FAQs – What is NWSMP

18 April 2017

What is NWSMP?

The National Water Safety Management Programme – recommended for those undertaking supervision in, on and/or around outdoor water, i.e. not indoor swimming pools.

What is the course structure?

Level 1 – Compulsory (Dry based, i.e. don’t actually get in the water)

Comprising of: Self Study – knowledge based and Guided Learning (with a teacher) – interactive sessions.

Level 2 (Low level water activity, e.g. rock pooling, pond dipping etc. up to thigh height)

Split into 3 different environments: Beach, River and Still Water. 

Level 3 (In Water Rescue aimed at PROGRAMMED activities, e.g. canoeing, kayaking, relays, but NOT free swimming as this would require the Beach Lifeguard qualification)

Practiced in the water and involves being able to do a 30m contact rescue and a 15m contact tow.

How long does the certificate last for?

2 Years.

How do I renew the qualification?

You must renew prior to the expiry date or you will have to do the entire qualification again. The renewal pack can be downloaded from the NWSMP Resources section of the RLSS Direct website and payment made to them directly. Simply complete the renewal questionnaire and email this to RLSS UK to be marked. Candidates must achieve 80% or more to pass. A new certificate will then be issued. Alternatively, a candidate can renew all three levels with an instructor – please visit the course finder section of the RLSS website http://rlsscourses.org.uk/ to find and book a course nearest to you.

How do I become an instructor?

The Pre-requisites are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 16
  • Must hold a recognised teaching qualification from a recognised awarding body
  • Must already have some open water experience, e.g. surfing, canoeing, kayaking, etc.


Course duration:

  • 2 days to do the Levels 1-3
  • 2 days to do the instructor orientation course

If a candidate already holds a life support qualification, we advise they revise, as they will be assessed on the course.

If a candidate doesn’t already hold a life support qualification and it needs to be taught, they will need to attend an additional day’s training, which will be charged accordingly.

How do I book a course?

To book an Instructor Course, please visit the course finder section of the RLSS UK website http://rlsscourses.org.uk/ to find and book a course nearest to you. Alternatively, if there are no courses in your area, we are also running courses centrally from the RLSS – please contact Vivienne Hill Tel. No. 01789 338408 or email [email protected] for further details.