The Surf Instructor Beach Safety Award was development by Irish Water Safety and Irish Surfing Association in 2009 to offer Surf Instructor an alternative to Beach Lifeguard. 

The aim of the IWS Surf Instructor Beach Award is to bring a very high standard of safety to the teaching of Surfing as an activity and a sport. This award is a prerequisite to the Level 1 Surf Instructor award. PLEASE DO NOT CONFUSE THE SURF INSTRUCTOR BEACH AWARD (A BEACH SAFETY AWARD) AND THE LEVEL 1 SURF INSTRUCTOR AWARD (QUALIFICATION TO TEACH NOVICE SURFERS)


To train and assess for competencies in: -
• Fitness, knowledge, judgment and self-discipline.
• Ability to teach, control and keep a class safe while in the water.
• Abilities to render first aid and work as a team member.
• To deal with your customers in a courteous and professional manner.


Part A Land Practical – includes BLS (Basic Life Support)

Part B Pool Practical

Part C Open Water Practical

All sections should be completed within a four-month period. PARTS A and B must be successfully completed before training commences for PART C.

NOTE: Part C must be carried out on a beach. A beach is defined as an area of foreshore, open to the sea or ocean.

Test Items- Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3

Unit 1 – Land Practical

BLS 3 and two-operator CPR (theory and practice). An approved resuscitation manekin must be used.
A written test of 20 questions on First Aid with emphasis on Aquatic First Aid based on the IWS National Beach Lifeguard Manual and relevant to the sport of surfing.
A written test based on the IWS National Beach Lifeguard Manual which must include the following elements:
Log Books, Accident Reports and Public Relations re: club/school.
Communications with Lifeguards, the Public and Emergency Rescue Services.
Class planning, construction of lesson plans and communication within the class.
Knowledge of Patrol Area: Surf conditions, currents, beach topography, winds, tides, risk assessment, temperature and weather conditions.
Legal requirements (Duty of care with the class), health and safety personal responsibilities.
First Aid specific for Surf Instructor.
N.O.P. (Normal Operation Plan) for Surf Instructor.
E.A.P. (Emergency Action Plan) for Surf Instructor, to be attached to log book.
Child Protection.

Unit 2 – Pool Practical

To assess the candidates’ basic fitness, and rescue skills in a controlled environment prior to assessment in open water. Failure in this section prohibits progression to Section C.
300 metres timed swim (Time not more than 10 minutes).
Swim 50 metres Lifesaving Side Stroke and 50 metres Inverted Breaststroke.
Swim 50 metres to a conscious casualty and tow 50 metres, with fins and canbouy.
Swim 50 meters to a conscious casualty and carry cross-chest 50 metres.
Candidate will pick up three objects from the bottom of the pool. (Max. depth 2 metres). The objects will be 3 metres apart.
Demonstrate three releases and one evasive action as specified by the Examiner. Distance 10 metres.
Show ability to cope with two interlocked subjects in deep water.
Take a Rescue Tube or Can Buoy and swim to a floating casualty, who may be considered to be unconscious and not breathing. Demonstrate deep water supported E.A.R. and return 10 metres. Direct and land casualty with assistance from trained helpers, placing in recovery position.
Demonstrate ability to deal with a Spinal Injury Casualty as specified by the Examiner.

Unit 3 -Beach/Outdoor Pactical

Candidate will run 50 metres along the beach to waters edge carrying a Can Buoy or Rescue Tube and Fins. Swim to a marker 50 metres from waist depth and return to shoreline (Urgency requires)
The candidate will rescue conscious co-operative casualty 50 metres from waist deep water using a Can Buoy or Rescue Tube and Fins.
The candidate will perform a rescue on an unconscious casualty 100 metres from waist deep water, using a soft rescue board / surf board demonstrating EAR using the equipment to put casualty on board and returning to shore with the casualty.
The candidate will rescue three casualties; the condition and actions of each will be unrevealed. One casualty will be 15 metres from waist deep water and the remaining two will be within their respective depths. No casualty will be more than 50 metres from the water edge. The candidate will direct and carry out the rescues with the assistance of one other candidate with the use of rescue equipment. On completion, the candidate will explain the reasons for the actions they took and the directions that they gave to the second candidate.