American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor

American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor

Course Length: 31 hours, 15 minutes
Course Fee: $175.00

There are no refunds once registered for a course.

Free classes are available to anyone working exclusively for the City of Columbus.  Please contact the Aquatic Center.

Course Dates

View Online Registration to see the list of available classes.  Classes are listed in the Register tab under Programs or Activities.


The purpose of this instructor course is to train instructor candidates to teach courses and presentations in the American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety program including Parent and Child Aquatics, Preschool Aquatics, Learn-to-Swim, Adult Swim, Private Lessons, Water Safety Courses and Water Safety Presentations.


Candidates must:

  • Be at least 16 years old on or before the last day of the Instructor Course.
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform the following swimming skills:
    • Swim the following strokes consistent with the Stroke Performance Charts, Level 4:
    • Front Crawl - 25 yards
    • Back Crawl - 25 yards
    • Breaststroke - 25 yards
    • Elementary Backstroke - 25 yards
    • Sidestroke - 25 yards
    • Butterfly - 15 yards
  • Maintain position on back for 1 minute in deep water (floating or sculling)
  • Tread water for 1 minute

Failure to complete the pre-requisites on the first day of class is an automatic dismissal from the course and refunds will not be given.  The City of Columbus encourages all candidates to practice the pre-requisites before signing up for a course.  The Aquatic Center will not charge admission for those practicing for a water safety instructor course.

Certification Requirements

To become certified as a Water Safety Instructor, instructor candidates must:

  • Successfully complete the Pre-course Session
  • Attend and actively participate in all course sessions
  • Successfully complete class activities, including the required practice teaching assignments
  • Score a minimum of 80% (40 correct answers out of 50 questions) on the final written exam

Certificate Issued and Validity Period

American Red Cross certificate for Water Safety Instructor: 2 years

Participant Materials (available in e-book and print formats)

  • American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor's Manual
  • American Red cross Swimming and Water Safety
  • View the American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Candidates website to access digital materials and online prerequisites.