The Lifesaving Society is a full-service provider of programs, products and services designed to prevent drowning. We save lives and prevent water-related injury through our training programs, Water Smart® public education, water-incident research, aquatic safety management and lifesaving sport. Annually, well over 700,000 Canadians participate in the Society’s swimming, lifesaving, lifeguard and leadership training programs. The Society sets the standard for aquatic safety in Canada and certifies Canada’s National Lifeguards.

The Lifesaving Society Canada and its provincial / territorial Branches endorse a single lifeguard standard for Canada and the National Lifeguard Service Award as that standard. (October 2008)

National Lifeguard Service

The National Lifeguard Service (NLS) prepares people to serve as lifeguards. The National Lifeguard Service was founded in 1964 in response to a need identified by employers for a single recognized lifeguard certification for those charged with the responsibility of supervising pools and waterfronts.
Today, the National Lifeguard Service (NLS) is:

  • the only industry-accepted standard and the only national standard endorsed by the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (2006 resolution; 2008 endorsement).
  • the industry-recognized certification used by over 2,000 aquatic acilities in all 13 Canadian provinces and territories.
  • endorsed and supported by the NLS Advisory Committee composed of lifeguard employers, facility operators and national agencies: Canadian Parks and Recreation Association, Physical and Health Education Canada, YMCA and Canadian Forces.
  • the only Canadian lifeguard standard recognized by the International Life Saving Federation and the Commonwealth Royal Life Saving Society.