Aquatic Certifications for NYS Bathing Facilities

Fact Sheet - March 2018

Standards for aquatic/lifeguard certifications are contained in New York State Sanitary Code (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 Red Cross (ARC)
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.
Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED - Certification titles that include "Review" are acceptable     X
Lifeguarding, Waterpark Skills/First Aid/CPR/AED - Certification titles that include "Review" are acceptable; Waterpark Skills may be a separate certificate accompanying the Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED certificate     X
Lifeguarding Basic-Level test for Lifeguarding Instructors     X
Lifeguarding, Waterfront Skills/First Aid/CPR/AED - Certification titles that include "Review" are acceptable; Waterfront Skills may be a separate certificate accompanying the Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED certificate   X X
Lifeguarding Basic-Level test for Lifeguarding Instructors with Waterfront Skills Certificate   X X
American Lifeguard Association (ALA)
Certificate must state the words "Instructor Led."
Professional Lifeguarding - Instructor Led     X
Waterpark Lifeguarding - Instructor Led     X
Waterfront Lifeguarding - Instructor Led   X X
Boy Scouts of America
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).
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 Program

Separate certificate for CPR is not required in the first year of certification.
Pool Lifeguard Training     X
Special Facilities Lifeguard Training     X
Special Facilities Lifeguard Training with Open Water Training   X X
Ellis Education Services
International Lifeguard Training Program

All certifications are valid for 1 year.
Separate certificate for CPR is not required.
Lifeguard Training - Pool     X
Lifeguard Training - Special Facilities     X
Lifeguard Training - Open Water   X X
Hamptons Consortium Hamptons Consortium Surf Lifeguard X X X
Incorporated Village of Saltaire Ocean Lifeguard Certificate X    
Bay Front Lifeguard Certificate   X  
LIFEGUARD-PRO
All certifications are valid for 1 year.
LIFEGUARD-SWIMMING POOL     X
LIFEGUARD-DEEP POOL     X
LIFEGUARD-WATER PARK     X
LIFEGUARD-WATERFRONT   X X
LIFEGUARD-YOUTH CAMP   X 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, Canada
All certifications are valid for 2 years from date of issuance.
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, Inc
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.
STARGUARD Lifeguard Certification Program Lifeguard Certification Card     X
StarGuard Best Practices for Lifeguards with Waterfront Specialty Module Training - In "Specialty Module Training" section of certification card, "Waterfront" must not be crossed out   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
SHALLOW WATER CERTIFICATION
Provider Certification Title Valid for Shallow Pools as Indicated
American Red Cross
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.
Certification titles that include "Review" are acceptable.
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.
American Lifeguard Association
Certificate must state the words "Instructor Led."
Shallow Water Lifeguard Instructor-Led Water depths of 4 feet or less.
Ellis & Associates Inc.
International Lifeguard Training Program

Separate certificate for CPR is not required in the first year of certification.
Shallow Water Lifeguard Water depths of 5 feet or less.
Ellis Education Services
International Lifeguard Training Program

Certifications are valid for 1 year.
Separate certificate for CPR is not required.
Lifeguard Training - Shallow Water depths of 5 feet or less.
LIFEGUARD-PRO
All certifications are valid for 1 year.
LIFEGUARD-SHALLOW POOL Water depths of 5 feet or less.