Swim Instructor Training Programs

The Lifesaving Society Swim Instructor course trains candidates to the Competency Level 1 knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to teach the Society’s Swim for Life® and Canadian Swim Patrol programs. 

Lifesaving Instructor/Examiners are trained using a competency-based model that walks them through teaching and evaluation philosophy and the techniques/approaches required to teach water rescue, first aid and related aquatic skills. Instructors also learn about long-term and short-term planning, class management, safety supervision, and the principles of evaluation.

Lifesaving Instructor/Examiners are trained to teach Junior Lifeguard Club, Swim to Survive, Lifesaving for Lay Rescuers, Lifesaving for Backyard Pool Owners, Safeguard, Canadian Swim Patrol (Rookie, Ranger, Star), Bronze Star, Bronze Medallion, and Bronze Cross Candidates are trained in and must demonstrate skills, knowledge, and attitudes at Competency Level 1 (Lifesaving Instructor) to include all aspects of learning as well as various approaches required to teach water rescue, First Aid, and related aquatic skills in the Canadian Lifesaving Program. 

Lifesaving Instructor/Examiners can evaluate and certify candidates in all items in Canadian Swim Patrol, Lifesaving Fitness, Bronze Star, Bronze Medallion, and Bronze Cross. The LSI course in the BC & Yukon Branch includes the Advanced Instructor certification and the Examination Standards clinic.

Course Components & Length

  • Swim Instructor - 32 hours
  • Minium 8 hours teaching experience

Pre-course Requirements

  • 15 years or older by the last day of the course
  • Ability to perform Swimmer 6 standard of strokes and skills
  • Current Bronze Cross or higher certification

Completion Criteria

  • Attend, participate in, and complete 100% of all four course components, and teaching experience


All candidates are evaluated using the Lifesaving Society’s core competencies model of leadership on a pass/fail basis

Course Materials

  • Swim and Lifesaving Instructor Award Guide
  • Swim for Life Award Guide
  • Canadian Swim Patrol Award Guide
  • Swim and Lifesaving Reference Manual
  • Leadership Reference Manual


Upon successful completion, candidates are certified for 2 years as a Lifesaving Society Swim Instructor, which allows them to teach the Swim for Life and Canadian Swim Patrol programs without direct supervision.

Advanced Aquatic Courses


Attend a re-certification course every 2 years.