Learn to Swim Companion

A guide for parents and learners

Rookie Lifeguard Awards

All Awards

The Rookie Lifeguard Awards are for your children if they are budding lifeguards.

Developed by the Royal Life Saving Society UK in conjunction with the Swim England, the Rookie Lifeguard Awards offer parents the comfort of knowing their children are aware of how to avoid dangers and enjoy the water safely.

The Bronze, Silver and Gold stage awards ensure children have a solid safety education, and have learned rescue and resuscitation techniques.

Each stage of the Rookie Lifeguard Awards is sub-divided into three levels and each stage runs roughly for eight to 10 weeks.

Your children can enter a course at any point during the stage and progress at his or her own speed.

The Rookie Lifeguard Awards programme also includes a Water Safety Award, a Life Support Award and Achievement Awards.

There are also other bolt-on awards that can be achieved, such as Lifesaving Sport, Paddle Board and Beach Awards.

Objectives of Rookie Lifeguard Awards

Rookie Lifeguard Awards – Bronze

On completing Bronze Stages 1, 2 and 3 children should be able to:

  1. Enter shallow water safely and confidently
  2. Tread water for 1 minute, using arms to occasionally signal for help
  3. Swim continuously in clothing for 50m (long sleeved top, trousers or skirt)
  4. Swim Lifesaving Backstroke over a distance of 50m
  5. Scull head and feet first on their back over a distance of 15m
  6. Hold the ‘HELP’ position for 2 minutes 30 seconds
  7. Demonstrate a non-panicking, panicking, and unconscious casualty
  8. Demonstrate a ‘Shout and Signal’ rescue to a casualty 5m away
  9. Enter shallow water and wade to a casualty 5m away
  10. Throw a buoyant aid to a casualty 5m away and instruct them back to the side
  11. Demonstrate a reach rescue to a casualty 2m away
  12. Throw a non buoyant aid (rope) to a casualty 8m away
  13. Enter deep water safely and confidently
  14. Perform a feet first surface dive and swim underwater 5m before surfacing
  15. Climb out in deep water without using the steps

Rookie Lifeguard Awards – Silver

On completing Silver Stages 1, 2 and 3 children should be able to:

  1. Swim continuously in clothing (long sleeved top, Trousers, or a skirt) for 200m on your front and back (100m on your front and 100m on your back), in less than 10 minutes.
  2. Demonstrate a reaching rescue to a casualty 2m away, instruct them what to do
  3. Throw a buoyant aid to a casualty 8m away. Instruct them what to do
  4. Enter shallow water and wade to a casualty 10m away. Using a throwing aid, instruct the casualty what to do.
  5. Enter shallow water and wade to a casualty 10m away. Using a rigid aid instruct the casualty what to do.
  6. Place casualty in the support position
  7. Tread water for 3 minutes, shouting and signalling for help every 30 seconds or so
  8. Swim 100m during which perform 2 feet first and head first surface dives, recover an object in 1m of water before surfacing
  9. In shallow water turn a face down ‘unconscious casualty’ face up and walk to the poolside whilst shouting for help.
  10. Coil and throw a rope to a casualty 10m away and pull to the side in less than 45 seconds
  11. Enter deep water using a straddle jump
  12. Demonstrate a fall-in entry into clear deep water
  13. Swim 20m continuously with your head out of the water on your front

Rookie Lifeguard Awards – Gold

On completing Gold Stages 1, 2 and 3 children should be able to:

  1. Coil and throw a rope to a casualty 12 metres away and pull to the side, in less than 30 seconds
  2. Swim 400m continuously in clothing (long sleeved top and trousers) using three different strokes. Each stroke must be performed continuously for 100m (Lifesaving Backstroke, Sidestroke, Breaststroke or Front Crawl) in less than 15 minutes
  3. Tread water for two minutes before removing clothing then swim 50m to a point of support in deep water. Climb out of deep water unaided
  4. Demonstrate any two from the following in clear deep water; fall-in, compact jump or shallow dive
  5. Swim 10 metres then demonstrate a Reverse
  6. Swim 10 metres then demonstrate a Standoff
  7. Swim 20 metres to an unconscious casualty. Surface dive and recover an object from 1m depth of water. At the surface swap the object for and unconscious casualty. Turn the casualty over then perform a swim and tow for 20m using sidestroke. This is a timed swim and must be completed in less than 2 minutes 30 seconds. Shout for help
  8. Demonstrate supported rescue breathing whilst waiting for help
  9. Demonstrate the support position
  10. Using initiative, assist 2 casualties in difficulty up to 15 metres away in shallow water. Demonstrate non-contact rescues of both casualties instruct casualties what to do and assist to land. Treat for shock
  11. Using appropriate hand signals from land direct another swimmer to a point where an unconscious casualty has disappeared from sight in deep water
  12. Using any recognised competitive stroke, swim 400m continuously, in less than 12 minutes
  13. Complete the Rookie Life Support Award