Certificate III in Public Safety (Aquatic Search and Rescue)

Not applicable.


11 units of competency are required for this qualification including:

6 core units

5 elective units

Choose a minimum of 3 elective units from the list below.

Choose the remaining 2 elective units from either the elective list below or elsewhere within this training package or another endorsed training package or accredited course.

All elective units selected from outside this qualification must be from an equivalent qualification level or higher.

Elective units selected must not duplicate content already covered by other units in this qualification.

Where a pre-requisite unit is attached to a unit it is identified by this symbol .

The pre-requisite units attached to any of the units must be undertaken and are additional to the number of units required for the qualification.


Core Units

add topic PUACOM001C

Communicate in the workplace

add topic PUAOHS002B

Maintain safety at an incident scene

add topic PUAOPE013A

Operate communications systems and equipment

add topic PUASAR011C

Search as a member of an aquatic search team

add topic PUATEA004D

Work effectively in a public safety organisation

add topic HLTFA311A

Apply first aid


Elective Units

add topic PUACOM002B

Provide services to clients

add topic PUAEME003C

Administer oxygen in an emergency situation

add topic PUAEME001B Provide emergency care

add topic PUAEME004A

Provide emergency care for suspected spinal injury

add topic HLTFA211A Provide basic emergency life support


add topic HLTFA311A Apply first aid

add topic PUAEME005A

Provide pain management

add topic HLTFA211A Provide basic emergency life support


add topic HLTFA311A Apply first aid


Treat operational risk

PUAEMR027 Assess operational risk


Assess operational risk

add topic PUAEQU001B

Prepare, maintain and test response equipment

add topic PUAOHS001C

Follow defined occupational health and safety policies and procedures

add topic PUAOPE009C

Navigate in an aquatic environment

add topic PUAOPE010C

Operate an automated external defibrillator in an emergency

add topic PUAEME001B Provide emergency care


add topic HLTFA211A Provide basic emergency life support

add topic PUAOPE012A

Control a Level 1 incident

add topic PUAOPE027A

Undertake beach safety management activities

add topic PUAPOLIM002A

Promote public safety objectives by liaison with a culturally specific community

add topic PUASAR014A

Operate and maintain a small powercraft and motor for rescue operations

add topic PUASAR015A

Crew small powercraft in a rescue operation

add topic PUASAR016A

Operate and maintain a personal water craft for rescue operations

add topic PUASAR017A

Undertake advanced surf rescue

add topic PUACOM001C Communicate in the workplace

add topic PUASAR012C Apply surf awareness and self-rescue skills

add topic PUASAR013A Participate in an aquatic rescue operation

add topic PUASES012A

Work as a team member in an emergency operations centre

add topic PUATEA002B

Work autonomously

add topic PUAVEH001B

Drive vehicles under operational conditions

add topic BSBFLM312C

Contribute to team effectiveness

add topic HLTFA302B

Provide first aid in remote situation

add topic HLTFA412A

Apply advanced first aid

add topic HLTFA404C

Apply advanced resuscitation techniques

add topic PMAOHS214B

Undertake helicopter safety and escape

add topic SISCAQU202A

Perform basic water rescues

add topic SISCAQU306A

Supervise clients at an aquatic facility or environment

add topic SISCAQU307A

Perform advanced water rescues

add topic SISCAQU312A

Assist participants with a disability during aquatic activities


    Pathways into the qualification

    Candidates may enter the qualification through a number of entry points demonstrating potential to undertake vocational education and training at this qualification level, such as:

    after achieving the PUA21012 Certificate II in Public Safety (Aquatic Rescue)

    working in a lifesaver, lifeguard, first responder or marine rescue role

    with vocational experience in beach or marine safety and first responder roles.

    Pathways from the qualification

    After achieving the PUA31312 Certificate III in Public Safety (Aquatic Search and Rescue), candidates may undertake a range of qualifications relevant to their role, such as:

    PUA41112 Certificate IV in Public Safety (Community Safety)

    PUA42612 Certificate IV in Public Safety (Aquatic Search and Rescue Management).

Entry Requirements

Not applicable.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.

Employability Skills

Employability Skills are part of a unit of competency.

Employability Skills statements from a selection of units of competency from the PUA31312 Certificate III in Public Safety (Aquatic Search and Rescue) have been reproduced in the table below.

This table provides an example of Employability Skills for the qualification because Employability Skills within a qualification will vary depending on the qualification packaging options.

Employability Skill

Employability Skills Statement


accurately record the details of casualties' condition, treatment and response to treatment in line with organisation's procedures

communicate, which may include Auslan gestures; calming and reassuring a casualty; face-to-face; facsimile; feedback of information; landline and mobile telephone; pamphlets translated into other languages; radio; signalling systems; using interpreters

record vital signs in planning treatment and report as appropriate

relay instructions clearly, concisely and accurately and obtain confirmation of understanding

use clear concise and appropriate language in all communications to client, assignment and organisation's requirements

use established communication pathways for routine and non-routine communication

use questioning, learning and summarising skills to establish client needs

write reports


assist members of other emergency services

contribute to maintaining safety of other work group members

have knowledge of the composition of team and the roles and responsibilities of team members

move a casualty, which may be as part of a team

establish issues affecting safety of self and other personnel by identifying hazards and assessing risks

obtain search operation information and task information, and discuss with team members

participate in group discussions and informal meetings

Problem solving

apply fault finding techniques

assess the movement of a casualty to a safer location by scene assessment, visual inspections, planning reviews, recognising hazard warnings, interviewing others at the scene

employ alternative communication strategies

identify hazards to self and others and take appropriate action to safeguard against injury

provide emergency care pending the arrival of appropriately qualified personnel

seek expert advice

Initiative and enterprise

assess extent and nature of emergency care required

assist work group members in danger in accordance with standard operating procedures, ensuring personal safety is maintained

immediately report any changes in situation and/or conditions to designated person

improvise techniques where there is limited access to equipment

monitor, assess and amend treatment and management plan in response to changes in condition of the casualty and/or environment

Planning and organising

assess extent and nature of initial emergency care required

select and check personal protective clothing and equipment according to organisational procedures to ensure it is operational prior to entry into incident situation

select and check search equipment for serviceability, and store/pack it for use

use equipment according to casualty's condition, availability and to organisation's procedures

use search formation or grids to locate missing persons or objects


establish issues affecting safety of self and other personnel by identifying hazards and assessing risks

implement hazard control and mitigation measures with minimum damage to the environment, while maintaining safety of self and others

maintain knowledge of legal and ethical issues in pre-hospital care and knowledge of current practices and procedures in emergency care

maintain universal hygiene precautions

maintain water and food intake, rest breaks and shelter requirements

recognise impact of own actions on safety of others

remain calm under pressure

undertake duties in line with organisational health and safety codes of practice and relevant legislation


learn about current practices and procedures in emergency care

maintain knowledge in managing identified injuries in line with approved emergency care

recognise and refer personal capabilities and limitations to the team leader

recognise and report symptoms of operational stress


identify hazards by accessing databases

operate first aid equipment

use communication systems and equipment

use hazard control equipment such as atmospheric monitoring equipment; meteorological equipment; radiation monitoring equipment

use search equipment such as radio communications equipment; information technology systems; mobile telephone; radio; signalling systems