Water Safety Instructors

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.

Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Course

The Water Safety Instructor (WSI) Course prepares candidates to instruct the Red Cross Swim programs. Candidates focus on strategies to introduce and develop fitness activities, skills and water safety, and swimming skills in the Red Cross Swim Preschool, Red Cross Swim Kids, Red Cross Swim @ School, Red Cross Swim @ Camp, Red Cross Swim for Adults & Teens, and Red Cross Swim Adapted programs.

Course Components & Length

 
  • WSI—Skills Evaluation* – 3–6 hours
  • WSI—Online – 14–20 hours
  • WSI—Teaching Experience – minimum 8 hours
  • WSI—Classroom and Pool – 9 hours classroom, 12 hours pool.

* WSI—Skills Evaluation can be completed before, during or after the WSI—Online or WSI—Teaching Experience, but must be completed before attending the WSI—Classroom and Pool.

Pre-course Requirements

15 years or older, ability to perform Red Cross Swim Kids 10 strokes and skills, and hold one of the following certifications (not required to be current): Red Cross Assistant Lifeguard, Emergency First Aid or higher, or Bronze Cross. Bronze Cross is required in Quebec.

Completion Criteria

  • Attend, participate in, and complete 100% of all four course components.
  • WSI—Teaching Experience: complete a minimum of 4 hours** in each of a Red Cross Swim Preschool and a Red Cross Swim Kids class within 6 months of finishing the WSI—Online.

** Red Cross recommends completing an entire session

Evaluation

All course components are evaluated against specific evaluation criteria on a pass/fail basis.

Course Materials

  • Water Safety Instructor Workbook
  • Red Cross Swim Deck Book
  • PIN and password for WSI—Online

Certification

Upon successful completion, candidates are certified for 1 year as a WSI, which allows them to teach Red Cross Swim programs without direct supervision.
 

Complete 3 Water Safety Instructor—Online Professional Development Modules within 1 year of WSI expiry date for a 1-year certification extension at no additional fee. WSIs who do not complete these modules, must attend a WSI Recertification Course.

Recertification

Attend a recertification course every 2 years (2 hours classroom, 3 hours pool).
 

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/.