Swimming and Water Safety Instructor Development Program 2016

The Canadian Red Cross is in the process of revising our Swimming and Water Safety Instructor Development Program. To ensure our programs remain current and relevant, Red Cross is committed to reviewing our programs every five years. The new program will be introduced in January 2016.

With this revision, our goals are to:

1. Preserve the quality of Instructors prepared by this program.
2. Modernize the instructional methodology in the Instructor Development Program to meet the learning needs of youth.
3. Ensure ongoing support resources are available for new Instructors.
Assistant Water Safety Instructor Certification
The Assistant Water Safety Instructor (AWSI) certification does not exist under the new model and may not be transferred once the new program is implemented. Current AWSIs need to complete their Water Safety Instructor (WSI) course by December 31, 2015. As of January 1, 2016, they will have to become certified under the new model, beginning with the first step in the process. They will also be required to purchase new materials.

The new model as of January 2016:

Water Safety Instructor Course – Skills Evaluation
The skills evaluation ensures candidates have the necessary water safety skills, strokes, and Instructor Emergency Response (IER) skills equivalent to the Red Cross Swim Kids 10 performance criteria.

Water Safety Instructor Course – Online
As a result of the extensive research conducted, one of the most significant aspects of the revised program will be the transition of in-person learning to combined online and in-person training. This blended learning solution will put the Canadian Red Cross’ Water Safety Instructor Development Program in line with a new approach to learning: the flipped classroom. According to the Khan Academy, the flipped classroom allows the learner to learn at his or her own speed—focusing on what is important and how it connects to them—online before arriving at the pool. This ensures the transfer of knowledge will occur in an environment the learner controls: time, reviews, additional opportunities to research, and reflection. The in-person component then builds on the topics covered online.

Water Safety Instructor Course – Teaching Experience
Another significant change is the teaching experience. The teaching experience takes place following the online learning and prior to the in-person component. The decision to complete the teaching experience prior to the in-person course achieves the following outcomes:
  • Candidates have first-hand experience observing real progressions and swimmer skills with a mix of personalities in the same class.
  • Candidates have a frame of reference to reflect on and link to the theory of the course.
By linking the thoughts and reflections the learner had in the online component and teaching experience, and actively discussing with their peers in-person, the participants are able to engage with the theory in a much more practical way.
Additionally, from a quality assurance perspective, we are able to ensure the candidate has interacted with and been evaluated by an experienced Water Safety Instructor Trainer directly before certification.

Water Safety Instructor Course – Classroom and Pool
This component follows the teaching experience and furthers instructional ability by focusing on how to effectively plan, teach, and evaluate the Red Cross Swim Programs. This is where we consolidate candidates’ knowledge and experience from the online and teaching experience components so they are ready to take on their first Red Cross Swim Program. Here the candidates will also complete a variety of practice-teaching exercises teaching their peer candidates. If available the practice-teaching exercises can also be conducted using actual swimmers in an existing program.

Water Safety Instructor Course – Professional Development
Finally, an exciting opportunity for candidates and Water Safety Instructors is the commitment to ongoing professional development through the additional online courses. These online courses encourage new Water Safety Instructors to continue to hone their skills as Instructors, and with their completion, Instructors receive an additional year of certification. The courses will cover topics such as Teaching Parented Classes, Teaching Adults and Teens, Teaching Red Cross Swim Adapted, Evaluating Strokes, and Supervising Teaching Experience.

Please call 1-877-356-3226 with any questions.