Queenscliff SLSC Patrol Policy

Our Club has specific objectives including to have regard for the public interest as well as the interest of all Club Members in its operations. This policy relates to expectations of our Life Saving team and their impact our members and our community.

Patrol Policy 2022/2023

1. Club Captain

(a)  The Club Captain is the operational leader of the Club responsible for the general conduct of the members and overall patrolling standards of the club along with the culture, skills development, recruitment and wellbeing of the Life Saving group.

(b)  Will perform their duties according to the SLSA Code of Conduct. Shall manage adherence to requirements as per LSA, SOP and POMS.

(c)  Shall prepare a patrol calendar and roster before the beginning of each season. A copy shall be provided to each Patrol Captain for them to distribute to their patrolling members. Copies will also be displayed on the club noticeboard, club website and such other locations as may be determined by the Club Captain.

(d)  Shall arrange, in conjunction with the Chief Instructor, for the conduct of the skills maintenance for patrol members each season. Shall ensure that all members undertaking skills maintenance are provided with an opportunity to update their knowledge/technique of the respective skill maintenance areas ensuring all members eligible for patrol are proficient.

(e)  Will ensure all active / reserve active and long service competitor bronze members are allocated to patrols.

(f)  Shall appoint members of the “Emergency Callout Team” that can respond to incidents within the ‘Emergency Response Area’ as outlined in the Lifesaving Service Agreement.

2. Patrol Captains

(a) Patrols shall be under the leadership and direction of Patrol Captains, for the purpose of beach safety. Patrol Captains shall conduct a pre patrol briefing to patrolling members prior to patrol and ensure the beach is correctly set up along with the correct minimum required qualifications available on the beach for a full patrol. Members cannot be signed onto patrols unless they are financial, proficient and in full uniform and the Patrol Captain agrees to sign them on.

(b)  Subject to the prevailing conditions, patrol captains shall endeavor to promote the revision of members skills with practical team scenarios, to maintain patrol efficiency during patrols and shall record that fact appropriately.

(c)  Patrol Captains are responsible for ensuring a record of all rescues, reportable incidents and other statistics as may be required by the rules of SLSA is made in the patrol log or Patrol Operations App.

(d)  As per SLSA Policy and Procedure 1.1 Water Safety, when there is a patrol on the beach, control of water activities is the responsibility of the Patrol Captain. The designated Water Safety Supervisor (WSS) is responsible for conducting a pre activity risk check in conjunction with the Patrol Captain outlining any risks managed prior to each water activity. The Patrol Captain must ensure this occurs.

(e)  Patrol Captains are responsible for the motivation and wellbeing of their patrol group and should also be actively engaged in the attraction and retention of patrol members.

(f)  Patrol Captains will be responsible to the Club Captain or delegate.

(g)  Will perform their duties according to the SLSA Code of Conduct.

3. Patrol Members

Patrol members will take ownership for –

(a)  Must be current financial members and be responsible for ensuring their skills maintenance (proficiency) requirements have been fulfilled.

(b)  Acquaint themselves with this patrol policy and acknowledge their obligations including performing their duties in accordance with the SLA Code of Conduct.

(c)  Acquaint themselves with their rostered patrol dates and hours of patrols and complete at least 50% of their allocated patrols on their own patrol.

(d)  Attend the beach and be ready for their patrol duties prior to the starting time (15 minutes prior to patrol sign on time) so as to ensure all patrol equipment is in position by the time the beach is due to open.

(e)  Wear relevant patrol uniform and personal protective equipment, including quartered patrol caps as per SLSA standards.

(f)  Report to the Patrol Captain when signing on to the patrol log or tablet and talk to the Patrol Captain prior to leaving the beach or the patrol.


4. Substitute Patrols

(a)  A member who is unable to attend his or her rostered patrol should consult with their Patrol Captain. The member may be required at the discretion of the Patrol Captain to arrange for a member with equal qualifications to undertake the patrol as a substitute, providing notice at least 48 hours prior to the patrol. NB A substitute is where the two parties swap a specific rostered patrol between them. This is different to doing a voluntary patrol.

