Lifesaving and swim certifications

Become a lifeguard or swim instructor by taking Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, National Lifeguard, Lifesaving/Swim for Life® Instructor and Intermediate First Aid courses.

Benefits of swim certifications

  • Swim for Life® Instructor certification qualifies you to apply for jobs teaching the Lifesaving Swim for Life® programs
  • National lifeguard certification qualifies you for lifeguard positions
  • Bronze Medallion or Bronze Cross certification prepares you for the Swim for Life® Instructor or National Lifeguard certifications
  • Learn valuable life-saving and first aid skills
  • Develop high-level swim skills
  • Obtain survival and rescue skills
  • Excellent health and fitness benefits


2024 spring & summer registration dates

Registration for spring & summer swimming lessons, lifesaving and first-aid certification courses is open.

Upcoming facility closures

Programs, classes and swimming lessons will not be offered at the following facilities while they undergo repairs:

  • Bob Bahan Aquatic & Fitness Centre: closed this spring and summer.
  • Canyon Meadows Aquatic & Fitness Centre: closed this summer.
  • Sir Winston Churchill Aquatic & Recreation Centre: closed this summer.

Types of lifesaving and swim certifications

You can register online, in person at our Recreation facilities, or by calling
403-268-3800 (option 1).

About our swim instructors

Our instructors have Bronze Cross or higher certification with current CPR Level C and Intermediate First Aid training. They are qualified to teach and evaluate Swim for Life® programs, Canadian Swim Patrol, Bronze Star, Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross.

What are lessons like?

Classes are both in and out of the pool. Depending on the course, there may be written study material, theory and sessions on practical application.

You'll be expected to show water proficiency, learn  recognition and rescue techniques, and tain in CPR and/or First Aid skills. 

Come prepared

Participants must wear swim wear and bring a towel. Swim goggles are optional. All other required equipment and lifejackets are provided. Lifeguard on duty on pool deck.

Non-Traditional Bathing Wear Policy

The City of Calgary Recreation is committed to providing an aquatic environment where individuals from all ethnic and religious backgrounds are comfortable participating in activities in and around the water.  We want all customers to feel safe and welcome at our facilities, and have therefore adopted a non-traditional bathing wear policy as outlined below.

In addition to conventional swim wear, participants may wear:

  • Long-sleeved pants and shirts, tee-shirts and shorts with undergarments or a swim suit worn underneath.   
  • Traditional ethnic clothing (e.g. saris and hijabs) with a swim suit or undergarments worn underneath.  For safety reasons, patrons wearing traditional garments such as saris are asked to remain in the shallow end of the pool and to refrain from using the dive tank.

In order to ensure that our aquatic environments are safe and free from any external contaminants, all participants are required to:

  • Wear clothing that is different from the clothing worn to the facility
  • Take a complete and cleansing shower (while clothed in the swim attire that will be worn in the water) before entering the pool 

Through this policy, Recreation affirms its commitment to recognizing and valuing the diversity of our customers.  

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