RLSS National Water Safety Management Programme

The NWSMP is a suite of awards aimed at people who work or supervise vocational or recreational activities near water.

Is this course suitable for you?Learn more about the NWSMP qualification.

Candidate Age Requirements


Course Duration

1 or 2 days + self-study 

Qualification Validity

2 years

Candidate Age Requirements


Course Duration

1 or 2 days + self-study

Qualification Validity

2 years

“It’s not Lifesaving, it’s not Lifeguarding – it’s Water Safety Management”

A Refreshing New Approach to Open-Water Safety, Horizons (60)

RLSS National Water Safety Management Programme (NWSMP) is focused on the managers, supervisors, operatives and group leaders to have sufficient underpinning knowledge and skills of water safety fundamentals to make intelligent, informed decisions about hazards or operating near or in open water.

Is this course suitable for you?

The NWSMP course is suitable and recommended for everyone and anyone who works in, on or near water. Such as highway and bridge maintenance operatives, construction workers, teachers who supervise field activities, outdoor activity instructors, countryside rangers, community safety wardens, dock workers, emergency services and security staff.

NWSMP Qualification

The National Water Safety Management Programme is an RLSS UK certificated award and valid for two years.


Level 1: Water Safety Awareness Module

“Level 1: Water Safety Awareness” is a ½ day classroom course with two hours of preparatory self-study.

This module focuses on understanding how people drown and how to prevent it. Course content includes awareness of generic water hazards and use of simple, effective control measures, including boundary setting, observation skills and emergency response skills.

Level 2: Environment Specific Modules and Life Support Option

Level 2 is broken into 3 Modules covering still water, rivers and coastal. Each module consists of classroom and in-water training and takes ½ day per module. Only the modules appropriate to the candidates planned activities need to be completed.


In this module, water rescue techniques and other water safety management skills will be addressed, but candidates are not required to swim. However, candidates:

  • Must complete and pass Level 1 before undertaking Level 2.
  • Need to be water confident.
  • Are required to enter the water to experience the challenges of open-water.

Level 3: In-Water Rescue

The “Level 3: In-Water Rescue” module is a ½ day course, intended to utilise the knowledge and skills acquired in all other modules by demonstrating them through practical application.

This award is a test of swim/rescue capability. Therefore, candidates are required to perform a simulated rescue of a conscious casualty over 30 metres and an unconscious casualty over 15 metres.


Candidates must complete and pass Levels 1 and 2 before undertaking Level 3. Candidates shall: 

  • Be water confident
  • Be able to complete a continuous swim of 100m on their front and 100m on their back
  • Be able to surface dive
  • Tread water for 2 minutes
Course Duration

The NWSMP is arranged in modules with Courses taking from half a day for “Water Safety Awareness”, up to two days for including aquatic rescue techniques. 

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