GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Why make the transition now?
The Canadian Red Cross decision was driven by regular assessments of each of our services that considers evolving humanitarian needs, the evolution of the marketplace and alignment with our strategic direction as defined in Vision 2025.
In the case of water safety training, the conclusion was that the relative humanitarian need has been surpassed by ever-rising demands in other areas, such as the pandemic, the opioid crisis and caregiving for seniors.
WHAT GUIDING PRINCIPLES DID THE LIFESAVING SOCIETY USE IN DESIGNING THE SWIM FOR LIFE PROGRAM?
The Swim for Life program is grounded in the Society’s mission: Basic swimming ability is a requirement of any meaningful attempt to eliminate drowning in Canada. All Canadians need to learn to swim.
Swim for Life focuses on the acquisition and development of fundamental swim strokes and skills for learners of all ages and abilities. Learning Swim to Survive skills and achieving the Lifesaving Society’s Swim to Survive Standard are embedded in the Swim for Life Program.
Swim for Life is designed to be accessible, flexible, success-oriented and fun, with lots of in-water practice in every lesson.
Swim for Life flows seamlessly into the Society’s lifesaving and vocational training awards, providing a complete, coherent, program of integrated swimming and lifesaving instruction.
Water Smart education is an integral part of Swim for Life and provides information and experiences that help participants make smart decisions in, on and around water and ice. Appropriate water safety messages based on the learning from our drowning research target Swim for Life participants at each level.
WHY DOES SWIM FOR LIFE FOCUS ON JUST THREE STROKES?
Swim for Life focuses on the development of competency in front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke. These are the three most efficient swimming strokes and the foundation of every swimmer’s repertoire. Investing the time to learn the basic mechanics of these strokes early pays off in stroke efficiency throughout one’s life.
WHY INTERVAL TRAINING OVER ENDURANCE TRAINING?
Swim for Life curriculum focuses on the acquisition and development of efficient strokes in two ways:
- First, by stressing the basic mechanics over relatively short distances – which increase (as do the “Must See” performance standards) as one advances through Swim for Life levels.
- Second, by using a variety of training methods (e.g., sprints, interval training, workouts) that require the swimmer to focus on stroke efficiency and the development of physical fitness.
Endurance training is introduced in the Society’s Canadian Swim Patrol and Bronze awards when swimmers have acquired firm foundation in stroke mechanics and an awareness of fitness training methodology.
WHO CAN TEACH CANADIAN SWIM PATROL?
Current Lifesaving Instructors or Swim for Life Instructors teach and evaluate all items and certify candidates.
FOR RED CROSS MONITORS AND INSTRUCTORS
DO MY CANADIAN RED CROSS CERTIFICATIONS HAVE TO BE “CURRENT” IN ORDER TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SWIM TRANSITION PATHWAYS?
No. The Lifesaving Society does not require prerequisites to be current. However, the Society requires proof that you hold the necessary prerequisites.
With your permission, Canadian Red Cross will transfer your certification data and contact information to the Lifesaving Society. If you do not grant permission, you yourself are responsible for providing the necessary proof of prerequisite certifications (e.g., certification card) to the Lifesaving Society.
SHOULD I PURCHASE THE SWIM FOR LIFE AWARD GUIDE PRIOR TO TAKING THE ONLINE, SELF-DIRECTED SWIM TRANSITION INSTRUCTOR CLINIC?
No. Enrollment procedure includes the required purchase of the Swim for Life Award Guide. A digital copy will be available to you immediately. A hard copy will be shipped to you.
MAY AN AFFILIATE PURCHASE THE SWIM FOR LIFE AWARD GUIDE IN BULK FOR STAFF TAKING THE ONLINE, SELF-DIRECTED SWIM TRANSITION INSTRUCTOR CLINIC?
No. Currently, this option is not available for the online, self-directed clinic.
MAY AN AFFILIATE PURCHASE THE SWIM FOR LIFE AWARD GUIDE IN BULK FOR STAFF TAKING A ONLINE INSTRUCTOR-LED OR IN-PERSON SWIM TRANSITION INSTRUCTOR CLINIC?
Maybe, if your Lifesaving Society provincial/territorial branch is offering these options. Contact your Lifesaving Society office for information.
TRAINING PARTNERS QUESTIONS
What happens to Training Partner relationships?
Most Canadian Red Cross Training Partner relationships will continue, as many Red Cross Training Partners offer more than Swimming & Water Safety programming in their community. While we are winding down on Swimming & Water Safety programming, there are other Red Cross programming offerings which will continue to be available for our customers to choose from. This includes the full line of Red Cross First Aid programs, as well as our Youth First Aid: Stay Safe! and Babysitting programs.
Which Canadian Red Cross Swimming & Water Safety programs will be retired at the end of 2022?
