StarGuard Elite

Frequently Asked Questions

What services do you provide?

StarGuard ELITE (SGE) provides our clients with an internationally recognized lifeguard training program and many more services to support their operations. To learn more, click here »

How much do your services cost?

Due to the varied nature of our scope of services and the wide range of facility sizes that we serve, it is difficult to indicate specific costs here. SGE strives to be more than just a certification as our client family receives unparalleled support and resources. Being cost effective is a core element of our company and SGE consistently beats our other agencies for price and value. As experienced aquatic facility operators, we understand the importance of being cost-competitive while providing elite service. It is part of what has driven our extraordinary growth. You have a choice and we're convinced that if you compare our services and pricing with our competitors, you'll feel compelled to make a switch.

What kind of facilities are you capable of serving?

Our program is designed for any type of aquatic facility anywhere. Our current client base includes:

  • Pools
  • Waterparks
  • Hotels and Resorts
  • Park Districts
  • Cruise Lines
  • Private Islands
  • Pool Management Companies
  • Training Centers
  • Swim Schools
  • PADI Dive Centers
  • Lakefronts
  • Open-Water
  • Camps
  • Crystal Lagoons

StarGuard ELITE provides service to over 300 clients worldwide. Our client family is evenly split between public and private organizations that represent the most diverse client base of any training agency in the world. SGE has clients in 18 countries throughout North America, Asia, and Europe.

Is the StarGuard ELITE program accredited?

The CPR, AED and First Aid content is provided by American Health and Safety Institute (ASHI) and is based upon the 2015 International Consensus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science With Treatment Recommendations, the 2015 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care, and the 2015 American Heart Association and American Red Cross International Consensus on First Aid Science With Treatment Recommendations. Notably, ASHI contributed a staff member to serve on the Advisory Board for these recommendations.

SGE partners with ASHI and Starfish Aquatics Institute for the development of all of our program standards and emergency care protocols. Below are more details about each.


  • Meets the most current standards for:
  • International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) / American Heart Association (AHA) CPR, ECC, and First Aid Guidelines
  • Recommendations by the Federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
  • First Aid & CPR by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAOP), American Public Health Association (APHA), and the National Resource Center for Health & Safety in Childcare and Early Education
  • Is nationally accredited by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS)
  • Maintains notable partnerships with the YMCA of USA, the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA), and Starfish Aquatics Institute (SAI), among others
  • The CPR, AED, and First Aid content has been incorporated with lifeguard rescue and drowning victim support content consistent with numerous guidance documents, including but not limited to the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the UK National Pool Lifeguard Qualification, and minimum competencies recommended by the International Life Saving Federation, and Australian NTIS training package qualifications. This work has been performed by our collaborative and strategic partner, Starfish Aquatics Institute (SAI) and is compiled within SAI's "StarGuard" program and textbook, published by the world's leading publisher of information in the health and activity fields, Human Kinetics.


  • Operates under Medical Direction provided by licensed emergency physicians (MDs) who are also leading experts in drowning resuscitation research and protocols. Both directors are Fellows in the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Academy of Emergency Medicine, have written extensively, and serve as reviewers for the ILCOR Science and Treatment Recommendations.
  • Programs are recognized for continuing education credits (CECs) by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and the Aquatic Exercise Association. College credit is provided for SAI programs through Ball State University; Abiline Christian University and Western Carolina University also provide college credit through courses offered by SAI Training Centers
  • Is a member of World Waterpark Association (WWA), the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), and the Association of Aquatic Professionals (AOAP)
  • Founders, leaders, and staff serve on the:
  • Writing Committee for the Lifeguard and Bather Supervision module of the Model Aquatic Health Code
  • World Waterpark Association Board of Directors
  • YMCA of USA Aquatic Experts Panel, by invitation to assist in strategic planning for aquatic training programs
  • Quality Control Council for pools, water parks, and beaches in Abu Dhabi
  • Speaker at the last three World Conferences on Drowning Prevention (2009, 2012, 2015)
  • Maintains a regional office as a sponsored LLC with a business trade license in Abu Dhabi, UAE for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia
  • Has trained over 10,000 swim instructors, taught more than a million people to swim, and has numerous aquatics initiatives and strategic partnerships including:
  • AquaTech water chemistry programs
  • Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI) - developing and operating the PADI Swim School program
  • USA Swimming Foundation - Affiliate Coalition Partner to support learn-to-swim and water safety initiatives
  • Lifeguards Without Borders - collaboration to support outreach programs in underserved countries with high drowning rates
  • Professional Provider - YMCA of USA and the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA)
  • Landmark Learning - collaborative partnership to deliver lifeguard training and water safety curriculum for the outdoor recreation and wilderness education industries

Is your program compliant with the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC)?

