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We are the charity that saves lives at sea. Volunteers make up 95% of our workforce – ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Our people are selfless, dependable, trustworthy and courageous. These are our values and they underpin everything we do.


“Being an inclusive organisation; respecting and valuing the diversity of backgrounds, skills and perspectives with our teams isn't just important to the RNLI - we consider it to be essential in delivering a world-class lifesaving service. To support this, we have been looking for partners to help us improve our recruitment and attraction service and to reflect and promote our efforts to offer an inclusive recruitment and employment journey. Working with Includability has been a joy from the start, bringing value to both organisations. We are now delighted to have completed the 5-Star Verification Process to become an official Includability Committed Employer! We look forward to continue to work with Includability; gaining value from their monthly Employer Support Groups, network, and opportunities to promote vacancies within the RNLI to a diverse range of potential employees. Thank you, Includability!”

Kevin Barnard | Recruitment Manager at the RNLI

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We are the charity that saves lives at sea. Volunteers make up 95% of our workforce – ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Our people are selfless, dependable, trustworthy and courageous. These are our values and they underpin everything we do.
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We are the charity that saves lives at sea. Volunteers make up 95% of our workforce – ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Our people are selfless, dependable, trustworthy and courageous. These are our values and they underpin everything we do.

Since our inception in 1824, demand for our lifesaving services has evolved significantly. We provide a 24-hour search and rescue service from 238 lifeboat stations around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, including four along the River Thames and four inland lifeboat stations.

In addition, we operate a seasonal lifeguard service on more than 240 UK and Channel Island beaches and a specialist Flood Rescue Team ready to respond to severe flooding situations, both at home and around the world.

Our sea and beach safety work is paramount and we are sharing our maritime expertise with like-minded international organisations to help save even more lives from drowning.

With 98% of our total income coming from generous donations and legacies, we depend on our dedicated volunteers, supporters and staff to continue saving lives at sea.

Our Culture

Whoever we are and wherever we’re from, we stand together as one crew.

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. No matter how someone gets into difficulty, who they are or where they’re from, our lifesavers will answer the call. Knowing that someone needs our help has always been enough for us to act. Nearly 200 years ago, RNLI founder Sir William Hillary called for volunteers to rescue ‘every stranger’ – anybody in peril.

In the same way that the RNLI saves lives at sea without prejudice, we aspire to be a charity where all our people are truly valued for who they are.

It takes a deep level of trust to save lives at sea together. That kind of trust only comes from people knowing that they can truly be themselves – and be accepted for it.

In our crew, everyone should be able to be themselves and reach their full potential.

Embracing the diversity of RNLI people and the communities we work in helps us deliver innovative solutions that save more lives and prevent drowning. We understand that it takes a wide range of diverse minds, abilities, cultures and experiences to engage effectively with communities – and this is what we’re building within the RNLI.

How we’re working to better serve our people

Everyone is welcome at the RNLI. We believe that our volunteers and staff should be empowered to thrive in their roles and give back to their communities without experiencing exclusion, disadvantage or discrimination.

These are some of the ways we’re working to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion at the RNLI:

Our pledge: We are one crew. We work and volunteer together with passion, talent and kindness – whoever we are and wherever we’re from. Our one crew pledge underpins how we work together with our communities. This statement outlines the spirit in which the RNLI, our volunteers and staff will act to achieve our lifesaving goals.

Volunteer Commitment: Our charity is made up of 95% volunteers – ordinary people, doing extraordinary things! At the heart of our volunteer ethos is the Volunteer Commitment, which is a statement of the hopes and expectations between the RNLI and volunteers.

People networks: People networks are groups from across the RNLI who are committed to diversity, equality and inclusion. We have five active people networks here – the Disability Network, Gender Equality Network, Harbour Network (LGBT+ network - lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender), Race Equality Network and the Young Professional Network. They help us to identify what we already do well and influence our charity to act when change is needed. Staff and volunteers can find out more and connect with the networks through our intranet.

Flexible working: Our flexible working and volunteering options help everyone to fulfil their role at the RNLI, wherever they’re based and whatever responsibilities they need to work around. Flexible working options can also help parents return to work or volunteering, help people with variable health conditions stay in work and help carers balance their responsibilities.

Working at the RNLI

Our lifeboat crews and lifeguards need a dedicated, professional and talented team behind them.  Take the chance to join that team and help save lives every day, whatever your speciality.

Where are we?

We are based throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland.

We have our Support Centre in Poole, Dorset and Regional Bases in: Saltash, Ipswich, St. Asaph, Perth and Dublin, as well as our lifeboat stations and lifeguard units throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland.

On our Poole site we have the RNLI College, where our lifeboat crews and lifeguards come for training, our All-weather Lifeboat Centre, where all of our lifeboats are built in-house and offices for our staff.

We also have facilities on site including staff canteen, gym, bar, waterfront restaurant, library, flexible working area and meeting rooms with Wi-Fi.

What roles are available?

RNLI staff work across the following business areas:

  • Lifesaving Operations: The RNLI’s presence in the UK and Ireland communities – from rescue and prevention, to education.
  • Fundraising, Marketing & Media: Brings together and aligns the RNLI’s fundraising, marketing and media capabilities. Together, their ambition is to increase income through fundraising and secure a sustainable future for the RNLI
  • Engineering & Supply: Providing and managing all the lifeboats, equipment and operational real estate we need for our lifesaving service.
  • Finance, Legal & Planning: Managing strategy, business and financial plans across the RNLI.
  • Insights, Technology & Strategy: Works across the RNLI to set evidence-led priorities and deliver technology solutions that enable drowning prevention, lifesaving and support services.
  • People: Ensures that the RNLI’s people have the skills, confidence and opportunities to increase the difference they make to saving lives.
  • International: Raising the issue of global drowning and working with international partners to tackle the problem.

Staff benefits

  • 26 days holiday per year (increasing with service)
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Flexible working hours, helping to offer a healthy work life balance
  • Industry-leading pension plan and life cover
  • Optional Health/Dental cashplan
  • Training and development opportunities, including online learning and in-house training courses

Our Values

Our work is based on and driven by our values. Our volunteers and staff strive for excellence and are:

  • Trustworthy: To hold the trust of the public, our volunteers, supporters, partners and staff
  • Courageous: To have the courage to take on the most demanding challenges
  • Selfless: To put the needs of others first
  • Dependable: To be reliable, consistent and authentic

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