Course Set - Inland Open Water Lifeguard (Pre-requisite: HLTAID011 Provide First Aid) - HLTAID009, SISCAQU019, SISCAQU021, SISCAQU022 & SISCAQU029


This course set is designed for individuals such as lifeguards and outdoor recreation leaders who are responsible for supervising the safety of participants in an open water environment and conducting complex open water rescues negotiating prevailing conditions and environmental hazards. It also includes content on snorkel supervision/watch as well as competitive open water swimming supervision such as the swim leg in triathlons.

The course will cover various aspects of rescue situations, such as how to assess the situation, determine appropriate rescue actions, communicate effectively with the appropriate personnel, and use a range of equipment and techniques to conduct complex open water rescues quickly and efficiently. Complex water rescues may involve multiple people in distress, individuals suffering from medical events while in the water including suspected spinal injuries, injured persons, navigating through various hazards, or a combination of many factors.

By enrolling in this course, participants will acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively handle open water aquatic emergencies using complex rescue techniques, however, it is expected that students will have a basic understanding of performing water rescues, prior to undertaking this unit. In addition, it is recommended students can swim 400 metres in less than 8 minutes.

Please note, this course covers both indoor and outdoor swimming environments, whether they are built or natural flatwater swimming and recreation areas such as lakes, lagoons, dams, flatwater or slow-moving rivers as well as built recreation facilities such as wave parks and inland beach/lagoons which replicate a natural environment.

The course applies to individuals who may be required to provide a first aid response to a casualty in a range of situations, including community and workplace settings in line with first aid guidelines determined by the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) and other Australian national peak clinical bodies.

Units Delivered

The following units will be included in your certificate:

HLTAID009 - Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation
SISCAQU022 - Provide oxygen resuscitation and therapy in an aquatic environment
SISCAQU019 - Supervise patron safety in aquatic locations
SISCAQU021 - Perform complex water rescues
SISCAQU029 - Perform open water rescues

Course Delivery

This course can be delivered/assessed in the workplace or at facility organised by the training provider.

Course Durations

Course durations can vary for multiple reasons, so the durations below are the minimum possible amount.

Face-to-Face Face to Face contact time of at least 22 Hours
Online with face-to-face assessment Face to Face contact time of at least 16 Hours

This course set has a pre-requisite unit of:

  • HLTAID011 Provide First Aid

An individual undertaking this course with Allens Training Pty Ltd will need to demonstrate the following to be eligible for entry:

  • Physical capability to be able to meet the demands of the practical demonstration skills including:
    • CPR*
    • Swim 25 metres and perform a 25 metre non-contact tow of a casualty. Working as a team, extract a casualty from deep water using extraction equipment and demonstrate advanced resuscitation techniques
    • Swim 10 metres and then complete a minimum 10 metre contact tow of a conscious casualty and remove the casualty from the water without assistance.
    • Swim 25 metres and then retrieve an object replicating a person at the deepest part of the pool at the aquatic facility (but no greater than two (2) metres) and perform a 25-metre contact tow of an unconscious casualty, negotiating prevailing conditions and environmental hazards. Work as a team to extract the casualty with suspected spinal injury using spinal immobilisation extraction equipment from shallow water
    • Paddle 25 metres on a non-motorised watercraft such a rescue board, paddleboard or surfboard, to rescue and assist an exhausted conscious casualty onto the board and paddle 25 metres to shore, negotiating prevailing conditions and environmental hazards
    • Visual acuity to see the common visual signs and signals of a person experiencing difficulties in the water which includes “lack of movement” and ”arm waving”
    • Hear the common visual signs and signals of a person experiencing difficulties in the water which includes “calling for help”

As this unit applies particularly to open water lifeguards and individuals such as outdoor recreation leaders, snorkelling supervisors and guides who complete complex open water rescues,  it is highly recommended that students will have a basic understanding of performing water rescues, prior to undertaking this unit.  In addition, it is recommended students can swim 400 metres in less than 8 minutes.


Please note, if you plan to work as a lifeguard, the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations note there are minimum age, health and fitness requirements of persons employed to be performing the role of a Lifeguard. The Guidelines for Safe Pool Operation (GSPO) SV11 Pool Lifeguard Health Assessments outlines the criteria regarding vision, hearing, epilepsy, diabetes, asthma, pregnancy and immunizations. SV12 Pool Lifeguard Fitness Assessments outlines the criteria to ensure lifeguards are physically fit enough to perform the required tasks and to provide a measure of safety should an emergency occur that requires physical ability.

There may be an additional on-the-job licensing requirement for pool lifeguards working in NSW. Please check with your employer if you are required to apply for a Pool Lifeguard Licence.

*Important note: In order to issue an accredited certificate, CPR must be performed on the floor and rescue breathing techniques demonstrated on manikins, with no exemptions.


Online study options:  The online learning program can be found in the student portal. Students must have access to a computer, smart phone, tablet or other electronic device with access to the internet to complete the online studies and practical assessment.

Individuals undertaking this course will be expected to complete both written and practical assessment tasks.

The units have the following recommended renewal periods:
Unit Period
HLTAID009 - Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation 12 months
SISCAQU022 - Provide oxygen resuscitation and therapy in an aquatic environment Not applicable
SISCAQU019 - Supervise patron safety in aquatic locations Not applicable
SISCAQU021 - Perform complex water rescues Not applicable
SISCAQU029 - Perform open water rescues 0 months

Please note that enrolment to this course is made with Allens Training Pty Ltd RTO 90909. Please refer to the student handbook located on the RTO website allenstraining.com.au (https://allenstraining.com.au/students/student-handbook) for all details relating to rights and responsibilities including complaints and appeals.

  • Simulated First Aid Scenario – Adult CPR (Selection of a scenario where the student has no prior knowledge of the casualty’s condition prior to starting treatment)
  • Complete two first aid incident report forms based on the simulated first aid scenarios
  • Performance Task – Infant and Child CPR
  • Identify the casualty’s illness or injury through history, signs and symptoms. 
  • Recognise and respond to three (3) supervision scenarios:
  • Participate in a discussion with an aquatic industry leader to clarify safety rules for the activity
  • Identify the common signs and signals of a person experiencing difficulties in the water and possible contributing factors
  • Demonstrating fitness, strength, efficiency and speed, to perform the complex open water aquatic rescues
  • Demonstrate the following knowledge and skills for each rescue outlined above:
    • effectively utilise rescue equipment suited to the type of rescue
    • communicate effectively with the person in distress to provide instructions
    • demonstrate fitness and strength throughout the rescue
  • Documentation  complete Incident Report forms and an Equipment fault Log 
  • Theory assessment  A written exam consisting of multiple-choice and short answer questions must be completed at the end of the training session. Students must answer all questions
  • Complete the tasks in line with Commonwealth/State/Territory regulations, first aid codes of practice, first aid guidelines determined by the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) and other Australian national peak clinical bodies and workplace or site procedures. 
This course is delivered and assessed on behalf of Allens Training Pty Ltd RTO 90909