Advanced Lifeguard Award

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 


  • 18 years of age
  • Current First Aid Level 1 & 2 (Refreshed)
  • Senior Lifeguard Award - Patrol Captain
  • Senior Lifeguard Award - IRB Driver (Refreshed + Minimum 20 hours logged)
  • Marine VHF Radio Operators Certificate
  • Current member of a SLS club
  • Surf Lifeguard Award (refreshed)
  • Swim 800 metres sub 14 minutes
  • Run 3km in under 20 minutes
  • Club Endorsement to attend
  • Min 3 years patrolling experience
  • Recommended: Rock Training & Rescue Module

Duration: NLS 2 ½ days

Delivered by: SLSNZ appointed 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 management 
  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

National Lifeguard School 2021/2022

  • Date: 18/19/20 February 2022
  • Venue: Waihi Beach, Coromandel 
  • Applications Open: 1 September 2021
  • Applications Close: 30 September 2021

800m Swim Time Form - Click here to download.


Further Information

Belinda Slement, Education Development Lead
027 233 4014 |

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 stakeholders 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

Instructor & Mentor Applications


  • To clearly outline the process and criteria to be used by SLSNZ in selecting instructors and mentors for National Lifeguard School (NLS).
  • To outline a clear and transparent selection process for members. 
Applications Open:  11th August 2021
Applications Close:  27th August 2021

Selection Criteria

To be eligible for section as an head instructor, instructor or mentor you must meet the following pre-requisites: 

Pre requistes - Instructor

  • Current member of a SLS club
  • Min 20 years of age
  • Surf Lifeguard Award (refreshed)
  • Senior Lifeguard Award - IRB   Driver (Refreshed)
  • First Aid Level 1 & 2 (current)
  • Advanced Lifeguard Award
  • Demonstrated Experience in instructing or facilitating training 
  • Have a genuine interest in developing our senior lifeguards. 
  • Head Instructor: All of the above plus minimum of 2-3 seasons as a NLS instructor.

Pre requistes - Mentor

  • Current member of a SLS club
  • Min 18 years of age
  • Surf Lifeguard Award (refreshed)
  • Senior Lifeguard Award - IRB   Driver (Refreshed)
  • First Aid Level 1 & 2 (current)
  • Advanced Lifeguard Award
  • Have a passion for enabling people to reach their potential
  • Experience in mentoring 

General information


  • 4 mentors will be selected for the school.  As a mentor, you may be developed further towards facilitating as an instructor for future years.
  • A mentor's key role is to pass on their knowledge and guide guards through their experiences.   Mentors will be heavily involved, being the first port-of-call for candidates if they are having any issues, supporting instructors during activities, being the mentor for a designated group of candidates for the duration of the school and helping manage the health and safety of all involved during all activities.
  • Mentors will be expected to participate in all activities so a high level of swimming and running fitness is required. 


  • 6-7 instructors will be selected for a minimum 3 season term.  The 3 season term takes effect for any new instructors selected for the 2020/2021 season. 
  • Instructors must mentors at least one school before instructing.  SLSNZ may on a case by case basis, consider applications from experienced instructors/facilitators who have not filled the mentor role in the past.  

Section process

  • All interested instructors and mentors to complete the application form and submit this by 27 August 2021
  • SLSNZ checks relevant eligibility for selection and collates all applications.
  • SLSNZ selects Head Instructor, instructors and mentors for the season.  
  • Consultation with National Lifesaving Committee if required 


Further Information 

Belinda Slement, Education Development Lead
027 233 4014 |