Safeguard program (3.5-4 hr.): safety supervision training for guardians (e.g, day camp counsellors, counsellors-in-training and others) who accompany groups of young people to pools or waterfronts. The course stresses the responsibility undertaken by these group leaders for safeguarding the young people in their care even when under lifeguard supervision.

Safeguard focuses on water safety awareness, accident prevention and the principles of aquatic safety supervision. Safeguard teaches participants how to identify hazards and at-risk behaviours, how to recognize potential victims, and how to respond safely in an aquatic emergency.

Safeguard training is designed for swimmers and non-swimmers alike. Successful completion of the course is based on active participation in all sessions and evidence of the Must Sees in each item.

Prerequisite: None. Ideally, guardians are at least 12 years of age, able to swim, and have some lifesaving experience.

Instruction & certification: Current Lifesaving Instructors who hold National Lifeguard certification teach and certify candidates.

Candidate recognition: Certification card.

Recertification: None. Annual retraining recommended.


Safeguard Wordmark

Instructor references: The Safeguard Program USB provides the resources needed to teach and evaluate candidates. The USB contains the Safeguard Award Guide (Test items, Must Sees, Notes), the Safeguard PowerPoint presentation, Safeguard Course Handouts and fillable Safeguard Test Sheet.

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the following in recreational swim settings:
    • The importance of lifeguard supervision and the risks inherent in unsupervised settings.
    • Differences in the safety supervision roles of guardians (e.g., counsellors) and lifeguards.
    • Importance of positioning, vigilance and scanning in safety supervision.
    • Implications for safety supervision of guardians' personal swimming ability.
    • Factors contributing to drowning and Water Smart® messages that promote aquatic safety.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to identify hazards (facility, location or environmental) and modify activities accordingly.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to recognize distressed swimmers and drowning victims.
  4. Demonstrate effective communication with children, fellow staff members, supervisors, lifeguards, and parents/guardians.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of how to use an aid to rescue a conscious victim in shallow water.