Ocean Safety Awareness Award

OSAA Requirements

  • 10 years or older
  • Successful completion of the APOLA OSAA program that includes theoretical and practical demonstration of knowledge, skills and understandings for beach activity within inshore coastal beach environments relating to supervised swimming at beaches, surfing, fishing, hazard identification, basic aquatic rescue, basic first aid, basic resuscitation and care and respect for the beach environment and other beach users.

OSAA was developed in consultation with the School Surfing Association to provide senior primary school students with theoretical and practical ocean safety awareness competencies.

OSAA Programs

  • OSAA programs are designed for delivery by teachers who have a current School Surfing Supervisor Award (SSSA) or APOLA approved personnel with higher qualifications such as accredited Surf Coaches holding the Ocean Safety Surf Coach Award (OSSCA), Ocean Lifeguards holding the Professional Ocean Lifeguard Award (POL) and a Certificate IV in Assessor & Workplace Training
  • Practical skills include introduction to surf assessment, surf entry, diving under waves, catching waves, marine hazards identification, simulated self-rescue, assessment and response to an aquatic emergency.

OSSA Content

  • Demonstrate recognition of different waves, rips, rock formations and evident/potential marine hazards
  • Demonstrate surf assessment, surf entry, diving under waves, catching waves, basic self-rescue, assessment of and response to a simulated aquaticemergency (DRSABCD) including calling for assistance.


  • Participate in group discussions, view audio-visual presentations and complete written tasks using worksheets that relate to the coastal environment,  swimming, surfing and other beach activity – topics include wave and rip formations, weather, beach topography such as rock platforms, hazard identification, types of surfing, rules for swimming and surfing, basic rescue, basic first aid, basic resuscitation, care and respect for the natural inshore coastal environment and other ocean users.


Resources and References

APOLA OSSA Teachers Resource Kit, APOLA, 2005

Safe Surf, Video Education Australia, 2002

Web link http://www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/www/html/1153-education.asp?intSiteID=1

Guidelines for the Safe Conduct of Sport and Physical Activity in School, NSW DET, 1999

The Surfer’s Code – a beginners guide to staying safe in the surf, NSW Dpt Sport & Recreation, 2006 (Brochure)

Safe Surfing Workbook, Surfing Australia, 2001

Dr Rip’s Essential Beach Book – everything you need to know about surf, sand and rips, UNSW Press, 2010


Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association Inc. (APOLA)

ABN 40 537 467 685


Web www.apola.com.au Email info@apola.asn.au Mobile 0408 855 267