Professional Water Life Saver Course - Level II: a course certified by official Portuguese and European Union Standards

TitleProfessional Water Life Saver Course - Level II: a course certified by official Portuguese and European Union Standards
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsNunes, R, Pinto, N, Martinho, F
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other Numbers03-03

The aquatic spaces (beaches, rivers, swimming pools and water-parks) have always been used by different publics, but only presently have these spaces become points of permanent interest for a broader range of activities, such as fishing, transportation, tourism and leisure. The increasing usage generates increased risks, thus demanding an adequate water safety integrated plan supported by qualified human resources and updated technologies.

To date, most – if not all – efforts on water safety in Portugal take place during Summer, and  mainly target the leisure activities. However, when taking into account the aforementioned increasing usage of the aquatic spaces it becomes evident that an adequate water safety integrated plan is indispensable during the whole year, and that no aquatic space or utilization should be overlooked.

The risk assessments, associated with the implementation of Total Water Safety Service Plans, result in an increasing demand for water safety professionalized structures, with qualified human resources that can promote high water safety standards "in, on and the around the water". The fact that the work of these structures must be oriented towards different users and utilizations, and that actions to reduce the drowning probability and to increase the overall safety as a final goal require numerous skills, makes qualified personnel more and more a “must have” on such organizations.

Based on the AsNaSA Portugal´s SInQSalvA system (Integrated Qualify Water Safety Systems), a Professional Water Life Saver Course was designed. This is a professional qualifications certificated course, approved by the Institute for Employment and Professional Training, and by the Vocational Education Department, from the Portuguese governmental departments of the Ministry for Work Affairs and the Ministry for Education, and with level II certification by European Union standards.

Nine educational and training pioneering professional courses (conferring level II certification), (8 - Water Life Savers, and 1 – Water Safety Operator) have already been held in Portugal, from 2002 to 2006. These were designed using the legal definitions for Adult Education and Training Courses and for Education and Training Courses for Younger, by AsNaSA Portugal members (AsNaSA, UniNorte, asnaSAcoop, epESaJMS). The courses were designed to provide the students and trainees with the necessary background to apply for qualified jobs or to progress forward to a level III course, also designed by AsNaSA Portugal members (operational since 1997, with four groups in 2007/08 – Water Safety and Security Technician Course; “Portaria 1311/2006”).

Learning Outcomes
  1. Recognize the specificities of the Portuguese Professional Water Life Saver certified courses (Level II, by EU standards), supported by European Social Fund / European Union Standards.
  2. Identify the major contents lectured on the Professional Water Life Saver Courses.
  3. Recognize the jobs to which the qualified Water Life Savers can apply in Total Water Safety Services Plans, in Portugal, Europe, CPLP and Worldwide.
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