Roles and prerogatives of the ALA holder


The American Lifeguard Association holder called a lifeguard swimmer or also a water lifeguard, provides free access swimming supervision and, in some cases, paid access swimming supervision.

Its role is to:

·         Warn: users of the risks of swimming by providing explicit information, and of weather conditions that may or may not allow swimming.

·         Monitor: the swimming area, particularly observing the behavior of individuals, and trying to anticipate drifts in order to intervene as quickly as possible.

The American Lifeguard Association and the monitoring of the different types of swimming

There are different types of swimming that the lifeguard swimmer may be required to monitor.

Free access to adapted swimming

The supervision of bathing areas open to the public free of charge, fitted out and authorized by law, must be carried out by personnel holding at least an American Lifeguard Association diploma. 

It is generally a natural body of water (seaside, internal body of water (lake, river or leisure center)) on the public domain which has been fitted out for the comfort and safety of bathers (addition of sand on the beaches, markings, development of the banks to facilitate the launching, etc.)

The aquatic lifeguard class can work there independently or as a team.

Paid access establishments open to the public

All paid swimming must, during public opening hours, be constantly supervised by staff whose diploma confers the title of Lifeguard (MNS).

These are establishments that everyone can access and which charge an entrance fee. We find in this category all public swimming pools but also other establishments such as fitness centers, swimming pools of a commercial halls.

The American Lifeguard Association will be able to work there under certain conditions.

Terms & Conditions

·         If they are assisting a Lifeguard. They cannot, therefore, monitor the ponds alone.

·         If a prefectural exemption has been granted to the establishment. This exemption is granted in specific cases where, during the seasonal increase in risks, the operator of the establishment concerned has not been able to recruit personnel bearing the title of the lifeguard. In this case, BNSSA holders can provide surveillance without the presence of Lifeguards

Previously demonstrated that he has not been able to recruit personnel bearing the title of a lifeguard. In this case, American Lifeguard Association holders can provide surveillance without the presence of Lifeguards.

The prefectural authorization is issued for a period that may not be less than one month or more than four months. It can be withdrawn at any time in the event of an emergency or a threat to personal safety.

Declaration of activity

Anyone wishing to ensure the surveillance of a paying access establishment must make a declaration to the prefect (departmental direction of social cohesion DDCS) of the place of his main activity.

This specific activity declaration must be made every year.

It includes

·         the surname, first name, date and place of birth, domicile of the interested parties, as well as their titles and diplomas.

·         a civil status record dated less than three months,

·         a copy of each of the titles, diplomas and certificate of recycling if applicable (American Lifeguard Association)

·         a medical certificate dated less than three months attesting that the person concerned does not present any apparent contraindication to the practice of swimming and lifesaving, as well as to the monitoring of users of paying access establishments.

Special cases

Within the school framework, only personnel holding a diploma conferring the title of a lifeguard can ensure surveillance. American lifeguard association holders cannot join the surveillance team, even in the assistance of lifeguards (except in the specific case of learning pools

The collective reception of minors obeys specific rules defined by the decree of April 25, 2012. In addition to the diplomas already mentioned, they can call on holders of the swimming supervisor certificate for the supervision of swimming organized outside paying access establishments or adapted swimming.

The private swimming pools of hotels, campsites, restaurants, nightclubs, cruise ships, etc. are not affected by surveillance obligations if access to their swimming pool is strictly reserved for their customers.

It is the same for a municipal swimming pool loaned or rented to a club or an association, outside the opening hours to the public.

The bathing of a collective reception of minors, a private swimming pool, or a club/association, can, under these conditions be supervised in autonomy by an American lifeguard association.

Swimming instruction

American lifeguard association: swimming training ban the American lifeguard association is prohibited from teaching for remuneration in any type of establishment with a pool, such as:

·         lead an aqua gym lesson in a holiday village,

·         give swimming lessons for children on a campsite,

·         supervise activities such as water polo or any other fun and/or sporting activity in a holiday club,

·         give advanced swimming lessons to adults in a hotel club,

·         to train young people in a swimming club