National Lifeguard certification is Canada's professional
lifeguard standard and is designed for lifesavers who wish to
obtain a responsible job and leadership experience. Successful
candidates are certified by the Lifesaving Society - Canada's
National Lifeguard - Pool certification is
designed to develop the fundamental values, judgment, knowledge,
skills and fitness required by lifeguards. The National Lifeguard
course emphasizes the lifeguarding skills, principles and
practices, and the decision-making processes that will assist the
lifeguard to provide effective safety supervision in swimming pool
Prerequisites: Minimum 15 years of age. Bronze Cross
certification and Lifesaving Society Standard First Aid (need not be
current) or SFA from one of
these approved agencies.
Instruction and certification: Current National
Lifeguard Instructors (who hold National Lifeguard Pool)
teach and evaluate most items, but only National Lifeguard
Examiners (who hold National Lifeguard Pool) may certify
candidates. The Lifesaving Society deems its certifications to be
"current" for 24 months from the certification date.
Candidate recognition: National Lifeguard
Required reference material:
- *Lifeguarding theory and practice: Demonstrate
knowledge of the principles and techniques of lifeguarding included
in the National Lifeguard test items, and answer questions drawn
from the Canadian Lifesaving Manual (CLM) and Alert:
Lifeguarding in Action.
- *Pool facility analysis: Demonstrate an
- Features that vary from pool to pool (or from time to time) and
how analysis of these affects lifeguarding
- The role of water treatment systems in providing a safe and
comfortable bather environment
- Enviromental hazards of pools
- *Rescue aid proficiency: Demonstrate
proficiency in the use of buoyant and non-buoyant rescue aids
appropriate for a variety of victim types in supervised pool
- *Entries and removals: Demonstrate three
entries and three removals appropriate for a pool enviroment.
- *Rescue drill: Demonstrate endurance and
strength for a submerged manikin or victim recovery and rescue:
Starting in the water, swim to recover a submerged manikin or
victim located 20 metres away; carry the manikin or victim 20
- Physical standards
- *Underwater swim: Demonstrate anaerobic
fitness and skill for an underwater swim: Starting in the water,
submerge and swim 15 metres underwater.
- *† Object recovery: Demonstrate anaerobic
fitness and strength for an object recovery: Starting in the water,
swim 15 metres and surface dive to recover a 9 kg (20 lb.) object;
surface and carry the object 5 metres - all within 40 seconds.
- *† Sprint challenge: Demonstrate anaerobic
fitness: Starting in the water, swim 50 metres within 60 seconds
(50 yd. within 55 seconds).
- *† Endurance challenge: Demonstrate aerobic
fitness and endurance: Swim 400 metres within 10 minutes (400 yd.
within 9:10 minutes).
- *Lifeguard communication: Demonstrate
effective communication with patrons, victims, other lifeguards,
supervisors and emergency service personnel.
- Pool supervision
- *Position and rotation: Demonstrate effective
pool supervision using lifeguard positioning and rotation.
- *† Scanning and observation: Demonstrate
effective lifeguard scanning techniques and observation skills in
the pool environment.
- *Prevention and intervention: Demonstrate an
ability to recognize situations in which early lifeguard
intervention may prevent a rescue emergency.
- *Specialized techniques: Demonstrate an
understanding of different rescue techniques appropriate for
specific pool features and special situations.
- *Missing person: Demonstrate an effective
search of the aquatic facility for a missing person as both a
member and a leader of a lifeguard team.
- Victim management
- *† Management of distressed or drowning
victim: Demonstrate effective management of a distressed
or drowning victim in deep water with and without an aid.
- *† Management of submerged, non-breathing
victim: Demonstrate effective management of a submerged,
non-breathing victim and perform 10 cycles of 2 ventilations:30
compressions on a CPR manikin.
- *Management of spinal injured victims: With
the assistance of one back-up lifeguard or assistant lifeguard and
one bystander, demonstrate effective management of suspected
spinal-injured victims (breathing and non-breathing) found in the
- *† Management of an injured victim:
Demonstrate effective management of an injured victim on land or in
- Lifeguard situations
- † Single lifeguard situation: As a single
lifeguard, respond to a situation in a supervised aquatic setting
with one auxiliary staff member.
- † Lifeguard team situations: As a member of a
lifeguard team, respond to situations in a supervised aquatic
*Asterisk indicates instructor-evaluated item. The † symbol
denotes the only items evaluated during a recertification.