Council Pool Safety Inspection Program FAQs

 

 

Have You Received A Letter From Council?

All Your Questions Answered, Right Here

Council FAQs

I Thought Only Council Could Do Pool Inspections & Issue Pool Safety Certificates?

Nope! Private E1 Certifiers can do pool, spa and barrier inspections and issue pool safety certificates too. Even if you are directed by the Local Authority – aka Council – to get a Pool Certificate of Compliance, private certifiers – like us here at Pool Safety Solutions – can still help you. 

What Is The Difference Between Council & A Private E1 Certifier?

Council and private E1 Certifiers are bound by Fair Trading NSW Government to lodge the inspection and details through the NSW Swimming Pool Register. Council and private certifiers essentially offer the same service, but at different levels:

Local Authority Private E1 Certifiers
are cheaper, but take longer may charge more, but as a private business, are driven to provide excellent service and a more efficient outcome (or they won’t be in business for very long)
are under no obligation to provide any service, help you or relieve any stress or intimidation you may feel are obligated to help you with excellent service, direction and advice where referrals, reviews and testimonials are bloodlines to small business success
stand in as the mediator between the customer and council to wade through the bureaucracy on your behalf for the most efficient and cost effective outcome
assists you with all aspects of your inspection and takes care of all the details for you
are not necessarily easy to contact or will contact you at their leisure and not at your convenience are only a phone call or email away for your questions
can supply handwritten reports with little detail use the top-of-the-line digital systems for a detailed report including photos with descriptions and explanations on rectifications
are in the role of finding problems and can not offer solutions, as that is not part of their role driven to reach the most efficient and cost effective outcome
offers access to preferred tradies who understand the pool laws to repair any necessary rectifications
are renown for being booked 3 – 6 weeks in advance offer Same Day Certificates and can reach you within the week, or sooner
notorious for finding problems outside of the pool and spa areas and barriers specialist focus on Pool Safety only
are wandering into unchartered waters by interpreting the laws through “Best Practice” have a thorough interpretation and explanation of state government pool safety following approved E1 Training Courses taking a certifier through their paces in NSW rules, regulations, acts and standards
offer all the expertise and abilities to translate these often confusing intricate details into everyday speak to the customer
are council, and council means red tape are not council

Pool Safety Solutions works to get you compliant as soon as possible. We help you reach compliance with

  • a Free First Inspection
  • a detailed report including photos with descriptions and explanations on rectifications
  • access to preferred tradies who understand the pool laws to repair any necessary rectifications
  • our 2-Inspection Compliance Guarantee, which sees you reach compliance within 2 inspections when using our preferred tradies to complete rectifications for $299+GST
What's This 6-Week Thing With Council?

By law, 6 weeks after the first inspection, if your pool, spa or barriers are not compliant, council must be notified. Pool Safety Solutions keeps you informed and updated along the way to remind you of this. 

Does This Mean I Need To Stress?

No need for stress at all. Your certificate of non-compliance is valid for 12 months. Council simply want to be reassured the risk of your non-compliant pool, spa and barriers are being managed, and who is managing the risk of your non-compliant pool, spa and barriers through the sale of the property – be it the seller or purchaser.

Why Do We Have To Let Council Know?

It’s the law. Council wants to be reassured the property isn’t being left non-compliant and posing a risk to public safety.

Can We Keep It A Secret? Do You Really Have To Tell Them?

Yes. It’s the law.

What Happens If I Receive A Letter From Council?

If you receive a direction in the mail from Council, Council notes you can use any inspector or certifier – not just council. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Contact your local Pool Safety Inspector to book in an inspection within the next 48 business hours – or even a same day inspection if you’re lucky.
  2. Read through the NSW Compliance Checklist to prepare for any potential areas of non-compliance. Or make it easy for yourself with our DIY Pool Safety Evaluation: the Ultimate PoolSS Safety Checklist.

    TIPS: Look out for gates that are not self-closing, trees and vegetation in climbable zones, fences not the correct height, gaps in between and under fences and lack of CPR signs.

