RLSS National Surf Coach Lifesaving Award

What is the National Surf Coach Lifesaving award (NSCLA)?


To become a qualified surf coach in the UK, you must initially undertake a suitable lifesaving award before enrolling on the instructor/ coach course.

The NSCLA was developed with support from Surfing England and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RLNI) to ensure surf coaches adopt the highest standards of beach safety.

The NSCLA course length is a minimum of 20 hours, followed by a practical assessment on group management/ supervision, First Aid, Life Support, swimming pool and ocean skills.

Upon qualifying with the NSCLA, the certificate is valid for two years from the date of successful completion.

What does the course cover?


The NSCLA covers group management and supervision, First Aid, Life Support, and pool and open water skills. The course is physically demanding and includes swimming to set times and lifting. The NSCLA comprises three modules; you must successfully pass all three to qualify.

  • Module 1 – The beach environment, hazards, and supervision
  • Module 2 – Rescue skills in surf environments
  • Module 3 – First Aid and Life support

At the end of the course you will be assessed, covering your competence, skills, and knowledge of working as a surf coach and your ability to apply the skills and knowledge learnt in a surf environment.

The assessment falls into:

  • Group management, supervision and First Aid theory
  • Life support practical
  • First Aid practical
  • Ocean skills
  • Pool skills

Next Steps

To check you meet all the prerequisite requirements,  find out more about the course and find your nearest training provider, head over to the RLSS website 







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