Senior Lifeguard Award - IRB Driver

Course Overview

The Senior Lifeguard Award - IRB Driver (SLA-IRBD) is designed to create competent IRB drivers. The qualification has a number of theoretical and practical components such driving in the surf, solo driving and maritime regulations to prepare Surf Lifeguards for IRB use. It is compulsory for members to have the SLA-IRBD to drive an IRB. The SLA-IRBD gives Surf Lifeguards the knowledge and skill required to respond in rescue situations utilising an IRB. The SLA-IRBD is a pre requisite for the National Lifeguard School.

Course Information 

Pre requistes

16 years of age | Current member of a SLS club
IRB Crewperson Module | Marine VHF Radio Operators Certificate
Surf Lifeguard Award (held for at least six months and be currently refreshed)

You must hold your Surf Lifeguard Award for at least 6 months before you start any IRB Driver training.  


Variable depending on competence and instruction structure 2-8 weeks

Delivered by

Club instructors

Who should complete it

Anyone interested in driving an IRB

Candidate requirements

Attend training sessions with the club instructor
Complete the IRB Driver Workbook
Successfully complete all components of the examination

Exam components

Theory test
IRB engine setup
Solo driving
Engine reinstatement 

Single person rescue
Driving skills
Multiple patient rescue
IRB engine closedown

Topics covered

1. IRB engine

2. Engine reinstatement

3. IRB engine set up

4. Maritime regulations

5. Driving skills

6. IRB engine closedown

7. Rescues

8. Operations 


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

  1. Demonstrate and explain the factors involved in the set up and close down of an IRB engine
  2. Drive an Inflatable Rescue Boat

To begin training for this qualification contact your club 

Online Resources

IRB Training Manual

This Manual includes topics and content to assist a candidate to gain either their IRB Crewperson Module or Senior Lifeguard Award - IRB Drivers Award. Once candidates have completed their module or award, the training manual should be kept by them as reference. Hard copies of this manual can be purchased from SLSNZ. 
Online Download:  IRB Training Manual (pdf, 9MB) (updated September 2018)

IRB Driver Candidate Workbook

This workbook has been created specifically for IRB Driver candidates. All candidates training towards their IRB drivers must complete this workbook.  
Online Download:  IRB Driver Workbook (pdf ,9MB) (updated September 2018)