Ellis & Associates' "vanGUARD™: Aquatic Leadership Program" Named First-Ever Lifeguard Supervisor Course to Receive Certification from The Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code

lifeguards on rotation
Ellis & Associates' "vanGUARD™: Aquatic Leadership Program" Named First-Ever Lifeguard Supervisor Course to Receive Certification from The Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code

vanGUARD™: Aquatic Leadership Program Complies with CDC Safety Standards, First and Only Lifeguard Supervisor Course to Achieve Designation

September 15, 2020 – Ellis & Associates’ (E&A) premier vanGUARD™: Aquatic Leadership Program has achieved Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC) Certification – making it the first-ever Lifeguard Supervisor Course to receive CMAHC Certification. 

Founded in 1983 as the world’s first, dedicated aquatic safety and risk management firm, E&A has always been at the forefront of researching, developing and teaching advanced life-saving skills. Recognizing that leadership skills go hand-in-hand with aquatic safety, E&A developed the vanGUARD™: Aquatic Leadership Program to extend lifeguard training beyond the pool, equipping supervisors and leaders with the skills necessary to not only perform, but also administer and evaluate, their teams and aquatic environment.

Included in the vanGUARD™: Aquatic Leadership Program is how to administer and monitor the industry-wide adopted “Zone of Protection” standard that is now part of the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) and recognized by aquatic facilities around the globe. The program also covers preventative measures to reduce risks, mitigate health and safety hazards and inspect emergency rescue equipment.

“Our vanGUARD™:  Aquatic Leadership program provides critical training for Lifeguard Supervisors, equipping them with inspection, administration, supervision and critical-thinking skills that will make them better lifeguards and supervisors,” said Joe Stefanyak, Senior Director, E&A. “Our ultimate goal is to reduce risk and keep all swimmers safe. We’re honored to be the first-ever Lifeguard Supervisor Course to receive CMAHC Certification, and we look forward to continuing to develop proactive and innovative strategies, products and services that truly make a difference within the aquatics industry.”

Launched in 2018, the CMAHC certification program helps educate the public about products and services that meet the strict, science-based standards in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC). If followed, the guidance in the MAHC helps reduce the risk for disease outbreaks, drownings, and chemical injuries at public aquatic facilities. The CMAHC awards certification to services or products that comply with the relevant or applicable standards in the latest MAHC edition. 

CMAHC certification is not a single occurrence. Rather, the intent is to build a long-term quality control partnership. After initial certification, the CMAHC re-evaluates each certified service or product annually to ensure it continues to meet the same high standards required in the MAHC to maintain certification. Services or products that earn a CMAHC certification are said to be “CMAHC certified” and may display the CMAHC certification emblem to demonstrate they have been evaluated for conformance with the requirements in the latest MAHC edition.


About Ellis & Associates:

Founded in 1983, Ellis & Associates, Inc. (E&A) is an international aquatic safety and risk management consulting firm dedicated to the prevention and elimination of drowning. E&A provides lifeguard instructor training, aquatic risk management services, accident investigation, litigation support, emergency care training, Learn-to-Swim and continuing education programs for all types of aquatic facilities around the world. Learn more here.

About the vanGUARD™ Aquatics Leadership Program:

The vanGUARD™:  Aquatic Leadership Program provides training for Lifeguard Supervisors on topics related to leading lifeguard teams, managing lifeguard scanning and vigilance, techniques for developing and evaluating Zone of Protection® areas, practice development of facility-specific Emergency Action Plans, and preventative safety measures in an aquatic facility environment. The program is a certificate, e-Learning, CEU course that meets the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) lifeguard supervisors training requirements (MAHC section 6.2.2).

About CMAHC:

The Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC) was created to manage updates to, and promote voluntary adoption of, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC), the only all-inclusive national model pool code. The MAHC is kept sustainable, current, and complete because the people who use it also research, develop, discuss, and vote on proposed changes through membership in the CMAHC. The CMAHC submits proposed changes to CDC as advice on how the MAHC needs to change to keep up with the latest science and best practices. Throughout the year, CMAHC staff educate local and state authorities, aquatic facility owners and operators, designers and builders, manufacturers, and suppliers about the MAHC and its potential to ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience for everyone. To learn more, visit www.cmahc.org.