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Skills Maintenance (‘Proficiency’)

Each year returning members participate in skills maintenance events to refresh their knowledge and skills for patrol.

These events also introduce returning members to any new patrol equipment or updates to SLS policies and procedures.

This page provides information for returning members plus links to all the Member Skills Maintenance (aka ‘Proficiency’) resources available, including the latest SLSA and SLSNSW Skills Maintenance Circulars.

It also includes information to support the delivery of SLS club skills maintenance activities.

The online theory component may cover:

  • Learnings from recent incidents and rescues performed around Australia
  • The release of new lifesaving patrol and/or training equipment
  • Updates to the Australian Resuscitation Guidelines
  • Updates within the aquatic rescue and emergency care industries
  • Updates to national and international SLS organisation requirements
  • Updates to SLS WHS requirements

If you require an offline version of the theory component, please contact your Branch Director of Education.

How to Access Skills Maintenance Online Courses

To complete the practical skills maintenance components (outlined in the Skills Maintenance Circulars), you will need to enrol into a Skills Maintenance Training Event at a surf lifesaving club.

  1. How can I search for and enrol into a practical skills maintenance sessions available at my SLSC?
  2. What if a practical skills maintenance session is not available at my SLSC? – Skip ahead to the 2 min mark
  3. What if a practical skills maintenance session is not available at my SLSC when I’m available? – Skip ahead to the 3 min mark


Some surf lifesaving clubs may use alternative methods for enrolling into skills maintenance events.

As you know, Surf Life Saving is Australia’s peak water safety and rescue organisation.

If you are non-proficient in any award for a period of time (more than one season), then you are required to complete skills maintenance requirements as identified through a training gap analysis to determine what changes have occurred in the award since you were last proficient.

If the gap analysis determines that there is a gap in skill and/or knowledge, you will be required to undertake some training and assessment in the gap(s) identified.

For example, you may have obtained a Bronze Medallion when the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was not taught in the Bronze Medallion. Or you may have completed your Advanced Resuscitation Techniques award before OP Airways, Pulse Oximeters or Wound trainers were introduced to the award.

Refer to the latest SLSA Skills Maintenance Information Booklet for more information.

  • Each component of skills maintenance only needs to be demonstrated once in any one season even if it appears in multiple SLS awards.
  • SLSNSW recommends members complete their Skills Maintenance activities by the end of November to assist volunteers administering skills maintenance at your club.
  • Please allow up to 4 weeks to have your award’s proficiency date extended from the time you complete all skills maintenance requirements for that award.
  • Skills maintenance does not renew any units of competency.
  • Reasonable adjustments cannot be made if a member cannot perform resuscitation on an adult on the floor or has an injury that prevents them from performing lifesaving and rescue functions.
  • Some awards also require proficiency in their prerequisite awards to remain current (e.g., The Silver Medallion IRB Driver award proficiency requires drivers to also be proficient in the IRB Crewperson Certificate and Bronze Medallion, the RWC Operator Certificate award proficiency requires drivers to also be proficient in its SLSNSW prerequisites)


Speak with your Club Chief Training Officer about becoming an Endorsed Delegate this season.

It’s a great way to meet people and support your club’s education team while passing on your valuable knowledge and skills to other members.


Watch the video below to be guided through how to log into the SLSA Members Area.

Whatch the video below to learn how you can receive your SLSA Members Area login details via email or text to your mobile phone.

The SLSA Publications app houses the latest version of the PSAR35 training manual used for SLSA aquatic rescue, emergency care and beach management awards. A PDF copy is also available in the SLSA Members Area Document Library for TAFs to share with any course participants who prefer/request this version.

Accessing the SLSA Publications App

The SLSA Publications App is available to download from the Apple App Store (Link) and the Google Play Store (Link).

The app may be viewed on your mobile digital device, the latest Mac computers, and on a desktop using an android app emulator.


The following steps can be followed by participants to purchase the PSAR35 training manual:

  1. Login to the SLSA Members Area with your unique username and password – Link
  2. Click on the “Memberships” tab
  3. Select “Member Store” from the dropdown menu
  4. Select “The Members Online Shop”
  5. Click on the PSAR35 Public Safety & Aquatic Rescue Training Manual 35th Edition (E-Book)
  6. Click the “Add to Cart” button
  7. Click the “Proceed to Checkout” button
  8. Scroll down to enter your billing information
  9. Scroll down to enter and “apply” a coupon discount to your order if one was provided to you by your club (this will result in a $0 payment for step 12). If you do not have a coupon, skip this step.
  10. Click “Review order”
  11. Click “Submit Order”
  12. Enter your payment details (if you did not use a club coupon)
  13. Click “Next”
  14. Confirm purchase.

