Memorial Park Outdoor Pool
Are you interested in becoming an Aquatics Professional (Lifeguard, Assistant Lifeguard, Water Safety Instructor, etc.)?
The information below is intended to give you an overview of how it works in Nova Scotia, and beyond, the terms and acronyms, and the pathway to certifications. Prepared by Dianne Levy, Manager of Recreation and Facilities, West Hants Regional Municipality
Lifeguard – At least 15 years of age, a paid individual certified with the National Lifeguard award and Standard First Aid to supervise swimmers in a designated area.
Assistant Lifeguard – At least 15 years of age, a paid individual certified with Bronze Cross and Standard First Aid to assist a qualified lifeguard to supervise swimmers in a designated area.
Water Safety Instructor – At least 15 years of age, certified with Red Cross WSI award that teaches Red Cross Preschool and Red Cross Swim Kid programs.
Lifesaving Instructor – At least 15 years of age, certified with the Lifesaving Society Lifesaving Instructor award that teaches Rookie, Ranger, Star and the Bronze awards.
Aquafit Instructor – At least 16 years of age. Certified with a recognized association and trained in anatomy, exercise physiology, exercise to music and class design, and completed practice teaching. Note there are no swimming prerequisites. Teaches aquafit classes.
Examiner – A volunteer who has been certified to access individuals against a standard while conducting practical evaluations of candidates in Lifesaving Society programs. It is the examiners final decision as to whether a candidate has met the standards of the Lifesaving Society. An examiner is required for Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross and National Lifeguard.
Instructor Trainer – An experienced instructor who receives additional training and mentoring to be able to train new instructors through specific curriculum. All aquatic organizations have a process of training that goes from instructor to instructor trainer to master trainer. To remain current, trainers and instructors must stay active in using the skills of their certification and recertify either through re-examination or continuing education credits or both.
NLS National Lifeguard Service
CPR Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (Levels A, B, C, D)
SFA Standard First Aid
WSI Water Safety Instructor
LSI Lifesaving Instructor
LSE Lifesaving Examiner
SFLI Swim for Life Instructor
WSIT Water Safety Instructor Trainer
NLI National Lifeguard Instructor
NLE National Lifeguard Examiner
LSIT Lifesaving Instructor Trainer
NCCP National Coaching Certification Program (Levels 1 -4…)
CALA Canadian Aquafitness Leaders Alliance
AQX Aquatic Leadership Excellence
Aquatic Staff Certification Requirements:
At the Kentville Centennial Pool:
Lifeguard staff require current National Lifeguard certification (NLS), Standard First Aid with CPR C and Lifesaving Society Learn to Swim Certification.
Lifesaving Instructors require current LSI and can teach Swim Patrol – Rookie, Ranger, Star and the Bronze awards – Bronze Star, Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross
Aquafit Instructors require one of CALA, NSFA, AQX and current CPR A.
Other Nova Scotia pools require (ie. Acadia, Kentville Centennial Pool, Dartmouth Sportsplex, Canada Games Centre) require the certifications noted above for lifeguards with a few requiring the Red Cross Swim Instructors certification, depending on which lessons they teach.
Red Cross Swim Instructors require current WSI and can teach Red Cross Preschool, Red Cross Swim Kids, Adults and Teens.
All lifeguard and instructor certifications must remain current by recertifying every 2 years. Aquafit instructors must remain current by taking 8 continuing education credits and a CPR update annually.
Lifesaving Society -NS Branch in Halifax www.lifesavingsociety.ns.ca 902-425-5450
Canadian Red Cross- Atlantic Zone office in Moncton
St. John’s Ambulance – Provincial branch and regional offices – First aid certification only
Coaching Association of Canada – represented locally by Sport Nova Scotia – sport specific
CALA, AQX – head offices in Ontario
Certification /Evaluation Standards: Each certifying body produces a list of performance criteria and/or “must sees” so instructor trainers and examiners can make decisions as to whether or not a candidate meets the standard for certification. When standards are not upheld the candidate can put themselves and their employer at risk if they are unable to perform according to standards in the event of an emergency. It also puts an individual at risk of failing to meet standard prerequisites required for future certifications.
Other aquatic training/certification
NCCP is required for coaches and there are training programs in competitive swimming, diving, water polo and synchro. Contact Sport Nova Scotia at 902-425-5450 and ask for your sport of interest for information.
Aquafitness certification programs are offered by various organizations at Acadia, the Sackville Sports Stadium, Rath Eastlink Centre in Truro, Lunenburg County Lifestyles Centre in Bridgewater and 14 Wing Greenwood.
Below is the pathway to certification required to work as a lifeguard at the Kentville Centennial Pool and most pools in the country. All of the courses listed are certifications through the Lifesaving Society of Canada.
Bronze Medallion – 13 years of age and able to swim 500m with recognizable strokes in a time limit, demonstrate skills and judgment, and pass a practical exam with an outside examiner (volunteer).
Bronze Cross – 14 years of age, Bronze Medallion and able to swim 600m with recognizable strokes in a time limit, demonstrate skills and judgment, and pass a practical exam with an outside examiner (volunteer).
Note: You do not need to possess any Red Cross Swim levels to become a lifesaver/lifeguard with Lifesaving Society, however in order to swim the distance in the time with recognizable strokes it helps to have had some instruction.
National Lifeguard – 15 years of age, Bronze Cross, Standard First Aid with CPR C, complete 6 physical standards, demonstrate skills and judgment and pass a practical exam with an outside examiner (volunteer). There are 4 options: pool, water park, waterfront and surf.
Pathway to certification required to work as a swim instructor at the Kentville Centennial Pool.
Lifesaving Instructor – 15 years of age, Bronze Cross, 20 hour core course with a certified LSIT, practice teaching under the direction and supervision of a certified LSI.
Sometimes other pools require the Red Cross Water Safety Instructor – 15 years of age, complete 4 modules (1/strokes and skills at a RCSK Level 10 standard, demonstration of instructional emergency response, 2/online learning, 3/practice teaching, and 4/core course -24 hours of class and pool training with a certified WSIT.
Training Facilities in the Valley for Aquatic Leadership Certification
Hants Aquatic Centre – Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross
Acadia University Pool – Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, NLS, SFLI
Kings County Recreation at Waterville Pool – Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, LSI, SFLI, WSI
14 Wing Greenwood Pool – Bronze awards, NLS, WSI, LSI, CALA aquafit
St. Anne’s University Pool – Bronze awards, NLS, WSI, LSI