Advanced Lifeguard Award (National Lifeguard School)

Course Overview

The Advanced Lifeguard Award (ALA) is gained by completing all of the prerequisites and successfully completing a National Lifeguard School (NLS). The NLS combines dynamic theory sessions with a number of intensive practical and scenario based activities. Candidates will be extended both physically and mentally and a good level of fitness is required.

Course Information 

Pre requistes

- 18 years of age
- Current Level 1 & 2 First Aid (Refreshed)
- Senior Lifeguard Award - Patrol Captain
- Senior Lifeguard Award - IRB Driver (Refreshed + Minimum 20 hours logged)
- Marine VHF Radio Operators Certificate
- Min 3 years patrolling experience

- Club Endorsement to attend NLS

- Current member of a SLS club
- Surf Lifeguard Award (refreshed)
- Swim 800 metres sub 14 minutes

- Run 3km in under 20 minutes


NLS 2 ½ days

Delivered by

SLSNZ instructors 

Who should complete it

Anyone interested in gaining the highest Surf Lifeguard qualification

Candidate requirements

Obtain all NLS prerequisites
Complete the NLS pre learning workbook
Fully participate and successfully complete the NLS

Topics covered

1. SLSNZ structure and purpose

2. Leadership and team work

3. Advanced first aid/patient
treatment and care

4. Crisis management and scene

5. Rock navigation

6. Search and rescue

7. Patrol Scenarios

8. Advanced IRB Skills

9. Professionalism & Image

10.  Stages of Drowning and Scanning


At the completion of the qualification candidates will be able to:

  1. Explain the emotional and physiological response to a crisis
  2. Demonstrate water entry and exit in a rocky surf environment 
  3. Identify stages of drowning 
  4. Identify the roles and responsibilities of an Advanced Lifeguard 
  5. Conduct a search and rescue operation and identify SLSNZ's role in externally controlled search
    and rescue operations

The role of an Advanced Lifeguard 

An Advanced Lifeguard should be able to demonstrate leadership, experience and capability, specifically:

  • Cope with a variety of complex situations
  • Demonstrate good communication and leadership skills
  • Experience working with and knowledge of stake holders and other external agencies
  • Demonstrate physical competencies
  • Slot in at any beach as a Patrol Captain
  • Demonstrate or utilise those with advanced skills appropriately
  • Demonstrate high levels of fitness
  • Draw on experience and expertise

National Lifeguard School 2020/21

Date: 4, 5 & 6 December 2020
Venue: Waihi Beach
Applications Open: 1 September 2020
Applications Close: 30 September 2020

800m Swim Time Form: 

Click here to download.

Instructor and Mentor Applications

For information about applying to be an Instructor or Mentor at National Lifeguard School, click here.

Further Information 

Belinda Slement, Education Development Lead
027 233 4014 |