Certified Attendants Position Statement
Upon employing a certified attendant, employers are responsible to provide orientation and training in facility emergency procedures and safe work practices. Certified Lifesaving Society Attendants (Amenity Attendant, Shallow Water Attendant, Beach Attendant, Wading Pool Attendant) are not in part, or in whole considered to be assistant lifeguards or lifeguards. The use or implementation of Attendants into an aquatic facility’s safety system does not impact lifeguard to bather ratios. Attendants do not replace National Lifeguards. A National Lifeguard must be in a surveillance role on deck and able to respond to verbal and visual signals from the Attendant at all times.
Owners/owner’s agents have been utilizing attendants to monitor areas of recreation facilities for many years and the use of attendants has been increasing with the design of new multipurpose recreation centres. Training of these facility attendants varies widely and is inconsistent amongst each organization. The recreation industry approached the Lifesaving Society and requested the Society develop and support a series of attendant programs to provide consistent standardized training and certification for attendants. With the use of facility attendants becoming more common facility owners/owner’s agents have requested clarification regarding how the use of a certified attendant impacts the existing lifeguard systems.
Attendants may be used to assist in the monitoring of patron behavior, enforcing facility safety rules, and performing public education/relation activities. Attendants are not trained or certified as a National Lifeguard and it is not reasonable to expect an attendant to meet or perform to the standard required of a National Lifeguard. The Lifesaving Society Attendant Program(s) provide for a standardized base level of training and certification for facility attendants. Training facility attendants in a single standard and requiring attendants to hold a certification from a standard setting certifying body is a risk management best practice.