Patrol Captain

Course Overview

The Senior Lifeguard Award - Patrol Captain provides information on what you need to know and be able to do as a patrol captain. The qualification also covers theory on leadership topics which are then put into practice during scenarios. This prepares Surf Lifeguards for the leadership role that is essential to being a successful patrol captain. The Senior Lifeguard Award - Patrol Captain is a prerequisite for the National Lifeguard School, the final step for members to obtain the Advanced Lifeguard Award.

Course Information 


  • 16 years of age on the day training commences
  • Min 2 years patrolling experience 
  • SLS Level 1 First Aid (Current) 
  • Marine VHF Radio Operations Certificate 
  • Current member of a SLS club 
  • Surf Lifeguard Award (Refreshed) 

Duration: 1 day 

Delivered by: Regional facilitators 

Who should complete it: Anyone interested in becoming a patrol captain 

Candidate requirements: Fully participate in the course and complete the workbook 


Topics covered

  1. The roles and responsibilities of a Patrol Captain - Building Rapport 
  2. National and Club Standard Operating Procedures
  3. Risk and Incident Management 
  4. Patrol Management
  5. Team Leadership; Building Rapport and Motivating Others


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

  1. Identify the roles and responsibilities of a Patrol Captain
  2. Identify components of NSOPs/CSOPs and explain its significance
  3. Set up, maintain and close down a patrolled area
  4. Explain the purpose of the Patrol Captain in a leadership role and the leadership styles they apply
  5. Apply team leadership to a Patrol Captain role
  6. Identify, diagnose and use the strengths/weaknesses of members of a given team on patrol
  7. Complete tasks related to being a Patrol Captain
  8. Build trust with team
  9. Build rapport with team
  10. Deal with a difficult personality/ team member
  11. Motivate a team or members of a team
  12. Apply the seven steps of risk management (including identifying and assessing risk and applying preventative actions)
  13. Identify, assess and respond to an incident (including operation and post incident activities)
  14. Supervise a response to a minor and major incident



To begin training for this qualification contact your club or local Club Development Officer.


Online Resources

Patrol Captain Candidate Workbook (updated September 2020)

Patrol Captain Resource (updated September 2020)