Patrol Support

Course Overview

The Patrol Support certifies that the holder has the basic skills and knowledge to be a Patrol Support Member. Patrol Support is considered to be an extension to the minimum number of lifeguards required on patrol, as stated in the Patrol Operations Manual.  
Patrol Support Members must not take part in any water based activities on patrol.  These are for surf lifeguards only. 

Course Information 


  • 14 years of age | Current member of a SLS club

Duration: Variable depending on competence and instruction structure 2-8 weeks

Delivered by: Surf Life Saving club instructors, examined by local examiners

Who should complete it: Anyone interested in becoming a Patrol Support member, any member who is unable to complete the water-based requirements of the Surf Lifeguard Award. 

Candidate requirements: The Patrol Support member must pass the entire theoretical component of the Surf Lifeguard Award.  

Exam components:

  • Theory Paper 80% correct
  • First Aid 
  • Radio Operations 
  • CPR
  • Signals


Topics Covered

  1. Health, safety, welfare and risk management
  2. Roles and responsibilities
  3. Surf environment 
  4. Communications 
  5. CPR
  6. First Aid 


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

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of health, safety, welfare and risk management for all surf lifeguards. 
  2. Identify and describe the roles and responsibilities you will encounter while on patrol and your responsibilities as members of SLSNZ. 
  3. Describe the features of the surf environment.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of effective communication and how to communicate effectively. 
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of effective scanning techniques and patient identification.
  6. Communicate using a two-way radio.
  7. Demonstrate signals used for communication.
  8. Provide resuscitation (no unit standards).
  9. Provide first aid (no unit standards).
  10. Mange first aid in emergency situations. 


While the patrol support member may take on leadership roles in the club, this does not extend to the position of Patrol Captain.

Refreshers: for the purpose of a current Surf Lifeguard who for whatever reason is not able to complete the physical requirements of the annual Surf Lifeguard Refresher, they can transfer their award classification from the Surf Lifeguard Award (refresher) to the Patrol Support (refresher) via SLSNZ. 

Reporting: Patrol Support members names can be added to the Patrol Captains form, however, it must clearly show they are "Patrol Support"

Online Resources

Hard copies of these manuals can be purchased from SLSNZ via the Club Shop (club administrator access only)

Surf Lifeguard Award Training Manual (updated September 2022)
Surf Lifeguard Award Candidate Workbook (updated September 2022)