Have you or your team produced lifesaving or drowning prevention work(s) with high impact? Apply for the Royal Life Saving Society Diploma if you or a team have contributed to our local or global understanding of lifesaving, water safety and drowning prevention.
Purpose of the RLSS Diploma Awards
The RLSS Diploma is one of the Society’s oldest and most prestigious international awards, and recognises significant contributions by individuals or teams who have added to our collective knowledge in ways that can save lives and prevent drowning. The purpose of the awards is to both acknowledge this work by individuals and teams within our Member Organisations, as well as to provide an opportunity to share learning and advancements in knowledge with our community. Theory, research, and practice-based contributions are all eligible.
The RLSS Diploma may be awarded at one of three levels:
- Diploma Award
- Diploma Award (Applied)
- Advanced Diploma Award
The minimum criteria for each of these levels is outlined below.
This category of Award recognises significant contributions by individuals or small teams who have added to our collective knowledge in ways that can save lives and prevent drowning. This Award is given in recognition of a single piece of work that has been conducted within the Commonwealth within the last 5 years and meets the Diploma criteria. Typically, this Award is for a theory or research-based contribution that follows a recognised scholarly writing format describing the problem, methods used, specific findings and a discussion that contextualises these findings within the broader drowning prevention and water safety field. The contribution should draw on existing scholarly literature and be well-referenced. The submission should be accompanied by a 1-2 page (maximum 500 words) synopsis outlining the most important findings, recommendations or learning points from your work, and a description of the demonstrable impact of your contribution.
Diploma Award (Applied):
This category of Award recognises a single piece of work that has been conducted by individuals or small teams within the Commonwealth within the last 5 years and meets the Diploma criteria. Typically, this Award is for a practice-based contribution that consists of an applied project output (document, report, article, presentation etc) and a reflective essay that accompanies the output. The reflective essay should contain a description of the problem addressed, a motivation for the approach and methods used, a summary of the most important findings, recommendations or learning points from your work, and a description of the demonstrable impact of your contribution.
Advanced Diploma Award:
The purpose of this Award is to reward individual candidates who have shown a sustained contribution to the scholarly advancement of drowning prevention and water safety by a body of work spanning an extended period. This body of work should include a significant grouping of independent pieces of theory, research or practice-based work over an extended period. Any of these individual contributions may have received either a Diploma Award or an Applied Diploma Award in the past. The submission should be accompanied by a 1-2 page (maximum 500 words) synopsis outlining the demonstrable impact of the body of work.
The award recognises work in any topic relevant to life saving, water safety and drowning prevention.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- drowning prevention programmes and practice
- studies of partnerships with other agencies
- flooding and disaster risk reduction and resilience
- water safety policy
- lifesaving and lifeguarding equipment, training, and practice
- aquatic operations and risk management
- ice safety
- lifesaving sport
- the epidemiology of drowning
- changing the behaviour of individuals and society
Have a look at previous awardees’ contributions here.
Who can apply?
At least one of the applicants needs to be from a member organisation of the RLSS, but there are no further restrictions on who can apply (e.g. those in secondary education, university students, graduate students, lifesaving, lifeguarding or other professionals, researchers or academics). See our list of RLSS member organisations here.
How do you apply?
You should email your submission to RLSS Headquarters at email@example.com
As the intent of the Diploma Award is to share knowledge across the Commonwealth, submissions should be in the form of a report or document which we are able to share freely. Submissions should be written in good English.
Where you have incorporated the work of others, you should ensure that your work is appropriately referenced.
You should submit the following documents:
- A completed RLSS-Commonwealth-Diploma-Entry-Form_Revised_May2023
- A 1-2 page (approximately 500 words) synopsis or reflective essay outlining the most important findings, recommendations or learning points from your work, and a description of the demonstrable impact of your contribution. Tell us why you think this work is important.
- A copy of your contribution
- For research-based contributions that involve research with human participants, you are required to submit a copy of your ethical approval letter.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by at least three members of the RLSS Commonwealth Diploma Review panel. We will endeavour to give you feedback on your submission within 2 months of submitting.
If you require any guidance for your application or more information, contact RLSS Headquarters by email at firstname.lastname@example.org