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

PoolSS loves family, 40-degree heat, barbeques, backyard cricket 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.


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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