United Kingdom - June 2024

United Kingdom - June 2024

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Middle East - Coming Soon

Middle East - Coming Soon

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India - February 2025

India - February 2025

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New UCAS points for RLSS UK’s National Pool Lifeguard Qualification to help address critical lifeguard shortages

New UCAS points for RLSS UK’s National Pool Lifeguard Qualification to help address critical lifeguard shortages

The Royal Life Saving Society UK’s (RLSS UK) popular National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) has been approved for UCAS Tariff points from May 2024, to enhance the appeal of lifeguarding among students even further and alleviate lifeguard shortages across the UK and Ireland.

“The enduring appeal of lifeguarding among 16 to 21-year-olds presents a huge opportunity for pool operators struggling with ongoing recruitment and retention challenges. Lifeguarding is already a popular choice for students going on to further and higher education. Gaining UCAS points with the NPLQ will make it even more appealing to students and hopefully help address lifeguard shortages nationwide,” says Jo Talbot, commercial director from RLSS UK.

Statistics from RLSS UK’s 2023 Lifeguard Survey demonstrate the popularity of lifeguarding among students, with two-thirds of the 2,456 current lifeguards surveyed enrolled in full or part-time education. An overwhelming 96% of lifeguards intending to go to college or university in the next two years are interested in continuing their lifeguarding duties alongside their studies.

The survey also shows the satisfaction lifeguarding offers, with 84% rating their experience as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. Lifeguards value the diversity of the role and the transferable skills they acquire - 93% said lifeguarding enhanced their communication skills, 92% believe it improved their teamwork skills, and 89% said it had boosted their self-confidence.

Elevated to a Level 3 qualification and officially registered with UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), the NPLQ now carries eight UCAS Tariff points valid from May 2024, helping students secure a place at university or further studies. Several other RLSS UK Level 3 qualifications are also on the UCAS Register, including First Aid at Work, sometimes combined with the NPLQ and offered by pool operators, carrying even more UCAS Tariff points!

Lifeguard shortages remain a critical issue in the health and fitness industry. According to CIMSPA’s 2023 Workforce Insights Report by CIMSPA, lifeguarding ranks among the most sought-after skills by employers, with 40% of job postings for sports and leisure assistants in 2022 requiring lifeguarding expertise.

“Students are a viable solution for operators looking to address lifeguard shortages and their vacancies. Recognising that students are much more likely to relocate for university and college, we urge operators to assist lifeguards in transferring to other swimming pools during their studies to retain these skills, keep facilities safe and return to their jobs during holiday periods or after studying,” says Talbot.

RLSS UK research shows that 92% of lifeguards have recommended the role to others.

“By retaining students, pool operators can harness the power of this word-of-mouth marketing to attract even more students into the profession and grow this invaluable talent pool. With the inclusion of UCAS points, the NPLQ provides even more opportunities for students to combine their studies with lifeguarding to learn from real-world experiences and enhance their career prospects while plugging the sector’s skills gap.”

For more information on the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) visit www.rlss.org.uk/national-pool-lifeguard-qualification.

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