Lifesaving Programs

The Lifesaving Program includes the Canadian Swim Patrol Program, Bronze Medal awards, National Lifeguard Service® (NL) awards, and other awards and programs. Leadership Programs are for instructors/examiners.

Canadian Swim Patrol

The Canadian Swim Patrol program provides enriched training for those who are ready to go beyond learn-to-swim. Swim Patrol has three levels: Rookie, Ranger, and Star. These programs continue to develop participants’ swim strokes and provide the skill foundation that prepares them for success in the Society’s Bronze Medal awards. Each level of the Canadian Swim Patrol program has three modules: Water Proficiency, First Aid, and Recognition & Rescue.

Rookie Patrol

Develops individual fitness levels to meet a timed 100m swim and 350m workout. Water proficiency skills include: swims with clothes, ready position, foot-first and head-first surface dives. Demonstrating an ability to conduct a primary assessment and initiating EMS are included as first aid skills. Victim recognition and throwing assists are other key elements of the program.

Ranger Patrol

Enhances capability in the water, including stride entry, underwater forward and backward somersaults, lifesaving eggbeater kick and increased fitness levels to meet a 200m timed swim. Rescue skills involve an increased skill level in first aid basics, victim recognition and non-contact rescues.

Star Patrol

An excellent preparation for the Bronze Star award, Star Patrol demands good physical conditioning and lifesaving judgment. Participants develop lifesaving and first aid skills; further refine front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke (100m each); and complete 600m workouts and for 300m timed swims.

Bronze Medals

Bronze Star

Bronze Star is an excellent preparation for success in Bronze Medallion. In Bronze Star, participants develop problem-solving and decision-making skills as individuals and with partners. They learn CPR and develop Water Smart® confidence and the lifesaving skills needed to be their own personal lifeguard. Includes CPR A and AED.

Bronze Medallion

Bronze Medallion teaches an understanding of the lifesaving principles embodied in the four components of water rescue education: judgment, knowledge, skill, and fitness. Rescuers learn tows, carries, and defense and release methods in preparation for challenging rescues of conscious and unconscious victims. Includes CPR A and AED.

Prerequisite(s): Bronze Star or 13 years or older

Bronze Cross

Bronze Cross is designed for lifesavers who want the challenge of more advanced training including an introduction to safe supervision in aquatic facilities. Bronze Cross is a prerequisite for all advanced training programs including National Lifeguard and Instructor certification. Includes CPR C and AED.

Prerequisite(s): Bronze Medallion

Advanced Lifesaving


Distinction encourages a maturity to respond to demanding aquatic emergency situations and is designed to develop advanced water rescue skill and knowledge, and an understanding of the principles of fitness training. Distinction challenges include implications of assuming responsibility in an emergency and how to deal with two victims at once. Inherent in the name of the award, lifesavers must perform every item with distinction.

Prerequisite(s): Bronze Cross


Diploma (Commonwealth Award) The Royal Lifesaving Society Diploma is a historic award which has taken on many forms in its history. Diploma is awarded for exceptional pieces of research in the field of lifesaving and drowning prevention. Diploma offers an opportunity to share research across all member nations. Please consult a branch representative for further information and process.

For more information on our Lifesaving Programs, refer to the Policies & Procedures