National Lifeguard Examination Policy

Effective September 1, 2012 - Clarification January 2013

The Lifesaving Society Ontario's National Lifeguard Examination Policy defines the minimum conditions under which NLS examinations may occur:

  1. All National Lifeguard examinations must be submitted by an Affiliate Member of the Society.
  2. Pool facilities must meet the following minimum standards: 15 m long, 5 m wide and 1.5 m deep.
  3. All examinations must be conducted with the following minimum equipment:
    • Spineboard (with head immobilizer and straps recommended)
    • 20 lb. / 9 kg brick or equivalent
    • CPR manikin (for examinations under the revised 2012 NLS program)
    • Suitable rescue aids (PFDs, lifejackets, rescue tubes / cans)
    • Sufficient barrier devices (masks and gloves)
    • Sufficient first aid supplies
  4. The minimum number of candidates is one. However, additional and currently certified National Lifeguards must participate during situations - as the second lifeguard. The second lifeguard may not be the National Lifeguard Examiner conducting the exam.
  5. Candidates respond to emergency situations as a single lifeguard and as both a member and leader of a lifeguard team. A minimum of three lifeguarding situations are required.
  6. The minimum number of potential victims may not be less than six. Victims' names and contact information must be recorded and submitted with the test sheets.

    On exams with 8 candidates or more, no additional "victims" are required (because this number provides for 2-lifeguard situations with 6 victims). However, on exams with fewer than 8 candidates, the number of candidates and the number of additional volunteers must add up to a minimum of 8, and the names and contact information for all volunteers must be submitted with the test sheets.
  7. :::

    Recertifications

  8. The revised (2012) NLS program defines the mandatory items which must be evaluated on NLS Recertifications (see NLS Recertification Notes for Instructors or the items marked with the † symbol on the "Revised 2012" NLS test sheets).
  9. If using the 2004 NLS training program, the following items must be evaluated on NLS Recertifications:

All Options - NLS Core (2004)

  • Item 3a (Management of drowning victim)
  • Item 3b (Management of submerged non-breathing victim)
  • Item 3c (Management of spinal-injured victim)

Pool Option (2004)

  • Item 6a (Spinal carry)
  • Item 6b (Object recovery)
  • Item 6c (Approach & carry)
  • Item 6d (Rescue drill)
  • Item 7 (Lifeguarding situations)

Waterpark Option (2004)

  • Item 8 (Spinal injury)
  • Item 9 (Slide rescue)
  • Item 10 (Lifeguarding situations)

Waterfront Option (2004)

  • Item 7 (Physical standard)
  • Item 8 (Lifeguarding situations)

Surf Option (2004)

  • Item 8 (Physical standard)
  • Item 9 (Lifeguarding situations)

Note: The revised (2012) NLS training program must be adopted by all Affiliates no later than June 30, 2014.