Survive and Save


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The Survive & Save Programme, from the Royal Life Saving Society UK, is the new National Lifesaving Awards programme, comprising Bronze, Silver and Gold awards in Medallion, Beach, Stillwater and Sport, plus the Distinction award. Each award requires the candidate to have a Core element at that level (Bronze / Silver / Gold), and to do an assessment in the strand they’d like (Medallion / Beach / Stillwater / Sport). Gold awards can only be achieved if the candidate already holds the Silver of that award, and a Distinction is awarded for 3 current Gold awards. Successful candidates are sent a certificate and medal in a Survive & Save branded envelope.

Running S&S Awards

  1. Your club (which doesn’t have to be in RLSS membership) must register you are running awards, via, once a year
  2. Each candidate should have a First Award form (which includes a manual), or Additional Award form, depending on whether they’ve done S&S before
  3. A Survive & Save Instructor or Instructor Tutor delivers the training, and can assess the candidates (but only assess 4 at a time) – if the Stillwater or Beach strand, the instructor must be Open Water qualified
  4. Forms are completed and sent to RLSS UK, who despatch the awards

Path to getting a Survive & Save Award

  1. First, every candidate must do a Life Support or Life Support 3 (or equivalent, which includes NPLQ/NBLQ) award, although this can be trained alongside pool content.
  2. After achieving a Life Support award, the candidate trains and is assessed in the Core Element at the required level for their award – this can be skipped if they already hold it
  3. Training for the specific award desired (e.g. Silver Medallion), remembering that higher level awards can test the content of the lower awards
  4. Assessment of the Award Strand
    • If successful, assessor signs award form and it can be sent off
    • If unsuccessful, candidate has 28 days to re-do the section they didn’t pass, or do the whole assessment again


University students pick up knowledge very quickly, and with the number of training sessions often being run by BULSCA clubs, can easily enter Survive & Save at Silver level, and be told to learn the theory on their own at home.

The Medallion award is a great introduction to Lifesaving, and can easily be used to cover the range of standard Lifesaving skills required in competitions at the start of the year. The Sport awards complement the BULSCA Student Championships well, and can be assessed with little extra training just before or after BULSCA Student Championships, allowing competitors to get an award for the skills they’ve been practising.

Stillwater and Beach awards are the same skills as Medallion, but in a new scenario, and with different theory. Water temperatures will often mean this is only available to most BULSCA clubs towards the end of the academic year, but the awards can help reinforce the perils of Open Water, by arranging trips, and getting members to try out activities they’ve been doing with ease all year in a pool, and discovering how much more difficult they are in an Open Water scenario. Visit the Open Water section of the Development pages on this site for further guidance in Open Water trips.

BULSCA Competitors achieve the first Survive & Save Distinction awards issued by the Royal Life Saving Society UK