Surf Coach Safety & Rescue FAQ's

Why do this course?

If you want to work as a surf instructor / coach or outdoor activity instructor that takes group on the water you need to have a valid lifesaving qualification.

Surfers that want to be able to look after themselves and have the knowledge and skills to help friends and potentially other water users should the need arise.

Surf club members that are involved in peer coaching, group trips and surfing events.


Can I be a Surf coach with this award?


This validates the International Surf Association Level 1 & 2 coach awards which is the international standard for working as a surf coach.


It is also the minimum lifesaving award that most surf schools will accept for you to assist or shadow on lessons.


Some surf schools will accept this award combined with in house training for surf coaching work.


It is always best to check with your potential employer to find out what they require.


Can anyone do this course?

​If you’re fit, healthy, over school leaving age, and can swim 200m, paddle a board through surf, run and are medically and physically fit, you can do this course.​

What’s involved?

The course takes place over 3 days and includes modules on beach lifeguarding, life support and first aid, ocean skills and pool skills. It’s physically demanding and includes swimming, running, board paddling and lifting, so you’ll need to be a competent swimmer with a good level of fitness before you start.


The course involves continuous assessment. This is not a pay to pass course, if you don’t meet the required standard set out by SLSGB, you will not be signed off as competent.

How fit do I need to be?

You must be able to complete a 200m continuous swim using a forward stroke.

You must be able to paddle a board over 400m through surf

You must be able to run 200m is less than 1 minute.

What will I be doing on this course?

Candidates will have to demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities in the following core competencies;The beach environment,CPR, First Aid, open water skills including board and tube rescue.

Do I need to have experience?

Previous experience is desirable but not essential as all training will be provided during the course.

Having basic board skills and a knowledge of the beach and ocean environments will help greatly. If you do not have these skills or knowledge already we strongly suggest you try and get some pre - course.

Where will the course take place?

Most of of our courses take place at Newquay Activity Centre based right on Towan beach in the centre of Newquay.

As far as training venues go, they don't get much better as your our classroom looks right over the beach. Towan beach is sheltered from most winds and has great surf, making it one of the best lifeguard training venues in the UK.

We also run courses in Bundoran, Ireland with local surf schools and La Torche, Brittany, France with  Kreiz breizh sauvetage secourisme / Celtic Surf Camp.

If you have a group or are an activity centre or surf school and would like us to provide training at your venue please get in touch.

Do I need transport?

No, our training centre is on the beach and in the town centre so all amenities and accommodation are a stones throw. Not wasting time driving to venues maximises your training time.

Is accommodation included?

No, but we have teamed up with Ocean Surf Lodge to offer candidates a specially discounted rate. Get in touch for more on that. There is loads of other accommodation so just ask us for any recommendations.

Do you provide food?

Tea and coffee is available and if you train hard you may even get some cake!

You will need to either bring a packed lunch or have money to buy something in town which has some epic eateries such as the Pavillion Bakery and Gustos.


Do I need to be a member of SLSGB?


Yes, you can do this by clicking here

What is the difference between the Beach Lifeguard course and the Surf Coach Safety and Rescue Award?

The Surf Coach Lifesaver Award is specifically designed for water sport coaches who need to have a lifesaving qualification. It cannot be used to apply for beach lifeguard positions.

It is a shorter course, there is no timed pool swim in this award and the 200m run must be completed in less than 1 min. However it still covers all of the first aid and basic life support required of beach Lifeguards and is just as physically demanding.

This course is also suitable for, SUP, Bodyboard coasteering and Outdoor Adventure Instructors.

What can I do post course?

This award sets out to establish a standard that creates a level of competence in Life Saving that meets the requirements of the surf coach and is also suitable for, SUP, Bodyboard, coasteering and Outdoor Adventure Instructors who are responsible for taking groups into the sea.

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