After your purchase is confirmed:

  1. Install the SLSA Publications App to your mobile device
  2. Log into the app using your unique SLSA Members Area username and password – Link

If you cannot see the PSAR35 manual straight away:

  1. Tap on the three white lines at the top right of the screen to view the app menu
  2. Tap on “Change” to change which publication you are viewing
  3. Tap on the Public Safety and Aquatic Rescue training manual


CTOs and TAFs can speak to their club’s Online Store Administrator to obtain discount codes to share with course participants.

A new Bronze Medallion was released in 2020, including a Spinal Management module. The training gap for patrolling members who completed their BM before 2020 formed part of the skills maintenance requirements for the 2020/21 season.

Unfortunately, this was at a time when COVID-19 prevented many members from coming together.

Fortunately, SLSA has extended the skills maintenance requirement to complete during the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.

The below resources are available to support members and education teams in completing the gap training during skills maintenance.

Spinal Training Videos Available

Log into the SLS Members Area, then click the links below to watch the SLSA videos available for spinal training:

Spinal Walk Up – Person lowers themselves (0:46)

Spinal Walk Up – Assisting a person to be lowered to the ground (0:54)

How to do a trapezius grip (0:51)

How to perform a log roll on a suspected spinal injury victim (1:18)

Extended Arm Roll-Over (0:10)

Spinal Board Carry – Person in the water (2:39)

Spinal Component Training Session Plan

Assessors, Facilitators and Endorsed Delegates should refer to the SLSA Tourniquets and Spinal Management Upskill Training Session Plan v1 August 2020 when delivering the spinal component.

Log into the SLS Members Area, then click here to view this restricted resource.

Club Record Keeping

SLSA has created a separate PSAR35 Spinal Update award in SurfGuard to assist with recording the BM upgrade.

As such, SLSA has not included the spinal component within the SLSA Assessing app for skills maintenance. They recommend clubs raise a PSAR35 Spinal Update assessment request for record-keeping purposes.

This update has no trainer or assessor requirements in SurfGuard, though we recommend it be delivered by Assessors, Facilitators and endorsed delegates who have already upgraded.

Please allow up to 4 weeks to have your award’s proficiency date extended from the time you complete all skills maintenance requirements for that award.

Skills maintenance results can take up to 4 weeks to appear in SurfGuard when SLSC education team members record skills maintenance using the Skills Maintenance Cards.

If your club’s education team uses the SLSA Assessing app to record skills maintenance results, it may appear in SurfGuard within 1-7 days.

Skills maintenance only renews an SLSA award’s currency for patrol purposes.

It does not renew any units of competency which include and require different assessment conditions.

Speak with your club’s Chief Training Officer if you need to renew any units of competency to continue performing in a particular role, e.g., HLTAID units for trainers, assessors and facilitators who deliver resuscitation and emergency care training, and support operations officers.


Please help ensure you complete skills maintenance for the awards and their prerequisite awards before the 31st of December.


To be proficient in the RWC Operator award, you need to hold a proficient Bronze Medallion, Advanced Resuscitation AND First Aid award.

You also need to hold a Silver Medallion Beach Management award plus the Supplementary Learning for Patrol Captains award, OR the Silver Medallion Patrol Captain v2022 award.

SLS RWC Operators in NSW are also required to have completed the SLSNSW Support Operations Member Application Form (Click here to complete the form).

Note: Some branches in NSW may also ask members to be proficient in the Silver Medallion IRB Driver award.


To be proficient in the Silver Medallion IRB Driver award, you need to hold a proficient SLSA IRB Crewperson and Bronze Medallion award.


To be proficient in the IRB Crewperson award, you need to hold a proficient SLSA Bronze Medallion award.


There are 2 Skills Maintenance custom SurfGuard report templates available for clubs and branches to use when checking to see how many of their returning members have extended the proficiency of their SLS award.

Log into the SLS Members Area then click the links below to download them from the SLS Members Area Document Library:

  1. Skills Maintenance- SurfGuard Custom Report Template – Club Level
  2. Skills Maintenance- SurfGuard Custom Report Template – Branch Level


Send your feedback or suggestions on any component of SLS Skills Maintenance to the SLSNSW Training and Education Team ( or SLSNSW Lifesaving Team (