Swim Program

The focus is on swimming

Our Swim for Life program stresses lots of in-water practice to develop solid swimming strokes and skills. We incorporate valuable Water Smart® education that will last a lifetime.


Swim for Life logo

Swim program modules

There are 5 modules in the Lifesaving Society Swim for Life® program:

  • Parent & Tot for parents and children up to 3 years of age
  • Preschool for children 3-5 years
  • Swimmer for children 5 years and older
  • Adult Swimmer for people over 16 years
  • Fitness Swimmer for people of any age who want to improve their overall physical fitness

We've designed the modules so they flow together seamlessly. You can program them independently or so they flow logically into each other and on into the basic lifesaving awards: Rookie, Ranger and Star Patrol.

Swim for Life Resources

  1. Swim for Life Award Guide - contains item descriptions, purpose statements and performance requirements for all Swim for Life modules.
  2. Teaching Swim for Life - companion reference that contains teaching tips, stroke charts, stroke drills, lesson plan templates, core plans for all levels, and content for effectively teaching Fitness Swimmer.

Swim Instructors

The Society's Swim Instructor Course trains new instructors. The course is easily combined with the Society's Lifesaving Instructor Course. Check Find a Course for upcoming courses.

You can schedule a Swim Instructor Update Clinic to train your existing instructional staff to deliver the Swim for Life Program.

Key features

With no per-participant charges, Affiliate Members save substantially with the Lifesaving Society Swim for Life Program. Our single annual licencing fee covers unlimited numbers of participants, and provides electronic worksheets, progress reports, and recognition certificates, which affiliates can print as they need as well as:

  1. Electronic core and lesson plans for every level.
  2. Electronic Swim Program blurbs for affiliate brochures.
  3. Electronic Water Smart drowning prevention learning resources.
  4. Lifesaving Society office and volunteer support before, during and after implementation of the Swim Program in your organization.

Equipment needed

Mandatory equipment for the Swim for Life program includes lifejackets of all sizes. Other learn-to-swim equipment such as kickboards, pull buoys and toys will expand the scope for effective and entertaining training.

Want more info?

We'd be happy to talk to you about any aspect of our Swim for Life program. Review the program at-a-glance document here. And we can set you up to implement the program easily. Contact Program Manager Sindy Parsons at the Society's office (416-490-8844).


  • Never too young to learn. Never too old to start: Swim for Life is a complete learn-to-swim program from Parent & Tot through to Leadership. Easy to program and easy to explain, Swim for Life leads seamlessly into the Society's lifesaving training awards.
  • Focus on learning to swim: Program content is stroke and skill driven: entries and exits; surface support; underwater skills; Swim to Survive skills; movement/swimming skills; fitness, and Water Smart education. A fun program with achievable content is enjoyable for both participants and instructors.
  • Easy administration: One fee; no stats; staff and volunteer support during implementation and running of the swim program. One-stop shopping for affiliates, instructors, candidates, and parents.
  • Flexible delivery: Choose Swim for Life modules based on your affiliate needs. Choose candidate recognition pieces (e.g., certificates, badges, seals) that are most appropriate for your clientele.


  • Customization: We'll add your logo to candidate certificates and progress reports.
  • Sponsorship opportunity: If you secure local sponsorship, you can put sponsor logos or credits on progress reports and candidate recognition certificates.
  • Strong leadership training: Streamlined process for training to reduce barriers in employment. The Swim for Life Award Guide, Teaching Swim for Life, core plans, lesson plans and other resources enable instructors to teach effectively on the deck and ensure consistency in standards. Instructors recertify through our professional development credit system.
  • Water Smart education: Not only is Water Smart education imbedded in the skills of the Swim for Life Program, but we provide Water Smart education materials electronically so you can deliver drowning prevention messages in a variety of formats. This means you can reach the whole family, and deliver appropriate information when it's most relevant according to the time of the year and candidate experiences.