Open Water Lifeguard Qualification

The Open Water Lifeguard qualification enables candidates with no previous lifeguard experience to become qualified. By attaining this qualification candidates will have been assessed as competent to provide supervision and rescue cover for planned, organised and risk-assessed activities in open water (still, non-tidal).


The Open Water Lifeguard Qualification delivered over three days, is valid is 2 years and is independently assessed. The candidate manual and trainer resources help the Trainer Assessor deliver through the three sections:

Section 1
The Open Water Lifeguard, environment, hazards and supervision


Section 2
Responding to an emergency and taking action

Section 3
CPR and First Aid

New candidates – 20hrs
Renewal candidates – 12hrs


  • OWL candidates should have experience of participating in a variety of open water activities in a variety of venues. Formal evidence (certificates etc) is not required, but it should be highlighted that candidates with no experience of open water are likely to find the workshop very challenging

  • Be 16+ years old

  • Be able to complete a continuous swim of at least 400 metres in a pool

  • Be able to dive to a depth of up to two metres