    The Pool Safety Solutions Free Online Resource has handy reading material for the
    NCZ Non-Climbable Zone
    Ultimate Guide To NSW Pool Fences & Barriers, and
    CPR Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Signage

  3. Pool Inspection takes place
  4. Pool Safety Inspector lodges the inspection through the NSW Pool Register and takes care of all the council details for you
  5. Providing everything is compliant, certificate is issued – perhaps even on the same-day if you’re lucky
  6. If you are not compliant, your Pool Safety Inspector emails you a detailed report including photos with descriptions and explanations on rectifications, including access to professional tradespeople who understand the pool laws to repair your rectifications

 

Can We Still Continue To Use PoolSS If We Receive A Letter From Council?

Absolutely. If you receive a direction in the mail from Council, Council notes you can use any inspector or certifier, so you can certainly engage Pool Safety Solutions’ services.

What Happens If Council Contacts Me?

If you are still working on rectifications, you can respond to council informing them rectification works are underway but taking a little longer than expected. Then once completed, your private E1 Certifier will return to issue a certificate of compliance.

If My Pool, Spa and Barriers Are Non-Compliant, How Long Do I Have Once Council Contacts Me?

Your certificate of non-compliance is valid for 12 months from your first inspection date.

By law, 6 weeks after your inspection and you are non-compliant, we must notify council. The reason for this is council simply want to be reassured the risk of your non-compliant pool, spa and barriers are being managed, and who is managing the risk of your non-compliant pool, spa and barriers. 

My Question Isn't Here!

Not to worry. If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Contact Us where our friendly team are available by email or phone. Pool Safety is a community responsibility, and we bring you peace of mind to the safety of your pool and spa. Pool Safety Solutions are a trusted company offering expert knowledge, advice, direction and service with a commitment to pool safety – and proud of it.

Essential Reading

Fundamental local authority educational information on pool safety.

 

The Ultimate Pool Safety Online Resource

 

 

 

All The Free Stuff 

General FAQs

What Is The Definition Of A NSW Swimming Pool & Pool Spa?

PoolSS loves family, barbecues, 40-degree summer heat and swimming pools: all the good, fun Australian summer things.

But sometimes we need to take off our party hat and pull out our pool safety inspector cap to maintain the Australian and NSW government rules, regulations and standards in swimming pool and pool spa safety. And this starts with understanding the most basic of pool laws.

The NSW Swimming Pool Register defines a swimming pool as an excavation, structure, or vessel:

  • capable of being filled with water to a depth of greater than 300 millimetres
  • solely or principally used, or designed, manufactured, or adapted to be solely or principally used for the purpose of swimming, wading, paddling or any other human aquatic activity

A spa pool is classified as a swimming pool but includes any excavation, structure, or vessel in the nature of a spa pool, flotation tank, tub or the like, though not a spa bath.

Why Is Pool Safety & Compliance Important?

Pool and spa safety and compliance is Pool Safety Solutions' priority.

Drowning is a major cause of death in children under the age of 5 in NSW.
Each year on average, 10 children under the age of 5 drown in backyard pools in this state, and for every death, there are at least 10 near-drownings.

We are in the business where prevention is the best solution and don’t believing in risking it: one pool drowning is still one too many.

Do I Need To Register My Pool?

In NSW, it is mandatory to register your pool and spa. It is also an effective measure in preventing unnecessary child drownings through the tracking and monitoring of each and every pool.

As wonderful as swimming pools are on a hot Australian summer's day, it is also one of the most dangerous features in Aussie homes, having claimed many lives across the decades and continuing to claim young children under the age of 5 as victims.

To combat this, the NSW Government introduced the Swimming Pool Amendment Act 2012 No 77, and the NSW Swimming Pool Register in November 2013, making it compulsory for a pool or spa to be registered.

What Can I Do To Check I'm Doing The Right Thing?

If you’ve recently moved or want to take precautionary steps in securing your pool or spa, you can check with the NSW Swimming Pools Register to confirm your pool is registered.