(b)  If the substitute fails to attend the patrol, the substitute member may be deemed to have missed the patrol.

5. Absence from Patrols

A patrol member may ask their patrol captain to be absent from patrol. The Patrol Captain can approve absences to a patrol member subject to patrol requirements.

(a)  If approved, the patrol captain will mark the member in the patrol log as having been excused from the patrol for that day.

(b)  A member who has an absence approved is not required to arrange a substitute or undertake any extra patrols of any kind.

(c)  If the application is denied, the member may lodge an appeal with the Club Captain. Any decision on the appeal by the Club Captain or delegate will be final.

(d)  If the Club Captain considers the circumstances appropriate, they may grant a patrol member an absence from one or more patrols. Any absence granted by the Club Captain will be in addition to any absence that may be granted by the patrol captain.

(e)  No member shall be permitted to start in any Interclub Competition or Championship if in arrears of patrol hours at the time of the event. There are a minimum number of patrol hours to be completed each season in order to take part in competitions.

(f)  The Club understands that some Members have other obligations that may restrict their ability to attend all patrols. These obligations may include, but are not limited to; Shift workers,
Fly in fly out workers,
SLS employees (who are required to work weekends)
Professional Lifeguards (who are required to work weekends). These members can apply for a leave of absence from regular rostered patrols, which should be addressed prior to the commencement of the patrol season.


NB This does not exclude members from meeting competition patrol hours requirements, if they then choose to compete.

6. Patrol Obligations

Patrol Captains are required to communicate and maintain SLSA standards to ensure that patrolling members:

(a)  Arrive on time and/or do not leave early from the patrol without talking to the Patrol Captain. All members of patrol including substitutes and voluntaries must report in person to the Patrol Captain when signing the patrol log. NB The patrol log is a legal document and can not be tampered with at any time.

(b)  Are in relevant patrol uniform (as per SLSA standards, including quartered patrol cap) and ready for instant response during their patrol.

(c)  Remain in the correct patrol area and does not leave without permission from the Patrol Captain.

(d)  Carry out any reasonable direction of the Patrol Captain.

(e)  If there are any patrolling members issues that the Patrol Captain is unable to resolve, the issue will be escalated to the next level which is the Club Captain as per the organizational structure of the Club.

(f)  Are aware of the SLSA Code of Conduct

(g)  While Queenscliff is hosting the State carnival, a maximum of 10 volunteer hours may be allocated to the member.

7. Outcomes of Non-Compliance with Patrol Obligations

(a) Unless satisfied of the reason for doing so, the Club Captain or delegate may impose an extra rostered patrol on a member who does not fulfill their patrol obligations.

(b) Any person who does not comply with any of the patrol obligations outlined in 6 above, will be noted as “non compliant” or “not seen” in the patrol log for that patrol, by the Patrol Captain. At the discretion of the Club Captain, any member noted in such a way in the patrol log is likely to be deemed to have missed the patrol and will not be credited with the patrol hours in surfguard.

(c) A member may appeal to the Club Captain or delegate against a decision by the Patrol Captain to note the member as “non compliant” or “not seen”.

(d) Any decision on the appeal by the Club Captain or delegate will be final.


8. Missed Patrols

(a)  Any member who misses a rostered patrol (not including for proven sickness or as a result of being granted an absence under clause 5) may, if required by the Patrol Captain, complete a make-up patrol.

(b)  Any member who misses two rostered patrols (not including for proven sickness or approved absence) shall unless excused by the Club Captain or delegate, be required to complete make-up patrols.

(c)  Unless otherwise approved by the Club Captain or delegate, all make-up patrols must be completed prior to the member’s next rostered patrol.

