Complying with NSW regulations on spa and pool installation and maintenance.
What Is Spa and Swimming Pool Certification?
Spa certification is a process by which a certificate of compliance is awarded to a swimming pool or spa owner, whether private or professional, to show that it complies with Government water safety regulations.
The NSW government requires all pool and spa owners to secure a certificate of compliance for all outdoor, indoor, portable and other vessels capable of being filled with more than 30 cm of water. This certificate of compliance guarantees that the swimming pool complies with all safety requirements prescribed by state law and is valid for 3 years.
Why Do We Need Spa and Swimming Pool Certification?
Children below the age of five have the highest risk of accidental fatal drowning out of all age groups. In Australia, a total of 965 children in this age group have died from drowning over the past 25 years.
Here in New South Wales, an average of 6 children drown in private swimming pools every year. The good news is that this figure is half of the fatalities from previous years. In addition, toddler death from pool drowning decreased from 25 to 10 in 2020 – a drop of 52% compared to the 10-year average.
Even though this is an improvement, deaths still occur, sadly, which is why the Swimming Pool and Spa Association (SPASA Australia) continues to lobby for consistent and strict implementation of safety measures across the country, protecting children around pools.
With these statistics in mind, then, the NSW government requires pool owners to provide a Certificate of Compliance before putting up their property for sale.
The compliance certificate is proof that a pool certifier has been inspected your pool and that it meets the Australian Standard for pool safety. Without a pool compliance certificate, you could face expensive fines.
What Laws Apply to Spas and Swimming Pools?
In compliance with Australian Standard 1926 (AS1926), the Swimming Pools Act 1992 establishes safety standards for swimming pools and spa pools located within the property of a residential building, movable dwelling, or tourist accommodation.
The Australian Standard 1926 has comprehensive specifications for:
- Pool safety barriers
- Non-climbable zones
- Child-resistant doors and windows
- Gate latching devices
If the pool is within a compound, all the lot owners jointly own the swimming pool or spa pool on common property and are therefore responsible for ensuring that these structures are compliant with the Swimming Pools Act 1992.
The law covers any vessel, structure, or excavation that is:
- filled with water with a depth of more than 30cm
- designed, manufactured or adapted for aquatic activity such as:
Is My Pool Compliant?
Before calling the inspector to find out if your pool or spa is compliant to Australian Standard AS1926, you can complete a self-evaluation to make sure it is safe for children and other pool users.
Pool Safety Compliance Checklists
- Do you have an indoor pool, portable pool, or spa pool?
- Does your pool have safety barriers around the perimeter?
- Is your pool difficult to climb?
- Does your pool have a fence or windows with proper measurement?
The Swimming Pool Register has a complete checklist evaluating the safety of a pool barrier. After meeting all the legal requirements for pools in NSW, you may contact a pool inspector to help you obtain a compliance certificate.
How to Register Swimming Pools and Spas
Swimming pool owners are required to register their pools with the NSW Swimming Pool Register. You can ask your local council to do this on your behalf so that you will be issued a certificate of registration for your swimming pool or spa pool.
Fencing or Barrier Requirements
If you own a swimming pool, you must ensure that:
- barriers around the pool are designed, assembled, installed and maintained according to Australian Standard 1926.
- child-resistant safety barriers separate the swimming pool from any adjoining the property.
- doors and gates that provide access to the swimming pool are closed.
The Swimming Pools Act requires pool owners to display appropriate and clear signs on how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). These signs must be in good condition, readable from at least 3m, and posted near the pool, fence and gate.
CPR signs are available at the local pool shop, local council, or community organisations such as Royal Life Saving, the Australian Red Cross, or St. John Ambulance.
Construction or Renovation Signage
If the swimming pool is under construction, a sign must be posted indicating that the pool is not for use and should not be occupied. The sign should be displayed at all times while the pool is under construction and only removed once the certificate of compliance or occupation certificate is awarded.
How Can Pool Owners Apply for a Certificate of Compliance?
Swimming pool and spa pool owners can obtain a certificate of compliance by calling an inspector who is an accredited certifier. Before scheduling an inspection, ensure that your swimming pool or spa pool:
- is registered with the NSW Swimming Pools Register
- is surrounded by an AS1926-compliant, child-resistant pool fence or safety barrier
- has a warning and CPR sign.
If the pool or spa does not comply with compliance requirements, the certifier will recommend changes to the structure set-up in order to comply with NSW regulations. Additionally, if the pool or spa fails a second inspection, the property owner might be given a Penalty Infringement Notice.
If you are selling your property or planning to rent out your pool, you should contact your local council or private certifier ahead of time to complete the inspection.
What Does a Safety Pool Inspector or Certifier Do?
The certifier will visually inspect the pool to determine whether it complies with Australian safety standards. If your pool is non-compliant, the pool safety inspector may agree to fix minor repairs such as adjusting or replacing a latch or removing climbable objects.
Let EBI Help You Secure a Certificate of Compliance
If you have a swimming pool or spa on your property or intend to have one build soon, Exceptional Building Inspections (based in Newcastle) can help you obtain a compliance certification.
Our EBI inspector is an accredited certifier who can:
- inspect your swimming pool or spa thoroughly
- register your swimming pool or spa with the NSW Swimming Pool Register
- issue a Certificate of Compliance for your swimming pool or spa pool
- issue a Certificate of Non-Compliance at the owner’s request
- issue an E22 Notice
- re-inspect your swimming pool or spa pool.
Our inspection is your protection – we will make sure that your pool structure meets Australian standards for fencing, signage, and other safety requirements. For your peace of mind, contact Exceptional Building Inspections and request a compliance inspection and certificate. Call us today on 4950 4197 or 0412 188 199, or simply click here to book an inspection and we will get back to you shortly.