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Revision Highlights 2012

The Lifesaving Society's National Lifeguard certification is Canada's professional lifeguard standard. Since it was formed, the National Lifeguard training program has undergone periodic revision.

The latest update - introduced in June 2012 - features revised test items and performance standards and incorporates the most recent international resuscitation guidelines.

The updated National Lifeguard curriculum is grounded in important lifeguard competencies - judgment, knowledge, skill, fitness - and is guided by the following principles:

  • demonstrated need
  • research evidence
  • consistency with regulations in Canada
  • consistency with international standards (e.g., ILS, ILCOR)
  • Lifesaving Society values

The result is a comprehensive, Canada-wide, professional lifeguard training standard.

Key changes

Prerequisites: A candidate must hold the National Lifeguard Pool certification prior to earning NLS Waterpark certification. Similarly, a candidate must hold the Waterfront certification before earning NLS Surf certification. National Lifeguard Pool and Waterfront prerequisites remain unchanged - a minimum 16 years of age and Bronze Cross and Standard First Aid certification (need not be current).


Do the math


Lifeguard fitness: Fitness is a cornerstone of lifeguards' job responsibilities, enabling them to remain vigilant, attentive and alert to signs of potential trouble, and to respond safely and confidently in an emergency. The physical standards have been updated in the revised NLS curriculum to ensure NLS lifeguards have the strength and endurance required for their jobs. See NLS - Pool, NLS - Waterpark, NLS - Waterfront and/or NLS - Surf for specific changes and additions. Watch the NLS Revisions - Pool Fitness Skills video.