Aquatic leadership programs teach you teamwork, leadership, self-confidence, interpersonal and program solving skills that will apply in all facets of your life. Successful completion of the National Lifeguard Service course and the Red Cross Water Safety Instructor course are the first step to starting a career as a lifeguard/instructor with the City of Kingston.

REGISTER: In person at Artillery Park or online at eCity/Registration.

Program Information

Lifesaving Society Canadian Swim Patrol

Age Requirement: 8 - 12 years
Prerequisite: None

The Canadian Swim Patrol program provides enriched training for those who are ready to go beyond learn-to-swim. Swim Patrol has three levels (Rookie, Ranger, and Star) that continue to develop participants' swim strokes and provide the skill foundation that prepares them for success in the Society's Bronze medal awards. Each level of the Canadian Swim Patrol program has three modules: Water Proficiency, First Aid, and Recognition and Rescue. Swim Patrollers work on content appropriate to ability and interest.

Bronze Star

Age Requirement: 8 - 15 years
Prerequisite: None

Bronze Star provides excellent preparation for success in Bronze Medallion. Participants develop problem-solving and decision-making skills both individually and in partners. Candidates also learn CPR and develop the lifesaving skills needed to become a lifeguard. The course also includes a 400m timed swim.

Bronze Medallion

Age Requirement: 13 years and up
Prerequisite: Bronze Star

Bronze Medallion teaches the lifesaving principles embodied in the four components of water, rescue education, judgment, knowledge, skill and fitness. Bronze Medallion is recognized as the waterfront supervisory certification for Ontario's Recreational Camp Regulation 568.

Bronze Cross

Age Requirement: None
Prerequisite: Bronze Medallion

Bronze Cross is designed for lifesavers who want the challenge of more advanced training including an introduction to safe supervision in aquatic facilities. Bronze Cross is a prerequisite for all advanced training programs including National Lifeguard and Instructor certification. Includes a timed 600 metre swim. Bronze Cross is recognized as an assistant lifeguard certificate in Ontario Regulation 565 governing public swimming pools.

National Lifeguard Service

Age Requirement 16 years and up
Prerequisite: Bronze Cross

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 Instructor Course

Age Requirement: 16 years and up
Prerequisite: None

The National Lifeguard Instructor course provides candidates with an understanding of the principles and practices on which the National Lifeguard program is based. The course explores teaching approaches and techniques appropriate for National Lifeguard candidates.

Standard First Aid

Age Requirement 13 years and up
Prerequisite: None

Standard First Aid provides comprehensive training covering all aspects of first aid and CPR. Standard First Aid incorporates all of Emergency First Aid and is designed for those who require a more in-depth understanding of first aid including: legal implications of first aid treatment, spinal injuries, heat or cold injuries, bone and joint injuries, chest injuries, and medical emergencies. Includes CPR-C certification.

Standard First Aid Instructor Course

Age Requirement: 16 years and up
Prerequisite: None

The Lifesaving Society Standard First Aid Instructor course prepares candidates to teach first aid courses up to and including Standard First Aid and CPR-A, -B, -C.

Red Cross Water Safety Instructor

Age Requirement:15 years and up
Prerequisite: None

The Water Safety Instructor (WSI) course prepares candidates to instruct the Red Cross Swim programs. Candidates focus on strategies to introduce and develop fitness activities, skills and water safety, and swimming skills in the Red Cross Swim Preschool, Red Cross Swim Kids, Red Cross Swim@School, Red Cross Swim@Camp, Red Cross Swim for Adults & Teens, and Red Cross Swim adapted programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How old do I have to be to lifeguard?

To be a certified lifeguard you must be 16 years of age but you could start your training for both as young as age 12!  To be a swim instructor you must be 15 years of age.

Where do the courses take place?

Courses run at Artillery Park Aquatic Centre. In the summer, courses also run at Tomlinson Aqua Park.

What is included in my course costs?

All manuals and certification fees are covered in your course cost. You are only required to pay for the courses themselves.

What should I bring to my course?

Bathing suit and towel (you may want two of each), comfortable clothing, whistle, notebook, paper, pen, pencil, lunch, dinner, snacks, proof of age, pre-requisite certifications and all manuals used in previous courses.  For courses run at the Tomlinson Aqua Park, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are recommended.

Do my pre-requisites need to be current?

Only Standard First Aid and CPR must be dated within two years of issue for National Lifeguard courses. All other certifications do not need to be current. Standard First Aid must be from the following organizations: Lifesaving Society, Red Cross, St. John's Ambulance or Canadian Ski Patrol.

How do I check my pre-requisites?

Visit the Lifesaving Society website and enter your Lifesaving Society ID number located on the bottom of any of your certification cards. 

What if I have to miss a class?

Attendance is 100% mandatory in order to pass all courses.

What can I do if I have failed my Bronze Medallion or Bronze Cross?

Any candidate who has failed the Bronze Medallion or Bronze Cross course must retake the course.

What can I do if I want to work as a lifeguard and my National Lifeguard award has expired?

Any expired National Lifeguard award, no matter its expiration date, can be re-certified at any time in a National Lifeguard re-certification; however, it is recommended after five years to redo the full course.

What can I do if I have failed a re-certification?

Candidates who fail their award re-certification must work on the items they missed and make sure they have acquired the lacking skills or knowledge before participating to a second re-certification.

Course description says I have to be at least 14 years. My birthday is during the course; can I still enroll?

Yes, you can take the course. Candidates must turn the identified age prior to the last scheduled day of the course.

What if my certification was earned outside of Ontario?

You must hold a certification recognized by the Ontario Health Regulations in order to lifeguard in Ontario. Apply to the Lifesaving Society for your out of country awards' equivalency. Call 416-490-8844 for information.

How to I apply to aquatic positions with the City?

Recruitment is ongoing for qualified aquatic staff. Visit the Lifeguard/Swim Instructor career page for details.