ISA/ILS Coach Rescue and Safety Award

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For ISA Surf and SUP Instructors  to meet the Rescue Award requirement of ISA accreditation.

The ISA Instructor Aquatic Rescue and Safety Course includes theory and practical components as well as group discussions and activities. 

This Course is only an overview and basic introduction to both First Aid and Rescue. We strongly recommend where possible take additional training.

This Course is only approved for delivery in specific countries (E.g. Not available to take in the UK at present), please contact us for more information.

Pre-requisites and Proficiency

All participants must be a minimum of 15 years of age.

Ideally prior to attending a course, participants should complete a timed swim of 200m completed in under 5 minutes in a pool no shorter than 25m. This ideally should be witnessed and completion recorded and signed by a Pool Manager, Qualified Swim Coach, ISA Course Organiser or Presenter.

Basic Surf Fitness Test

100m run – Negotiation of the inner surf zone with a swim of at least 100m through the surf and impact zone and return to shore.

This is to be done showing surf skill competency and within an usually 9.5 minute time frame. This is based on small to moderate surf conditions of 2-3ft surf, i.e. waist to head high surf. Time will be adjusted depending on location conditions for the test  by the course presenter.

The Basic Flat Water Fitness Test is  a minimum the following:

  • A 200m run in under 1 minute
  •  A 400m swim in a pool or in flat open water conditions in 10 mins

You’ll Learn


2-3 days, with training and assessment being conducted for the duration of the course.

The Certificate of completion is valid for 2 years from the date of completion. To remain currency with this training and course, a Proficiency Assessment (refresher) must be completed in this time to update any changes in techniques, skills and to demonstrate continued proficiency.

Note: The refresher option agreed is also subject to CPR and fitness requirements in many jurisdictions/countries needing to be updated annually.



To successfully complete the ISA Instructor Aquatic Rescue and Safety Course, all participants must

  • Satisfy the Course Prerequisites.
  • Attend and be present for the full Course Training and Assessment sessions as determined prior to the start of a course
  • Show competency in all theory components including successful completion of the Participant Workbook
  • Show competency in all practical components of the Course including Board Rescue techniques, basic first aid techniques and satisfy the basic fitness components

Course Components

The theory components include a Powerpoint Presentation and Participant Workbook exam to complete.

The practical components include basic water/surf skills, completing rescues, performing basic first aid, basic CPR, emergency care techniques and successfully completing a basic fitness test.



This or another suitable rescue award must be current, or a refresher taken,  to renew your ISA coaching awards.

Contact us for more information


Andy Joyce

Turning his love for the water into a career, he started up Surf Steps, his own Surf and SUP training centre in 2005. He now directs the business, and a very happily married Father of 2.

“My dream of a more water filled life was realised through passion, hard work and vision. I see my role is to help people achieve theirs too!”

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