Education is Key to Safe, Cost-Efficient Aquatics Facilities

For many, campus life wouldn’t be complete without aquatics sports and recreation. An aquatics program can meet its demise, however, if the facilities are poorly run. That’s why pool operator training is essential for the safety and success of any aquatics program.

A good pool operator course provides the real-life math and science needed to operate safer and more efficient pools, as well as prevent problems before they occur. When looking for a pool operator course, ask yourself these questions:

1. How convenient is the course to take?

Many pool operator courses take place over two days. Some training programs are only scheduled at the request of the host facility, whereas others are scheduled frequently throughout the country as part of a network of experienced instructors. In addition, some programs offer an online component.

2. Does the course satisfy your state or local jurisdiction’s training requirements?

Not every program is recognized by state and local jurisdictions that require professional training. Before signing up for a course, contact your state or local government pool inspection group — many are listed under environmental health headings — to see what they suggest for pool operator training courses and to ensure the course you’re considering meets their approval.

3. How qualified is the instructor to teach the material?

Spend some time researching the credentials of your course instructor. The more experienced the instructor is — not only in teaching, but also in managing commercial pool facilities — the better equipped he or she will be to help you with any specific questions you have about your own facility.

4. Does the program lead to certification?

Certification is key, especially if it’s required by your state or local jurisdiction. Even where certification is not required, it gives users and health departments confidence the facility is being run safely and properly. Documenting your staff is certified might also limit your liability should an employee or patron get sick or injured, because you’ll be able to show you operate a safe facility at or above industry standards. Also, look for ease of recertification.

5. Does the course teach cost-saving methods?

Look for courses that show you how to reduce labor costs, chemical use, energy consumption and water use. A good pool operator goes beyond safety to run a pool in a way that minimizes its environmental impact.

To begin your search for the ideal “pool operator course,” browse the internet for those key words, ask for referrals from other trained aquatics professionals, seek advice from pool industry trade associations or ask your local health department for direction. Thanks to the various pool operator courses available, a better, safer, more efficient aquatics facility is within your grasp.


Alan E. Sanderfoot is the founder of Dotted i Media, a Palm Springs, California-based communications firm. He was the editor of AQUA magazine for 10 years, and has authored three books about pools and spas, including, “What Color is Your Swimming Pool? A Homeowner’s Guide to Pool and Spa Maintenance.” For more information, visit


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