FAQs – NRASTC and ATSPRA

03 April 2017

What is NRASTC?

The National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (NRASTC) is a supervision and rescue qualification for teachers working on the poolside or in the water during programmed activities, such as a swimming lesson. It is suitable for teachers working in a wide range of swimming pools, including pools where the water is deeper than your standing depth.

The qualification includes the following three sections:

  • The Teacher Swimming Pool and Class Management
  • Intervention, Rescue and Emergency Action
  • CPR, AED and First Aid

Can people begin training for this award before they are 16?

Yes. Candidates must be 16 years of age at the time of the assessment.

Are there any opportunities to use Approved Prior Learning (APL) for NRASTC?

Yes. APL can be granted to candidates if it does not disrupt the course or put other candidates at a disadvantage (mixed courses should meet minimum training hours of the least trained candidate on the course).

Candidates who hold current versions of the following qualifications may be granted the APL and will only need to complete the NRASTC candidate renewal course:

  • RLSS UK Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ)
  • RLSS UK Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NBLQ)
  • STA NARS Pool Lifeguard

Please see the NRASTC Guidance and Syllabus for more details

I hold a NRASTC/ATSPRA qualification do I need to attend regular training?

Your employer also has a legal responsibility to make sure you maintain your knowledge, understanding, safe teaching standards and your knowledge of the pool safety operating procedures. It is important that you keep up with any changes to the procedures. Your employer will usually provide this training, and they will decide how often you need it based on the risk assessments they carry out. Some employers provide an ‘ongoing training and competency assessment’ for their teachers every three months.

How long is NRASTC/ATSPRA valid?

NRASTC/ATSPRA is valid for 2 years.
If EFAW is delivered it is valid for 3 years.
If AED is delivered it is valid for 2 years.

The depth on my certificate is shallower than the pool I work at; how do I change the depth on my certificate?

The certificate cannot be amended once issued. You can however complete a depth test at the pool you work at and have this witnessed and recorded by what your employers deems as a competent person.

What is the definition of a hydrotherapy pool? (Is a pool of 1.5m deep classed as one?)

The definition of a hydrotherapy pool is detailed below; measurements are not included because hydrotherapy pool size and depth range in different facilities. It is more important to consider the activity within the pool and if it is being used as a hydrotherapy pool.

Hydrotherapy pools

A hydrotherapy pool is usually a small pool designed for people to exercise in as part of their treatment for an injury or medical condition under the supervision or instruction of a qualified person. The water temperature is usually higher than in other pools (around 34ºC), and specialist lifting equipment is often in place to help users in and out of the pool.

What qualification is required for staff working at Hydrotherapy pools? Do staff need Aquatic Therapy Shallow Pool Rescue Award or National Rescue Award for Teachers and Coaches?

ATSPRA qualification is suitable for hydrotherapy pools, the pool operator will need to carry out a risk assessment to determine the qualification and level of supervision required.

The Aquatic Therapy Shallow Pool Rescue Award (ATSPRA)

The ATSPRA is a supervision and rescue qualification for therapists, teachers, and support staff working on the poolside or in the water during activities such as aquatic therapy or therapeutic exercise/play. The qualification is suitable for use in shallow pools where the rescuer will not be required to swim to perform a rescue, with water no deeper than the rescuers chest depth.

How can I become an Instructor/Trainer for NRASTC and ATSPRA?

You will need to be a qualified Pool Trainer Assessor (TA) to update to a NRASTC TA. Login to your RLSS Direct account https://www.rlssdirect.co.uk/checkout/login and the update should be available to you.

If you are not currently a RLSS UK Pool TA we will be launching a NRASTC 4 day TA course in June 2017.

Where can I deliver NRASTC/ATSPRA?

NRASTC 6th edition or ATSPRA can be delivered in any suitable venue, however if you are delivering Emergency First Aid at Work and AED it must be delivered in an ATC or by an ATP. Use this link for more details about ATP/ ATC:  https://www.rlss.org.uk/professional-qualifications/become-a-trainer/become-an-approved-training-centre-or-provider/