It offers the full range of Royal Life Saving Society UK programmes and awards, and also some programmes affiliated to other organisations, such as the Heartstart programme which is co-ordinated by the British Heart Foundation. Its main focus is the beach lifeguard qualification, indeed in 2002 it was responsible for over 10% of all the beach lifeguard awards taken in the United Kingdom.
The club has regular training sessions throughout the year, training in the North Sea from its headquarters at Whitley Bay and also at Tynemouth Pool.
NSVL is run by a committee of 10 club members, who are elected at the Annual General Meeting. However other club members play an important role in running the club, for example by teaching for courses and awards.