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How Often Do You Need to Renew Your Lifeguard Certification?

Lifeguard Certification

Understanding Lifeguard Certification Renewal

Maintaining an up-to-date and valid lifeguard certification is essential for anyone seeking to work as a lifeguard. While initial lifeguard certification requires extensive hands-on training and skills assessment, keeping certifications current through ongoing renewal is just as important. Regular renewal ensures lifeguards continuously refresh and enhance their skills so they can provide immediate response and assistance in aquatic emergencies.

How Often is Renewal Typically Required?

Most lifeguard certification providers require renewals to occur either annually or every two years. The American Lifeguard Association, one of the largest certification organizations in the US, mandates annual renewal of all lifeguard certifications. This allows lifeguards to refresh their skills and knowledge on a frequent basis through continuing education requirements. It also guarantees the public that lifeguards working with the ALA credential are within one year of their most recent training.

Continuing Education for Renewal

To renew certifications, lifeguards must complete a certain number of continuing education hours focused on refreshing lifeguarding skills and learning about the latest emergency response techniques and safety protocols. The ALA requires a minimum of ten hours of continuing education annually to renew certifications. This education can be obtained through in-person or online recertification courses that emphasize scenario-based practice of resuscitation skills like CPR. Some topics covered include new first aid procedures, enhanced victim assessment practices, policy updates, and reviewing injury and accident case studies.

Skills Evaluation During Renewal

In addition to continuing education, lifeguard certification renewal through the ALA also necessitates passing a comprehensive skills review. This skills evaluation ensures lifeguards can still competently perform all physical skills required in an emergency, like entering the water fully clothed, effective surveillance techniques, rapid victim retrievals, and prompt resuscitation manoeuvres. Skills checklists cover both land and water-based scenarios to guarantee appropriate responses in all situations. Passing the skills assessment is critical for renewal so lifeguards can demonstrate they still meet the physical and mental demands of the job.

Benefits of Regular Renewal

Requiring frequent renewal ensures lifeguards remain consistently prepared to act in any aquatic emergency. Stale skills and knowledge could increase response times and impact rescues if not refreshed. Regular renewal through continuing education keeps lifeguards aware of technical enhancements in the field while repetitive skills practice maintains their proficiency. It provides assurance to both the lifeguard and their employer that they possess validated up-to-date abilities. Renewal also reinforces the ALA’s commitment to public safety through credentialed lifeguards operating at peak performance everywhere aquatic facilities overseen by the association are located.

Keeping Certification Current

In summary, renewal of lifeguard certification is necessary on either an annual or biennial basis through most certification bodies like the American Lifeguard Association. To keep certifications eligible, commitments of ongoing continuing education and repetitive skills assessment must be satisfied. This ensures optimized rescuer response capabilities and that lifeguards remain equipped to handle all types of water emergencies effectively, which provides safe and responsible oversight of pools, waterparks, beaches and other aquatic settings across the country. Regular renewal requirements instill both competence and confidence for lifeguards and those they are charged to protect.

Tracking Renewal Requirements

Keeping track of renewal deadlines and continuing education hours can be difficult for lifeguards with busy schedules. That’s why the American Lifeguard Association (ALA) provides online certification profiles for all credentialed lifeguards. Within their personal ALA account, a lifeguard can view the exact date their certification will expire as well as how many more continuing education hours are required to complete the renewal process with time to spare.

The association also notifies members well ahead of deadlines through email reminders. And on their website, the ALA maintains a calendar of upcoming in-person and online recertification courses around the country. This makes it convenient to find renewal training in any local area. Lifeguards can even complete partial continuing education hours through the ALA’s extensive online library of safety videos and skill refresher modules available 24/7.

Renewal Considerations for Employers

As the largest lifeguard certification body, the American Lifeguard Association works closely with aquatic facility managers and human resource departments nationwide. Employers that exclusively hire ALA-credentialed lifeguards receive specialized resources to simplify their part in ensuring guards’ certifications remain valid.

For example, employers get access to automated certification verification on the ALA website. They can quickly look up any guard’s renewal date listed on their profile. The association also lists company administrators who receive alerts leading up to expiration, so guards don’t accidentally work with lapsed certifications. Hiring only ALA-certified staff guarantees employers that certifications will remain active through ongoing education and evaluation requirements.

Workplace policies typically mandate guards complete renewal training and skills assessments fully paid by their employer, whether on company time or personal days. Many pool managers attend courses themselves to stay knowledgeable on industry best practices. And some facilities reward renewed guards with small compensations or tuition assistance for continuing their education every year. Read more informative article click here.

Options for Lapsed Certification

Despite best efforts, occasional life circumstances may cause certifications to accidently go past their deadline without renewal. The good news is the American Lifeguard Association offers leniency to help guards get re-credentialed.

For lapses up to 3 months, guards simply need to pay a late fee on top of standard renewal dues. They also complete a half-day renewal course and skills assessment. For longer lapses up to 12 months, online remediation modules are required in addition to an intensive 1-day re-certification class. And lapses over a year mean fundamentally re-taking initial certification training from scratch, just like new recruits.

While the ALA prefers lifeguards maintain continuous certification, these policies are compassionate to real life while still prioritizing guard competency. They help committed rescuers efficiently get back in the water protecting the public after unavoidable lapses resolve.

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