Operational training takes place at RNLI College and also at lifeboat stations, on beaches and in swimming pools to meet exacting fitness standards, and behind the scenes at home with study guides and online resources.
Approximately 4,000 lifeboat crew and lifeguards participate in one or more of nearly 40 different courses currently on offer at RNLI College following recommendation by their training divisional inspector or area/divisional lifeguard manager.
A large proportion of operational training is also delivered on the coast at lifeboat stations by experienced crew members and visiting mobile training units (MTUs) and instructors, and at beaches by experienced lifeguards and instructors.
Regular training involves weekly exercises and is all about teamwork, competence and safe procedures.
Various rescue scenarios are practised, some involving other emergency services such as the UK or Irish Coastguard services. Each year, and at every station and beach, a number of these exercises are observed by RNLI divisional inspectors.