Strong Kids - Donate Now
ActiveNet Member Portal | Get Involved | About | Contact | Careers | News & Events | Text  

Health, Fitness & Aquatics

Aquatic Certifications

Our aquatic certifications provide you with the necessary training to be a lifeguard and swim instructor at any YMCA in Canada. 

The YMCA developed the first nationally recognized aquatics programs in 1931 and has continued to train leaders ever since. In parntership with the Lifesaving Society of Ontario, we're proud to offer Aquatics Certifications including Bronze levels, NLS, LSS and Swim Instructor. 

Course Information

In order to ensure safety within the building, COVID-19 safety protocols will be enforced.

Upcoming Courses:

OCT 13-17 

Bronze Medallion & Emergency First Aid (with CPR-B)

See course description below. Members: $140, Public: $200. Must be 13 years old by the last day of the course. Please direct questions to the Aquatics department at 519-376-0484 ext. 226 or to register, call Member Services at 519-376-0484 ext. 0.



Bronze Levels

Our bronze medals courses will now be taught using blended learning. This will involve an online component, an in class component and an in pool component. Candidates will be required to complete assignments and attend online meetings with the Lifesaving Instructor before the in pool sessions begin and throughout the course. Candidates will also be required to bring a “bubble buddy’ with them for the final exam, this will be further explained when the course begins. If you have any questions please contact Marilyne Jones at

Bronze Star & Basic First Aid (with CPR-A)

Excellent preparation for success in Bronze Medallion. Participants develop problem-solving and decision-making skills individually and in partners. Candidates learn CPR and develop the lifesaving skills needed to be their own lifeguard. Includes a timed 400 m swim.

Bronze Medallion & Emergency First Aid (with CPR-B)

Teaches an understanding of the lifesaving principles embodies in water rescue: judgment, knowledge, skill and fitness. Rescuers learn tows and carries, and defense methods and releases in preparation for challenging rescues of increased risk involving conscious and unconscious victims of various types. Lifesavers develop stroke efficiency and endurance in a 500m times swim.

Bronze Cross

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 600m swim.

National Lifeguard (NL) Age restriction is now 15

National Lifeguard is Canada's only nationally recognized lifeguard certification program. National Lifeguard is a legal certificate for lifeguarding throughout the country. It is the only lifeguard certificate recognized by the province of Ontario for lifeguarding public swimming pools. Check out content & requirements at

Swim Instructor (YMCA)

Learn the theories and methods behind teaching swimming lessons. Refine leadership skills and learn strategies for effective supervision and instruction. If you want to teach swimming lessons at the Y, you must take this course. YMCA Swim Instructors can teach preschool, youth and adult lessons, parented classes and Bronze Star.

Lifesaving Instructor (LSS)

This course prepares individuals to organize, plan, teach and evaluate lifesaving and first aid skills and resuscitation techniques in the Society's lifesaving and first aid awards. Successful candidates on the Lifesaving Instructor course receive two certification cards: Lifesaving Instructor and Emergency First Aid Instructor. Current Lifesaving Instructors are certified to teach; Canadian Swim Patrol Program, Bronze Star, Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, Wading Pool Attendant, Lifesaving Fitness, Distinction, Basic and Emergency First Aid, CPR levels A, B & C.



National Lifeguard (NL)

National Lifeguard certification is current for 2 years and is recertified by completing a National Lifeguard recertification exam. All skills learned on original course will be reviewed and are expected to be at standard. Be prepared to swim! A ‘Bubble Buddy’ is required for part of the exam.

Swim Instructor (YMCA)

Certification expires every 2 years: get re-qualified here!

Lifesaving Instructor (LSS)

Certifications expire every two years. No need to attend a clinic: send in your completed ‘credit card’ along with this completed form ( directly to the Lifesaving Society.



Registration is required for all Aquatic Certifications. You may register at any time of the year for these courses to be put on a waiting list for the upcoming course.

Register at the YMCA Welcome Desk or by phone at 519-376-0484 ext. 0. Full payment is required at the time of registration. Financial assistance may be availible. 

Aquatic Certifications Progression Chart


What is your Refund Policy?

A service charge of $10 is applicable to every refund or change in schedule. Programs fees are refundable prior to start date of class (less $10 service charge). Aquatic Certifications & First Aid course fees are refundable up to 2 weeks of start date. Refunds requested within the 2 week period prior to the course will receive a credit on account only (less $10 service charge). Refunds will not be granted on or after start date of program except for medical reasons. All refunds for medical reasons require a doctor’s note.

If a course says ‘100% attendance required’, do you mean it?

Yes! The Lifesaving Society mandates that full attendance is required - there is a lot of information to soak up! Candidates who miss portions of the course will be unable to pass. Level 1 courses do not specify that 100% attendance is required, HOWEVER, there is an exam at the end. The more sessions missed, the tougher it is to keep up and be successful.

Is the exam date flexible?

No. We arrange for a specially trained Lifesaving Society Examiner to conduct our exams for us. This is a commitment of time that cannot be made up. Candidates who do not come to the exam will be unable to make it up or pass the course.