My Pool Is Unregistered. What Do I Do?

Follow the NSW Swimming Pools Register's link for the following steps:

  1. Enter your email address in the form to immediately receive an automatically-generated email.
  2. Click on the link in the email to be directed to the registration page.
  3. Answer the four questions by choosing the answer that best matches your swimming pool.
  4. Depending on the information you enter, the relevant pool safety checklist will be provided.
  5. Inspect your pool using the checklist provided.
  6. Complete the registration form and a registration certificate will confirm your pool is on the NSW Swimming Pool Register.
  7. Once your pool is registered, book in your Free First Inspection saving $199+GST with PoolSS to make sure your pool or spa is compliant.

OR

Simply book your Free First Inspection saving $199+GST with PoolSS - and we'll take care of the rest!

What If My Pool Isn't Compliant?

That's OK. Pools are frequently not compliant because small rectifications are required. If your pool is non-compliant after the first inspection, council allows you up to six (6) weeks to rectify any issues, before, by law, we are to notify them. There may also be instances where rectifications require the skills of a contractor - who we can recommend to you. We can only guarantee you won’t need another re-inspection if you use our preferred tradespeople to complete rectifications.

What Are The Main Reasons For Child Drownings In NSW?

PoolSS believes prevention is the best solution and aims to bring peace of mind to the safety of your pool and spa. The main reasons for child drownings in NSW are

  • Lack of adult supervision
    Children are reportedly unsupervised for 10 minutes or less when disaster strikes.
    The guaranteed way to maintain child safety around water is through constant adult supervision.
  • Defective pool barriers
    Keep a high maintenance standard for all pool fences and barriers to keep curious unsupervised little ones safe.
  • Lack of child resistant pool barriers
    It is only recently local councils and state governing bodies have legislated pools were built with fencing, as previously swimming pools were left without fencing. As rules, regulations and standards have improved and tightened for pools and pool owners, the number of openly accessible pools has decreased, though child drownings still continue.
But There Are No Young Children In My Family?

While we understand each family and household is different, it is every pool and spa owner's legal duty of care and responsibility to prevent any neighbouring or local children from hurting themselves in your pool or spa.

When Do I Need A Pool Certificate of Compliance?

Since 29 April 2016, all NSW properties with a swimming pool or spa pool cannot be sold without valid certification. This include

  • certificate of compliance
  • certificate of non-compliance, or
  • relevant occupation certificate

It is a pool or spa owner's legal responsibility and duty of care to look after their pool. These changes specifically apply to

  • the owner of a property with a swimming pool or spa pool.
  • any pool or spa owner looking to buy or sell their home
  • landlords renting out their property with a swimming pool or spa
  • a strata scheme where all lot owners jointly own any swimming pool or spa pool that is on common property, meaning they do not have to attain it personally
  • Body Corporate or Owners Corporation responsible for pools and spas on that strata property
How Long Is A Certificate Valid For?

A certificate of compliance is valid for three (3) years. A certificate of non-compliance is valid for twelve (12) months.

If you are selling your house with a certificate of non-compliance, you can sell as long as

  • you provide a copy of your certificate of non-compliance to the buyer
  • the buyer acquires a certificate of compliance within ninety (90) days after settlement
How Much Does It Cost?

Free First Inspection. Always. It is the Pool Safety Solutions' Guarantee to always offer a Free First Inspection. Pool Safety Solutions sees prevention as the best solution. This means we believe property owners are entitled to free expert advice and guidance. A Free First Inspection assists with this.

A certificate is issued for every inspection. A fee of $ 89+GST is charged to cover the administration costs.

If your pool and barriers are compliant the first time we visit, your Certificate of Compliance is issued.

If your pool and barriers are not compliant the first time we visit, your Certificate of Non-Compliance is issued.

If your pool, spa and barriers are not compliant after the first inspection, after six (6) weeks, Council requires, by law, we notify them.

Once rectifications are complete, a re-inspection is arranged. A certificate is issued for every inspection. The fee for re-inspection is $199+GST.

