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Aquatic Certifications

YMCA Swim Program Certification

We are a leader in swim programs! Developed by YMCA Canada in 1906, the YMCA National Aquatic program has helped — and continues to help — generations of Canadians learn how to swim in Ys from coast-to-coast. As a certified YMCA Canada Swim Instructor, you are qualified to teach swimming lessons at Y’s across the country.

Canadian Lifesaving Program

As a provincial and national affiliate to the Lifesaving Society of Canada, we are proud to offer a wide range of Lifesaving and Lifeguarding courses.

  • Aquatic Certifications
  • Bronze Star

    Bronze Star provides excellent preparation for success in Bronze Medallion. Participants develop problem-solving and decision-making skills individually and in partners. Candidates learn CPR and develop the lifesaving skills needed to be their own lifeguard. Includes a timed 400 m swim.

    • Recommended: 12 years & Star 4
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  • Bronze Medallion
    Enhance your understanding of the lifesaving principles that make up the four components of water rescue: judgment, knowledge, skill and fitness. Learn tows, carries and release methods in preparation for challenging rescues of increased risk. Lifesavers learn to respond to increasingly complex situations involving conscious and unconscious victims in contact and non-contact rescues. Lifesavers develop stroke efficiency and endurance with a timed swim.
    Textbook and course materials will be provided by the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg
    • Prerequisites: Bronze Star by first day of course or 13 years by date of exam
    • Register
  • Bronze Cross
    Eager to advance your lifesaving training? Designed for lifesavers who want the challenge of more advanced training, including an introduction to safe supervision in aquatic facilities as an assistant lifeguard. Bronze Cross teaches the difference between lifesaving and lifeguarding, the principles of emergency procedures and teamwork. Lifesavers and assistant lifeguards build on the skills from Bronze Medallion, gaining a better understanding of management of an emergency situation. Bronze Cross is the stepping stone prerequisite for advanced training programs in lifesaving, lifeguarding and leadership (the Distinction Award, the National Lifeguard Service Award and the Lifesaving Instructor Award).
    Please bring your Canadian Lifesaving Manual and a Fox40 whistle. Can't find your manual? A copy can be purchased through Lifesaving Society Manitoba.
    • Prerequisite: Bronze Medallion
    • Register
  • National Lifeguard & Aquatic Emergency Care

    Advance your YMCA aquatic leadership to a peak level! The National Lifeguard - Pool Award builds on the fundamental skills, knowledge and values taught in the awards of the Canadian Lifesaving Program to develop the practical skills and knowledge required by professional lifeguards. National Lifeguard training develops a sound understanding of lifeguarding principles, good judgment, and a mature and responsible attitude towards the lifeguard’s role. National Lifeguard training emphasizes prevention and effective rescue response in emergencies including first aid treatment. The National Lifeguard program is designed to prepare lifeguards to fulfill this role as professional facilitators of safe, enjoyable aquatic experiences.  All textbooks are included in the cost of the NL/AEC/CPR course. 

    This program is offered as a tri-certification including National Lifeguard (NL), Aquatic Emergency Care (AEC) and CPR.  

    • Prerequisite: 15 years & Bronze Cross
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  • Distinction

    The Lifesaving Society’s Distinction Award encourages a maturity of response to demanding aquatic emergency situations and is designed to develop advanced water rescue skill and knowledge and an understanding of the principles of fitness training. Distinction challenges include implications of assuming responsibility in an emergency, how to deal with two victims at once and rescue of a non-breathing spinal-injured victim. Inherent in the name of the Award, lifesavers must perform every item with distinction.

  • YMCA Swim Instructor

    Share your love of swimming with others! As a leader in the pool, you can play an essential role in helping others learn to swim and improve their health in many ways. You will learn a variety of teaching techniques, lesson planning, progressions, and more. You will complete your certification ready to teach swimming, lifesaving and aquatic activities for the YMCA Canada swim program. To become certified, candidates need to attend 100% of the course and complete Standard First Aid within three months of attending the course.

    • Prerequisites: 15 years (must be 16 years by certification date) and Bronze Cross
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  • First Aid
  • Standard First Aid (SFA) - includes CPR C

    This comprehensive first aid course provides CPR skills for those who need training due to work requirements or who want more knowledge to respond to emergencies at home. You will learn emergency first aid skills as well as how to respond to sudden medical emergencies, head and spinal injuries and environmental emergencies. A manual and a certificate are provided upon completion.

  • Emergency First Aid

    An 8-hour course for people who want a general knowledge of first aid principles and the emergency treatment of injuries, this course includes CPR C and AED training.  Recognized by Manitoba Workplace Health and Safety, certification is valid for two years.



Cancellations must be received in writing no later than 14 days prior to the start of the program or class in order to receive a full refund (less a 20% fee). No refunds will be provided for cancellations submitted after the deadline. All fees are non-transferable.