Aquatic Certifications for Bathing Facilities

Fact Sheet - March 2016

Standards for aquatic/lifeguard certifications are contained in New York State Sanitary Codes (SSC) Subpart 6-1, Section 6-1.31, Swimming Pools; Subpart 6-2, Section 6-2.20, Bathing Beaches; and Subpart 7-2, Section 7-2.5(g), Children’s Camps. When the SSC requires "lifeguard supervision" or a "qualified lifeguard" at a bathing facility, an approved lifeguard certification SPECIFIC to the type of bathing facility is required.

  • All lifeguards must possess separate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification in an approved course listed on the NYS CPR fact sheet unless otherwise indicated in the below table. All CPR certificates are valid for 1 year from course completion, regardless of the expiration date noted on the card.
  • Lifeguard certifications shall be valid for the time period specified by the certifying agency, but may not exceed a consecutive three-year period from course completion. Multiyear lifeguard certifications that include CPR require a CPR certification each year.
  • Children's camp lifeguards must be at least 17 years of age, except:
    • A maximum of 50% of the required lifeguards on duty may be 16 years of age;
    • Lifeguards for wilderness swimming must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Supervising lifeguards must possess at least Supervision Level IIb certification, be at least 18 years old, and have at least 2 seasons of lifeguarding experience.

ACCEPTED COURSES
  SUPERVISION LEVEL
Marked boxes indicate acceptability
Provider Certification Title Level 1
Surf
Level IIb
Pool & Beach
Level IIa
Pool Only
American Lifeguard Association1 Professional Lifeguarding - Instructor Led     X
Waterpark Lifeguarding - Instructor Led     X
Waterfront Lifeguarding - Instructor Led   X X
American Red Cross (ARC)2 Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED     X
Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED with Waterpark Skills Certificate*     X
Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED with Waterfront Skills Certificate*   X X
Boy Scouts of America3 Lifeguard, BSA   X X
Aquatics Instructor, BSA   X X
Breezy Point Cooperative, Inc. Breezy Point Surf Lifeguard X    
Cattaraugus County EMS Cattaraugus County EMS Lifeguard Training Program   X X
Ellis & Associates Inc., International Lifeguard Training Program4 Pool Lifeguard Training     X
Special Facilities Lifeguard Training     X
Special Facilities Lifeguard Training with Open Water Training5   X X
Hamptons Consortium Hamptons Consortium Surf Lifeguard X X X
Incorporated Village of Saltaire Ocean Lifeguard Certificate X    
Bay Front Lifeguard Certificate   X  
Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums "Day Camp Only"     X
Grade 1A     X
Grade 1B     X
Grade II   X X
Grade III X X X
New York City Department of Parks Municipal Lifeguard X X X
Municipal Lifeguard "pool only"     X
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation New York State Lifeguard   X X
Royal Life Saving Society, Canada6 National Lifeguard Service (NLS)Pool     X
National Lifeguard Service (NLS) Waterfront   X  
National Lifeguard Service (NLS) Surf X    
National Lifeguard Service (NLS) Waterpark     X
Starfish Aquatics Institute, Inc7 StarGuard Best Practices for Lifeguards     X
StarGuard Best Practices for Lifeguards with Waterfront Specialty Module Training8   X X
Suffolk County Department of Parks Ocean Lifeguard Training X    
Stillwater Lifeguard Training Course   X  
Town of Babylon Ocean Lifeguard X X X
Stillwater Lifeguard Training Course   X X
Town of Brookhaven Ocean Theory Course X X X
Town of East Hampton Surf Lifeguard X X X
Pool and Beach Lifeguard   X X
Town of Islip Surf Lifeguard X X X
Pool and Beach Lifeguard   X X
Town of Southampton Ocean Lifeguard X X X
Stillwater Lifeguard   X X
Village of Ocean Beach Ocean Beach Atlantic Ocean Lifeguard Course X X X
YMCA YMCA Lifeguard v6 Certification   X X
2011 Edition Lifeguard Certification   X X
SHALLOW WATER CERTIFICATION
Provider Certification Title Valid for Shallow Pools as Indicated
American Lifeguard Association1 Shallow Water Lifeguard Instructor-Led Water depths of 4 feet or less.
American Red Cross2 Shallow Water Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED Water depths of 5 feet or less.
Aquatic Attraction Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED Water depths of 3 feet or less.
Ellis & Associates Inc., International Lifeguard Training Program4 Shallow Water Lifeguard Water depths of 5 feet or less.

Footnotes

  1. Certificate must state the words "Instructor Led"
  2. Lifeguarding and First Aid certifications are valid for 2 years from date or issuance. A separate certificate for CPR is NOT required in first year of certification. Waterpark skills or Waterfront skills may be a separate certificate.
  3. All certifications are valid for 2 years from date of issuance and card holder must be at least 15 years of age (17 years of age for children's camps).
  4. Separate certificate for CPR is not required in the first year of certification.
  5. Certificate must indicate completion of Open Water Training.
  6. All certifications are valid for 2 years from date of issuance.
  7. Certification is valid for 1 year from date of issuance and certificate must specify "Meets NY State Department of Health Regulations." Separate Certificate for CPR is not required in the first year of certification.
  8. In "Specialty Module Training" section of certification card, "Waterfront" must not be crossed out.