The Building Professionals Board accredits category E1 certifiers who can inspect barriers to swimming pools and spa pools and issue a certificate of compliance.
Read this FAQ for information on:
- becoming an E1 – Accredited Certifier – Swimming Pool Certification
- minor pool barrier repairs by E1 certifiers
- certification practice advice for swimming pool certifiers
...or visit our webpage providing practice advice on swimming pool certification.
Accredited swimming pool certifiers can inspect barriers around swimming pools and spa pools and issue either a certificate of compliance under s22D of the Swimming Pools Act 1992, or a notice and certificate of non-compliance to the owner under s22E of that Act.
Some swimming pool certifiers can also carry out minor repairs to make a swimming pool comply with the Swimming Pools Act 1992. To carry out minor repairs, they must be authorised under the Home Building Act to carry out swimming pool building or structural landscaping. Where minor works costing up to $1,000 are required to make the pool compliant, the owner is under no obligation to engage the certifier who inspected their pool. The owner is free to engage others to do the work or do the work themselves.
- the certifier is required to issue a notice and certificate of non-compliance if the pool is non-compliant upon inspection
- category E1 certifiers cannot issue an occupation certificate for a swimming pool
- category A4 certifiers who want to certify swimming pools must also hold E1 accreditation.
- unconditional accreditation in category A4
- an endorsed contractor’s licence or qualified supervisor’s certificateissued under the Home Building Act 1989, which authorises, or includes the authority, for the holder to construct a swimming pool or structural landscaping
- two years’ recent practical experience working for a local council, where they have inspected and certified swimming pools’ compliance with the Swimming Pools Act 1992, the relevant Swimming Pools Regulation and Australian Standards for swimming pool safety. This experience must also include the inspection of at least 20 different pools and associated child resistant barriers for compliance with Part 2 of the Swimming Pools Act 1992.
Note: The builder or swimming pool builder's licence should not have conditions preventing the holder from constructing swimming pools or swimming pool fencing. The structural landscaper's licence should not have conditions preventing the holder from constructing swimming pool fencing.
If you are an A1, A2 or A3 certifier, you are already authorised to inspect swimming pools and do not need to apply for E1 accreditation. However you will need to join the Swimming Pool Register by emailing your BPB accreditation number to email@example.com (Office of Local Government).
The standard accreditation or renewal fee for category E1 has been reduced to $750 to be commensurate with the level of E1 authority and scope of work.
The Board has restricted the eligibility criteria to people with knowledge and experience in the construction of pool safety barriers.
- record the inspection in the Swimming Pools Register
- issue the owner with a written notice under section 22E of the Swimming Pools Act 1992, and
- issue a certificate of non-compliance.
You'll then need to consider providing a quote to the owner, and it will be up to the owner to decide whether to engage you or another tradesperson to do the work.
No, but if they don't accept your quote to carry out the minor works immediately, you must issue a written notice and certificate of non-compliance. The property owner still has options to do the work themselves or engage a tradesperson. You can return and complete the works if the property owner accepts your quote and advises you within six weeks of the inspection. You must complete the works as expeditiously as possible to avoid breaching the conflict of interest conditions.
The Board has issued a contract template for swimming pool certifiers (PDF | 29.5K). You don’t have to use this particular contract, but it reflects the minimum information that should be included in contracts for swimming pool certification.
Any swimming pool certifier with the authority to carry out minor works needs to ask the pool owner to sign another document before the contract is signed. The document, ‘ Important information for pool owners (PDF | 59K)’ asks the pool owner to acknowledge they are under no obligation to engage the swimming pool certifier to carry out minor works to make the pool compliant.
A council or certifier may sometimes be asked to issue a certificate of compliance under the Swimming Pools Act 1992 for a swimming pool that was constructed without development consent.
Whether or not the pool's construction was authorised, when assessing an application for a certificate of compliance, you must apply the prescribed standards that were in force when the pool was built, or when the barrier was substantially altered or rebuilt.
Also, councils retain their enforcement powers in relation to unauthorised development, regardless of whether a certificate of compliance has been issued.
Pool barrier compliance is assessed against Australian Standard 1926.1 Swimming pool safety - Safety barriers for swimming pools.
There are three versions of this Standard adopted in NSW. The version applicable depends when a pool was built and whether the barrier has been substantially altered or rebuilt.
View a flowchart to help determine which version of AS 1926.1 to apply to a particular pool.
NSW has only adopted three versions of Australian Standard 1926.1 Swimming pool safety - Safety barriers for swimming pools:
- 1986 version (AS 1926.1-1986) for pools built between 1 August 1990 and 31 August 2008 inclusive
- 2007 version AS 1926.1-2007) for pools built between 1 September 2008 and 30 April 2013 inclusive
- 2012 version (AS 1926.1-2012) for pools built on or after 1 May 2103.
The 1993 Australian Standard was never adopted in NSW and must not be used.
NSW regulatory authorities, including the Board, have agreed on the following approach in relation to clause 2.3.1 of Australian Standard 1926.1 Swimming pool safety - Safety barriers for swimming pools:
- Retaining walls, objects or level changes that would otherwise reduce the height of a barrier within a property must be located at least 500mm from the barrier.
- Clause 2.3.1 applies in addition to clause 2.2.4, which requires any relevant boundary fence/barrier to be at least 1800mm high on the inside of the property.
The NSW and Queensland legislation sometimes use different terms to refer to the same thing.
Using correct terminology when working or advertising in NSW ensures the notices and certificates you issue are valid under the Swimming Pools Act 1992, and helps pool owners know exactly what services you're offering.
Any indoor or outdoor swimming pool must be inspected and certified if it is situated on premises on which a residential building is located.
'Residential building' means a building (such as a dwelling house, residential flat building or boarding house) that is solely or principally used for residential purposes, and includes any structure (such as a garage or shed) that is ancillary to any such building. It does not include a movable dwelling or a tourist and visitor accommodation. It does not include a building or complex of buildings that are principally used for non-residential purposes, such as a school or recreational centre.