The programs which will be retired at the end of 2022 are as follows:
· Red Cross Swim
· Water Safety Instructor and Water Safety Instructor Trainer
· Red Cross Lifeguard and Assistant Lifeguard
· Red Cross Assistant Lifeguard Instructor, Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor and Lifeguard Instructor Trainer
What if a Red Cross Training Partner does not want to offer the Lifesaving Society’s Swim for Life program?
We encourage Red Cross Training Partners to select the Lifesaving Society for their future swimming and lifeguarding programming, as we believe this transition is the best path forward to ensure Canadians’ access to critical training.
The Lifesaving Society is a respected, accomplished organization that has long shared our passion to reduce drowning and aquatic-related injuries. We have every confidence the water safety training needs of Canadians will continue to be well-served in their care.
Swim for Life is a well-recognized national program with a proven track record. Swim for Life leads seamlessly into the Lifesaving Society’s lifesaving and lifeguard training programs – all of which are supported by a comprehensive leadership training system. Moreover, Lifesaving Society Canada lifeguard and leadership certifications are recognized in provincial/territorial jurisdictions across the country.
Are we doing anything to lessen the burden of change for Training Partners, instructors/trainers and lifeguards?
Canadian Red Cross and the Lifesaving Society developed special pathways to support those transitioning from Canadian Red Cross to Lifesaving Society certifications.
These pathways recognize and acknowledge the competencies earned in Red Cross certifications while providing the knowledge and resources critical for success as a Lifesaving Society instructor, lifeguard, or trainer. Any co-teach requirements associated with a Lifesaving Society certification during the transition period have been waived. Information on the complete transition of Red Cross certification holders is available at myrc.redcross.ca > News > Swim Transition.
Training Partners will be provided with support from Red Cross and the Lifesaving Society to make this transition which they will have a full year to complete. Red Cross Training Partner annual fees for Swimming & Water Safety are waived for 2022.
How many Training Partners, Instructors/trainers and Lifeguards will be affected?
Red Cross Swimming & Water Safety programs are offered across Canada through over 1700 aquatic facilities, who employ 20,000 Red Cross certified Instructors, Instructor Trainers and Lifeguards. All will be supported through the course of 2022 to transition to the LSC programs.
I operate during the summer season only. When should I plan for my program transition?
Seasonal Training Partners should look to transition before the 2022 season. Red Cross certification holders will be encouraged as of early March to start their transition to Lifesaving Society certifications.
While Red Cross Training Partners will be able to run Red Cross Swim throughout 2022, the Red Cross will not be signing any new Training Partner agreements for those looking to offer swimming & water safety programming in 2022.
What arrangement have the Canadian Red Cross and the Lifesaving Society made with respect to the Swim Transition?
Canadian Red Cross and the Lifesaving Society have an agreement to support the transition of customers of Red Cross water safety programming to the swimming and lifeguard programs of the Lifesaving Society. The two organizations worked collaboratively on transition pathways to facilitate this transition for both aquatic facilities and their staff. More on these pathways is available at myrc.recross.ca > News > Swim Transition.
My facility would like to continue to offer Red Cross Swim beyond December 31, 2022. Is this an option?
No. The Red Cross Swim program will be retired at the end of 2022.
FAQ - LIFESAVING SOCIETY CANADA
What programs will be available from the Lifesaving Society Canada with this transition?
The Lifesaving Society Swim for Life program will be available Canada-wide in English and French. In addition to its National Lifeguard certification, the Lifesaving Society already offers a full suite of lifesaving and leadership training programs to its.
Affiliate Members across the country. Provincial/territorial Branches also offer a range of Water Smart public education initiatives and aquatic safety management services including, safety audits and management training – in addition to other Branch-specific services and courses.
What timeframe do facilities have to make this transition?
In brief, facilities can make the transition at their convenience. We know this will take time and planning, and that training partners will have questions.
We anticipate that transition training for Red Cross certification holders will begin in March 2022.
To take advantage of the special arrangements related to the transition processes and costs, facilities (and aquatic staff) should plan to transition by December 31, 2022.
Summer-only program operators should contact the Lifesaving Society well in advance of the summer season.
What do I need to do now?
For Red Cross training partners, instructors, lifeguards and trainers who wish to take advantage of this transition opportunity, please know that it is the intention of both organizations to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Individuals should check out the relevant transition pathway options posted on the Red Cross and Lifesaving Society Branch websites. Contact your Lifesaving Society Branch office to answer any questions.
The process for Red Cross Water Safety Training Partners who are already Affiliate Members of the Lifesaving Society may be slightly different than the transition process for those who are not yet affiliated. In both cases, a person-to-person
conversation is the best way forward.
Let’s talk – in person, on screen, or on the phone. Contact us at your convenience. We’ll explore features and benefits of the Society’s programs, answer your questions and explore your concerns. Together, we’ll walk through the steps for a smooth and successful transition that works best for you.
Red Cross is referring its seasonal training partners to the Lifesaving Society for summer 2022 swim programming. If you wish to transition to the Lifesaving Society’s programs for 2022, please contact the Lifesaving Society early in the year.