Lifesaving Instructor

Lifesaving Instructor Crest

The Lifesaving Instructor (LSI) award trains candidates to teach and evaluate the Canadian Swim Patrol program, the Bronze Medal awards, and a variety of specialized lifesaving programs (e.g. Lifesaving for Lay Rescuers).

Candidates are trained in aspects of learning as well as various approaches required to teach water rescue, first aid and related aquatic skills. Candidates also learn about long-range/short-term planning, class management, safety supervision and the principles of evaluation.  Lifesaving Instructor is also the base for all other Instructor certifications.

Certification in BC & Yukon includes the Advanced Instructor certification and the Examination Standards Clinic.

Bronze Cross Proof of certification
16 years old by last day of class
Next Step: 
NL Instructor
Next Step (notes): 
In addition to the National Lifeguard (NL) Instructor, LSIs can also take the Lifesaving Instructor Trainer course or the First Aid Instructor course.
Instructional Time: 

The LSI course is 24 hours consisting of both classroom and pool time.  LSI is taught and evaluated by a current Lifesaving Instructor Trainer.


A temporary certification card is issued on the last day of course to successful candidates that have shown all prerequisites to the instructor.  A permanent certification card will be mailed to the address indicated on the course roster.  Contact the Lifesaving Society if a permanent card has not been received within 60 days of course completion.


The Lifesaving Instructor certification is current for 2 years.  After two years Lifesaving Instructors will need to attend a Recert clinic in order to continue teaching (extensions will not be granted). 

Any Lifesaving Instructor who is within 5 years from the date of issue can recertify by attending a Lifesaving Instructor Recert clinic.

Any Lifesaving Instructor who is within 5-10 years from the date of issue can recertify by attending a full Lifesaving Instructor course again or by participating in the LSI Bridges Program.

Any Lifesaving Instructor who is more than 10 years past the date of issue will be required to take the Lifesaving Instructor course again.

Evaluation and Other Items: 

The Lifesaving Instructor certification is the prerequisite for all other Lifesaving Society instructor certifications.
Evaluation Items:
Unit 1: Opening Session

  • List the objectives and evaluation criteria of the course.
  • Describe the role and responsibilities of a Lifesaving Society lifesaving instructor.
  • Develop teaching skills.

Unit 2: We Are the Lifesaving Society

  • Identify the aims and activities of the Lifesaving Society.
  • Outline the award progression in the Canadian Lifesaving Program, including the steps in Lifesaving Society leadership training.
  • Use the Lifesaving Society literature to locate relevant information about the Lifesaving Society and its activities and programs.

Unit 3: Learning and Teaching

  • Describe the fundamentals of how people learn and the implications for the instructor.
  • Discuss the importance of and how to maximize practice, and how and when to give feedback in shaping motor skills.
  • Demonstrate basic teaching approaches that are useful in lifesaving training.
  • Use basic communication principles.
  • Locate and use the learning-teaching material in the Lifesaving Society resources.
  • Use teaching skills and strategies.

Unit 4: Planning

  • Apply principles of planning and use the Lifesaving Society reference material.
  • Discuss the importance and principles of course and lesson planning.

Unit 5: Strokes, Skills and Fitness

  • Describe basic principles affecting movement in the water and how different body types affect ability.
  • Apply movement principles in analyzing and correcting strokes and skills.
  • Predict some of the basic errors learners will make in skills and strokes and specify how to correct them.
  • List your personal stroke and skill abilities and limitations.
  • Describe the components of physical fitness, the basic principles in improving physical fitness, and how to measure your own level of fitness using heart rate.
  • Use the Lifesaving Society resources to locate the necessary technical, planning, teaching and evaluation information.
  • Improve teaching skills and strategies.

Unit 6: Teaching Water Rescue

  • Use teaching approaches suitable for developing judgment, knowledge, skill and fitness in lifesaving candidates.
  • Describe the principles that underlie the progression of Lifesaving Society awards.
  • List the technical aspects and use of lifesaving skills found in the Lifesaving Society program.
  • Use the Lifesaving Society literature to locate the necessary technical, planning, teaching and evaluation information.
  • Use newly practiced and developed teaching skills and strategies.

Unit 7: Resuscitation and First Aid

  • Prepare teaching strategies and learning activities that are suitable for resuscitation and first aid material and that emphasize a practical approach.
  • Describe the performance and knowledge requirements of the first aid and resuscitation material in Lifesaving Society awards.
  • Explain the basic theoretical principles on which resuscitation and first aid techniques are based.
  • Use the Lifesaving Society literature to locate the necessary technical, planning, teaching and evaluation information.
  • Practice and develop teaching skills and strategies.

Unit 8: Responsibility and Safety

  • Make safety a priority.
  • Select safe formations, and progressions, and use space appropriately for activities.
  • Prevent and/or respond appropriately to emergencies in the instructional setting.
  • Discuss the importance of emergency procedures and of all instructors being versed in the procedures used in the facility in which they work.
  • List their responsibilities under provincial law or regulations.
  • Describe health regulations and guidelines for the use of manikins, relevant to good hygiene.

Unit 9: Evaluating the Canadian Lifesaving Program

  • Describe and apply evaluation standards with reference to award guides.
  • Select and demonstrate suitable evaluation methods. Use award guides in evaluating lifesaving candidates.
  • Administration.
  • Conduct evaluations effectively.

Unit 10: Closing session

  • Discuss why candidates have or have not passed the Lifesaving Instructor course.
  • Feel welcomed to the team of Lifesaving Society instructors.