Instructor Development Program
The Canadian Red Cross has a long history of developing well-trained professional instructors who love swimming as much as they love to help others learn.
Anyone age 15 or older can start with the Assistant Water Safety Instructor course. Through course training and practical hands-on experience they develop their skills. The Water Safety Instructor program polishes these skills and provides additional tools to gain employment in aquatics as a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor.
The Red Cross program provides ideal training for those interested in teaching and any leadership roles. See where the Red Cross Water Safety Instructor program can take you.
Water Safety Instructor Age Requirement
The Canadian Red Cross is pleased to announce an exciting change to the age requirement for our Water Safety Instructor course. Effective immediately, the prerequisite age for the Water Safety Instructor course is now 15 years of age.
This is a change from our previous age requirement of 16 years and allows us to better meet the needs of our Training Partners by reducing the wait time between the AWSI and WSI courses. Water Safety Instructor candidates can complete certification prerequisites for employment at an earlier age.
Please consult your provincial legislation for more detailed information on hiring Water Safety Instructors as the age requirements vary.
NCCP Swimming Teacher Certification
We would like to advise our Water Safety Instructors (WSIs) of an exciting new initiative. The Canadian Red Cross, Swimming Canada and the Coaching Association of Canada have completed an agreement to offer an accelerated training track to become a swimming coach. If you are a current Red Cross WSI, you can follow the steps outlined in the process to earn your National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Swimming Teacher certification.
The NCCP Swimming Teacher certification is the minimum certification standard for coaches working for community swim clubs. The Red Cross is proud to be the first training organization to earn recognition for this program and to offer our instructors enhanced employment opportunities within the aquatics community.
For additional information, current Red Cross WSIs should refer to the following website: http://www.nccpswimming.org/index.php/en/coach-cert-levels/swimming-teacher.
Red Cross Assistant Water Safety Instructor
15 years and older
- In this prerequisite for the Red Cross Water Safety Instructor course, candidates learn foundation instructional skills including teaching methods, learning styles, physical principles, progressions, communication, safety supervision and feedback. Course is 30 hours with 8 hours of practice teaching
Red Cross Water Safety Instructor
15 years and older
- Instructor candidates focus on how to apply information from the Assistant Water Safety Instructor course and develop additional instructional skills, stroke development, drills and corrective strategies to plan, teach and evaluate the entire Red Cross Swim continuum. Course is 25 hours with 12 hours of practice teaching.
Red Cross First Aid & CPR Instructor
18 years and older
- Older teens looking to further their teaching and leadership skills can consider our First Aid & CPR Instructor programs. Red Cross First Aid & CPR Instructors can work for Red Cross training partners or start their own business. Contact us to find out more!
Fact Sheet: Water Safety Instructor Course (PDF, 704k)