School Surfing Supervisor Award


The SSSA was developed in consultation with the School Surfing Association to provide teachers with surfing supervision competencies required for supervising students engaged in school surfing activity. Teachers successfully completing annual SSSA Inservice courses will be awarded a SSSA certificate that is recognized by school systems as an award providing teachers with the necessary competencies to supervise students engaging in school surfing activity, and also provide teachers with a prerequisite qualification for independent delivery of APOLA Community Awards for students from pre-school up to the level of Ocean Safety Surfer Award (OSSA). Each teacher successfully completing an annual SSSA Inservice will each receive a SSSA certificate, a first aid pamphlet, Surfer’s Code, Rip Survival, Beach Survival Guide and SharkSmart handouts.

The SSSA has a currency of 12 months and annual recertification includes completing a timed pool swim, surf mission, simulated in-water recues and a written paper.

SSSA Requirements

  • Teaching qualifications and current approval to teach in schools or other vocational and/or tertiary educational centres including Registered Training Organisations, TAFE colleges and Universities
  • Current qualifications in emergency care and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation such as Perform CPR/Provide CPR, or higher levels such as a Apply First Aid/Provide First Aid
  • Competency in surfcraft riding (either surfboard, bodyboard, wave ski or stand-up paddle)
  • Successful completion of the APOLA SSSA Inservice that includes practical demonstration of surfing supervision competencies and a written examination .

SSSA Competencies Assessment

  • APOLA Assessor and Workplace Trainers reserve the right to prevent prospective candidates commencing the practical components in the case that prospective candidates present themselves as incapable of meeting the fitness and/or surf and rescue skill demands required of the inservice
  • The APOLA SSSA Inservice must be conducted by an approved APOLA Assessor & Workplace Trainer with minimum Certificate IV in Assessment & Workplace Training qualifications.
  • The SSSA Inservice should be completed in one day – each section of the inservice must be performed satisfactorily for advancement to the next phase.
  • As a pre-requisite teachers must use the provided RPL form prior to the APOLA SSSA Inservice to record evidence of Perform CPR/Provide CPR or a higher level award such as a current Apply First Aid/Provide First Aid and a record of completion of a 400m pool swim in a time less than 9 minutes. The RPL form must be signed by a School Principal/Sports Organiser/Faculty Head or an APOLA Assessor and Workplace Trainer.


  • Swim 400m in a time less than 9 minutes (in a minimum length pool of 25m) prior to inservice
  • Complete a Surf Mission set up in an M shape course commencing with 200m swim, followed by 200m beach run, a 200m surfcraft paddle and concluding with a 200m beach run that demonstrates sound physical fitness and competence in negotiating the surf in control of the selected surfcraft
  • Demonstrate surfcraft rescues using personal surfcraft such as: paddle to rescue an unconscious and/or conscious patient; demonstrate patient approach, side-by-side, rollover, duck-dive and leg-hook patient pick-up techniques; patient return with patient care including DRSABCD assessment.


  • Participate in a presentation and discussion covering knowledge, skills and understandings for school surfing supervision including location safety check, liaison with lifeguards, emergency procedures and understandings of student requirements for school surfing activity, and complete a written examination.

Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association Inc. (APOLA)

ABN 40 537 467 685


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