Certification FAQs

Click here to get started

Certified Fundamental Swim Instructor (CFSI) FAQs

Why should I pay for my staff to take the certification, I already have a training process?
This certification promotes standardized knowledge and expectations among swim instructors, covering a breath of topics not seen all together anywhere else. We recommend you use CFSI to prepare instructors to handle most situations they could encounter in the field and then use your training to teach your instructors how to teach your curriculum as well as the emergency action plans specific to your facility.
Who can take the certification?
Anyone who wants to teach swim! It is great for new swim instructors as a foundation and it’s great for experienced instructors as a refresher.
How long does it take to complete the certification?
Approximately 12 hours total:

  • Fundamental Swim Instructor Online Course 5 hrs
  • Infant Toddler Online Course 4 hrs
  • Play with Purpose Online Course 2 hrs
  • 100 question multiple choice proctored exam 1 hr
What is the cost of certification


USSSA Member Fee

Non-member Fee

CFSI Certification (includes required courses and one take of the exam)



Retake exam  (2nd or 3rd exam attempt) or Cancelled/No Show Exam Reschedule Fee $55 $55
Recertification via CE (every 3 years) $75 $175
Recertification via exam (every 3 years)


Recertification late fees $30


Is there bulk pricing available?
Yes, USSSA members can purchase at bulk pricing starting with a purchase of 10 or more registrations. Pricing ranges from $55-$99 each depending on the number purchased.

For details and to purchase visit: https://bit.ly/CFSIbulk

Is all the training online?
Yes! The three required courses are online courses. Certification also requires a CPR certification and an owner or manager to attest that the certification candidate has received at least 30 hours of in water training.
Does certification require the USSSA Infant Toddler and/or Special Abilities full day workshop?
No, the required courses are all online and include:

  • Fundamental Swim Instructor Online Course 5 hrs
  • Infant Toddler Online Course 4 hrs
  • Play with Purpose Online Course 2 hrs
I signed up for the certification but I can’t find the training courses?
When you sign up for the certification you should receive an email with login instructions into the USSSA Online Portal. The courses will be under My Learning Plan, scroll to the bottom of the learning plan under the section USSSA Certificate Courses.
I finished all the online training, what next?
Go to usswimschools.org/cfsi and click on Step Two to upload your pre-requisite documents. Be sure to use the same email you used when you signed up for the CFSI. Documents needed include:

  • Background check report (if over 18)
  • Valid, current CPR certification
  • Signed attestation form
Is there an additional fee to take the online exam?
No, the fee to take the exam is included in your certification registration. The only potential fees would be:

  • Rush Fee: requesting a test date within the next 72 hours
  • Retake Fee: fee to retake because of a no show or cancellation without a 24 hour notice
What should I expect from the proctored exam?
You will need to be ready to take your exam in a quiet area while sitting at a table or desk with the area around your computer cleared. Your phone cannot be near you and you can only be connected to one screen. You will need to download Guarding Browser from link provided. Chromebooks are not compatible with the exam platform. For full test taker details visit: https://bit.ly/CFSITestTakerTips
What do I do if I have a technical issue while taking my test or trying to access my test?
For immediate assistance or if the test taker encounters issues connecting to a proctor: contact ProctorU immediately via chat at https://auto.proctoru.com/chat or call at +1-855-772-8678
Click here to get started


Download A Copy of The Certified Fundamental Swim Instructor (CFSI) FAQs


Still have questions? Watch these videos for more information.

What You Need to Know about CFSI

00:13 Not Like Other Certifications
00:39 Four Components to Earn Certification
01:13 Who Should Get Certified
01:53 What Does BETA Mean
02:42 How to Get Started
02:55 Topics Included in Fundamental Online Course
03:41 Step 2 Pre-Req Submission
03:49 Instructor Attestation information
04:55 FAQs
05:44 Why Choose this Certification

What is In the Fundamental Swim Instructor Course?

00:12 Overview of Sections Included
00:50 Swim School Health & Safety Topics
01:03 Student Health & Safety Topics
01:20 Instructor Health & Safety Topics
01:27 Instructor Standards Topics
01:50 Preschool Topics
02:08 Elementary Topics
02:27 Teens & Adults Topics
02:41 Special Abilities Topics
03:00 Bringing It All Together Topics
03:20 FAQs

What is the Process to Receive a CFSI?

00:10 Four Steps to the Certification Process
01:08 Application to Register for the Certification
02:40 Finding Assigned Course in Online Portal
03:24 How to Complete an Online Course
04:18 Completing the Prerequisite Form
06:15 Scheduling Your Certification Exam
08:09 Computer Requirements for Online Exam
08:33 What Happens if you Miss Your Scheduled Exam