New Zealand Certificate in Aquatics (Pool Lifeguard) (Level 3)

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PoolLifeguard L3

Who is this qualification for? 

This qualification is for people who are working as pool lifeguards.

Those who work as pool lifeguards are observant, patient, and  good with people. Their skill-set means they have the confidence to act in a quick, responsible and calm manner.   

Working as a lifeguard, training will be delivered and assessed on-the-job at the pool   

This qualification incorporates the Pool Lifeguard Skills Award (PLSA) and Pool Lifeguard Practising Certificate (PLPC).

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

Did you know:

You can sign up for both the Aquatics (Pool Lifeguard) certificate and the New Zealand Certificate in Sport, Exercise and Leisure Operations, together - at a special price! 

Check out our fees list to find our more.

What's involved?

This 40-credit qualification covers the following areas:

Aquatic supervision techniques 

Aquatic rescue techniques 

Supervising customers 

Identifying and managing hazards and risks 

Leading emergency responses. 

This qualification is designed to be completed in 8 months.  

Programme structure   

The programme is made up of the following unit standards:

Unit standard 30123| Recognise and respond to simulated emergencies and apply rescue techniques as a pool lifeguard in an aquatic facility | Level 3 | 10 credits

Unit standard 29848 | Demonstrate knowledge of safe work procedures and practices in a recreation workplace | Level 3 | 5 credits

Unit standard 30124| Supervise customers and maintain safety as a pool lifeguard in an aquatic facility | Level 3 | 5 credits

Unit standard 30122| Operate professionally and promote safe, enjoyable experiences in an aquatic facility | Level 3 | 15 credits

Unit standard 29849| Demonstrate knowledge of professional practice in a recreation workplace | Level 3 | 5 credits


For more information on the content of the qualification, visit the NZQA website, here.

What are the costs?  

On-job training costs workplaces both time and resources. It can mean covering registration fees, learning and assessment resources, allocating time for training, and having an appropriate assessment pathway available.  

Total costs for trainees will vary depending on how the qualification is delivered, how it is assessed and how much support the workplace can provide.   

To check out our fees list, click here. 

For more detailed information about the cost of doing an on-job qualification, get in touch. 

Where to from here?

Keen to enjoy a career as a qualified pool lifeguard? Think this might be the right qualification for your staff?

To find out more, or to sign up to this qualification, contact your regional Skills Active learning support advisor.   

Remember, to do this qualification on the job, Skills Active trainees need to be working as a volunteer or paid employee in the aquatics industry.  

If you want to become a pool lifeguard, but you're not currently employed in the industry, contact your local pool or a Skills Active learning support advisor to talk about how you can get involved

Want to see where this qualification can take you next?

Check out our range of other aquatics qualifications

Discover your own career path on Tōu Aratika  - our careers website.

Enrol now!


Contact your regional advisor or

P   0508 4 SKILLS (0508 475 4557)