Following a long consultation with industry leisure groups, STA has launched a new, CIMSPA-endorsed level 2 pool lifeguarding qualification which for the first time aligns lifeguard and First Aid at Work revalidations.
STA’s new 3-year revalidation process represents an industry first, and will consolidate and simplify the revalidation of lifeguards in the future. This follows HSG179’s latest protocols that no longer require lifeguard qualifications to be revalidated every 2 years.
By listening and consulting with leisure operators large and small, STA has also created an all-inclusive course syllabus that reflects the true role of a modern lifeguard. New modules unique to the qualification include chapters on customer service and the role of a lifeguard in adding to a customer’s experience. There are also new and expanded chapters on casualty recognition, incident management, facility maintenance and drowning detection systems.
For operators, this new all-encompassing training methodology will ensure lifeguards are work ready and trained in all areas of their role, not just ‘lifeguarding’ per se.
The ongoing training needs of lifeguards have also been brought in line with the latest HSG179 recommendations, which state:
All lifeguards will benefit from suitable refresher training to ensure they retain these skills. The actual frequency of refresher training is not defined because it varies depending on how often lifeguards practice and/or use their skills and changes to their work environment or to current industry standards.
HSG179: Managing health and safety in swimming pools (2018)
This enables employers to create flexible ongoing training programmes for their lifeguards, which can be pre-planned in advance and organised at times that suit the needs of the leisure facility—this might be bi-monthly or even quarterly over the 3-year period.
Kaylë Brightwell, Head of Qualifications at Safety Training Awards, STA’s awarding organisation said:
In developing this new qualification, we have torn up the rule book and listened to what employers really want. Yes, the qualification covers all the aspects of lifeguard and first aid training you would expect, but we’ve gone one step further to create an all-inclusive qualification—one that reflects the real role of a pool lifeguard.
Aligning the revalidation process with First Aid at Work will also significantly help operators. From experience of working in a leisure facility, I know that operationally it will make the process so much simpler to plan and easier to administer, confirmed Kaylë.
In support of the launch, STA has also created a brand new range of learner-friendly resources, colourful print-bound teaching manuals and Tutor materials.
Starting in May, Ian Prosser, Qualification Development Manager for Lifesaving will also be hosting a series of country-wide tutor up-skill sessions .