Unit of competency details

SISCAQU007 - Perform advanced water rescues (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes SISCAQU318 - Perform advanced water rescuesUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 02/Sep/2015

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 06/Jul/2016
(View details for release 1) 03/Sep/2015


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  07/Dec/2015 
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Unit Of competency

Modification History

Not applicable.


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to identify, evaluate and respond to aquatic emergencies using established rescue procedures.

The unit applies to lifeguards (and others when a lifeguard is not available) who perform advanced water rescues in a range of situations, including swimming pools. Work is performed according to accepted best practice principles of aquatic rescues, first aid, relevant legislation and organisational policies.

Specific licensing requirements relating to this competency, including requirements for refresher training, should be obtained from the relevant state/territory work health and safety regulatory authority.

Pre-requisite Unit

HLTAID003 Provide first aid

SISCAQU002 Perform basic water rescues

Competency Field


Unit Sector

Community Recreation

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Identify and evaluate major aquatic emergencies.

1.1 Recognise factors which contribute to aquatic emergencies.

1.2 Recognise signs and signals of aquatic emergency and communicate initial assessment to appropriate personnel.

1.3 Identify appropriate emergency response for the situation and people involved.

1.4 Promote compliance with safety rules of aquatic facility to clients.

2. Respond to aquatic emergency.

2.1 Activate emergency systems and implement strategies for group control.

2.2 Assess factors impacting on the advanced water rescue and formulate a rescue plan.

2.3 Determine appropriate involvement of others, type of rescue required and rescue equipment needed.

2.4 Identify hazards and take appropriate action to prevent further injury to the casualty, self or others.

2.5 Perform an advanced water rescue using established techniques and procedures and safe manual handling techniques.

3. Assess the casualty.

3.1 Observe and assess condition of the casualty.

3.2 Assess vital signs and symptoms of shock and provide appropriate treatment.

4. Organise further emergency care as required.

4.1 Contact emergency services and provide accurate information to obtain required assistance.

4.2 Monitor casualty or arrange further treatment until emergency response team assumes responsibility.

5. Record and report the incident.

5.1 Complete required documentation in agreed format.

5.2 Notify other personnel and statutory authorities of incident as required.

Foundation Skills

Foundation skills essential to performance are explicit in the performance criteria of this unit of competency. 

Unit Mapping Information

No equivalent unit.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=1ca50016-24d2-4161-a044-d3faa200268b


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Not applicable.

Performance Evidence

Evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit in the context of the job role, and:

  • identify and respond to all of the following signs and signals of aquatic emergencies according to organisational and legislative requirements:
  • call for help
  • vertical body position
  • diagonal body position
  • minimal or non-supportive leg action
  • vigorous arm movements
  • submerged or unconscious person
  • use the following equipment and techniques during rescue situations:
  • spinal immobilisation equipment
  • oxygen supplemented resuscitation
  • oxygen therapy
  • safe manual handling techniques
  • demonstrate correct swimming strokes, personal survival and rescue skills:
  • personal survival and defensive techniques on approach to a casualty
  • contact tow of both a conscious and unconscious casualty
  • non-contact tow of a conscious casualty
  • successfully complete fitness and strength tests:
  • swim 200 metres in less than 6 minutes without using equipment
  • retrieve an object from the deepest water within the aquatic environment no greater than 3 metres in depth. If depth is greater than 3 metres assistance may be used e.g. fins
  • respond in a team to at least two of each of the simulated emergency scenarios contextualised to the candidate’s workplace/aquatic environment:
  • assist two other team members with the removal of an unconscious person from the water
  • complete a 25 metre swim and 25 metre non-contact tow of a conscious casualty with assisted landing in less than 1minute 45 seconds
  • work as a team to perform spinal immobilisation, stabilization and removal of a suspected spinal injury casualty in both shallow and deep water:
  • immobilise and roll over as per workplace and pool depth
  • use of available spinal immobilisation equipment.

Knowledge Evidence

Demonstrated knowledge required to complete the tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit:

  • legislation and organisational policies and procedures that enable the safe and appropriate conduct of all activities:
  • work health and safety/occupational health and safety
  • duty of care
  • working with children
  • communication protocols
  • rescue and emergency procedures
  • incident reporting
  • factors leading to aquatic emergencies:
  • swimming ability
  • deep water
  • shallow water
  • river currents
  • surf conditions
  • strong winds
  • risk taking behaviour
  • different aquatic emergencies and appropriate responses:
  • sudden unconsciousness
  • spinal injury
  • drowning
  • heart attack
  • severe bleeding
  • epileptic seizures
  • severe asthma attacks
  • factors contributing to aquatic emergencies to enable prompt and accurate assessment of emergency situations:
  • number of casualties
  • rescue equipment
  • number and location of other staff
  • accepted best practice principles of aquatic rescues
  • first aid techniques and standards to enable provision of safe and effective response and treatment of casualties
  • types and characteristics of water rescue equipment used in advanced water rescue to enable safe and effective use:
  • spinal immobilisation equipment
  • oxygen supplemented resuscitation
  • oxygen therapy
  • role of lifeguards and other personnel during major aquatic emergencies to enable effective emergency responses.

Assessment Conditions

Skills must be demonstrated in:

  • a workplace or simulated aquatic facility or environment appropriate to the candidate’s current or intended work role.

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • CPR mannequins
  • rescue equipment:
  • reaching aids
  • spinal immobilisation equipment
  • pool rescue equipment (rescue tubes/rings)
  • suitable participants to enable demonstration of all water rescue techniques and scenarios, these can be:
  • participants in a workplace, or
  • individuals who participate in project activities, role plays or simulated activities, set up for the purpose of assessment, within a training organisation.

Assessment activities that allow the individual to:

  • respond to realistic in-depth, industry-validated rescue scenarios and simulations.

Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations’ requirements for assessors.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=1ca50016-24d2-4161-a044-d3faa200268b