once your staff have achieved their PLPC they are half-way there! This qualification is also subsidised by Skills Active, and is the cheapest enrolment option.

This qualification also has other modules in Water Treatment, Pool Operations, Aquafitness, Customer Service, Sales, and Swim Education if you want to grow your staff’s skills and build a more flexible and productive team. If you are interested in this qualification contact a Skills Active Learning Support Advisor on 0508 4 SKILLS (0508 475 4557).


Click here to download a copy of the Aquatics L3 Flier



Qualification option Cost (incl GST)
National Certificate in Aquatics (L3) – this includes the PLSA and PLPC. Refer to the fee schedule
Pool Lifeguard Skills Award (PLSA) $205.88
Pool Lifeguard Practising Certificate (PLPC) No charge as costs covered in initial PLSA enrolment.
Re-registration - $28.75 every two years
PLPC first, moving on to the National Certificate in Aquatics (L3) later $57.50 additional fee (over and above the $205.88 already paid) to upgrade to Aquatics L3.




The New Zealand Register of Recreation Professionals (NZRRP) is a database that holds details of registered recreation professionals in New Zealand – including Pool Lifeguards. This register can be accessed by employers, lifeguards and the general public.

Employers can check the status of their staff members’ qualifications and when they are due for revalidation. Pool lifeguards can promote the qualifications they hold to employers and the public, showing that their qualifications are current and endorsed by national bodies in New Zealand.