Pool Lifeguard Practising Certificate

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Who is this award for?

To work as a pool lifeguard in New Zealand, the Pool Lifeguard Practising Certificate (PLPC) is the minimum award you need to hold. 

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 way.  

As an up and coming lifeguard, training will be delivered and assessed on-the-job at the pool. 

The next step after completing this, is the New Zealand Certificate in Aquatics – Pool Lifeguard (Level 3), because PLPC is part of this qualification.  

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: Once you've achieved your PLPC, you will be registered with the New Zealand Register of Recreation Professionals. You can keep your registration current by re-registering every two years. Click here to get your re-registration process underway.

What's involved?

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There are two stages to completing this 20-credit award:

Prior to starting your training:

You will be required to complete a swim test

You must hold a current First Aid certificate (unit standards 6400, 6401 and 6402)

Stage 1: Training and assessment includes: 

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, the you will achieve the Pool Lifeguard Skills Award. 
Stage 2: On job-validation includes: 

Completing a facility induction 

Completing a written health and safety assessment

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 

On completion of Stage 2, you will achieve the Pool Lifeguard Practising Certificate.

Programme structure

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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 L3 10 credits
Unit standard 30124 Supervise customers and maintain safety as a pool lifeguard in an aquatic facility L3 5 credits
Unit standard 29848 Demonstrate knowledge of safe work procedures and practices in a recreation workplace L3 5 credits

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

What are the costs?

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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 whether they choose enrol for the Pool Lifeguard Skills Award, PLPC, or the New Zealand Certificate in Aquatics (Pool Lifeguard). 

Check out our fees list and financial help options.

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

Where to from here?

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Keen to kickstart your career in the aquatics industry? 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. 

Enrol now!


Contact your regional advisor or

P   0508 4 SKILLS (0508 475 4557)

E   info@skillsactive.org.nz