Surf Instructor & Beach Lifeguard

Have you a genuine interest in sports and exercise. Are you physically fit and a strong swimmer and do you enjoy taking part in water and beach based activities?  If so, have you considered a career as a surfing instructor/beach lifeguard?  If you also enjoy working with people and dealing with the general public this may be the career and course for you. The course offers participants the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and competencies in surfing, lifeguarding, first aid, instructing and outdoor activities. You will gain recognised qualifications in these areas. The learning outcomes are firmly focused on enabling you to gain employment as surfing instructors.

          Course Modules.

  • Induction – State the planned outcomes and conditions attached to the course; apply good safety, health and hygiene practices; state the basic principles involved in environmental issues and explain the meaning of equal opportunities.
  • Surfing Skills – Surf safely and competently to a recognized standard which facilitates progression to the surf instructor training and assessment module.
  • Life-guarding Skills – Swim safely and competently in pool and beach locations to a recognised standard which facilitates progression to the National Beach Lifeguard Qualification. Undertake rescue training to a recognised standard which facilitates progression to the National Beach Lifeguard Qualification.
  • Beach Lifeguard Assessment & Qualification – Achieve certification for the RLSS National Beach Lifeguard Qualification (RLSS).



  • Aquatic First Aid & Emergency Response – Carry out first aid safely and competently to a recognised standard which facilitates progression to a nationally recognised first aid certificate in Aquatic First Aid and Cardiac First Response (PHECC).
  • Outdoor Surf & Lifeguard Instructor Integrated Workplace Training – Work as an entry level surf/outdoor activity instructor under normal operational conditions in an outdoor activity centre.
  • Adventure Activities – Understand the role of adventure activities in outdoor recreation programmes and have a range of practical skills for delivering adventure based activities.
  • Surfing Skills Instructor Level 1 – Instruct novices in introductory surfing skills.
  • Career Planning and Job Seeking Skills – Plan and achieve realistic work goals.
  • Work Experience – Surf Instructor and Beach Lifeguard – Demonstrate surf instructor and beach lifeguard knowledge, skills, and competence in a workplace environment.

This is a full-time course of 25 weeks duration. It includes 4 full weeks of work experience in a company. A number of training methods are used to deliver the course. These include instructions, presentations, demonstrations, lectures, tutorials, supervised practice, simulated work environment practice, practical workplace training, discussion groups, role plays, one-to-one discussions, and giving and receiving feedback. Participants are required to actively participate in the learning process and to engage in course work outside of normal course hours. They must complete a number of written and typed exercises and assignments throughout the course and keep up-to-date records of their progress. There are written and practical assessments for each of the course modules. A number of methods are used to assess the participants’ progress and for certification purposes. These include assignments, theory exams, practical tests, skills demonstrations, and portfolios.

  • 18 years of age at start of programme.
  • Strong swimming ability and a good level of personal fitness. You must be able to swim 400m in under 9 minutes.
  • Able to cope with heights for the climbing element of the programme.
  • Junior Cert standard of literacy and mathematics.
  • Basic computer literacy – word processing, e-mail and internet proficiency preferred.
  • Good communications, including good verbal and written English language.
  • A people person with an outgoing personality and the aptitude to work as part of a team.
  • Demonstrate evidence of an interest in and knowledge of the industry.
  • Previous experience in some of the following areas: team-based outdoor pursuits, scouting, guides, Gaisce Awards, surfing, swimming, membership of sports clubs or teams, and working with youth groups.
  • Garda vetting is a requirement for participation on this programme and is a requirement of the Irish Surf Association.

Participation in water based sports in general and surfing in particular is on the increase in Ireland. This has led to an increase in the demand for highly skills and qualified surfing instructor. Typically, graduates of this course will seek employment in one of the surfing schools or activity centres located around our coastline. Other graduates may decide to seek employment as beach lifeguards.