(d)  If a member misses three or more rostered patrols in any season (not including for proven sickness or approved absence), he or she will be required to show cause to the Club Captain and/or the Judiciary Committee as to why they should not be subject to further action by the Committee. Further action may include suspension from the Club or cancellation of membership.

e) A member who volunteers to do water safety (at carnivals or nipper Sundays), first aid or officiating for Queenscliff participating carnivals or special approved club events, will have a maximum 50% offset toward rostered patrol hours (for example at least 50% of members hours logged on surfguard should be on the beach on their rostered patrol). However, these volunteer hours must be agreed with the Patrol Captain and/ or Club Captain before the members rostered patrols are due.

9. Completion of Patrol

If patrol members complete their rostered patrol shift and insufficient members of the in-coming patrol attend to replace them, the Patrol Captain of the finishing patrol must report the matter to the Club Captain or other authorised club member.

In the above scenario the Patrol Captain is requested to assist with members of their finishing patrol remaining on duty (where possible) until they are relieved by other members.

The last patrol of each day must ensure that:

(a)  All surf life saving equipment and tent is returned to the patrol gear areas, then hosed down, checked for damage and stored in the correct place (as per photos on the wall). Any damage or issues with equipment should be reported directly to the Gear Steward and recorded in the patrol log. Any missing or used medical supplies should be reported to the First Aid Officer and recorded in the patrol log.

(b)  The IRB is hosed out, engine run, re-fueled and in operational order for next use (IRB log completed).

(c) All two way radios are accounted for and put on charge correctly after signing off in accordance with authorised procedures.

(d)  All logs and paperwork (including incident reports) are completed and submitted appropriately.

(e)  The first aid room, IRB and board sheds are properly secured with lights and aircon switched off. All rescue boards are to be accounted for.

10. Patrol Members who Compete for the Club

NB A club member shall not be granted Patrol or Club duty exemptions solely upon or for competition reasons. Any extenuating circumstances will be considered by the Club Captain and Competition Director on a case by case basis.

(a)  Patrol hours for the purpose of competition eligibility are calculated on a calendar year basis. This means eligibility for all 2023 Championships will be calculated on the reduced levels (15 hours for active members/7 hours for Reserve Active Members) from the 2022 patrol year.From 1st January 2023, the SLSNSW Board has confirmed members will require 25 hours for the standard patrol member for Championship eligibility in season 2023-24.Partial exemptions from patrol hours may be considered for members who complete voluntary service hours. Queenscliff has agreed these service hours are for volunteering service for State carnivals hosted by Queenscliff. Partial Exemptions may only be provided for members allocated to patrols that have completed their minimum hours on that patrol.

(b)  Any member who is more than 10 hours in default at the time of any carnival throughout the season will be ineligible to compete. Fraudulent behaviour is not permitted (such as tampering with patrol logs) – if seen, immediate suspension if appropriate by the Club Captain and presented to Committee for disciplinary action according to the Greivance, Judicial and Discipline Regulations of SLSA as amended from time to time.

(c)  Competitors that compete in a carnival that clashes with a rostered patrol without finding a substitute risk disqualifying themselves and any team/s of which they are a part.

(d)  No patrol hours are allocated for competitors on BBQ during carnivals as it is part of their volunteer activity unless approved by the Club Captain prior and in writing.

(e)  Active Members wishing to compete for the club must complete a minimum of 25 hours on their rostered (home) patrol between 1 January and 31 December in each year for their hours to be counted.

(f)  Active Reserves – 12 rostered patrol hours.

(g)  Long Service and Life Members that compete – are required to complete 8 rostered patrol hours and must be allocated to a patrol and complete their hours on that patrol.

(h)  Competitors competing for Queenscliff from another club, are required to perform a minimum of 10 hours of volunteer service activity for Queenscliff to be eligible to compete in the competition season. Queenscliff has agreed these service hours are for volunteering service for State carnivals hosted by Queenscliff.

Name of Parent or Guardian agreeing to Code of Conduct on behalf of member U13 - 18 Years
Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club