National Lifeguard - Waterpark

National Lifeguard certification is Canada's professional lifeguard standard and is designed for lifesavers who wish to obtain a responsible job and leadership experience. Successful candidates are certified by the Lifesaving Society - Canada's lifeguarding experts.

National Lifeguard - Waterpark certification is designed to develop the fundamental values, judgment, knowledge, skills and fitness required by waterfront lifeguards. The National Lifeguard Waterfront course emphasizes the lifeguarding skills, principles and practices, and the decision-making processes that will assist the lifeguard to provide effective safety supervision in waterfront environments.

Prerequisites: National Lifeguard - Pool certification.

Instruction and certification: Current National Lifeguard Instructors teach and evaluate most items, but only National Lifeguard Examiners may certify candidates. The Lifesaving Society deems its certifications to be "current" for 24 months from the certification date.

Candidate recognition: National Lifeguard certification card.

Required reference material: Alert.



Test Items

  1. *Waterpark orientation and analysis: Walk through a waterpark, evaluate the ongoing activities and demonstrate an understanding of:
    • Features unique to waterparks, their increased potential for danger and how analysis of these affects lifeguarding
    • Enviromental hazards of pools
  2. *Lifeguarding slides: Demonstrate an understanding of safety considerations and effective lifeguarding for each of the following: moderate slides, high-speed slides, drop-off slides, free- fall slides, "kiddie" slides.
  3. *Lifeguarding river rides: Demonstrate an understanding of safety considerations and effective lifeguarding for each of the following: continuous rivers, stop-and-go rivers, slow rivers, activity rivers.
  4. *Lifeguarding wave pools: Demonstrate an understanding of safety considerations and effective lifeguarding for wave pools.
  5. *Entries and removals: Demonstrate three entries and three removals appropriate for a waterpark enviroment.
  6. Physical standards
    1. *† Sprint challenge: Demonstrate anaerobic fitness: Starting in the water, swim 50 metres within 60 seconds (50 yd. within 55 seconds).
    2. *† Object recovery: Demonstrate anaerobic fitness and strength for an object recovery: Starting in the water, swim 15 metres and surface dive to recover a 9 kg (20 lb.) object; surface and carry the object 5 metres - all within 40 seconds.
  7. *Lifeguard communication: Demonstrate effective communication with patrons, victims, other lifeguards, supervisors and emergency service personnel.
  8. Pool supervision
    1. *Position and rotation: Demonstrate effective waterpark supervision using lifeguard positioning and rotation.
    2. *† Scanning and observation: Demonstrate effective lifeguard scanning techniques and observation skills in the waterpark environment.
    3. *Prevention and intervention: Demonstrate an ability to recognize situations in which early lifeguard intervention may prevent a rescue emergency.


  1. *Specialized techniques: Demonstrate an understanding of different rescue techniques appropriate for specific waterpark features and special situations.
  2. *Missing person: Demonstrate an effective search of the waterpark for a missing person as both a member and a leader of a lifeguard team.
  3. Victim management
    1. *† Management of distressed or drowning victim: Demonstrate effective management of a distressed or drowning victim in deep water with and without an aid.
    2. *† Management of submerged, non-breathing victim: Demonstrate effective management of a submerged, non-breathing victim and perform 10 cycles of 2 ventilations:30 compressions on a CPR manikin.
    3. *Management of spinal injured victims: With the assistance of one back-up lifeguard or assistant lifeguard and one bystander, demonstrate effective management of suspected spinal-injured victims (breathing and non-breathing) found in the water.
    4. *† Management of an injured victim: Demonstrate effective management of an injured victim on land or in the water.
  4. Lifeguard situations
    1. † Lifeguard team situations: As a member of a lifeguard team, respond to situations in a supervised aquatic setting.

*Asterisk indicates instructor-evaluated item. The † symbol denotes the only items evaluated during a recertification.