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.
NOTE: The Red Cross will introduce a revised Swimming and Water Safety Instructor Development Program in January 2016. Please click here for more information.
The Assistant Water Safety Instructor Course teaches candidates the foundation of instructional skills such as teaching methods, learning styles, physical principles, progressions, communication, safety supervision, and feedback.
The certification allows the Assistant Water Safety Instructor to teach Red Cross Swim lessons under the supervision of a Water Safety Instructor. This course is the prerequisite for the Water Safety Instructor Course.
30 hours (+ 6.5- 8 hours teaching experience)
Candidates must be 15 years old by the last day of the course.
All course components, including the teaching experience, are evaluated against specific performance criteria on a pass/fail basis. The performance criteria are located in the Assistant Water Safety Instructor Manual.
Upon successful completion, candidates are certified as Assistant Water Safety Instructors. The certification allows the candidate to act as an Assistant Water Safety Instructor under direct supervision of a current Water Safety Instructor (it is recommended that Water Safety Instructors have at least 2 years practical experience teaching Red Cross Swim or equivalent).
None, an Assistant Water Safety Instructor is current for two years. Assistant Water Safety Instructors are encouraged to take the Water Safety Instructor course during this period.
Assistant Water Safety Instructor Skills
- Performs all strokes and skills in Red Cross Swim
- Has knowledge to teach swimming strokes and water safety skills using proven progressions
- Can identify swimming stroke and water safety skill errors and provide effective feedback to correct errors
- Can identify and prevent potentially unsafe situations in Red Cross Swim lessons
Printable version - Assistant Water Safety Instructor Course
- Red Cross Assistant Water Safety Instructor Manual
- Red Cross Strokes Chart (hands-on and practical resource for teaching and correcting strokes)
- AWSI Activity Plans (resource used during teaching experience, electronic format)
Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Course
The Water Safety Instructor Course focuses on planning and teaching the Red Cross Swim continuum, instructional emergency response skills and instructional techniques specific to our programs.
The certification issued allows candidates to teach all the Red Cross Swim programs.
25 hours (+ 9-11 hours teaching experience)
Candidates must be 15 years or older and certified as Red Cross Assistant Water Safety Instructors.
All course components, including the teaching experience, are evaluated against specific performance criteria on a pass/fail basis. The performance criteria are located in the Water Safety Instructor Manual.
Upon successful completion, candidates are certified as Water Safety Instructors, which allows them to teach Red Cross Swim programs.
Attend a recertification workshop every two years.
Water Safety Instructor Skills
- Effectively plans, teaches and evaluates Red Cross Swim lessons
- Uses proven progressions for stroke development and correction
- Keeps swimmers safe during lessons
- Evaluates Assistant Water Safety Instructors and Water Safety Instructor candidates during teaching experience
- Supervises Assistant Water Safety Instructors for co-teaching
Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Manual
Find Lesson Plans, Worksheets, and Teaching Resources on instructornetwork.ca.
Printable version - Water Safety Instructor Course
NCCP Swimming Teacher Certification
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 Water Safety Instructor, 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.ca/swimming-teacher-red-cross-wsi/.