COVID-19 Updates: Visit our COVID-19 webpage for full details and up-to-date information.
Effective Wednesday, January 5 at 12:01 a.m., Ontario will move back into a modified version of Step Two of Ontario’s roadmap to reopen for a minimum of 21 days. For information on what programs and services are operational, visit our Reopening Aurora webpage.

Aquatic Leadership - Pathway to Becoming a Lifeguard and Swim Instructor

Working as a lifeguard and a swim instructor is a very rewarding job experience.

Come Work For Us Today
As a lifeguard, you will learn about the fundamentals of accident prevention and safety supervision. Essentially, your job is to create a safe yet enjoyable aquatic environment for individuals of all ages and abilities to explore and play; and be prepared to respond to any type of emergencies that come your way. As a swim instructor, you will learn and apply various teaching methods and strategies to meet the unique needs of the learners in a pool setting. This job challenges you to use critical thinking skills and to make a difference in your community by solving real-life problems. When you work for the Town as an Aquatic staff, you are not just representing your community, but you are an ambassador of community drowning prevention efforts. You are more of a hometown hero than you think.
  • Develop leadership and communication skills, and opportunity to working in a team setting.
  • Transferable skills to various career paths (for example - educator, nurses, firefighters, paramedics).
  • Hands-on experience in dealing with children and vulnerable populations.
  • On-site training and opportunities to take advanced aquatic leadership courses and certifications with employee discounts.
How Do I Become a Lifeguard / Swim Instructor? 

Check out the pathway chart to learn how you can become a lifeguard or swim instructor.

Course Format during COVID-19

The Town of Aurora may be providing Aquatic Leadership courses in either a traditional in-person format or a new blended-learning format.

Blended-Learning Format

In the new blended-learning format, participants will be able to gain lifesaving knowledge and participate in discussions in a virtual setting with an Instructor, and will participate during the in-person session to gain technical skills and to complete their summative evaluation.

In order to obtain the certification at the end of the course in either format, participants must meet all evaluation standards during the in-person session.

Training Modifications 

In addition to following the Region’s direction and guidelines on COVID-19 safe practices:

  • For in-water rescues, participants are encouraged to avoid face-to-face proximity during rescue activities.
  • Where possible, Instructors will minimize the interaction between participants in the course by organizing participants into fixed training groups throughout the course.
  • The Town recognizes that due to the nature of Aquatic Leadership courses, there are certain evaluation items where maintaining physical distancing and the fixed training group model is not feasible.

Upcoming Courses

Pre-registration is required. Register online at e-PLAY

Registration for all Aquatic Leadership Programs closes 7 days in advance of the course start date.

For more information, please email Terri Edwards

Courses - Winter 2022 

Pre-registration is required. Register online at e-PLAY

Courses - Spring 2022
Information coming soon.
Courses - Summer 2022
Information coming soon.

Aquatic Employment

The lifeguard and swim instructors job postings can be found on our Jobs webpage during the following application periods.

Aquatic Employment - Application Periods
Aquatic Employment - Application Periods
SeasonApplication PeriodTentative Start Date for Work

Spring 2022

January 15 to February 15, 2022

March 2022

Summer 2022

May 9 to June 3, 2022

July 2022

Fall 2022

August 2 to September 2, 2022

September 2022


Steps to Become an Aquatic Staff
  1. In order to be considered for a position under R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 565: Public Pools, Section 17 (6), under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, you are at least 16 years of age. You must hold a current Ministry approved lifeguard certificate (i.e. Lifesaving Society, Canadian Red Cross); and a Ministry approved Standard First Aid (or higher) certificate.
  2. Apply for the specific job posting by submitting your cover letter and resume.
  3. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted after the application period for an interview. Note: No technical or in-water skill testing is required.
  4. Successful applicants will be contacted with a conditional offer and will be required to attend mandatory trainings prior to the first day of work. 

YRDSB & Town of Aurora Aquatic Leadership Program

Note: Due to COVID-19, the York Region District School Board’s Continuing Education Services is not offering Part 1 and Part 2 in the 2021-2022 school year.

YRDSB/TOA Aquatic Leadership Program

Earn high school credits with YRDSB’s Aquatic Leadership Program and the Town of Aurora.

The two-part program is conducted in a blended learning format, which includes pool instruction, in-class instruction and online learning. Upon completion, successful students may earn certifications to be used to work as a lifeguard or a swim instructor.

Reasons to take the YRDSB/TOA Aquatic Leadership Program
Reasons to take the Aquatic Leadership Program:
  1. Get the training and experience needed to become a certified lifeguard or swim instructor in Ontario at significantly reduced costs.

  2. This course counts as a credit towards graduating high school. Learn real-life skills while advancing towards graduation.

  3. Build your leadership skills and become job ready with in-demand lifeguard certifications.

Course Information
Aquatics Leadership Program Courses
Course Name Credit Value Pre-requisite Certifications
Healthy Living and Aquatic Activities (PAQ2O1) 1.0
  • 13 years of age or older
  • Able to swim 400 metres continuously
  • Eligible to earn high school credits
  • Lifesaving Society's Bronze Medallion
  • Lifesaving Society's Bronze Cross
  • Lifesaving Society's Standard First Aid with CPR-C
Recreation and Healthy Active Living Leadership (PLF4M) 1.0
  • Must be 15 years of age by the last day of the course
  • Lifesaving Society's Bronze Cross
  • Standard First Aid with CPR-C
  • Lifesaving Society's National Lifeguard Pool
  • Lifesaving Society's Swim, Lifesaving & Emergency First Aid Instructor


Terri Edwards
Aquatics Coordinator
905-727-3123 Ext. 3126
Email Terri Edwards