Qualifications & Awards

Surf Lifeguard Award

The Surf Lifeguard Award is the entry level qualification for surf lifeguarding in New Zealand and can be attained at 14 years of age. The Surf Lifeguard training programme aims to develop a candidate's fundamental beach management, search & rescue and first aid skills to become a competent lifeguard on patrol.

The award is attained following a course of club instruction covering both physical and theoretical lifesaving skills. These skills are developed over a period of 6–10 weeks of instruction, depending on the level of skills that have been attained through the candidate's membership of the JuniorSurf division or other similar activities.

The examination involves assessment and examination by SLSNR District Examiners on theoretical knowledge, actual surf life saving skills and rescue/resuscitation skills.

Pool Test

  • 400 metre Swim        Non-stop freestyle swim in under 9 minutes
  • Releases and Tows    Perform releases and tows
  • Tube Rescue

Theory Test

  • 40 question theory paper

Practical Test

  • Resuscitation    Perform CPR
  • First Aid            Provide First Aid/manage First Aid in emergency situations
  • VHF Radios       Communicate using a two-way radio
  • Signals              Demonstrate signals used by surf lifesaving for communications
  • Run Swim Run  Sea swim
  • Tube Rescue     Sea rescue


  • Workbook to be completed during training

The SLGA qualification is the minimum qualification required for both patrolling and competing members.

For dates and times for the next SLGA course(s) being run by the Red Beach Surf Club, contact the club's administration officer Debra Cairns at the club office ... 
T:   09 426 5283   or
M:  021 130 4153 
E:   info@redbeachslsc.com

First Aid Courses:
Throughout the year, surf lifeguards who have attained their SLGA qualification are given the opportunity to further their First Aid and resuscitation skills through a number of SLSNR training courses. The cost of these courses is subsidised by SLSNR and the club generally covers the balance of the cost. The courses include Surf Level 1 and Level 2 First Aid and Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (PHEC) training to NZQA standards.

Senior Surf Lifeguard Award:
This award is attained through advanced courses of instruction by SLSNR Instructors. To qualify as a Senior Surf Lifeguard a candidate must demonstrate a superior level of fitness, swimming/surf skills ability and an understanding of the surf/beach environment.  They will also generally be required to hold the Inshore Rescue Boat and Radio Operators and the Advanced First Aid qualifications.

Leadership Skills Development:
Surf lifeguards can attain a number of different qualifications and awards which are recognised by the community at large as demonstrating leadership skills.
Prospective employers look to these types of qualifications in addition to the usual academic achievement when interviewing potential employees.
There are also opportunities within clubs and the District and National surf lifesaving organisations for lifeguards to move into a professional surf life-guarding or surf sports career.
SLSNR and SLSNZ therefore support and provide various leadership skills training opportunities annually. Details can be obtained from the SLSNR website  www.lifesaving.org.nz