National Lifeguard


National Lifeguard is the industry standard for professional lifeguards in Canada.

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. The Lifesaving Society trains all of Canada’s National Lifeguards.

Prerequisites: minimum 15 years of age by last day of the course, Bronze Cross, and Standard First Aid* or Aquatic Emergency Care.

How Do I Become a National Lifeguard?

National Lifeguards have detailed training to prepare them for their role. Take the following courses and read this brochure.

  • BRONZE MEDALLION – Prerequisite: 13-years-old or Bronze Star.
  • BRONZE CROSS – Prerequisite: Bronze Medallion.
  • STANDARD FIRST AID* / AQUATIC EMERGENCY CARE & CPR-C – Prerequisite: None. Standard First Aid or Aquatic Emergency Care could be taken at any point before taking National Lifeguard.
  • TURN 15 YEARS OLD – You have to be 15 by the last day of the course.
  • NATIONAL LIFEGUARD – Prerequisite: 15-years-old by last day of the course, Bronze Cross, and Standard First Aid* or Aquatic Emergency Care & CPR-C.


To remain current, lifeguards recertify their National Lifeguard award every two years. You may also recertify an expired National Lifeguard award – but remember, you must have a current award to lifeguard! Learn more about recertifications.

Other Streams

National Lifeguard is a versatile award that has specific streams for all of Canada’s aquatic environments: Pool, Waterfront, Waterpark, and Surf. Contact us for more details.

Canada’s Everyday – And Unsung –Heroes

National Lifeguards are Canada’s unsung heroes. That’s because lifeguards prevent the vast majority of incidents from happening in the first place. They are unsung because when they do respond, they’re just doing their job. National Lifeguards train hard for something they hope will never happen.

We know this training pays off in supervised aquatic facilities – our drowning statistics prove it. But the training pays off beyond the pool deck or supervised waterfront – in communities throughout the country.

Canada’s National Lifeguards are making a difference everywhere, every day: Like the National Lifeguard at Winnipeg Beach who noticed, after the beach was closed and his shift was over, three children on an air mattress being carried away by winds. He swam a great distance to bring them safely back to shore. Or like the National Lifeguards in Pinaway who attended to a woman who had collapsed on a hiking trail near their facility.

* Important Note about the Standard First Aid Prerequisite: The required Standard First Aid must be listed in the Manitoba Public Health Act P210: Swimming Pools and Other Water Recreational Facilities Regulation M.R. 68/2015: Lifesaving Standard First Aid, Lifesaving Aquatic Emergency Care, Red Cross Standard First Aid, St. John Ambulance Standard First Aid, Criti-Care Standard First Aid, Safety Services Manitoba Standard First Aid, or Heart Beat Inc. Manitoba Standard First Aid.