Water Safety Instructor

In-Person & Hybrid


The purpose of the American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor® course is to train instructor candidates to teach courses and presentations in the American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety program by developing their understanding of how to use the course materials, how to conduct training sessions, and how to evaluate participants’ progress. This certification is the gold standard and provides the most comprehensive training for swim instructors.

Course Delivery

100% in-person training is offered for groups, crews, teams, offices, etc. Contact us to discuss the goals and outcomes of this training and book a course!

Hybrid training combines a virtual lecture-based portion (always led by a live Expedition School instructor) with an in-person skills checkoff.

What You’ll Learn

Course Topics
  • How to swim and be safe in, on, and around water
  • Swimming readiness and swim instruction courses within the Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety program
  • How to plan for, organize, teach, and train Parent and Child Aquatics, Preschool Aquatics, Learn-to-Swim, and Adult Swim courses
  • Skill development
  • Water safety
  • Drowning prevention education
  • Introduction and familiarization of teaching materials and resources
  • Introduction to a variety of water safety courses and presentations to help teach all age groups how to enjoy the water safely and how to stay safe in the event of an emergency
Course Materials

Upon registration, students will receive a welcome packet from The Expedition School. This will detail the specifics of the course, including course handouts, manuals, and video supplements. Students are responsible for bringing their course materials to every class.

What to Bring


  • Internet-connected device with sufficient bandwidth to accommodate virtual learning platform
  • Distraction-free & noise-free environment


  • Downloaded course materials on your laptop or mobile device
  • Digital method of taking notes (pen and paper provided)
  • Hydration System + Snacks and/or Meal(s)
  • Appropriate cloth face covering or face mask
  • Alcohol based sanitizer solution to disinfect surfaces and hands
  • Comfortable, competitive style swimsuit or board shorts
  • Towel + extra
  • Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses 
  • Extra set of contact lenses (or your glasses)
  • Weather appropriate clothing
  • Change of clothes
  • Any pertinent personal current medication(s) (epi pen, bronchodilator, anti-seizure medication, etc.)
What to Wear
  • Comfortable, competitive style swimsuit or board shorts
  • Weather appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Appropriate cloth face covering or face mask
  • Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses
    • American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Certification
    • Valid for 2 years




    32 hours

    Updated: 1/1/2024

    • Be at least 16 years old on the last day of the instructor course.
    • Swim the following strokes consistent with the Stroke Performance Charts, Level 4 (see attachment for Level 4 standards):
      • 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.
    Private Course

    $650 per student; Minimum of 6 for course to make. Contact us for more details.

    New Offering!

    TES Membership

    TES Membership

    TES Membership

    New for 2024, we are now offering the ability to maintain and recertify through a recurring continuing education membership plan with The Expedition School.

    Access to Any CE Course of Choice


    • Great option for students to try out our CE Courses!
    • Classes are no more than 1 hour in length
    • Registration for 1 class pass grants entry to any of our CE Courses
    • Access to same class materials that members receive
    • Single classes will credit towards a future Expedition School Membership

    Access to Unlimited CE Courses For 1 Year


    • CE Courses are no more than 1 hour in length
    • Designed to serve as continuing education for recertifying students
    • Students may choose which courses they attend
    • CE Requirements provided for students to track progress
    • Full recertification upon completion of all CE Requirements

    Access to Unlimited CE Courses For 2 Years

    $199/2 Years

    • Access to CE Courses for full length of certification period
    • 2 year CE plan ensures retention of knowledge and skills
    • Courses scheduled at various days and times throughout the week
    • Student handouts allow review of material post class
    • Full recertification upon completion of all CE Requirements

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