Are Your Pool and Spa Operators Certified?

pool and spa operator

When it comes to ensuring the safety of the people who use your aquatics facilities, it’s vital your operators are knowledgeable in the work they do. Running a pool or spa is much more complex than it seems, and understanding the many aspects of the job is critical because of the responsibility to ensure the safety of all who use the facility. 

Certification is the process of assessing whether an individual possesses the minimal level of competence needed to perform their job. In the case of a pool and spa operator, in many jurisdictions this is more than just an option — it’s required by law. Many states, counties and municipalities stipulate there must always be a certified pool and spa operator on duty. If you’re unsure whether this is required on your campus, check with your local health officials.  

Some of the topics a pool and spa operator needs to understand include safety procedures to avoid dangers from chemical, electrical and other hazards; recreational water illnesses and how to prevent them; basic water chemistry and water testing to maintain a safe aquatics environment; sanitation; circulation and filtration systems; and routine and preventive maintenance. 

In addition, the pool and spa operator is responsible for minimizing risk for those who use the facility as well as for the college or university. Risk is a condition that exposes you to potential loss, whether from damage to property, injury to a person or even damage to your institution’s reputation. Aquatics facility risk management deals with preventing injuries to patrons and staff, as well as protecting the facility and its assets and minimizing the exposure to legal liability.   


As the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance’s (PHTA) vice president of education, Mark Milroy, CAE oversees the building, development and execution of the organization’s education programming. PHTA education provides individuals in the pool and hot tub industry with the knowledge and skills they need to grow successful businesses and careers.  

All these topics and more are covered in a comprehensive certification program such as the PHTA CPO Certified Pool & Spa OperatorSM program. Students learn how to implement proper management procedures to ensure compliance with local regulations as well as minimizing the risk for the institution. Affiliation with an organization such as PHTA keeps you informed about the latest technology, legislative efforts affecting the industry, provides access to a network of other professionals in the field, and much more. Find out more about how you and your team can become certified at 

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