Certification Courses

Become a Lifeguard, Swim Instructor, Personal Trainer, or Group Fitness Instructor.

Getting certified is the first step towards working as an aquatics or fitness leader. After finishing our courses, you’ll be qualified to teach at the YMCA and many other organizations that recognize our well-established credentials.

For a list of currently available courses, please call 1-800-223-8024, drop by the membership desk at your local Health and Fitness centre, or visit our online portal.


  • Group Fitness Certification
    • This nationally recognized certification gives you the credentials you need to teach Group Fitness classes like CardioFit, Bootcamp, AquaFit, and more.
    • Courses are targeted to the type of class you want to teach: Choreography, Strength, Cycle, Aqua, or Yoga. We also have courses for volunteers to learn Arriba, Barre, MuscleFit and AquaFit – these classes are pre-choreographed so you can start teaching faster!
    • All courses include an apprenticeship: you'll get to practice teaching under the guidance of an experienced mentor, ensuring you learn how to lead a safe, effective and top-notch class.
  • Personal Training Certification
    • Learn how to offer high-quality fitness advice and coaching to individuals or small groups.
  • Aquatics Leadership: Bronze Star
    • This course provides you with the strong foundation you need to succeed in Bronze Medallion.
    • You'll develop problem-solving and decision-making skills as you work individually and with partners.
    • You'll also learn CPR and develop the lifesaving skills needed to be a lifeguard.
    • This course includes a timed 400 metre swim. No prerequisites required.
  • Aquatics Leadership: Bronze Medallion
    • You'll learn tows and carries, and defense methods and releases in preparation for challenging rescues of increased risk involving conscious and unconscious victims.
    • Lifesavers develop stroke efficiency and endurance in a time 500 metre swim.
    • You must be at least 13 years old to participate.
  • Aquatics Leadership: Bronze Cross
    • Designed for lifesavers who want more advanced training, including an introduction to safe supervision in aquatic facilities.
    • Includes a timed 600 metre swim.
    • Bronze Medallion and valid CPR-B plus Emergency First Aid are prerequisites.
  • Aquatics Leadership: National Lifeguard (NL)
    • National Lifeguard (NL) certification is the industry standard for lifeguards in Canada.
    • NL guards are water rescue professionals trained in emergency care.
    • Bronze Cross and valid Standard First Aid with CPR C are required.
    • Must be 16 years old by the end of the course.
  • Basic First Aid/CPR A
    • Learn to deal with injuries and medical emergencies at home, work or play.
    • Basic First Aid includes how to contact emergency medical services, rescue breathing, how to treat choking and minor injuries.
  • Emergency First Aid/ CPR B
    • Emergency First Aid is for people who want a general knowledge of first aid principles and the emergency treatment of injuries.
    • Skills include: victim assessment, CPR, choking and what to do for external bleeding, heart attack and stroke.
    • Includes CPR-B certification.
  • Standard First Aid/CPR C
    • Standard First Aid provides comprehensive training covering all aspects of first aid and CPR.
    • Standard First Aid incorporates all of Emergency First Aid and is designed for those who require a more in-depth understanding of first aid including:
      • Medical/legal aspects of first aid treatment
      • Spinal injuries, heat or cold injuries, bone and joint injuries, abdominal and chest injuries, burns and medical emergencies.
    • Includes CPR-C certification.
  • Standard First Aid/CPR C (Recert)
    • Current Standard First Aid (SFA) award holders may recertify their Lifesaving Society SFA certification just once on a Lifesaving Society SFA Recertification Course not more than 3 years from the Standard First Aid date of issue.
    • To renew SFA certifications subsequently, award holders must repeat the full SFA Course.
    • Thereafter, individuals may renew by alternating recertification and original courses.

Registration now open

Register for Fitness Certification programs by calling 1-800-223-8024 or visiting your local YMCA.

Have questions you want answered first? Read our FAQ.

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