Coach Safety Requirements

Effective since 1988, all coach members are required to fulfill safety training requirements as established by the USA Swimming Board of Directors. USA Swimming requires coach members to present evidence of having passed the following courses: Safety Training for Swim Coaches and CPR. First Aid is no longer required since it is incorporated in the new Safety Training for Swim Coaches online course.

 

From an insurance standpoint, you are no longer insured as a coach as of the date that any of your safety cards expire. You are immediately considered a non-athlete member who is no longer a coach.

 

A list of acceptable  CPR and STSC courses is below. Taking courses that are not on this list will not be acceptable for coach membership. CPR and STSC are each valid for two years.

SAFETY TRAINING FOR SWIM COACHES (STSC)

The STSC requirement consists of two components: (A) an online course and test, and (B) an in-water skills session. A. All coaches must complete the online course and test. B. There are three options for completing the in-water skills session. Find the option that works best for you and then scroll down for additional information about that option:

  • Option 1: Print the generic STSC In-Water Skills Checklist (available below) and review the skills with an instructor certified by one of the organizations on the checklist;


  • Option 2: Maintain a valid lifeguard certification from an approved agency (list of approved agencies is below)


  • Option 3: Take the full in-water skills session from an American Red Cross instructor.

FOR COACHES

WITHOUT LIFEGUARDING CERTIFICATION AND HAVE ACCESS TO AN AMERICAN RED CROSS INSTRUCTOR
  • If you have a current Safety Training for Swim Coaches certificate, you are eligible for a review course. If you do not have a current STSC certificate, you must take the full course.

  • Complete the STSC Online Content Only course; save/print the certificate. After completing the online course, register for a Safety Training for Swim Coaches In-Water Skills Session that is scheduled through a Red Cross participating aquatics facility. 

  • If you cannot find a course, contact a Safety Training for Swim Coaches, Lifeguarding or Water Safety instructor at a Red Cross participating facility to get a course scheduled.

  • You will receive a Safety Training for Swim Coaches In-Water Skills Session certificate when you complete the session. Submit the online and in-water certificates to your LSC registrar.
WITH ELIGIBLE LIFEGUARDING CERTIFICATION
  • Check your expiration date on your USA Swimming membership card or Deck Pass.

  • Be sure that your Lifeguarding Certification is current, if it has expired or expires soon, renew it now.

  • Complete the Safety Training for Swim Coaches Online Content Only course option. You can enroll in this online-only course at www.redcross.org/takeaclass
    1.  Scroll down and Safety Training for Swim Coaches Online Content Only appears.
    2.  Click on Sign Me Up.
    3.  Follow the steps of creating an account and complete payment.
    4.  Print/save the Online Content Only Certificate (not the certificate of the test score).
    5.  Email a copy of your certificate to your LSC registration chair.  


  • Present a valid, eligible Lifeguarding certificate and Safety Training for Swim Coaches Online Content Only certificate to your LSC.
WHO DO NOT HAVE A LIFEGUARD CERTIFICATION AND DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO AN AMERICAN RED CROSS INSTRUCTOR

Coaches who are unable to find an ARC instructor to conduct the skills session can now contact a certified lifeguard instructor from another agency and present the STSC In-Water Skills Checklist to that instructor. The instructor must be certified by one of the agencies listed on the checklist. 

  • Complete the STSC Online Content Only course option. Enroll in this course at www.redcross.org/takeaclass.
  • 1.  Scroll down and Safety Training for Swim Coaches Online Content Only appears.
    2.  Click on Sign Me Up.
    3.  Follow the steps of creating an account and complete payment.
    4.  Print/save the Online Content Only Certificate (not the certificate of the test score).
    5.  Email a copy of your certificate to your LSC registration chair.  


  • Find a certified lifeguard instructor from one of the organizations listed on the STSC In-Water Skills Checklist and arrange a time to meet the instructor at a pool. Take a copy of the ARC STSC Online Content Only certificate and the STSC In-Water Skills Checklist with you. Review and demonstrate the skills on the checklist  with the instructor; have the instructor sign the checklist. You need to sign it as well.

  • After completing the skills session, send the ARC STSC Online Content Only certificate and the STSC In Water Skills Checklist to your LSC registrar. Your STSC credential will be valid for two years.

RED CROSS AQUATIC REPRESENTATIVES

If you are having a difficult time finding an instructor, follow the link to locate an American Red Cross in your area. They can help you find a facility and an instructor.

Approved CPR/AED Certifications

Requirements must be always kept current. There is no grace period; coach membership is not valid if any of the requirements lapse or expire. Coaches do not have USA Swimming insurance coverage if their membership is not valid; club insurance is also jeopardized by allowing coaches with lapsed certifications to be on deck. To help coaches manage their membership requirements, the date that each requirement expires is printed on the USA Swimming coach membership card, as well as being available on the Deck Pass app and through the online Club Portal. Below is a list of CPR/AED courses that have been approved by the Operational Risk Committee. Certifications from courses not on this list will not be accepted.

 

NOT ACCEPTABLE: Unless otherwise indicated, Instructor certifications, are NOT ACCEPTED, including First Aid, Health & Safety for Coaches and Foreign certifications. 

