The National Lifeguard Service® (NLS) award builds on the skills, knowledge and values that the Lifesaving Society teaches in its Pre-Bronze and Bronze Medal awards to develop the practical skills and knowledge required by lifeguards.

Recognized as the standard measure of lifeguard performance in Canada, NLS education is designed to develop a sound understanding of lifeguarding principles, good judgment, and a mature and responsible attitude toward the role of the lifeguard.

The primary role of the NLS lifeguard is the prevention of emergency situations and, where this fails, the timely and effective resolution of emergencies. The NLS award is designed to prepare lifeguards to fulfil this role as professional facilitators of safe, enjoyable aquatics.

The NLS courses cannot, in theory or practice, prepare candidates for every situation that might occur while working in Canadian aquatic environments and facilities. NLS training is designed to teach the principles and develop the basic lifeguarding skills and decision-making processes that will help lifeguards evaluate and adapt to different aquatic facilities and emergencies.

The NLS award consist of the 20 hour NLS Core course and specialized training for a specific lifeguarding environment through at least ONE OF four specific modes or options for certification:

Prerequisites: 16 years old, Bronze Cross (need not be current), and current Standard First Aid Certification OR another NLS option (need not be current).

Evaluation: Items marked with an asterisk (*) are instructor-evaluated. In provinces/territories where examination by an examiner is compulsory, examiners may evaluate any or all of these items, at their discretion.