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). 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.

If a candidate can achieve their Advanced Lifeguard Award, they are among the fittest and most capable lifeguards on the beach.  They will have demonstrated highly competent skills in all lifeguarding aspects in a patrol setting.

Course Information 


  • Current member of a SLS club
  • 18 years of age
  • Surf First Aid (refreshed)
  • Marine VHF Radio Operators Certificate
  • Senior Lifeguard Award - IRB Driver (refreshed + minimum 20 hours logged)
  • Senior Lifeguard Award - Patrol Captain
  • 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 modules 
  • Fully participate and successfully complete the NLS

Topics Covered

  1. Leadership and team work 
  2. Advanced first aid, patient treatment and care 
  3. Crisis management and scene management 
  4. Advanced IRB skill development 
  5. Rock rescues and navigation
  6. IRB Rock rescues 
  7. Search and rescue 
  8. Patrol and and first aid scenarios  
  9. Stages of drowning and scanning 

National Lifeguard School 2022/2023

  • Date: 08/09/10 December 2022
  • Venue: Waihi Beach, Coromandel 
  • Applications Open: 1 September 2022
  • Applications Close: 30 September 2022

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, capability and skills, specifically:

  • Cope with a variety of complex situations and scenarios
  • Demonstrate good communication and leadership skills
  • Knowledge of stakeholders and other search and rescue partner agencies
  • Attain a high standard of physical fitness and mental fortitude
  • Adaptability and ability to fulfil the role of Patrol Captain at any beach
  • Demonstrate and utilise advanced lifeguarding skills appropriately, specifically; IRB skills, rock rescues, advanced first aid & patient care & basic search and rescue skills.
  • Effective delegation and ability to use team strengths for best patient outcomes
  • An ability to draw on personal and other expert experience during times of crisis.
  • Provide professional advice to other agencies where required.

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:  8th August 2022
Applications Close:  26th August 2022

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)
  • Surf First Aid (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)
  • Surf First Aid (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.  Due to this roll through, we only have 1 instructor position open this season. 
  • Instructors must mentor 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 26 August 2022
  • SLSNZ checks relevant eligibility for selection and collates all applications.
  • SLSNZ selects instructors and mentors for the season.  


Further Information 

Belinda Slement, Education Development Lead
027 233 4014 |