Common sense course keeps students safe on school trips

12 February 2016


The Outdoor Education Advisors’ Panel, which comprises advisors from local authorities, academy trusts and independent schools in England and Wales, offers practical information, advice and support to staff taking children off site for outdoor learning.

The panel has now formerly endorsed the RLSS UK’s National Water Safety Management Programme (NWSMP), a suite of training awards which provides teachers and school staff with the knowledge and skills to manage groups of students safely around open water.

Developed with input from organisations such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Outdoor Education Advisors’ Panel, the Institute of Outdoor Learning, Expedition Providers’ Association and Royal Geographical Society, the programme is ideal for staff taking students on field trips which involve being close to water such as rivers, lakes or beaches.

The modular programme takes a common sense approach to safety, balancing proactive safety management practices and preventative measures with effective emergency response skills. Topics range from how to risk assess a site and set up a safety activity plan to installing adequate safety measures and covering rescue skills.

Dr Cliff Nelson, Head of Water Safety Management at the RLSS UK, says: “We’ve worked closely with the outdoor education industry to ensure the NWSMP meets the needs of staff managing groups around water, and we’re continually updating the programme. The beauty of the NWSMP is its flexibility, which allows schools to tailor the training to meet their precise needs.”

Gavin Howat, HM Inspector of Health and Safety at the HSE, says: “Water is a significant factor in a number of deaths of young people on trips. The awareness given by this course should equip leaders to make informed judgements about water and its hazards.”


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Notes to Editors –

IQL UK is the trading subsidiary of The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the drowning prevention charity.

RLSS UK is the leading provider of training and education in lifesaving, lifeguarding, water safety and life support skills in the UK. It is also the governing body for Lifesaving Sport.

Through IQL UK, there are nearly 90,000 RLSS UK Pool Lifeguards in the UK trained in the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ). Around 95 per cent of all pool lifeguards are trained by the RLSS UK. IQL UK also offers the National Pool Management Qualification and First Aid at Work qualifications as part of its portfolio.

The RLSS UK is one of three governing bodies involved in the development of a new qualification framework for the Aquatics industry.  The Register of Aquatics Professionals (RAPs), owned and operated by SkillsActive, provides a system of regulation to ensure that individuals working in the aquatic industry are appropriately qualified and have the competence to perform their specific roles.

Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and the charity aims to prevent drowning through water safety education through campaigns and also programmes.

RLSS UK awards and programmes teach a range lifesaving skills from life support (CPR) to water survival and rescue skills. Programmes include Rookie Lifeguard (for eight to12-year–olds), Survive and Save (for 12years+) and Save a Baby’s Life (a free course aimed at parents and carers of young children).

Drowning Prevention Week is the national campaign run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK to cut down the number of accidental drowning that occur each year and support families affected by drowning. Drowning Prevention Week 2016 runs from June 18 – 26.

For more information and interview/spokesperson opportunities contact Porcha Treanor by emailing [email protected] or calling 01789 774495.