Aquatic Recognized Certifications

(Revised January 2014)

Below are certifications that meet specified ACA standards, based on recommendations from the certifying bodies. This list will be updated several times each year. To determine if courses or certifications not listed meet standards requirements, e-mail the standards department at the ACA national office.

It is important to remember, that in addition to having the appropriate, current certification, lifeguards must also verify their skills in rescue and emergency procedures specific to the camp's aquatic area(s) and activities guarded. 

At this time, the American Camp Association requires that any aquatic, first aid, and CPR certification must include, at minimum, 50% of course time to include in-person instruction, hands-on practice, and skills assessment under the direct supervision of a certified instructor from one of the organizations listed below. It is acceptable to have a portion of the course be completed online (course readings, etc.).

The first number is the standard from the Accreditation Process Guide, 2007 Edition.  The second number is the standard from the Accreditation Process Guide, 2012 Edition.

*PA-14/PA.3 Swim Lifeguard Qualifications MANDATORY (also *PA-30/PA.30, *PT-2/PT.14)

American Red Cross Lifeguarding
Ellis and Associates Special Facilities Lifeguard, Pool Lifeguard
YMCA Lifeguard

BSA

National Lifesaving and Aquatics

Lifeguard

Lifeguard Training (LGT)

RLSS-Royal Life Saving Society(UK, Australia) Lifesaving Society (Canada)

RLSS - Royal Life Saving, New Zealand

National Lifeguard Service Award, National Beach Lifeguard, National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (must have additional training for lake guarding), National Open Water Lifeguard

Bronze Medallion with verification of current CPR

Skills Active/New Zealand Recreation Association

Pool Lifeguard Skills Award if working under a Competent Supervisor and Pool Lifeguard Practising Certificate or higher

Surf Lifesaving New Zealand Surf Lifeguard Award
URSUS Aquatics Lifeguard
UK/Irish WSA National Pool Lifeguard Qualification Lifeguard
Surf Life Saving Australia Surf Rescue, Bronze Medallion
Starfish Aquatics Institute  Starguard Lifeguard
H20 Pro Lifeguard
US Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer

*PA-18/PA.18 SCUBA Diving MANDATORY

NAUI Instructor
PADI Instructor
   

PA-19/PA.19 Swimming Lessons

American Red Cross WSI
Canadian Red Cross
YMCA YMCA Youth and Adult Instructor I or II
BSA Aquatic Instructor
Starfish Aquatics Institute Starfish Swimming Instructor

Ellis & Associates

Swim Lessons University  (Pool use only)

Learn to Swim Program Instructor

Certified Swim Instructor

AUSTSWIM, Inc. AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety
Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) of Great Britain Level 1 or Level 2 Aquatic Instructor
Swimming South Africa Preliminary Swimming Teachers Certificate, National Swimming Teachers Certificate

Professional Swimming Teachers and Coaches Association (PSTCA) (South Africa)

Active Training, World Aquatics

Skills Active/New Zealand Swimming

 

Level 1 or 2 Instructor Certificate                                                                                                     

Swimming Instructor                                                                           

SNZ Swim Teacher Award (previously ASTA)

*PA-20/PA.20 Watercraft Guard Certification-MANDATORY 
(also *PA-22/PA.22,*PA-30/PA.30, *PT-2/PT.14)

American Canoe Association Instructor Certification in: Introduction to Kayak or Canoe Instruction (Level 1), Essentials of River Kayaking, Kayak Touring, Riving Canoeing or Touring Canoeing (Level 2); River Kayak, River Canoe or Coastal Kayak (Level 3); OR Whitewater Kayak, Whitewater Canoe OR Open Water Coastal Kayak.
US Sailing Small Boat Sailor Instructor, Sailing Counselor Course
American Red Cross, Small Craft Safety. Contact Laurie Roberts at 314-516-2726 with ARC - St. Louis  Small Craft Safety w/designated craft, Basic Sailing Instructor, Canoe Instructor (Flat Water or Moving Water), Kayak Instructor (Flat Water or Moving Water)
American Sailing Association Basic Small Boat Instructor

British Canoe Union

Sierra Rescue (Provides courses in the Western USA)

Royal Yacht Association

Level 2 Coach Training (Flat Water Canoe and Kayak)

Swift Water Rescue for appropriate craft.                                                             

Dingy Instructor

Lifeguard certifications listed above (with specific craft rescue skills and experience)
 

PA-27/PA.27 Watercraft Instruction (also *PT-2/PT.14)

American Canoe Association Instructor Certification : Introduction to Kayak or Canoe Instruction (Level 1), Essentials of River Kayaking, Kayak Touring, Riving Canoeing or Touring Canoeing (Level 2); River Kayak, River Canoe or Coastal Kayak (Level 3); OR Whitewater Kayak, Whitewater Canoe OR Open Water Coastal Kayak.
US Sailing Small Boat Sailor Instructor, Sailing Counselor Course
American Red Cross Basic Sailing Instructor, Canoe Instructor (Flat Water or Moving Water), Kayak Instructor (Flat Water or Moving Water)
USA Water Ski Association Instructor
American Sailing Association Basic Small Boat Instructor
British Canoe Union Level 2 Coach  (Flat Water Canoe and Kayak)

PA-1/PA.1 Aquatics Supervisor Qualifications

ARC Lifeguard Management
YMCA YMCA Aquatic Facility Manager, Pool Operator on Location, Waterfront Director
BSA National Camp School Graduate, Aquatics Instructor
Lifeguard, swim instructor, or boating instructor certifications listed above
US Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer

*PA-17/PA.5 First Aid/CPR MANDATORY
(same as *PA-23/PA.23 and *PA-30/PA.30 and *PA-31/PA.31)

American Red Cross A. Standard First Aid, Community First Aid, Responding to Emergencies, Emergency Response
B. CPR, Community CPR, CPR for Professional Rescuer
American Heart Association CPR, Heart Saver Plus - Adult, Heart Saver AED - Adult/AED, Health Care Provider
SEE ALSO CPR acceptable on First Aid Equivalents Page