YMCA Fitness Certification Courses

Be certified as a Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer or Lifeguard.

The YMCA offers a wide variety of courses designed to provide you with the knowledge necessary to teach fitness and aquatics classes, or offer your services as a personal trainer. Following the completion of our courses, you’ll be qualified to teach at the YMCA and many other organizations that recognize our well-established credentials. In addition to learning foundational skills and proficiencies, you’ll also benefit from the guidance of YMCA Trainers, who support you as you work through your courses, allowing you to get the most out of this educational opportunity.

For a list of currently available courses, please download this PDF.

  • Fitness Leadership: Group Fitness Certification
    • A nationally recognized certification for those who wish to teach Group Fitness classes, such as CardioFit, Bootcamp, AquaFit and more.
    • Courses are targeted to the type of class you wish 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, so you get to practice under the guidance of an experienced mentor, ensuring that you teach a safe, effective and top-notch class.
  • Fitness Leadership: Personal Training
    • This YMCA certification is for those who wish to provide fitness advice and coaching to individuals or small groups
  • Aquatics Leadership: Bronze Star
    • Excellent preparation for success in Bronze Medallion.
    • Participants develop problem-solving and decision-making skills individually and in partners.
    • Candidates learn CPR and develop the lifesaving skills needed to be their own lifeguard.
    • Includes a timed 400 metre swim. No prerequisites required.
  • Aquatics Leadership: Bronze Medallion
    • Rescuers 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 500 metre timed swim.
    • Must be 13 years old.
  • 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.

Questions about our courses?

  • Registration fees are fully refundable if cancellation occurs prior to one week before the start of the program.
  • If cancellation occurs with less than one week before the start, 75% will be refunded. Should a participant withdraw after the course has begun, 50% of the registration fee will be refunded.
  • Yes. The YMCA developed the first nationally recognized Fitness Leadership program in 1974 and continues to train Fitness Leaders today. By fostering relationship building, YMCA fitness programs create a positive atmosphere where members can achieve their personal goals.

To visit our FAQ full section, click here.

Register for Fitness Certification programs by calling 1-800-223-8024 or visit your YMCA Centre to sign up.

Find a Y