 

IMPORTANT: If other organizations listed below issue American Red Cross and/or American Heart Association certificates/cards from an approved course, they are acceptable. 

 

Online-only courses are not acceptable.

 

 

ORGANIZATION  COURSE NAME  COURSE NOTES 
American Red Cross
1-800-red-cross
support@redcrosstraining.org
Adult and Child and/or Pediatric CPR / AED
American Red Cross
1-800-red-cross
support@redcrosstraining.org
Adult and Child First Aid/CPR/AED
American Red Cross
1-800-red-cross
support@redcrosstraining.org
Basic Life Support
American Red Cross
1-800-red-cross
support@redcrosstraining.org
CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers and Healthcare Providers
American Red Cross
1-800-red-cross
support@redcrosstraining.org
Lifeguarding/CPR/AED Also acceptable for the STSC in-water skills requirement
American Red Cross
1-800-red-cross
support@redcrosstraining.org
Shallow Water Lifeguarding Course NOTE: Does not satisfy the STSC in-water skills requirement.
American Red Cross
1-800-red-cross
support@redcrosstraining.org
Responding to Emergencies Adult and Child First Aid / CPR
American Red Cross
1-800-red-cross
support@redcrosstraining.org
Lifeguarding with any Bundle #1-5 Also acceptable for the STSC in-water skills requirement
American Heart Assoc. BLS Provider – Basic Life Support (CPR / AED)
American Heart Assoc. Health Care Provider – BLS for Healthcare Providers (CPR / AED)
American Heart Assoc. Heartsaver First Aid CPR / AED (must have Optional Module of Child CPR / AED completed)
American Heart Assoc. Heartsaver for K-12 Schools (must have Optional Module of Child CPR / AED completed)
American Heart Assoc. Instructor/Instructor Trainer Certification for Basic Life Support or CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers
American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) Adult and Pediatric or Child CPR / AED
American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers and Professional Rescuers
American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) Instructor/Instructor Trainer Certification for Basic Life Support or CPR Pro for the Professional Rescuer
California Parks & Recreation California State Lifeguard
Emergency Care and Safety Institute Adult and Pediatric or Child CPR / AED
Emergency Care and Safety Institute Adult and Pediatric or Child First Aid, CPR / AED
Jeff Ellis & Associates Lifeguarding Also acceptable for the STSC in-water skills requirement
Jeff Ellis & Associates Standard First Aid, Community CPR & AED
Jeff Ellis & Associates Health Care Provider Basic Life Support (CPR and AED)
Jeff Ellis & Associates Instructor/Instructor Trainer Certification for Lifeguarding Instructor or Lifeguarding Instructor Trainer Also acceptable for the STSC in-water skills requirement
National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, Active State Licensure or Certification Paramedic
National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, Active State Licensure or Certification Emergency Medical Technician – Advanced
National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, Active State Licensure or Certification Emergency Medical Technician
National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, Active State Licensure or Certification Emergency Medical Responder
National Safety Council Adult and Pediatric or Child CPR / AED
National Safety Council Instructor/Instructor Trainer Certification for Basic Life Support for Health Care and Professional Rescuers
StarGuard Elite Lifeguarding Also acceptable for the STSC in-water skills requirement
StarGuard Elite Instructor/Instructor Trainer in Lifeguarding Instructor (3 star) Also acceptable for the STSC in-water skills requirement
YMCA Lifeguarding Also acceptable for the STSC in-water skills requirement
YMCA Instructor/Instructor Trainer Certification for Lifeguarding Instructor Trainer Also acceptable for the STSC in-water skills requirement

APPROVED STSC IN-WATER SKILLS CERTIFICATIONS

This list applies to the STSC in-water skills component only; all coaches are required to complete the STSC online course and test and then complete the In-Water Skills Checklist. 

 

NOTE:  Foreign certifications are not acceptable. 

ORGANIZATION  COURSE NAME  COURSE NOTES 
American Red Cross
1-800-red-cross
support@redcrosstraining.org
Lifeguarding Also acceptable for the CPR/AED requirement
American Red Cross
1-800-red-cross
support@redcrosstraining.org
Safety Training for Swim Coaches In-Water Skills Checklist
American Red Cross
1-800-red-cross
support@redcrosstraining.org
Lifeguarding with any Bundle #1-5 Also acceptable for the CPR/AED requirement
Jeff Ellis & Associates Lifeguarding Also acceptable for the CPR/AED requirement
Jeff Ellis & Associates Safety Training for Swim Coaches In-Water Skills Checklist
StarGuard Elite Lifeguarding Also acceptable for the CPR/AED requirement
StarGuard Elite Safety Training for Swim Coaches In-Water Skills Checklist
YMCA Lifeguarding Also acceptable for the CPR/AED requirement
YMCA Safety Training for Swim Coaches In-Water Skills Checklist
HAVE QUESTIONS?
Contact your Local Swimming Committee registrar.
Safety Training for Swim Coaches Skill Sheet

Coaching Membership Requirement Checklist

The information and steps needed to take to become a new coach or to renew your coaching membership.

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