The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK) is pleased to announce the appointment of Martin Symcox as the new Director of its training subsidiary, IQL UK.

Martin has overseen IQL UK as Interim Director since January 2014, when the former director Tara Dillon was seconded to the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

Di Steer, Chief Executive of RLSS UK, said: “I am delighted to welcome Martin into his new role as Director of IQL UK. We are experiencing an unprecedented period of growth and with his extensive knowledge and experience, and after his success as interim director, Martin is ideally placed to provide strategic direction for all aspects of our training division as the business continues to expand.”

IQL UK is the leading provider of professional lifeguard training in the UK, training around 95 per cent of all pool lifeguards. It also provides pool management and first aid qualifications. Lifeguarding pools across the UK and Ireland goes a huge way towards achieving RLSS UK’s aim – as the drowning prevention charity – of reducing the number of people who drown in the UK and Ireland each year (currently around 400 deaths a year) by providing safe environments for swimmers to enjoy the water.

RLSS UK considers the leisure industry a critical partner in reducing drowning and as Director of IQL UK, Martin will further raise the profile of the organisation within the sector by maintaining and driving up standards through the delivery of world-class qualifications: the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) and National Pool Management Qualification (NPMQ).

He will also oversee the delivery of new products to existing and new markets whilst maintaining a strong focus on consolidating IQL UK’s offering to the leisure industry. This will include a commitment to meeting and exceeding customer expectations through the use of new technology, ensuring that products and services remain fit for purpose and represent value for money.

Commenting on his appointment, Martin said: “I’ve been involved in the leisure industry since graduating in 1997 and having worked in numerous operational environments, I’ve know the importance of relationship management and delivering a consistently high level of service. I’m looking forward to bringing my commercial experience to the new role and helping strengthen IQL UK’s offering and position in the aquatic training and safety market.”

Martin joined the organisation in 2009 as Business Development Manager and has been instrumental in ensuring the delivery of high quality products and services. He was also responsible for the outreach team of customer engagement managers to provide outstanding customer service to industry partners and workforce.

Over the last 12 months, he has been closely involved in the introduction of IQL UK’s full suite of first aid qualifications.

“The uptake has been extremely encouraging. It provides an excellent opportunity for leisure centres and similar organisations to realise savings and provides the potential for additional income streams,” says Martin.

RLSS UK has made a number of other new appointments as it gears up for growth. These include  Alex Blackwell who has taken up the role of Head of Vocational Qualifications for the RLSS UK; Ian Doherty as IQL UK Programme Manager and Danielle Peel, who takes over from Martin Symcox as Business Development Manager of IQL UK. Water safety and lifeguarding expert, Jo Talbot, has also joined the organisation in the new role of National Vocational Qualification Manager.