Ocean lifeguards have several responsibilities that require precise training. California State Parks is one of the largest providers of open water lifeguard services in the United States, and trains approximately 200 new lifeguards per year. As part of our lifeguard training section’s quality improvement efforts, we conducted a training needs assessment to help determine how well our introductory ocean lifeguard training curriculum prepared lifeguards to perform job related tasks upon successful completion of the training program. We surveyed both first year and seasoned lead lifeguards on operational needs, training gaps, and specific subject areas. We identified several areas where our training program required improvement. This assessment provided us with evidence from which to update our curriculum, helped identify gaps in the field, and provided a feedback mechanism from field staff not previously involved in prioritizing training needs.