The American Red Cross is making a number of changes to update its
health and safety offerings, and to transform its aquatics and
other life-saving programs to deliver stronger courses more
consistently across the country.
As we undertake this transformation, we know that it also means
changes for our authorized providers and other partners, and
we’re working hard to answer questions and address
We believe the changes that have been made are good for the Red
Cross and good for the people who depend on us for learn-to-swim,
lifesaving and other courses. To date, much of the attention has
centered on pricing changes, but there’s much more to the
There are a lot of great benefits from our changes that will
continue to bring value to our partners:
• Updated programs. We launched the Next
Generation of Red Cross Training last year with the release of
first aid, CPR and AED programs for lay responders and professional
rescuers — all with two-year certifications. Already in 2012,
the Red Cross has released the new Lifeguarding program, which
includes a Shallow Water Lifeguarding course and Waterfront Skills
and Waterpark Skills modules. Coming soon is the Lifeguard
Management course and updates to the Aquatic Examiner
• More training options. To help meet the
training needs of employers nationwide, blended learning options
for most of our most popular courses now are available.
• Red Cross Learning Center. The Learning
Center, which is now operational system-wide, allows instructors to
manage their training records, register for training, and complete
program updates and new training. It also allows instructors to
manage course records and certificates for courses taught.
• The Training Support Center
(1.800.RED.CROSS, or 800.733.2767). This center has dedicated
resources to provide customers with health and safety course
schedules and registration information. Instructors may contact the
Training Support Center for assistance with course records,
certificates and instructor updates.
• The Instructor’s Corner redcross.org/instructorscorner. This area on our
Website provides support to Red Cross instructors who deliver our
lifesaving training programs. Instructor’s Corner includes
course updates, digital materials, teaching tools, course record
forms and more.
• The Refresher Center redcrossrefresher.com. This was launched in spring
2011 to provide course participants free access to short, online
refreshers, including interactive quizzes, games, learning
activities, videos and more to keep their knowledge and skills
fresh between certifications. While these refreshers are optional,
we recommend that participants complete a refresher at least once
every quarter. Refreshers now are available for first aid/CPR/AED
content, and more will be added.
The Red Cross remains steadfast in its mission to prevent, prepare
for and respond to emergencies, and part of our vision is to reach
more people in more communities. We are continuing to provide
high-quality health and safety programs, and in our new structure,
we will do so in a consistent manner — ensuring that every
person who takes Red Cross training receives the same high-quality
experience across the nation — while recovering our costs. To
make this vision a reality, we have fundamentally restructured our
operations and standardized our course portfolio and course
It is well-known that the changes to the fee structure for
learn-to-swim courses was an area of difficulty for some of our
aquatics partners. We heard that either the timing or structure of
our pricing changes would make it more difficult for authorized
providers to reach their communities with these lifesaving skills.
This outcome runs counter to our mission, and we’re committed
to working with our authorized providers to expand, not shrink, the
reach of their learn-to-swim programs, while at the same time
making them economically viable for the future.
For authorized providers, bundled pricing can help supply
additional value. Those offering lifeguarding courses should
consider all the certifications required by their agencies —
and schedule them as bundles. As a bundled offering, the main
course and add-ons, such as Waterfront Skills, Waterpark Skills,
Administering Emergency Oxygen, Bloodborne Pathogens Training and,
for our California partners, First Aid for Public Safety Personnel,
have a maximum authorized provider fee of only $35. To take
advantage of this savings, the courses must be scheduled
essentially as one large course.
The Red Cross has made another important change: For the first
time, we have a team of Red Cross professionals throughout the
country dedicated to aquatics. Their responsibilities include
ensuring that high-quality aquatics training is available and
working with authorized providers to help meet your training needs
— whether that is by helping coordinate trainings or moving
instructor trainers through the process. This team has been working
to reconnect with all the authorized providers in their areas of
responsibility. If you’ve not yet been in communication with
your Red Cross aquatics representative, please call 800.733.2767 so
the connection can be made.
There is no doubt that as the changes have been implemented, there
have been significant challenges, but the Red Cross is moving
forward in a strong and robust fashion, and we’re continuing
our lifesaving mission.
We are continuing the great relationships we have with so many of
our long-term partners in parks and recreation departments, pool
management companies, YMCAs, schools and universities by training
their lifeguards and Water Safety instructors and reaching hundreds
of thousands of participants with our Lifeguarding and
Learn-to-Swim training. And we’re signing agreements with new
customers — some from new facilities, and others who are
looking for new providers.
We’re also proud that many lifeguards are being recognized
with the American Red Cross Lifesaving Award for the Professional
Responder for their lifesaving actions.
And to ensure that we reach more people in underserved communities,
the Red Cross is identifying pockets of need where we can work with
our authorized providers to make learn-to-swim programs available
to those who cannot afford it.
A great deal has changed over this past year — and the
transformation is not yet complete. Even though we have implemented
this national structure, we are very aware that more work needs to
be done, and we urge people with questions or concerns to contact
The Red Cross continues to be committed to the mission of providing
quality programs and to serving communities. We strive to continue
our long-standing partnership with the aquatics industry to provide
safe aquatics facilities and to educate our communities on how to
prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies and ultimately, to