Surf Life Saving - Sydney Northern Beaches

Proficiencies for Patrolling Members

All active lifesavers are required to complete a proficiency test (also known as Skills Maintenance) to prove competency in the lifesaving award/s they hold and wish to remain current in. Proficiency tests are necessary to:

  • Ensure ongoing competency of members in their area of training and activities
  • Maintain the standards of knowledge and expertise of surf life savers
  • Satisfy legal and statutory requirements
  • Reinforce and maintain our service commitment to the bathing and beach going community

A member’s proficiency is valid until the 31st December each year, unless the award has a longer proficiency period. Any member who is NOT proficient by the 31st December, or has NOT completed the appropriate awards shall NOT be allowed to:

  • Perform patrols
  • Operate rescue craft or
  • Compete in Surf Life Saving competitions.

Note: Members who complete new awards after 1st July in any year, need not complete a proficiency until prior to 31st December the following year.

Late Proficiencies

Members who are unable to complete their annual skills assessment prior to 31st December must apply to their club for permission to complete a late proficiency.  Club Captains must then apply in writing, on Club letterhead, to the SNB Director of Lifesaving, making sure to advise whether the member is a competitor or not. Competitor’s applications will be forwarded to the SLSNSW Director of Lifesaving for review before any approval is given.
This process applies to all awards, not just Bronze Medallion and SRC.  Typically, permission is only granted to those members who had a valid reason for not completing their proficiency prior to the deadline.  Examples of this are:
  • Physically unable (breaks, strains, illness requiring hospitalisation)
  • Extended overseas travel (must be pre-approved)
  • Not financial member of any SLS club for the previous season and did not renew membership until after 31st December of the current season
If approval for a late proficiency is granted it will be overseen by the Director of Lifesaving and an authorised Assessor at a specified beach. Clubs should not complete the proficiency without written approval.
Proficiency/Re-accreditation shall be conducted in the following awards for them to remain current:
  • Surf Rescue Certificate
  • Bronze Medallion
  • Advanced Resuscitation Techniques Certificate
  • IRB Boat Crew
  • Silver Medallion IRB Drivers
  • Spinal Management
  • Gold Medallion
  • Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation
  • Rescue Water Craft Operators Certificate
  • Jet Rescue Boat Crew/Driver/Skipper
  • Offshore Rescue Boat Crew/Driver/Skipper
  • Facilitators
Every 2 years:
  • Trainers, Assessors
  • Pain Management
Every 3 years:
  • Apply (Senior) First Aid or First Aid [AID] (CPR component must be updated every year)

In-Depth Proficiencies

Members who have not completed any Skills Maintenance for 3 or more years may need to retrain in some elements of their awards.  If they have not completed a Proficiency for 5 years or more, they may be required to attend a full assessment instead of a proficiency.  Members should discuss what is needed with the Chief Training Officer at their Club.