Lifeguarding is a rewarding job that you can work towards here at UBC! Learn how to assess and respond to emergency situations, how to mitigate accidents, and most importantly, how to save lives. We offer all of these certifications at the UBC Aquatic Centre and also hire many Lifeguard and Swim Instructors each term! In order to be a lifeguard in Canada you need to complete a series of certifications.

To Become a Lifeguard in Canada you Need:

Certifications to becomea lifeguard in Canada

Step 1: Bronze Medallion

Learn rescue skills, fitness/stroke efficiency, timed swim, aquatic related emergencies and injuries, and CPR B level training. 100% attendance and participation mandatory. Canadian Lifesaving Manual is required for this course and may be purchased on site. 

  • Prerequisites: LS Bronze Star or 13 years of age by last day of the course. 
  • Required text: Canadian Lifesaving Manual 

Step 2: Bronze Cross

This award offers a challenging and demanding program beyond the Bronze Medallion level, providing training in emergency procedures, timed swims, teamwork rescues, use of specialized equipment, spinal injury procedures and CPR C training. 100% attendance and participation mandatory. 

  • Prerequisites: Bronze Medallion 
  • Required text: Canadian Lifesaving Manual 

Step 3: Standard First Aid

Covers airway, breathing and cardiovascular emergencies: bleeding; burns; soft tissue, musculoskeletal, head and spine injuries; heat and cold emergencies; poisoning; bandaging and splinting; medical conditions, e.g. diabetes, epileptic seizures; moving and transportation; and secondary survey. CPR-C and associated AED protocol included. SFA certification will be through the Lifesaving Society or Canadian Red Cross. Must be recertified every 2 years. Award will be issued through the Lifesaving Society or the Canadian Red Cross. 

  • Prerequisites: Must be 12 years of age. 
  • Prerequisites for recertification: Must have previous SFA or AEC award (includes CPR-C re-cert with associated AED protocol) 

Step 4: National Lifeguard Course

The National Lifeguard award builds on the skills, knowledge and values taught in the Bronze Medallion/Cross courses. This course is designed to develop a sound understanding of understanding of lifeguard principles, good judgement and a mature and responsible attitude toward the role of a lifeguard. 

  • Prerequisites: Bronze Cross (need not be current) SFA+CPRC or equivalent (need not be current) & 15 years old by the last day. 
  • Prerequisites for recertification: Current SFA and/or AEC and CPR C is required. NL award (up to 3 years past expiry). This session tests the candidates in all required in all skills and procedures necessary to meet the NL recertification requirements. Both a practical and written exam is required. 
  • Required text: Canadian Lifesaving Manual, Alert Guide 

If you want to work at UBC, you will also need Step 5: Lifesaving Society Swim Instructor 

Develop competence in class management, teaching, evaluation, safety supervision, leadership, communication and administration. Allows candidate to 'experience, analyze and apply' competencies to instructing the Lifesaving Swim Program. 100% attendance and participation mandatory. 

  • Prerequisites: 15 years old (by the first day of the course) and Bronze Cross 
  • Prerequisites for recertification: Previous Lifesaving Swim Instructor award. Recerts are branch coordinated through each provincial branch.  

Have all your certifications?

Apply to be a Lifeguard & Swim Instructor at the UBC Aquatic Centre! We're always looking for motivated and responsible candidates. To apply email us a copy of your resume and cover letter.