Training & Certification

Aquatic Leadership Courses

Effective Thursday, September 23, 2021: Vaccine Verification

As a condition of employment you are required to provide proof that you are fully vaccinated or provide proof of valid exemption satisfactory to the employer prior to your start date. You must acknowledge and agree to comply with any future vaccine policy requirements as an ongoing condition of employment at the City of Hamilton.

General Information

  • All fees listed include manuals and exam fees.
  • 100% attendance and participation is required for all Advanced Leadership Courses, with the exception of LIT.
  • Candidates must turn the identified age prior to the end of the course.
  • For participants not residing in the City of Hamilton, a non-resident surcharge fee may be applied.
  • A non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee will apply for all payments returned by the bank. Cheques will not be accepted as the replacement form of payment.
  • Withdraw from the program prior to 14 days before the start of the course to receive a full credit. If notification is received after that time and up to the start of the program a withdraw fee will be charged. After the program has started programs become non-refundable. Course material and Lifesaving Society Exam fee are nonrefundable, once materials have been received
  • Unsuccessful candidates will be required to register and repeat a full course.
  • Classes over 5 hours in length will include a 1 hour lunch break.
  • Program fees subject to change effective September 1, 2020
  • All schedules and locations are subject to change without notice.

Programs run April 2020 to March 2021
Register through RecConnect Online Registration 
For more information, call 905-546-2424 ext. 1763


It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they have the correct prerequisites prior to registering in the course.

Candidates are required to show proof of prerequisites held on the first day of the course, or the candidate will be withdrawn from the course. As per the refund policy, withdrawals on the first day of the course or thereafter will not be eligible for a credit refund.

Pocket masks are required for all Aquatic Leadership Courses. One can be purchased at any Recreation Centre (call ahead for availability). Pocket masks must be purchased prior to the start of the first class.

Check your qualifications online
Don't get turned away at the first class! Check and print out your awards at

  1. Click on the “Find a Member” link.
  2. Fill in your membership number and click on “Get Certifications”. You can find your membership number on the bottom of your certification card.
  3. Print out the record and bring it with you to your first class.

What to bring the first day

Original pre-requisite certifications are mandatory as listed and must be presented on the first day of the course, along with a birth certificate. Photocopies of qualification are retained at the host facility

What to bring to every class

  • Bathing suit, towel and whistle needed for pool portions.
  • Pocket mask (available for purchase).
  • Notebook/ paper, pens, food/ drink
  • Required manuals
  • In some instances, pre-course assignments will be assigned before the first day of the course.

April 2020 to March 2021 Advanced Leadership Guide Cover

April 2020 - March 2021 Advanced Leadership Guide (PDF, 1 MB)

Aquatic Leadership Courses

First Aid courses

The Standard First Aid course provides you with in-depth training and understanding of all aspects of first aid and CPR. You will develop skills to help you handle the medical and legal aspects of first aid treatment, spinal injuries, heat or cold injuries, bone and joint injuries, abdominal and chest injuries, burns and medical emergencies. The course includes CPR-C certification and Automated External Defibrillation (AED). It is recognized by Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

Find out more and register through RecConnect Online Registration.

Bronze Medal Awards

The Bronze Star course prepares you for success in Bronze Medallion course. You will develop problem-solving and decision-making skills individually and in partners. You will learn CPR and develop the lifesaving skills needed to be a lifeguard. The course includes a timed 400 metre swim.

Find out more and register through RecConnect Online Registration.

The Bronze medallion course teaches you lifesaving principles embodied in the four components of water-rescue education: judgment, knowledge, skill and fitness. You will learn tows and carries, defence methods and releases in preparation for challenging rescues of increased risk involving conscious and unconscious victims of various types. You will develop stroke efficiency and endurance in a timed 500 metre swim.

Find out more and register through RecConnect Online Registration.

The Bronze Cross course is designed for lifesavers who want the challenge of 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. This course includes a timed 600 metre swim.

Find out more and register through RecConnect Online Registration.

