Organising Open Water Training and Assessment

Lifesaving and Lifeguard


It is RLSS UK’s aim to ensure that all activities in or on open water are conducted at recognised and safe locations with appropriate supervisory arrangements in line with the local operating plans (Safety Operating Procedures SOP’s) and supplemented by an activity specific risk assessment.


When undertaking training and assessment for open water lifesaving awards and vocational qualifications, safety provision should be made in accordance with these guidelines


Site Specific

The Activity Organiser must liaise with the site operator with regard to gaining permission to use the site for lifesaving activity and compliance with the local safety operating procedures. Safety Operating Procedures consist of Normal Operating Procedures (NOP’s) and the Emergency Action Plan (EAP). The Activity Organiser has the responsibility for checking that the open water site is fit for purpose and that the appropriate site specific safety arrangements are in place on every visit.


Under no circumstance should the Activity Organiser allow activity to take place where there is any doubt about the prevailing conditions or uncertainty about safety arrangements.


• Before organising any RLSS UK training the Activity Organiser (or designated Safety Officer) should complete a full risk assessment and be satisfied that the level of risk for the planned activity is acceptable. A site specific evaluation form is available for download from

The Risk Assessment should inform the production of Standard Operating Procedures outlining how the activities will be run.


• Wherever possible the Activity Organiser should seek local knowledge appertaining to the open water site.


• At every session the Activity Organiser (or designated Safety Officer) should perform a dynamic risk assessment to determine whether the activity is safe to proceed. 

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