Llandudno Surf Lifesavers


Training Courses: JLA, LA and QC Awards

At LSLC we offer comprehensive training to prepare our Juniors and Seniors for the demanding JLA and LA examination requirements.

The training is in line with Lifesaving South Africa’s training requirements and includes a broad range of theoretical topics including water awareness, swimming, accident prevention, rescue techniques, use of equipment, communication skills in and out of the water, emergency care and first aid.

The JLA and LA course also provides information on South African policy and legislation. Physical training takes place in the sea and on the beach.

The training courses will equip you with all the necessary skills required in order to pass the Junior/Lifeguard Award examination. In order to pass this course, you will be required to pass your swim test, log a minimum of 24 hours of theory and instruction sessions and complete the exam.  You are encouraged to be proactive and study the theory in your own time, as well as maintain high levels of fitness.

We run various courses during the year. We aim to qualify our members by October in preparation for the beginning of the season and upcoming competitions.  You are required to register for a course to join the club at this stage.  The course sessions take place mid-week and on a Sunday for the duration of 8-10 weeks.

Please Note:

1. All new members over 14 years old will have to complete a JLA/LA course
2. Members are required to complete a yearly retest (this includes a refresher session and a passing swim test time within 28 days of the retest – Ffe is included in the annual membership fees)

JLA , LA and QC Awards

Junior Lifeguard Award (JLA)

The JLA candidate must be 14 years old on day of examination but not older than 16. You can then enter competitions as a Junior and will be eligible for duty. This qualification is internationally recognized,  yet not valid for employment.

If you have a JLA and you turn 16, you then need to do an upgrade exam to a LA.

The Junior Lifeguard Award enables candidates to perform full lifeguard duties under supervision, while the Junior Qualifying Certificate (JQC) will enable qualified candidates to perform first aid and lifeguard duties, but not water rescues. With a JQC you will also not be able to compete, yet still allows you to share your skills.

JLA requirements:

  • 14 years of age on the day of the examination
  • Minimum of 24 hours of course work logged with your instructor
  • Complete and submit a 400m pool swim in under 9 minutes when the course begins 
  • Malibu rescue
  • Torpedo buoy rescue and resuscitation
  • signals at 85% accuracy excluding helicopter
  • 1 and 2-man CPR; adult, child and infant protocols with practical and theoretical testing


Senior / Master Lifeguard Award (LA)

This award means that you are a qualified lifeguard in South Africa. Candidates must be 16 years old on day of examination, yet can start a course being 15 years old.  You will be eligible for lifesaving competitions and duties.  Your qualification is internationally recognized and you will have the opportunity to get a job in season as a professional lifeguard with this certificate through the City of Cape Town.  Some of our lifeguards earn around R 10,000 per month doing Pro lifeguarding on Llandudno beach.

LA requirements:

  • 16 years old on the day of examination
  • Able to complete a 400m pool swim in under 8 minutes
  • Malibu rescue
  • Torpedo buoy rescue and resuscitation
  • Signals at 85% accuracy including pool and helicopter
  • 1 and 2-man CPR; adult, child and infant protocols with practical and theoretical testing


Qualifying Certificate (QC)

This is the same course and award as the Lifeguard Award, except your swimming competency is not required to be assessed.

A QC is popular with adults and older members wishing to do the course but feel that the physical side might be a little daunting. If you qualify as a QC you can always upgrade and do the physical side to become a fully qualified lifeguard (LA). This is also a great opportunity for those who may have serious physical conditions but want to stay involved and have plenty to offer on the beach and in attitude.

The QC unfortunately does not allow you to compete or earn as a lifeguard.

Events or modules, which you don’t have to do for the QC:

  •  1 and 2-man CPR; adult, child and infant protocols with practical and theoretical testing
  • Know signals at 85% accuracy including pool and helicopter
  • Describe the Torpedo rescue


When is the course & How long is the course?

,We try and run the courses off season to allow most members time to qualify by October in preparation for the beginning of the season and competitions. Additional courses are run during the season depending upon demand  and instructor’s availability. (We aim to have a minimum of 8 candidates, maximum of 10 on each course).  

