Expression of Interest RPAS (Drone) Pilots


Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is seeking applications from highly self-motivated, qualified and proficient surf lifesavers to undertake training and operational duties in a demanding and challenging position.

Only applications meeting the minimum requirements will be invited to a selection session. It is the applicants’ responsibility to ensure that their SLS awards are current and that they are a financial and proficient member of an affiliated Surf Life Saving Club prior to applying.

A six-month probation period applies to all new RPAS Pilots.

Applications will be submitted to Surf Life Saving Queensland’s Operations Support Panel for endorsement prior to the selection process commencing.

Applicants considered for progression in the selection process, will be required to attend an interview with a panel to ensure the minimum requirements for service entry are met.

Applicants should be aware that only limited vacancies are available. All minimum RPAS pilot criteria and qualifications must be met prior to an application being submitted. It should be noted that the selection process is highly competitive and meeting minimum criteria won’t guarantee acceptance.

As a RPAS pilot, you will be expected to complete rostered volunteer drone patrols, attend training sessions and meetings and participate in other activities as organised. Due to the significant time and cost involved in training RPAS pilots, a minimum commitment from the successful candidates of three (3) years is expected, notwithstanding exceptional circumstances.

In addition to any RPAS duties successful candidates will be expected to continue to have active involvement with their club and complete all club and beach patrol commitments. It is also a SLSQ requirement that all RPAS pilots remain financial and a proficient member of their Surf Life Saving Club.

Drone service operations may include patrols outside of the normal SLSQ patrol season. Successful applicants must be willing to participate in a regular patrol roster which involves up to a full day patrol on weekends and public holidays throughout the year.

 Selection Process

The process of becoming an RPAS pilot involves multiple stages (as per below), and typically occurs over a 6 to 12 month period. The intent is to commence the selection process and training allowing the successful candidates to commence rostered patrols during the 2019/20 season.

The selection process stages are:

  1. Applications addressing minimum criteria received and initial vetting
  2. Interview
  3. RPAS pilots selected by Operations Support Panel
  4. RPAS pilot training (as per above)
  5. Flight assessment
  6. Successful completion of probation period

(Note: Applications will be vetted at all stages)

Minimum Applicant Criteria

Applicants must fulfil the following minimum requirements prior to lodging an application:

  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age
  • Be a current financial and proficient member of a Surf Life Saving Queensland affiliated Surf Life Saving Club
  • Have completed a minimum of three years SLS beach patrol service
  • Be endorsed by their SLS Club for duties with Operations Support
  • Have no limiting disabilities
  • Have an excellent record of SLS beach patrol attendance
  • Have excellent teamwork skills
  • Hold a current vehicle driver’s license
  • Have a current Working with Children Check
  • Be proficient in the minimum awards as outlined below
  • Undertake drug and alcohol testing at commencement of training and on a random basis as required
  • Any other criteria as determined by the selection panel

Minimum Qualifications

  • Certificate II in Public Safety (Aquatic Rescue) (Bronze Medallion)
  • Radio Operators Certificate
  • Advanced Resuscitation Techniques (or equivalent)
  • Provide First Aid (HLTAID003 or equivalent),

Other awards additional to those specified above will be taken into account when selecting candidates.

Preferred Experience

Current or previous experience with other Surf Life Saving Operations Support units will be viewed favourably.


An applicant will be required to attend a selection interview before a panel. The applicant will also be evaluated throughout the full duration of the briefing and operational test requirements as to their suitability.

Other Requirements

RPAS pilots may be required to undertake one or a series of other assessments from time to time.

All applicants must be conscious of operational factors including that rostered duty is generally from 0800 – 1700 on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays and 0700 – 1800 during the Christmas holiday peak period. RPAS pilots will be required to be rostered for training/patrol on a Saturday or Sunday at a minimum twice in every calendar month. RPAS pilots will also be rostered on public holidays.

Ongoing RPAS Pilot Requirements:

To remain an active RPAS pilot, successful applicants will be required to:

  • Remain a financial member of their SLSC Club
  • Complete an annual SLS Club proficiency by 31 December each year
  • Be endorsed annually by the Operations Support Panel
  • Maintain currency in pre-requisite SLSQ awards
  • Maintain currency in internal RPAS Certificate
  • Attend regular crew meetings as and when called
  • Undertake drug and alcohol testing on a random basis as requested
  • Attend scheduled training sessions which will be in addition to rostered patrols

Process for applying:

All applicants must complete the SLSQ Operations Support application form, via the below Link. Applicants should contact their appropriate club delegate and ensure they are aware they will need to endorse the application once received.

Additionally, all applications must be accompanied by a cover letter detailing your surf life saving experience, and what skills you bring to the service. A current resume should also be attached.

Applications are to be submitted through the Operations Support online application system by following this link All application must be submitted in full by close of business Monday 15th April 2019.

Kind Regards,


State Operations Support Officer Surf Life Saving Queensland


Lifesaving Operations Coordinator Surf Life Saving Queensland

NewsJacob Thomson