ISA/ILS Water Safety Accreditation

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ISA/ILS Water Safety Accreditation:

Over the past 18 months, the ISA has been working on an initiative with the International Lifesaving Federation [ILS] to establish a universally recognized surf/SUP instructor specific water safety accreditation.  ISA Course Presenter and ILS accredited trainer Jamo Borthwick, developed the content and with ISA’s support, ILS with their extensive water safety experience, have reviewed, contributed, and joined ISA in making this course available.

Until now, many surf/SUP instructors around the world have had to use courses that are more time consuming than necessary, difficult to access and providing non-applicable content, to enable their safety credentials to be met to maintain their ISA Instructor registration. Sometimes full lifeguard courses are all that is available and this may not suit the situation of most instructors.

The ISA is pleased to announce we have reached an agreement with ILS and we are now in a position to roll-out of the ISA/ILS International Surf and SUP Instructor Aquatic Rescue and Safety Course in 2017. This water safety accreditation course is endorsed by the International Lifesaving Federation (ILS) and all participants will receive an internationally endorsed water safety accreditation.

The aims of this course are as follows:

  • Establish a global minimum standard for Surf/SUP instructors water safety accreditation as the current water safety requirements vary from country to country. This will translate into a transportable safety accreditation that will benefit traveling coaches.
  • Complement the ISA Coaching and Instructing Program Courses that currently require all ISA accredited instructors to hold a valid, recognized water safety accreditation
  • Promote water safety world-wide.
  • Enhance the value of the ISA Coaching Certification and provide more opportunities to our program participants.

Who Can Present:

All presenters of the ISA/ILS International Surf and SUP Instructor Aquatic Rescue and Safety Course must be approved by the ISA and the presentation of this course is available to the following:

  • Those with formal ILS endorsed lifesaving qualifications
  • Those with other lifesaving qualification and experience that demonstrate underpinning knowledge and ability to present the course
  • ILS Member Organizations or Lifesaving Trainers with formal lifesaving qualifications and underpinning knowledge of the course competencies.

All interested course presenters can apply to the ISA Office by sending a CV, lifesaving qualifications, and lifesaving experience to

Please note:

***Course Presenters must have completed the course or demonstrate clear underpinning knowledge of the competencies


***The course will be offered in all countries of the world except those with existing surf/SUP instructor specific water safety accreditation courses (Great Britain, Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa) In these countries the following organizations must be consulted prior to the running of this course: Surf Lifesaving Great Britain (Great Britain), Irish Water Safety (Ireland), the Sociedade Brasileira Salvamento Aquatico (Brazil), and Lifesaving South Africa (South Africa).


***Preference of presenting this course given to existing ISA Course Presenters with formal recognized lifesaving qualifications.


Course Details:

Please find an overview of the ISA/ILS International Surf and SUP Instructor Aquatic Rescue and Safety Course HERE

All participants will receive an ISA/ILS Water Safety Accreditation that is valid for two years. This accreditation fulfills the minimum water safety requirement for the ISA Coaching and Instructing Program and includes international ILS-endorsement and recognition

All course material will be delivered electronically to the Course Organizer or to the Official Course Presenters.

Renewal: The ISA/ILS Water Safety Accreditation must be refreshed every two years


Please Note: ***Requirements of individual member nations internal requirements in relation to CPR and fitness recertification must also be considered.

As Course Organizers, ISA members will now have three options for safety course delivery.

  1. Directly by your own Course Presenter, if that person is also accredited by ILS for course presentation or can up-skill to get to that level.
  2. As now, by liaising with your ILS member association in your country and ISA providing the Course for you to provide for them.
  3. As now [in countries listed] by liaising with the ILS member to deliver a mutually agreed existing course.

Of course, if you have appropriate course presenters you can also deliver this Water Safety Accreditation as a course in its own right or as part of various community water safety programs, partnering local Government, etc.


The new ISA/ILS International Surf and SUP Instructor Aquatic Rescue and Safety Course will be complementary to your ISA Coaching and Instructing Program Courses and allow your instructors the opportunity to obtain an internationally endorsed water safety accreditation in conjunction with their coaching and instructing accreditation.