Once started, the course will run mid-week and every SUNDAY @ Llandudno Surf Lifesaving Club equalling roughly 6 hours per week.  We should finish all aspects of the curriculum in 7 – 8 weeks, which is why it is important to attend most sessions, as we try and cover a different module each week. 

When the instructor is comfortable the group is almost ready for the exam and are 2 weeks prior to the proposed exam date, the exam gets booked. 

Exams are usually held at Llandudno but it is not unusual to go to another club and join them if there is an exam there. This normally only happens if we have less than 6 candidates.

What can you expect from us?
  • The course will prepare you with all the necessary skills required to pass the exam.
  • We will assist you whenever possible.
  • You will be taught water skills, safety as well as 1 st aid.
  • When we do the training courses we will use our own instructors.
  • Your safety is paramount to us so you will be closely watched
  • 100% commitment and attitude.


What do we expect from you?


  • 100% commitment and attitude
  • Punctuality
  • Come dressed correctly and prepared to train hard
  • To ask questions and for extra help when necessary – don’t ruin your classmate’s experience – you will buddy up for exercises
  • You will need to study and practice some of the material in your own time with your course buddies
  • To maintain a high level of fitness, including your swimming strength
  • To believe and understand that lifesaving is a team effort, with priceless skills for the safety of friends, family and those on the beach
  • To be the strongest lifeguard you can be!
What to bring?
  • Swimming costume
  • Wetsuit not thicker than 3mm
  • Fins (for less experienced surf swimmers and strong currents)
  • Towel, hat, sunblock and water
  • pen and paper and ID #
  • Instruction manuals (when issued) Do not lose these please
What is the cost?

Llandudno Surf Members:

The JLA /  LA course fee including the Exam = R 1250

Please note that these prices are for members who join our club and give a service to the club as far as duties as lifeguards on the beach during the season. Once you have done 20 hours of voluntary duty as a LA, you are then considered a fully qualified lifeguard. We do however expect you to give us voluntary service back to the club for the season, along with helping out as a Safety Officer for Nipper competitions and others doing their courses. 


The JLA and LA course fee including the Exam = R 5000

Should you be considering doing the course and then using this LA elsewhere.  THIS IS FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE NOT GOING TO DO VOLUNTARY DUTY AT THE CLUB.

What does it take to pass the exam?
  • Attend as many classes as possible
  • Pay attention during the classes so that you get a lot out of them
  • Ask for help whenever you need help
  • Study the theory
  • Ask for catch up classes if you miss classes, or need help
  • Keep fit
  • If you listen to your instructor and do exactly as he/she has shown you then you will not have a problem. Don’t devise your own method without discussing it with the instructor first.

If you are battling with your swimming (in addition to the above) it is recommended that you do some training in a pool. You do not have to be a fast swimmer; you only have to be fit so that you don’t run out of steam. If you can pass the 1st examination in the pool, you should be good enough to meet the other swimming requirements. Learn to pace yourself

Duties after completion of the course

,On completion of the course the recently qualified lifeguard will be assigned to a squad for active duty for the season – typically the summer months.

If you are over the age of 30 you are not required to do duty, but you must do the 20 hours to substantiate your LA award. 

It must be noted that once you have passed your JLA, LA OR QC exam you have to complete 20 hours of duty before you can receive your certificate. 

Once you have commenced with the course, you will be allocated to a duty squad. We want you to meet and spend time with your squad leaders and do duties as “lifeguard’s under training,” as this is hugely beneficial as you gain invaluable experience.  This is where you meet other lifeguard’s, learn from experienced top class lifeguards as well as getting started with the 20 hours needed to finalize your award.

Each of the 4 squads are assigned a weekend (Saturday and Sunday of that same weekend) each month throughout summer (Saturdays 14 h 00 to 18 h 00 and Sunday 10 h 00 to 18 h 00).

You are required to be present on the duty dates assigned to the squad. If you cannot make duty for whatever reason your squad leader needs to be notified and you must find someone to swop duties with for the duty day in question.