APOLA is a non-profit professional association that promotes best practice in ocean water safety and aquatic facility management. APOLA coordinates and delivers lifeguard training, community education, tourism support, public relations, regulation and risk management programs in consultation with all levels of government and aquatic groups supporting surfing activity.

APOLA Board of Education, Training, Examination and Awards

The APOLA Board of Education, Training, Examination and Awards oversees a comprehensive training and education awards system for professional lifeguards and community groups. Education and training programs cater for pre school, school, adult, senior adult, and specific needs groups as well as for school teachers, surf school coaches and lifeguards. On this website training is organised in general categories according to the colours blue, green and red:

Lifeguard Training
Community Training
Emergency Response Training

APOLA Community Award Series

Apart from advising and assisting coastal Councils and other organisations including wave pool operators with lifeguard staff recruitment, staff induction and risk management programs APOLA trainers deliver industry-recognised awards such as the Professional Ocean Lifeguard (POL) Award Annual Proficiency Certificate for professional ocean lifeguards and the Wave Pool Lifeguard Award (WPLA) Annual Proficiency Certificate.

APOLA trainers and assessors deliver a number of Community Training Awards including the Ocean Safety Surf Coach Award (OSSCA) Annual Proficiency Certificate for surf coaches, the School Surfing Supervisor Award (SSSA) Annual Proficiency Certificate for teachers and the Department of Education and Communities and School Surfing Association endorsed Ocean Safety Surfer Award (OSSA). 

The student OSSA is usually delivered by school teachers and often in concert with other APOLA licensed surf coaches who assist schools provide a pathway for beginner surfers to gain OSSA accreditation and participate in inter-school and other school surfing sport programs, including inter-school sport competitions. A list of popular Community Awards and award outlines are available as downloadable documents.