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Emergency Pool Responder Training

Courses for Hotels and Leisure clubs

"Constant Pool supervision by lifeguards provides the best assurance of pool user's safety." Managing Health & Safety in Swimming Pools, HSE guidance 179.There is however, a recognition that there are occasions where a decision may be taken where constant supervision is not necessary and that lifeguards are not required. In such circumstances to effectively manage safety, a number of criteria must be complied with. It is suggested in HSG (Health & Safety Guidance) 179, that "the risk assessment may determine circumstances where the balance of cost and risk makes it possible to provide a safe swimming environment without constant pool supervision."

Following a completion of a risk assessment, where the pool operator subsequently concludes that constant pool supervision is not required, there must be arrangements in place to deal with the management of swimming and the response to a foreseeable emergency. This must include the provision of suitably trained pool responders who have attended a recognised pool responder course in order so that staff who are able to respond and effectively manage all aspects of such should the need arise. 

This Emergency Pool Responder training and assessment program is endorsed by the Royal Life Saving Society UK and is intended to support safer swimming at small, shallow pools such as those typically found at many hotels, leisure clubs, holiday parks, private fitness facilities and other similar establishments.

The Emergency Pool Responder course program is open to all candidates who are over 16 at the start of training. Emergency Pool Responder Trainees must be able to swim 25 metres on front and back, be able to submerge to a depth not greater than 1.5 metres from the surface and be able to climb out of the pool unaided and without using steps and ladders.

Emergency Pool Responder Training courses are at least 13 hours contact teaching time.

Course Details:


The RLSS Emergency Response Certificate 4th edition (Swimming Pools) is a Certificate of Water Rescue Competence for staff working in a facility where there is a swimming pool but where "continuous poolside supervision by lifeguards" is not required. In addition the qualification will apply where pool operators wish to provide a suitable programme of training and assessment for ancillary staff who may act in support of the lifeguard team.

Topics Covered

Pool Safety Theory

  • To include the principles of accident prevention, casualty identification, principles of rescue, spinal cord injury management (SCIM), cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and first aid.

Practical Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

  • Adult, child and infant basic life support to include the use of a pocket mask as a barrier method of resuscitation.

Practical Emergency First Aid

  • Choking, bleeding, broken bones, bites, burns, stings, shock, heart attack, epilepsy, asthma and diabetes.

Practical Rescue Skills

  • To include pool rescue skills, SCIM and incident management (for developing rescue skills within simulated emergency conditions)


Ongoing assessment is  conducted by the trainer  throughout the course to include verification of theoretical knowledge and the application of practical skills included within the training program. This is recorded as evidence in the candidates training manual 

The RLSS Emergency Responder Certificate 4th Edition (Swimming Pools) is valid for 24 months.

(The Emergency Responder Training Certificate is NOT a lifeguard qualification)








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