SISSS00134 - Inland Open Water Lifeguard


Are you ready to elevate your water rescue capabilities? Our specialised course is tailor-made for lifeguards and outdoor recreation leaders tasked with overseeing complex water rescues in both indoor and outdoor swimming venues, whether they are built or natural. This course is designed for natural flatwater swimming and recreation areas such as lakes, lagoons, dams, flatwater or slow moving rivers as well as built recreational facilities such as wave parks which replicate a natural environment. 

Key Features:

  1. Advanced Rescue Proficiency:

    • Designed for participants with a basic understanding of water rescues, this course delves into advanced procedures for handling open water aquatic emergencies effectively.
  2. Comprehensive Training Program:

    • Covering a spectrum of rescue scenarios, participants will learn how to swiftly assess situations, determine precise rescue actions, and communicate seamlessly with relevant personnel.
  3. Equipment and Techniques Mastery:

    • Acquire proficiency in utilising a diverse range of equipment and techniques crucial for conducting open water rescues quickly and efficiently.
  4. Diverse Rescue Challenges:

    • Navigate through scenarios involving prevailing conditions and environmental hazards at watering holes, lakes, rivers, wave parks, lagoon/inland beaches as well as open water swimming competitions on a lake or river. This course prepares you for any combination of challenges that may arise during open water rescues.
  5. Dynamic Situational Management:

    • Learn the art of managing rapidly evolving situations, coordinating with a team, and organising further care during complex rescues.
  6. Best Practices Adherence:

    • All training aligns with established best practices in aquatic rescue, first aid, relevant legislation, and organisational policies.

Course Outcomes:

By the course's conclusion, participants will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Identify aquatic emergencies
  • Evaluate complex situations
  • Respond effectively, ensuring the safety of all parties involved.

Units Delivered

The following units will be included in your certificate:

SISSS00134 - Inland Open Water Lifeguard
HLTAID011 - Provide First Aid
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 27 Hours
Online with face-to-face assessment Face to Face contact time of at least 18 Hours

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, who complete complex 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 Lifeguard Health Assessments outlines the criteria regarding vision, hearing, epilepsy, diabetes, asthma, pregnancy and immunizations. SV12 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 additional on-the-job licensing requirement for pool lifeguards working in NSW. Please check with your employer regarding these requirements.

*Important note: In order to issue an accredited certificate, CPR must be performed on the floor 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.

This certificate does not require renewal

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.

Practical scenarios:

  • 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 a first aid incident report form based on the simulated first aid scenario

  • Performance Task – Infant and Child CPR

  • Performance Tasks – Medical, Trauma & Environmental (Tasks 1 – 8)

    • Anaphylaxis
    • Asthma
    • Choking
    • Non-life-threatening-bleeding, minor wound cleaning & shock
    • Nosebleed
    • Fractures & dislocations
    • Sprains and strains
    • Envenomation (snake/ funnel-web spider bite)

  • 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 the fitness, strength, efficiency and speed, perform the multiple open water rescues including: 

    • Non-contact tow of a conscious casualty negotiating prevailing conditions and environmental hazards
    • Contact tow of an unconscious casualty, negotiating prevailing conditions and environmental hazards
    • Rescue using a non-motorised watercraft such a rescue board, paddleboard or surfboard, negotiating prevailing conditions and environmental hazards
    • Use spinal mobilisation equipment and techniques
  • Demonstrate the following knowledge and skills for each rescue:
    • effectively utilise rescue equipment suited to the type of rescue
    • communicate effectively with the person in distress to provide instructions
    • demonstrate fitness, strength, efficiency and speed throughout the rescue

Documentation: 
Complete Incident Report forms

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.

This course is delivered and assessed on behalf of Allens Training Pty Ltd RTO 90909