The Royal Life Saving Society UK is a drowning prevention charity founded in 1891 in the UK. It has had Royal Patronage since 1904.
The Royal Life Saving Society UK is a national charity that was founded in 1891 and its aim is to prevent drowning. The Society has more than 10,000 members in 48 branches and 350 active lifesaving and lifeguarding clubs it trains over 95% of all pool lifeguards across the UK and Ireland.
The RLSS UK is part of Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth and International Life Saving Federation.
The Royal Life Saving Society has had Royal Patronage since 1904. Her Majesty the Queen is the Society's Patron. HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO is the extremely active Commonwealth President of the Society. The organisation's headquarters is based in the Midlands town of Worcester.. The Patron of RLSS UK is Lord Mike Storey CBE and the President is Mark A Smith.
Lifesaving in the United Kingdom and Ireland
Lifesaving and lifeguarding are promoted as a sport and a life skill by the Royal Life Saving Society UK. There are over 350 lifesaving clubs based throughout the UK and Ireland, which teach skills such as drowning prevention, life support and personal survival. The learning of lifesaving takes place in a variety of water environments, such as swimming pools, inland water venues and at coastal locations. Often clubs coach their members towards achieving RLSS UK awards as part of various award programmes including Rookie Lifeguard and Survive and Save. For a description of the Medallion itself see Bronze Medallion (New Zealand and Australia).
Subsequent awards under the Survive & Save programme follow a path to silver and gold though four disciplines of lifesaving, open water, competition, and still water. The final award of lifesaving is that of Distinction, an award that demands a very high level of skill. The Distinction is awarded on passing three 3 gold awards  Training programmes exist for all ages, from young children to adults. Some lifesaving and lifeguard clubs operate as volunteer organisations, providing safety cover at locations where there would otherwise be none.
The RLSS UK organises both national and regional speed and skills competitions and many clubs, including university affiliated clubs (organised through the British Universities Lifesaving Clubs Association (BULSCA)) field teams at these events.
Courses and qualifications
The RLSS UK offers community courses as well as vocational qualifications for pool and beach lifeguards. These vocational awards are recognised throughout the UK and Ireland. These awards include the National Pool and National Beach Lifeguard Qualifications (NPLQ and NVBLQ respectively) as well as the National Pool Management Course (NPMQ).
Children's Life Saving
RLSS UK offers various courses for young people including the Rookie Lifeguard Programme which is part of the governments National Plan for Teaching of Swimming developed to teach children aged 8 to 12 years old the basics in life saving. Other programmes include Young Leaders (12+), Assistant Instructor (14+) and Rookie Instructor (16+) as well as Assistant Beach Lifeguard and Senior Lifesaving Awards. Young people also have the opportunity to use their lifesaving skills in a competitive environment through the Sport Section of the Society.
Lifesaving Life Support
Lifesaving Life Support refers to the series of exams implemented by the RLSS UK in order to assess a lifesaver's ability in on land rescue techniques.
- Royal Life Saving Society Australia
- Royal Life Saving Society of Canada
- Lifesaving Awards