National Public Pool Safety Standards

The Lifesaving Society Canada, in association with its Branches across Canada, has published the new National Public Pool Safety Standards for Canadian Public Swimming Pools available online at

The Lifesaving Society is Canada’s lifeguarding expert and is a national, independent, charitable organization that has been saving lives in Canada for over 100 years. The Society works to prevent drowning and water-related injury through its training programs, Water Smart® public education, aquatic safety management, drowning research and lifesaving sport. In consultation with its Affiliate Members, the Lifesaving Society advises on the judicial system, and with governments, and pool and waterfront owners and operators on matters related to public safety in aquatic environments.

In Canada, most provincial/territorial jurisdictions have regulations or guidelines for public aquatic facilities. These regulations or guidelines vary in the aquatic safety issues they address and may also be silent on topics deemed relevant by the Lifesaving Society.

Owners and operators of public swimming pools must fulfill the requirements detailed in regulations. Local health inspectors perform inspections of public pools, and should be used as resources in answering questions and assisting owners and operators in meeting the regulations. The Standards presented in this publication are designed to provide guidance to public pool owners and operators on matters not addressed in regulation or guidelines in their own jurisdictions, and assist aquatic staff in operating safe facilities.

Lifesaving Society standards are based on extensive research of existing standards, guidelines and best practices at home and abroad. Lifesaving Society standards represent the reasonable minimum; pool operators are encouraged to go beyond them.

The new Standards include:

  1. The minimum age for a lifeguard on duty
  2. Lifeguard certification
  3. Bather to lifeguard ratios
  4. Emergency and operating procedures
  5. Entrapment and suction hazards
  6. Safety equipment
  7. Emergency telephone
  8. Water Clarity
  9. Diving Depths
  10. Records
  11. Lighting Levels

There is also information about safety supervision during instructional periods, swimming pool basin colour, lifeguard chair specifications and breath-holding. The Lifesaving Society will continue to develop and publish national standards on other important aquatic safety issues.

In additon please visit the Safety Mangement page of  the National Office  of the Lifesaving Society at 

For more information, contact Cheryl Sibany at or call the Branch Office.