The Path Forward for Swimming Pools in Alberta - Step 1 Update

Yesterday, the Government of Alberta moved to Step 1 of the Path Forward, and CMOH Order 02-2021 was issued. This order officially permits some business activities to resume. Affiliate Delivery Partners are encouraged to review the order and its impact on their operations.
Some highlights that impact aquatic facilities:
  • Part 7 - Section 43 (n) of the Public Health Order permits facilities to be used for professional or other certification activities, including but not limited to recertification training or exams.
  • This allows the delivery of Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, National Lifeguard, Standard First Aid, and Aquatic Emergency care certifications and recertifications.
  • The Public Health Order requires that all persons participating in courses or training must have a scheduled appointment prior to attending the location where the business or entity is operating.
  • Drop-in, Public Swim, Lane Swim, Hot Tub, and Steam or Dry Sauna use is not permitted at this time.

One-On-One Training

  • Swimming pools may open for one-on-one or group training with a certified coach or instructor where persons have registered in advance. There is no drop-in programming or self-directed activity permitted at this time.

Group Training

  • Exceptions have been made to allow individuals under the age of 18 to participate in registered group physical activity with up to 10 persons.
  • Coaches and instructors may be over the age of 18 and are included in the 10 person limit.

General Guidance

  • There must be 3-metres distance maintained between groups of persons who are participating in registered activities.
  • Participants in aquatic programs including coaches, instructors, examiners, and lifeguards should wear a mask at all times unless they are in the water. Additional information regarding the use of face masks is included in the Public Health Order.
All Owners and Operators of aquatic facilities are encouraged to review the Public Health Order in full when making business and operational decisions.
Guidance on the Delivery of Lifesaving Society Certification Programs
Temporary Changes to Policies and Procedures:
The maximum number of participants permitted in a Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, or National Lifeguard certification or recertification course will be eight (8).
This temporary change has been put in place to align with the other changes implemented for registered group activity.
Certification Program Delivery Guidance:
The following principles should be applied by Affiliate Delivery Partners when offering certification programs during Step 1 of The Path Forward:
  • Participants/Instructors/Examiners wear a mask at all times when not in the water
  • Participants and Instructors/Examiners maintain 3-metres distance at all times unless doing so inhibits the instruction or guidance being provided
  • Minimum of four (4) and a maximum of eight (8) participants in certification/recertification course
  • Participants designated their own pocket mask and manikin for the demonstration of CPR skills
  • All water rescue skills are performed on a manikin
  • For all in-water skills, participants are designated their own lane or area
  • 3-metres distance will need to be maintained between all participants during physical activity regardless of intensity
  • Situations are designed to eliminate physical contact between participants (uses a manikin where required)
  • First aid treatment is performed on a manikin or can be demonstrated on themselves
  • Treatment of a suspected spinal injured victim is performed on a manikin. It is recommended that for training purposes the number of rescuers is limited to two (2) and the second rescuer wears a mask when assisting with the procedure.
Affiliate Delivery Partners and Lifesaving Society Leadership Volunteers (Instructors/Examiners) that have questions regarding this interim guidance should contact the Lifesaving Society by email: or phone: 780-415-1755.
For additional guidance for First Aid Program Delivery please reference the COVID-19: First Aid Programming Position Statement.
As this is an evolving response to a global pandemic it is important to realize that advice and recommendations may change. We will provide updates and clarification on this guidance as information becomes available. We encourage everyone to remain up to date by following current recommendations regarding the COVID-19 response from the Government of Alberta and local municipalities.
In the event the information contained in this release is different from advice provided by a local health official, the advice of the health official would prevail.