Yes, the StarGuard Lifeguard program is the FIRST and currently ONLY lifeguard training program to achieve the CMAHC certification. Learn More here: Insert link to the CMAHC certfication.

StarGuard ELITE clients are always on the cutting edge of industry developments. Our program meets or exceeds the standards established in the MAHC. All clients receive a Client Handbook and Training Center Administrative Manual (TCAM) that serve to assist clients in achieving their objectives, which includes MAHC compliance.

What is a Medical Director?

We strongly believe that lifeguards are a vital component of Emergency Medical Systems (EMS). The American College of Emergency Physicians considers EMS to be a practice of medicine that requires physician oversight.

A Medical Director is a physician who is board certified in a specialty relevant to the field that they supervise. They participate in curriculum development, training, research, and keep the organization up to date on the most up to date evidence based, best medical practices.

StarGuard ELITE’s Medical Director and Assistant Medical Director are both Board Certified Emergency Physicians with extensive experience in EMS management and drowning prevention, rescue, and treatment.

Do you offer audits?

Yes! Audits are a critical component of excellent facility management and operations. StarGuard ELITE recommends an audit program that includes both internal and external audits. Our audit program is innovative and offers resources that can be found from no other provider.

Learn more »

What is the "Lifeguard Portal?"

The StarGuard ELITE Lifeguard Portal is a proprietary web-based system for SGE clients to manage lifeguard certifications, audits, rescues, incidents, register for online learning, access digital books, manage inservice training, and more! The Lifeguard Portal works across any desktop, laptop, or mobile device. It has a customizable user-permission system that allows complete control for each client and creates efficiencies for any operation.

Learn more »

We're nervous about switching service providers. Is there any liability from making a switch?

We are extremely sensitive to the fact that, as operators, we are all constantly analyzing, evaluating, and challenging our procedures to provide the safest operations to our guests, despite the threat of liability. The StarGuard ELITE program is an internationally recognized program that meets or exceeds the same established industry standards contained within the programs of other aquatic risk management providers. Our program employs industry-leading standards aimed at risk prevention. Switching service providers, to an internationally recognized program that has all of the elements recognized as necessary to be considered comprehensive in nature, will have no impact when introduced into a situation where curriculum components are comparable. Fear of change can only hold back progress.

Do you provide any other educational opportunities or certifications?

SGE encourages professional development beyond the only StarGuard Lifeguard or Instructor training. We offer a wide range of training courses, certification, and additional learning opportunities.

For more information about other certifications available, please click here »

For more information about SGE’s Conference of Aquatic Management Professionals (CAMP), please click here »

How do I get a copy of my certification?

StarGuard ELITE does not issue certification documents directly to candidates on behalf of the Training Center Director or authorized Instructor. Certified individuals must request this from the Training Center Director or the authorized Instructor who conducted the individual’s knowledge and skill competency. Only the Training Center or Instructor can issue copies of the certification.

What is the Conference of Aquatic Management Professions (CAMP)?

CAMP is the aquatic industry's leading training conference focused solely on the development of industry professionals of any level. The conference goes beyond Lifeguard or Instructor course format. The conference is hosted in two tracks:

  • Track 1 includes a Lifeguard Instructor course for those interested in certifying or renewing their lifeguard instructor certification.
  • Track 2 includes the Professional Development portion that all registrants attend/ This track features keynote speakers, Medical Director updates, presentations on relevant industry topics, workshops, facility tours, and a non-stop networking environment.

Clients who attend CAMP return year after year to engage with other facilities, and often bring additional staff with them who work at various levels in their facilities from Lifeguard Supervisor to General Manager.

Contact us to learn more about how many of our packages include CAMP in the annual flat-fee agreement in order to avoid the hassle of trying to fit in the conference fees into the budget at years end.

Learn more »

My Facility is small, and normally my guards that apply are already certified through another agency. Why should I become a training center versus hire a third-party certification company?

As a training center, facilities can:

  • Provide direct training to staff which allows for training flexibility, as well as improves the quality and consistency of training
  • Include location specific Emergency Action Plan procedures
  • Establish proper expectations
  • Train external (non-employee) candidates to create an additional revenue stream and offer the service to your market or community

Being able to train internally offers a significant recruiting advantage over other facilities in that students are no longer required to take additional time or make the investment prior to employment to obtain a certification. Additionally there are numerous possibilities for staffing flexibility and cross-training other staff as lifeguards if needed.

Overall comprehensive aquatic safety is improved as the training center will be updated with the latest protocols and industry advancements based on the latest emergency care & drowning science.