Ontario Lowering Minimum Age Requirement to be a Lifeguard
TORONTO — The Ontario government is lowering the minimum age requirement to be a lifeguard, assistant lifeguard and aquatic instructor from 16 to 15 years of age to help communities address staffing shortages and make sure pools and recreational camp waterfronts across the province can be enjoyed safely. This change aligns the minimum age requirements with updated age requirements established by the Lifesaving Society’s certification course.
“As school rises for the summer and the weather warms up, we spend more time enjoying pools and camp waterfronts,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Lowering the age for youth to become lifeguards creates more job opportunities for youth in a rewarding position that can help keep community pools and recreational camp waterfronts safe.”
These changes come into effect today, on June 2, 2023. As a result, communities will now have access to more lifeguards so businesses and municipalities can hire additional staff ahead of the summer season. Access to more lifeguards will also help operators maintain and expand their hours of operation for public swimming and aquatic lessons.
Lifeguards must first pass a series of swimming tests and hold appropriate certifications – such as a current lifeguard or assistant lifeguard certificate or a current aquatic instructor certificate – to be able to work safely as lifeguards, assistant lifeguards, or aquatic instructors.
The National Lifeguard training and certification, delivered by the Lifesaving Society, is the professional standard for lifeguarding in Canada. It certifies lifeguards across the country and is recognized by the province of Ontario for lifeguarding public swimming pools.
In July 2020, the Lifesaving Society lowered its age requirement for the national lifeguard certificate from 16 to 15 years of age.