Our 2-Inspection Compliance Guarantee. We are a team committed to bringing value to your pool inspection with a two (2) inspection compliance guarantee. When you use our preferred tradespeople to complete rectifications, we guarantee you reaching compliance within two (2) inspections.

This means the total cost for two (2) inspections and two (2) certificates comes to $299+GST.

How Long Does A Pool Safety Inspection Take?

A pool safety inspection is completed within 45 minutes where your inspector checks your swimming pool, spa and barriers are compliant to Australian NSW Government Standards. A detailed report is written up including photos with descriptions and explanations on rectifications. We work with you, taking a logical approach to pool and spa safety. This extends beyond the black and white of rules and regulations for solutions that focus on compliance while maintaining the quality of your landscaping and the value of your property. And - you don't have to be present for the inspection - check the next FAQ.

Do I Need To Be Present For The Inspection?

As long as we have access to the pool area, you don't need to be present - which saves you time (when we always want to save you time and money). If you're concerned you won't understand exactly what issues you need to address, you are provided with a detailed report including photos with descriptions and explanations on rectifications. This is emailed to you, by law, within two (2) business days of the inspection.

Will My Dog Be A Problem?

We love dogs! In fact, if they're super cute, they're likely to be featured across our social media. But don't fret, the privacy of your home and dogs are never revealed, and you can always let us know you'd prefer they weren't across Facebook or Instagram - we understand! However, if your dog is dangerous or often unfriendly towards strangers entering your property, we do ask you secure your dog away from the pool area for the day of inspection. We don't want to upset your dog - we just want to make sure your pool is safe.

I Thought Only Council Could Inspect & Issue Certificates?

Nope! If you are directed by Council to get a Pool Certificate of Compliance, E1 Certifiers - like us here at Pool Safety Solutions - can help you too.

E1 Certifiers are empowered by NSW Fair Trading and NSW Government Authority Building Professionals Board to inspect pools and spas and issue Certificates of Compliance and Non-Compliance. Our E1 training assessment sees a Certifier taken through their paces when it comes to pool safety so an E1 Certifier knows everything there is about NSW rules, regulations, acts and standards. A Pool Safety Solutions E1 Certifier is amazing at their job - and they love it! You can read for yourself >here 10 Reasons For Hiring A Private E1 Certifier

 

What Are The Top Reasons For Failing An Inspection?
Pool Safety is complicated, but there are a few tasks you can complete prior to inspection.
 
These are the main reasons when a pool is non-compliant, so make sure these items are all clear before your pool inspection so you can be compliant
  • Gate hinges and/or latches are faulty or do not comply
  • Climbable objects are too close to a pool fence, such as trees, plant pots, BBQs and clothes lines
  • Pool fence height is less than 1200mm or boundary fence height is less than 1800mm
  • Distance between the vertical elements of a fence is greater than 100mm
  • Distance below the bottom of the fence is greater than 100mm
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR sign is missing, incorrectly located or out of date

Pool Safety Solutions believe the community is entitled to understanding pool safety, and PoolSS operates in every way for the rules, standards and regulations to be freely accessible. We do this by sharing community-based, valuable information in Pool Safety News, handy DIYs, insights into the national pools and property market and offering a Free First Inspection saving $199+GST.

Can I Do The Rectifications Myself?

Sure you can. A detailed report is written up including photos with descriptions and explanations on rectifications. Often, rectifications require installing new latches or hinges to your gate, or extending the height of your fence. If you are capable, go ahead and save those dollars. There may also be instances where rectifications require the skills of a contractor - who we can recommend to you. We can only guarantee you won’t need another re-inspection if you use our preferred tradespeople to complete rectifications.

 

My Question Isn't Here!

Not to worry! If you've got questions, we've got answers. Contact Us where our friendly team are available by email or phone. Pool Safety is a community responsibility, and we bring you peace of mind to the safety of your pool and spa. Pool Safety Solutions are a trusted company offering expert knowledge, advice, direction and service with a commitment to pool safety - and proud of it.

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