National Lifeguard

About the National Lifeguard Award

The National Lifeguard award builds on the fundamental skills, knowledge and values taught in the lifesaving awards of the Lifesaving Society to develop the practical skills and knowledge required by lifeguards.

Recognized as the standard measurement of the lifeguard performance in Canada, National Lifeguard Award education is designed to develop a sound understanding of lifeguarding principles, good judgement and a mature and responsible attitude toward the role of the lifeguard. The National Lifeguard's primary role is the prevention of emergency situations and where this fails, the timely and effective resolution of emergencies. The National Lifeguard program is designed to prepare lifeguards to fufill this role as professional facilitators of safe, enjoyable aquatics.

The National Lifeguard course cannot in theory or practice prepare candidates for every situation that might be encountered by National Lifeguard guards working in Canadian aquatic environments and facilities. National Lifeguard training is designed to develop the basic lifeguarding skills, principles and decision-making processes, which will assist the lifeguard in evaluating and adapting to different aquatic facilities and emergencies.

National Lifeguard - Pool

National Lifeguard certification is Canada’s professional lifeguard standard. National Lifeguard training develops a sound understanding of lifeguarding principles, good judgment, and a mature and responsible attitude towards the lifeguard’s role. National Lifeguard training emphasizes prevention and effective rescue response in emergencies including first aid treatment. Candidates develop teamwork, leadership and communication skills. Fitness requirements include a timed object recovery, 50 m sprint challenge, 50 m rescue drill and 400 m endurance challenge.

Pre-Requisite: Minimum 16 years of age, Bronze Cross Award (need not be current), Standard First Aid/CPR-C Award or Aquatic Emergency Care/CPR-C Award

**Only the following four organizations' Standard First Aid/CPR C awards will be recognized as a prerequisite:

1) Lifesaving Society 2) Canadian Red Cross 3) Canadian Ski Patrol or 4) St.John Ambulance

Course Length: Minimum 40 hours

Candidate Books: Canadian Lifesaving Manual and Alert: Lifeguarding in Action Manual

Candidate Attendance: 100% attendance during course and exam is required in order to ensure the candidate has met the required learning outcomes and to provide the best chance of successful certification

Evaluation: Practical Exam plus continuous evaluation during course. This is a pass or fail course. No re-exam option. Full course must be taken if a fail is the final result.

Expiry Date: Exactly 2 years from the date of certification (i.e. from date on certification card)

National Lifeguard - Waterpark

National Lifeguard certification is Canada’s professional lifeguard standard. National Lifeguard Waterpark provides advanced training to develop the lifeguarding skills, principles and practices, and the decision-making processes which will assist the lifeguard to provide effective safety supervision in waterpark environments. It builds on the fundamental values, judgment, knowledge, skills and fitness acquired in the NLS Pool certification. Fitness requirements include a deep-water spinal carry and a 15 m approach and carry.

Pre-requisite: National Lifeguard Pool

Course Length: Minimum 16 hours

Candidate Books: Canadian Lifesaving Manual and Alert: Lifeguarding in Action Manual

Candidate Attendance: 100% attendance during course and exam is required in order to ensure the candidate has met the required learning outcomes and to provide the best chance of successful certification

Evaluation: Practical Exam plus continuous evaluation during course. This is a pass or fail course. No re-exam option. Full course must be taken if a fail is the final result.

Expiry Date: Exactly 2 years from the date of certification (i.e. from date on certification card)

Lifeguard 30L

Did you know you can get a grade 12 (30 level) highschool credit for completing your National Lifeguard?

Click here for more information!

National Lifeguard Recertification

National Lifeguard certification is valid for 24 months (2 years) from the date of the exam. In order to remain current, National Lifeguards must attend an in-person recert exam before they expire. This exam ensures that all National Lifeguards are remaining at the National Lifeguard standard.

Note: As long as you have held a National Lifeguard certification you can attend a recert. However in-between the time of expiration and the recert exam you are not considered certified by the Lifesaving Society.

Making Good Lifeguards Better

The Lifesaving Society’s National Lifeguard certification is Canada’s professional lifeguard standard. Since it was formed, the National Lifeguard training program has undergone periodic revision. The latest update – introduced in June 2012 – features revised test items and performance standards and incorporates the most recent international resuscitation guidelines.

The result is a comprehensive, Canada-wide, professional lifeguard training standard.
Many knowledgeable and thoughtful Canadians have helped shape and improve the National Lifeguard training program since its inception. The most recent revision builds on their outstanding legacy.