Aquatic Leadership Courses

The 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 training emphasizes prevention and effective rescue response in emergencies including first aid treatment. You will develop teamwork, leadership and communication skills. Fitness requirements include a timed object recovery, 50 m sprint challenge, 50 m rescue drill and 400 m endurance challenge.

Find out more and register through RecConnect Online Registration.

For deck level supervisory staff, this 10 hour course provides the knowledge and skills, beyond National Lifeguard certification, to manage a safe aquatic environment.

Find out more and register through RecConnect Online Registration.

Instructor Courses

Through classroom learning and in-water practice, the Assistant Instructor course prepares you to help instructors with swimming and lifesaving classes. You are introduced to key principles of learning and teaching while mastering basic progressions. Roles and responsibilities of instructors and assistants are emphasized.

Find out more and register through RecConnect Online Registration.

The Lifesaving Society Swim Instructor course prepares the instructor to teach and evaluate the swimming strokes and related skills found in the Lifesaving Society Swim for Life program. Candidates acquire proven teaching methods, planning skills, and a variety of stroke development drills and correction techniques.

The Lifesaving and Emergency First Aid Instructor 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. Lifesaving and Emergency First Aid Instructors are certified to teach Canadian Swim Patrol Program, Bronze Star, Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross as well as Basic and Emergency First Aid, CPR-A-B-C. They may also teach Boat Rescue, Junior Lifeguard Club, Lifesaving Fitness and Wading pool Attendant. Successful candidates of the Swim, Lifesaving and Emergency First Aid Instructor course receive three certification cards: Swim Instructor, Lifesaving Instructor and Emergency First Aid Instructor.

Find out more and register through RecConnect Online Registration.

The examiner course is the first step in the three-step process to be appointed as an examiner for the Lifesaving Society, and prepares candidates to successfully apprentice as an examiner on the exam of their choice. The examiner course builds on the evaluation experience that candidates have attained in the instructor-evaluated content

Prerequisites: Lifesaving and Emergency First Aid Instructor or First Aid Instructor or National Lifeguard Instructor

Find out more and register through RecConnect Online Registration.

The trainer course is the first step in the three-step process to be appointed as a Trainer for the Society. The course provides candidates with an understanding of the expectation and requirements to teach instructors, and prepares participants to successfully apprentice as a trainer on the Instructor course(s) of their choice.

Prerequisites: Bronze Cross Examiner or First Aid Examiner or National Lifeguard Examiner or experienced Swim Instructor Official Instructor or Lifesaving Coach

Find out more and register through RecConnect Online Registration.

Sport Fitness Courses

A great workout for children 6 to 12 years. Ideal for those looking to improve their endurance. Program will consist of starts, turns, strokes, drills, how to read the pace clock.

Find out more and register through RecConnect Online Registration.

A great workout for youth and adults. Develops competitive strokes and improves endurance.

Find out more and register through RecConnect Online Registration.

Re-certification Courses

Current Standard First Aid (SFA) award holders may recertify their Lifesaving Society SFA certification just once on a Lifesaving Society SFA Recertification Course not more than 3 years from the SFA date of issue. To renew SFA certifications subsequently, award holders must repeat the full SFA Course. Individuals may renew by alternating recertification and original courses.

Holders of SFA certificates from other agencies may not recertify their certificate on a Lifesaving Society recertification course. They may recertify only with the original certifying agency

  • Prerequisite: Lifesaving Society Standard First Aid with CPR-C

Find out more and register through RecConnect Online Registration.

This course is designed to test the candidate’s lifeguarding skills in order to maintain current certification at the NL level. Pool National Lifeguard certification is current for two years and is recertified by completing an NL recertification exam. The NL recertification exam is your opportunity to demonstrate your NL skills and recertify your award. You are responsible for reviewing the required content and skills and preparing yourself for the exam. The exam is based on the NL award recertification curriculum. Candidates should bring Alert Manual, a whistle, and proof of prerequisite (previous NL).

  • Prerequisite: Proof of original National Lifeguard certification

Find out more and register through RecConnect Online Registration.