Training Programs

Training Programs

Learn-to-Swim Program

As you may have recently seen through communication from the Canadian Red Cross, they have decided to wind down their involvement in all swim and lifeguard programming across Canada in order to direct more attention to surging humanitarian demands in other areas. As part of that decision, Red Cross has worked closely with Lifesaving Society Canada to ensure a smooth transition for you to begin offering Lifesaving Society programs to your customers.

The Lifesaving Society welcomes the opportunity to work with all volunteers to ensure the continuity of swim and lifeguard training to Canadians. We appreciate the confidence Red Cross has expressed in us and we will continue to provide our partners with the benefit of over 100 years of experience in delivering nationally recognized swim and lifesaving programs in Canada.

Both organizations have worked together for many years toward the common humanitarian goal of preventing drowning and water-related injury. That collaboration will continue in making the transition of all current Red Cross water safety delivery partners, instructors and lifeguards as easy as possible. We also look to use this new opportunity to promote the valuable life skills and excellent leadership values offered through becoming a lifeguard and swim instructor, now through a single organization.

The Red Cross will support its current training partners through 2022 to make the transition to offering Lifesaving Society swim and lifeguard training programs. The Lifesaving Society and Canadian Red Cross have created special pathways by which Red Cross certification holders transition to corresponding Lifesaving Society certifications. These pathways recognize and acknowledge the competencies earned in Red Cross certifications while providing the knowledge and resources critical for success as a Lifesaving Society instructor, lifeguard or trainer. To that end, more information can be found on Branch websites along with Frequently Asked Questions to answer queries you may have on the way forward.

Official Swim Transition Instructor Clinic

Red Cross Water Safety Instructors and Trainers who want to transition to the Lifesaving Society’s Swim for Life certification may now do so by completing the online self-directed Swim Transition Instructor Clinic at or

This is the official Swim Transition Instructor Clinic approved by the Lifesaving Society Canada and endorsed by the Canadian Red Cross.

To register and complete the course you will need a credit card and approximately two hours. There is no charge for the clinic and no certification fee. However, as part of enrollment, candidates purchase the Lifesaving Society’s Swim for Life Award Guide – the required reference for teaching the Swim for Life programs. A digital version is included and available upon enrollment.

Completion of this online clinic is one of two required steps to becoming a certified Lifesaving Society Swim for Life Instructor. The other step is to ensure the Lifesaving Society has your Canadian Red Cross Water Safety qualifications. If you have not already done so, log in to your My Red Cross account to initiate this transfer.

Welcome to Swim for Life!   This transition path ends June 30, 2023. 

Next Steps

For those who completed the Swim Transition Instructor Clinic but have yet to provide CRC WSI certifications to the Society, you may do so electronically via  The following information is required to transfer certification(s): individual details and contact information; certification details; provincial branch of the Lifesaving Society to which certifications will be transferred; and a photo or scan of the certification ready to upload.

Instructors who missed out on the online Swim Transition Instructor Clinic are asked to contact their local Branch for certification options.

Swim for Life

The Swim for Life program is the Lifesaving Society’s learn-to-swim program that develops solid swimming strokes and skills. We incorporate valuable Water Smart® education that will last a lifetime. 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.